“Indeed man is in a loss except those who have faith and do righteous deeds, and enjoin one another to (follow) the truth, and enjoin one another to patience.”

Quran 103:2-3.

 Patience As A Virtue .

Most times,  we find ourselves knowing and believing but not acting on them.  Being patient is described as a virtue, and that’s because it’s actually challenging to practice.  How patient are we in making decisions, in understanding people, in giving instructions, in our daily lives with our parents,  spouses,  children and friends?

Most often,  we confuse being patient with being stupid and vow never to be in the shoes if the latter. We have forgotten that while stupidity stems from ignorance,  patience is bred from a bank of wisdom. In other words, to apply patience,  we need to know and want to know more.

I’ve discovered over time in dealing with people that giving just a little time before making an assumption of one’s character and following it with harsh words saves our relationship with people.  We are often in a hurry to mistrust,  distrust,  label and condemn others. 

With just a little time given,  we tend to understand others better especially from their standpoint, not ours. With patience,  we are better; we can move mountains

 Patience versus Stupidity

I mentioned in the above that patience involves the use of wisdom while stupidity stems from ignorance.  While we can be patient from simple one-off annoying behaviours from others such as a rough driver cutting you off on the road or your tailor making your outfit one dress size smaller,  there are certain situations whereby our silence may actually be annoying to others and be levied as stupid.  When someone makes an error many times over, and still we settle for it,  then we are sending  a signal that we are okay by this behaviour.  When a husband cheats on his wife the first time and promises to repent,  patients from the wife may be the next honourable thing to do. However, when a man cheats on his wife several times over, and she chooses silence over a corrective measure, then she can be said to be bothering on stupidity. 

When a man hits his wife for the first time,  she patiently forgives him but when he does it over and over with or without remorse, then being silent can be seen as an act of stupidity. 

When a woman for absolutely no reason is sometimes rude to her husband or refuses to have coitus with him,  it would be great to be patient and let her be and hope to understand why with a dialogue. But if she continues with this ignoble character, then your silence may be taken for stupidity. There’s always a borderline on patience. However, it is advised that we try to stretch it thin before we react. However, we have to be ready to acknowledge to ourselves when someone’s behaviour conflicts with our integrity or beliefs. 

 Patience equals Faith

With faith the size of Mustard seed, you can move mountains **

Allah has promised us a handsome reward for being patient at  times of adversities.  He says in Suratul Baqarah

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.

Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him, we will return.”Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the (rightly) guided

These tests, in reality, can appear very difficult for we humans, but with patience and perseverance,  we can conquer them all.  Losing a child or loved one,  becoming immensely sick after storming unto wealth,  losing health or vigour shortly after being very healthy and vibrant are all conditions that can be depressing.  Most times,  we resort to unhealthy and diabolical means of relieving ourselves from these test, and that’s where we fail. Allah wants total reliance on him. He did not promise that our condition will eventually change, but if we firmly believe that from Allah these blessings have come and only Him can take it back, then we have no other reason to despair.  Allah may restore our losses but also for the love he has for His servants; he may withhold it forever for He knows that through restoring that blessing,  his faith may waiver.

 Patience and Love

There would always be those times when the patience we give outweighs the value we attach to the love we get.  This is not the case with our loved ones especially our parents and children.

Unconditional love can only be got from an extreme amount of patience.  Some times our parents can be our source of trials with the way they behave towards us.  Allah has vehemently instructed us to be patient with them no matter what. 

And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.

The only condition where we may disobey them is when loving them conflicts with worshipping Allah. When our parents attain old age, they could exhibit offensive behaviours and sometimes on purpose. They sometimes forget to use the filter on words and express their feelings without considering how we or others feel. No matter how harsh this may seem,  we are compelled to be gentle and obedient to them.

As for our children,  the term patience is a bit more complicated. Tough love better describes it.  As kids grow older and display vices that they learnt from their peers, it is necessary that as parents we patience and consistency correct their evil ways  before it becomes a permanent problem. Patience in this sense actually means not giving up and not about turning a blind eye. 

Patience is undoubtedly a complex term, but we all need it for a peaceful co-existence not only with ourselves but with our Lord.  We pray that Allah gives us the temerity to act as best as we should when the situation calls for it. There is no better helper than Allah.

and seek assistance through patience and prayer; and most surely it is a hard thing, except for the humble ones.”

Suratul Baqoroh (verse 45)

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