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How does Allah Teach Patience in the Qur'an?

In the name of God, compassionate & merciful بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ | Peace be with you السلام عليكم

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Imam Ahmad[1] said: “Allah has mentioned patience in the Qur’ân in ninety places.” Here is a list of the different contexts in which patience appears.
  1. Instructions: Patience in enjoined on the believers: “And be patient for your patience is only through by Allah…” (16:127). “Now await in patience the command of your Lord…” (52:48).
  2. That which is opposite to patience is forbidden: “…and be in no haste about the (unbelievers)…” (46:35). “So lose not heart nor fall in despair…” (3:139). “…and be not like the Companion of the Fish (i.e. Yûnus [AS]) – when he cried out in agony” (68:48).
  3. Patience is made a condition of success and prosperity: “O you who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear Allah; that you may prosper” (3:200).
  4. The rewards of those who exercise patience will be doubled: “Twice will they be given their reward, for that they have persevered…” (28:54). “…Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!” (39:10). Sulayman ibn Qasim[2] said that the reward of every deed is known, except for the reward of patience, which will be like heavy rain.
  5. Patience and iman are prerequisites for leadership in religion: “And We appointed, from among them, leaders, giving guidance under Our commands, so long as they persevered with patience and continued to have faith in Our Signs” (32:24).
  6. Patience is the way to earn the companionship of Allah: “…and be patient and persevering: for Allah is with those who patiently persevere” (8:46). Abu Ali ad-Daqqaq[3] said: “People who have patience are the true winners in this world and the next, because they have the companionship of Allâh.”
  7. Allah will reward those who have patience with a threefold reward: blessings, mercy and guidance: “…but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere – who say, when afflicted with calamity: ‘To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return’ – they are those on whom (descend) blessings from their Lord, and Mercy and they are the ones that receive guidance” (2:155-7). When people came to offer their condolences to one of the salaf for some calamity that had befallen him, he said: “Why should I not practice patience, when Allah has promised those who have patience three rewards, each of which is better than this world and everything in it?”
  8. Patience is a means of seeking Allah’s help: “…seek (Allah’s) help with patient perseverance and prayer…” (2:45). So whoever doesn't try to be patient, will have no help until he turns to Allah.
  9. Patience and taqwa are conditions for Allah’s help and support: “Yes! - if you remain firm, and act righteous, even if the enemy should rush here on you in hot haste, your Lord would help you with five thousand angels making a terrific onslaught” (3:125).
  10. Patience and taqwa are a great protection against cunning enemies: “…But if you are constant and do right, not the least harm will their plotting do to you…” (3:120).
  11. The angels will salute the people of patience in Jannah: “…and angels shall enter upon them from every gate (with the salutation of): ‘Peace unto you for you persevered in patience! Now how excellent is the final Home!’ ” (13:23-24).
  12. Allah made it permissible to treat our enemies no worse than they treat us, but He has made it clear that practising patience is better: “And if you do catch them out, catch them out no worse than they catch you out: but if you show patience, that is indeed the best (course) for those who are patient” (16:126).
  13. Allah made patience and right actions a condition for forgiveness and great reward: “Not so those who show patience and constancy, and work righteousness; for them is forgiveness (of wrong actions) and a great reward!” (11:11).
  14. Allah has made patience a standard of courage and determination in the conduct of one’s affairs: “But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs” (42:43) “(Luqman said:) ‘O my son! …enjoin what is just, and forbid what is wrong: and bear with patient constancy whatever befalls you, for this is firmness (of purpose) in (the conduct of) affairs” (31:17).
  15. Allah has promised the patient believers His support and victory, and has said that they deserve this because of their patience: “…The fair promise of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because they had patience and constancy…” (7:137).
