Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
15 December 2006 / 24 Zulkaedah 1427
The Value of Patience in Life
Maâ??asyiral Muslimin rahimakumullah,
Together, let us improve and raise our level of taqwa to Allah s.w.t. by doing everything that He as commanded us to do and to refrain from all that He has forbade us from doing. And hopefully; by doing so, we will be able to get His blessings and His acceptances for all our actions here on our short stay on earth.
During these times, we see one very important quality in those who are pious. This quality will help us get through the challenges and setbacks that we face in life with perseverance that is strong and robust. This quality, is called patience
In the context of life which we currently live in, it does not matter where we are; we are constantly being tested by Allah s.w.t. with a lot of challenges and setbacks. Allahâ??s tests are major. He tests each and every one of His creations, whether they are Prophets or just any other human being on earth.
In this case, Allah s.w.t. has mentioned in the holy Al-Qurâ??an:
Which means: â??We shall certainly test you with fear and hunger, and loss of property, lives and crops. But give good news to those who are patient.â? [Al-Baqarah-155]
In the verse that was just mentioned. It is clear that Allah s.w.t. the Almighty is Most-able to test us, and He will continue to do so. Allah s.w.t. will constantly test the level and value of our patience.
When we talk about patience, have we ever asked ourselves what is the true meaning of patience in Islam?
Patience, as defined by Imam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali in his well-known book Ihyaâ?? Ulumuddin, is likened to a group of religiously influenced people fighting against another group which is influenced by emotions and desires.
In Islam, there are three types of patience:
Firstly: Patience in handling challenges and Allahâ??s tests
Let us look back at the history of our Prophets and Messengers sent by Allah azza wa jalla. From as early as the days of Adam a.s. till the blessed days of our Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., they were strong and patientÂ when being challenged and tested and were steadfast throughout their lives.
As an example, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. during his glorious lifetime was often famished and in hunger. He never ever had a full meal. There were times when he even tied his stomach with a few rocks to hold his agony in hunger
Secondly: Patience in obeying to Allahâ??s commands.
In our daily lives, especially when performing our ibadats and rituals, we are taught to be patient and to be steadfast to Allahâ??s orders.
Saiyiduna Umar bin Abdul Aziz r.a. once said : â??The best kind of act is one that is forced upon oneself. (To train one selfâ??s patience)â?.
The obedience of a Muslim towards Allah s.w.t. and his Messenger s.a.w. must be based and backed by a strong character of patience. This is because without patience; it is hard for us to consistently perform all our religious obligations with complete sincerity.
With related to being patient when performing our obligations to Allah s.w.t. A verse in the Qurâ??an states:
Means:Â â?And be patient to Allahâ??s commandments, for you are under our observance, and celebrate the praises of Thy Lord the while Thou standest forth,â? [At-Thur : 48]
Thirdly: Patience in refraining oneself from doing bad and unlawful acts which have been prohibited by Allah s.w.t.
In the context, when trying to stay away from bad and unruly acts, our patience can really be tested. To refrain from doing things that attract Allahâ??s wrath is especially hard.
For example, it is very hard for a man to avoid the urge of wanting to look at a beautiful lady, especially if she is not fully covering her modesty.
Patience is also needed for us to not hurt others; especially our wives, our children and our parents.
Also, to refrain from saying anything bad about another person, to backstab, to condemn and criticize others, to talk about another personâ??s weaknesses for no apparent reason. Patience is very much required to be part of ourselves, as our values and principles in life.
Without patience, some of us may have put ourselves in a very lowly position as Allahâ??s slaves by becoming a slave to our own urges and desires.
In relation to this, Allah azza wa jalla had mentioned in the Qurâ??an in Surah Yusuf, verse 53:
Meaning: â??I do not pretend to be blameless, for manâ??s very soul incites him to evil unless my Lord shows mercy. He is Most Forgiving, Most Mercifulâ?.
As Muslims, we must be aware that to have patience is very important for all human beings. It is an extremely respectful character for us to have.
As Muslims we have to believe that patience is a quality that is very important for all of us to have in ourselves. And humans cannot afford to abstain themselves from this precious character.
Most importantly, for some of us who are trying to get through our rigorous lifestyles. There is a challenge for us to try and understand the true meaning of Islam. And there is also the challenge to present Islam as a religion that is a blessing to all of mankind. These challenges have to be faced with a great amount of patience as well as intelligence. If we are able to do so;Â Insya Allah, our community will be one that is strong in its principles, and also as one that can contribute positively for its religion and nation.
By making patience as part of our character; may we be able to succeed in this lifetime and in the hereafter. Amin Ya Robbal â??alamin.