THOSE WHO HAVE TRUE PATIENCE
Therefore be patient with a beautiful patience. (Surat
Only the faithful understand the true nature of patience and live in
the manner of which Allah approves, for they have accepted the Qur'an
as their guide. And, only the Qur'an explains the real meaning of patience
and the type of patience that is acceptable to Allah. For this reason,
the only people capable of being "patient with a beautiful patience" are
those who follow the Qur'an.
The source of their patience is their faith in Allah and their submission
to Him. Like all of their other characteristics, patience emerges only
through a true understanding of faith, because to believe is to understand
that there is no deity but Allah, that He encompasses all things in His
knowledge, that only Allah has the power to determine one's destiny, and
that nobody can enjoy gain or suffer loss without His willing it.
One reason why the believers can show patience is because their faith
enables them to appreciate Allah's might and glory. Those who know that
Allah has boundless wisdom and boundless knowledge also know that only
He can determine what will be the finest life for them. They know that
Allah possesses all knowledge about all creatures and events in the past,
present, and future, whereas people have only a limited intelligence that
is prone to making mistakes in determining what is good and what is bad.
In most cases, a seemingly unfavorable event may bring many benefits,
although people may well be totally unaware of this. Allah points out
this important truth: "It may be that you hate something
when it is good for you, and it may be that you love something when it
is bad for you. Allah knows, and you do not know" (Surat al-Baqara, 216).
Thus, knowing that only Allah possesses this knowledge and wisdom, the
believers put their trust in Him, fully aware that whatever He wills is
always beneficial, even though the benefit may not be immediately apparent.
Therefore, they display true patience. In other words, one characteristic
of those who have true patience is that they are people who have grasped
and embraced the nature of destiny.
The Qur'an states that the faithful are patient and put their trust in
Allah, as follows:
Those who are steadfast and put their trust in their
Lord. (Surat an-Nahl: 42)
Another reason why the believers exhibit such a patient determination
throughout their lives is their strong fear and consciousness of Allah.
Just as they know that Allah has a boundless love and mercy for His servants,
they also know that the punishment of Hell is eternal. Allah warns those
who consider themselves too great to worship Him and who turn their faces
away from Him of the torment to come. As the faithful are aware of this
warning, they take pains to avoid it by being extremely careful and patient
in implementing all of Allah's instructions and prohibitions. They channel
their fear and consciousness of Allah into living the Qur'an's morality
throughout their lives.
Awareness of this world's true face also ensures that the faithful will
continue to be patient. As is stated in "We will
test you until We know those of you who strive hard [for the cause of
Allah] and those who are steadfast, and test what is reported of you"
(Surah Muhammad, 31), Allah makes a distinction between those who
show patience in their worship of Him and those who manifest their resistance
by becoming impatient. As a result, He will give those who worship Him
in this life noble residences as hospitality in the next, while punishing
those who deny Him with an eternal, inescapable Hell.
No matter what hardship they encounter, the faithful know that such hardship
is a test from Allah and so do not lose their patience. How could they,
knowing that they will face the Day of Judgment and receive their reward
for their fine morality? Allah's Messenger (saas) also mentions that the
believers remain patient when faced with calamity, since they always trust
Allah, as follows:
The example of a believer is that of a fresh tender plant. From whatever
direction the wind comes, it bends it. But when the wind becomes quiet,
it becomes straight again. Similarly, a believer is afflicted with calamities
(but remains patient until Allah removes the difficulty). (Bukhari)
One fundamental element of patience is exactly this-the believers have
certainty about the Day of Judgment and the afterlife. Armed with the
strength they derive from the knowledge that they will be tested here
and rewarded on the Day of Judgment for every event for which they showed
patience, and that Allah gives the good news of His mercy to those who
show patience, they are committed to showing patience.
As we can see, only the faithful can experience true patience, because
only they have bound and delivered themselves up to a sincere faith in
Allah, have appreciated His might, and put their trust in destiny. In
addition, they have a powerful fear and consciousness of Allah, have understood
this world's true face, and believe firmly in the afterlife.