  16. Allah has made patience a condition of His love: “How many of the Prophets fought (in Allah’s way), and with them (fought) large bands of godly men? But they never lost heart if they met with disaster in Allâh’s way, nor did they weaken (in will) nor give in. And Allâh loves those who are firm and steadfast (as-sabireen)” (3:146).
  17. Allah has made patience a condition of receiving many blessings: “But those who had been granted (true) knowledge said: ‘Alas for you! The reward of Allah (in the Hereafter) is best for those who believe and work righteousness: but this none shall attain, save those who steadfastly persevere (in good)” (28:80). “And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint – none but persons of the greatest good fortune” (41:35).
  18. Allah has mentioned that only those who practise patience and gratitude will benefit from the Signs of Allah: “Do you not see that the ships sail through the Ocean by the grace of Allah? – that He may show you of His Signs? Verily in this are Signs for all who constantly persevere and give thanks” (31:31). “And among His Signsare the ships, smooth-running through the ocean, (tall) as mountains. If it be His Will, He can still the Wind: then they would become motionless on the back of the (ocean). Verily in this are Signs for everyone who patiently perseveres and is grateful” (42:32-33).
  19. Allah praised Prophet Ayyoub (as) for his patience: “…Truly We found him full of patience and constancy, how excellent in Our service! Ever did he turn (to Us)!” (38:44). 
  20. Allah has given a general ruling that whoever does not have faith and does not belong to the people of truth and patience, is in state of loss. This means that the only true winners are people of patience: “By (the Token of) Time (through the Ages), verily Man is in loss, except such as have Faith, and do right actions, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of the Truth, and of Patience and Constancy” (103:1-3) Commenting on this surah, Imam ash-Shafi‘i[4] said: “If people thought deeply on this surah, it would provide enough guidance, as man cannot attain perfection without perfecting these two things, his knowledge and his actions, i.e. his faith and right actions. As he is required to perfect himself, so he is required to perfect others, which is joining together in mutual teaching of the truth. The foundation of all this is patience.”
  21. Allah has mentioned that the main characteristic of those who attain salvation is patience and compassion: “Then will he be of those who believe and enjoin patience, (constancy, and self-restraint), and enjoin deeds of kindness and compassion. Such are the companions of the right had” (90:18).
  22. Allah has mentioned patience alongside the pillars of Islam and iman, as He has mentioned it alongside salah: “Nay, seek (Allah’s) help with patient perseverance and prayer…” (2:45); alongside right actions: “Not so those who show patience and constancy, and do right actions; for them is forgiveness (of wrong actions) and a great reward” (11:11); alongside gratitude (shukr): “…Verily in this are Signs for everyone who patiently perseveres and is grateful” (42:32-33); alongside truth: “…and (join together) in the mutual teaching of truth, and of patience and constancy”; alongside compassion: “…those who believe and enjoin patience, (constancy, and self-restraint), and enjoin deeds of kindness and compassion…” (90:17); alongside faith: “…so long as they persevered with patience and continued to have faith in Our Signs” (32:24); alongside truth: “…for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant…” (33:35).
    Allah has made patience the means for attaining His love, His companionship, His help and support, and His good rewards. This is sufficient honour and blessings.

    [1] Imam Ahmad, profound scholar of hadith, born in Baghdad 780ad., founder of the Hanbali madhab.
    [2] Sulayman ibn-Qasim, one of the earlier Ummayad Khalifs.
    [3] Abu Ali ad-Daqqaq, 11th century teacher of tasawwuf, stepping into Shafi'i jurisprudence, a student of Sulami.
    [4] Imam ash-Shafi'i, 8th century Muslim scholar, born in Gaza 767ad. (the same year Imam Abu Hanifa passed away), founder of the Shafi'i madhab.

    Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
    Uddat as-Sabireen wa Dhakirat ash-Shakireen [Patience & Gratitude]

    Zaufishan's Muslimness

    1 comment:

    1. Awesomely awesome. Indeed, patience and perseverance is mentioned so much in the Qur'an - I try to mention/remind myself of this and to others when the chance arises, so I really love this post. Jazak'Allahu Khairan!


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