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Patience is a Virtue


Bism-illah irahman nirahim


In the name of Allah, the beneficent and most merciful

‘By Time, Verily! Man is in loss,

Except those who believe, and do righteous good deeds and recommend one another to the truth and recommend one another to patience’. 


Surah Al Asr : 103 


The above surah - chapter of the Noble Qur’an discusses qualities of those who believe. Some commentators of the perfect word as revealed by Allah (subhana hu wata’ala) have explained that even if the believers would base their deen – religion on this one chapter alone, they would still be guided. Al hamda lillah (All Praise belongs to Allah (swt))     

This is ofcourse not to be taken literally as we must remember that Al-Qur’an is a complete book of guidance, which must be followed in its entirety but scholars have emphasised that these qualities are central to our faith. As believers if we follow the truth, we will be rewarded with knowledge, if we practice upon the sacred knowledge then we will be rewarded with good deeds and once we pursue good deeds then we will be rewarded with Patience – Sabr. Inshallah.


The virtue of patience is a rare quality, which is absent in these contemporary times. We pursue satisfaction through the joys of this world and measure our happiness in proportion to what we have. This is the computer age and everything is about being ‘instant’ so we demand more and more and we expect it now and here. This chase for satisfaction is endless and is in itself a punishment from Allah (swt) for loving the life of this duniya – world and rejecting the promise of Paradise. The Qur’an has warned us against the charm and attractions of this worldly life.


‘Are you pleased with the life of this world rather than the Hereafter? But little is the enjoyment of the life of this world as compared with the Hereafter’. (9:38)


 The perfect example of Rasulullah (saw) is a shining lesson in seeking peace through our dedication to the afterlife. As believers today, we are never grateful for the bounties Allah (swt) bestows upon us and this is why we never acquire the virtue of patience. The qualities of patience and gratitude will always be found together as those who are grateful to Allah (swt), who stay in remembrance and praise of Allah (swt) will also be patient when afflicted with troubles and worries. Rasulullah (saw) wished that his Ummahnation would pursue the path of taqwapiety and never pursue the riches of this world. As narrated in authentic ahadith, the blessed Prophet (saw) rejected the valley of Makka filled with gold as he chose poverty for himself.

Rasulullah (saw) said that ‘I prefer to be hungry one day and do sabr – have patience, and be fed the next so I can do shukr – be thankful. Here we learn that the qualities of being grateful to Allah (swt) comes with being patient and content with what Allah (swt) gives. This is how we experience complete trust and reliance upon the will of Allah (swt), which is referred to as Tawakkul.

The blessed companions of the Prophet (saw) acquired the same qualities of forbearance and tolerance as they gave up their comforts and riches to pursue the eternal abode of Paradise. Perhaps the most dearest companion of Rasulullah (saw) was Hasrat Abu Bakr Saddique (Ra) and he was said to have had five shops of cloth in Makka, he was one of the most wealthiest traders. His coming into Islam and struggle to spread the message meant he gave up everything and migrated with the Prophet (saw) to Medina Munawwarah. On one occasion Sayeddina Abu Bakr Saddique (ra) visited the Prophet (saw) and Rasulullah (saw) noticed that his dear friend Abu Bakr Saddique (ra) had one garment on and it was barely held together. In fact, it was stitched using the thorns from branches. On seeing this state of the only garment that Hasrat Abu Bakr Saddique owned, the blessed Prophet (saw) informed him of the lofty status he had acquired in Paradise. The companions of the Prophet (saw) in fact were fearful that any comforts they received in this world would in some way deprive them of a high rank in the after life. These were the qualities of the most sincere believers who praised Allah (swt) in every state, whether they were starving or without shelter they were content that truly Allah (swt), the All-Knower knows best.


The love for this world takes us away from the tawakkul in Allah (swt). We need to always think of those who are afflicted more than we are and the people who have been deprived of even the necessities whereas we complain upon having the luxuries. Hasrat Anas bin Malik (ra) said in an authentic narration that ‘The messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not eat off a table or off a platter. Fine bread was not prepared for him and boiled sheep was never to be seen’. The most blessed of all creation, the one who the Almighty offered the riches of this world but he himself chose to be amongst the poor and be grateful to his Lord. We are the followers of the most noble of messengers but chase the luxuries and comforts and shed tears if we cannot afford more luxuries and comforts, yet our vision is so blurred that we fail to see the riches in Paradise that may await us. The key to patience is humility and the result is gratitude to Allah (swt) for all that He gives, for all the harm He protects us from and complete trust in all that He knows.


Whenever we feel sorry for ourselves, we need to observe the lessons around us and reflect on the poverty stricken people around us, why are we not one of them? If ever we feel we should have more, then take a glance at some of the blessed possessions of Rasulullah (saw), which still remain with us in places like Turkey and Lahore in Pakistan. Upon witnessing their simplicity, we should reflect on who they belong to?


Finally, when ever we sleep in our warm room, and think about the things we would like to buy but cant afford, reflect upon the narration when Hasrat Umar Farooq (ra) visited the room of Rasulullah (saw) only to find three pieces of tanned skin and a handful of barley in the corner, Hasrat Umar Farooq (ra) began to weep as he saw the hard print of the mat, which the Prophet (saw) lay on was imprinted into his blessed back. Through the love of the beloved Prophet (saw), Hasrat Umar Farooq (ra) wept and complained saying that ‘Why do the Persians and Romans who have no faith, live in gardens with streams running within but the accepted slave of Allah (swt) live in such dire poverty? Upon hearing this Rasulullah (saw) replied that ‘O Umar, are you still in doubt in this matter? The ease and comfort of the hereafter is much better than the comforts of this world. The unbelievers are enjoying their share now but we will have them in the hereafter’. Hasrat Umar Farooq (ra) asked for forgiveness ‘O Prophet of Allah, please ask forgiveness for me, I was really in the wrong’!


This is the level of Patience that defined the believers and their faith in Allah (swt). May we be granted the pursuit of our rizqsustenance, which Allah (swt) has written for us even before our creation but also may the Giver of everything, grant us humility, gratitude and patience in all states that He bestows upon us.  




‘The life of this world is nothing but play and amusement. But far better is the house in the Hereafter  for those who are pious’. (6:32)