The circumstances of a human being do not always remain the same during the journey of [his] life. Some of his days begin with happy news for him whereas the other days bring sad news; while some days are filled with delight and pleasure, the others are full of miseries and worries. Sometimes, it is the man who gets affected by these calamities and sometimes it is his business and family. In short, miseries and worries are an integral part of human life. It is for this reason that Islam has taught [a man] to be patient during troubles and be thankful to Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ when he is happy.
It is stated in a blessed Hadees: Strange is the matter of a believer, for there is good in every affair of his. If he has an occasion to feel delightful and he thanks [Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ], there is good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and endures it patiently, there is goodness for him in it. (Muslim, pp. 1222, Hadees 7500)
Meaning of patience
The meaning of patience is to hold Nafs from anything, from which the wisdom and Shari’ah require one to stop. (Siraat-ul-Jinaan, vol. 1, pp. 246) Outwardly, the word Sabr is a three-letter word [in Arabic] but it encompasses a whole universe of courage, confidence, forbearance, tolerance, goodness, well-wishing, gentleness, calmness, and satisfaction.
The beautiful patience
The patience is beautiful (the best patience) when no one can distinguish the person when he is distressed. (Ihya-ul-‘Uloom, vol. 4, pp. 91)
The importance of patience
To observe patience is a great virtue. Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ has mentioned patience more than 70 times in Holy Quran; and numerous ranks and goodness have been attributed to it. (Ihya-ul-‘Uloom, vol. 4, pp. 75) Moreover, Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ has promised to be with the patient. Therefore, Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ has said:
وَ اصْبِرُوْاؕ-اِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَ الصّٰبِرِیْنَۚ(۴۶)
…and be patient; indeed Allah is with those who are patient.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 10, Surah Al-Anfaal, Verse 46)
Furthermore, it has been mentioned in Holy Quran that patience is the cause of gaining closeness to Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, leadership in religion, the best and uncountable reward, help from Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, and the blessings of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ.
The importance of patience and blessed Ahadees
1. If the person who has been persecuted endures it patiently, Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ will enhance his respect. (Tirmizi, vol. 4, pp. 145, Hadees 2332)
2. Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ says, ‘I have nothing to give but Paradise as a reward to My believer, who remains patient if I take from him the thing of this world, dearest to him.’ (Bukhari, vol. 4, pp. 225, Hadees 6424)
The patience and our society
Alas! Nowadays, we have distanced ourselves from patience. Maybe this is the reason why a large number [of people] are suffering from lethal diseases like mental stress, depression, diabetes, and blood pressure. Remember, even the so-called wise men fall short of common sense when they get impatient. Today, our society is heading towards destruction due to being impatient in our worldly and religious affairs. Fights are prevalent. People harbor grudge and enmity. Their sleeves are rolled up and they are always ready to fight.
The patience of the beloved of god
The Holy Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰـە عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has displayed patience and forbearance during his whole life. مَعَاذَ اللە The unbelievers caused pain and distress to him. They pelted him with stones, lay thorns on his way, put filth on his blessed body, intimidated him, threatened him, used foul language against him, conspired to kill him, but the master of this universe عَـلَيْـهِ الـصَّلٰوة ُ وَالـسَّلَام never retaliated for the self. He not only observed patience himself but also taught his followers to observe patience at the time of troubles until the world will last.
There is a saying of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰـە عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم that comforts: If someone suffers from misery, he should remember my sufferings in relation to his sufferings. Indeed, that is the greatest of all miseries. (Al-Jami’-ul-Kabeer Lis-Suyuti, vol. 7, pp. 125, Hadees 21346)
Whether the life is individual or collective, a household or social, the book of life is incomplete without patience. Now, we need to observe the patience all the time. Even if one faces troubles, worries, unreasonable opposition, and grief, the best answer to all of these is patience. May Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ grant us the wealth of patience. اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم
Bana do Sabr-o-Raza ka paykar banon khush akhlaq aysa Sarwar
Rahay sada naram hi tabi’at Nabi-e-Rahmat, Shafi’-e-Ummat
(Wasail-e-Bakhshish, amended, pp. 208)