Your boss overloads you at work and you get an unpleasant critique of your performance; you are upset and even angry. Your child spills milk on the floor after you just finished cleaning; you feel exasperated and annoyed. Your spouse fails to offer to help with dinner, even when you have had a lousy day; you feel hurt and under appreciated.

Imagine these feelings amplified by a real crisis, such as your spouse losing a job or your child falling ill or sustaining an injury. You may learn of the death of a loved one, or may have a vehicle accident or a major storm that damages your home. If you are not able to manage the minor upsets from day to day, these life changing events could be catastrophic.

Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested. [29:2]

Allah (swt) provides us the remedy we need to heal our anxious minds and to soothe our burdened souls, subhan Allah! The Quran not only instructs us to be patient and to endure but also reminds us of the reward we will receive, in shaa Allah,  for being patient and enduring hard times.

Why is patience better?

Frustration and anger comes from Shaytan, while patience and peace come from Allah (swt). Before we can be upset that our boss has a bad day and says hurtful things, we must remember those who have no way to earn a living. Instead of being annoyed over spilled milk, we should be thanking Allah (swt) for this gift of nourishment when there are so many that go without.

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]

Being impatient is a sign of selfishness. Things will never go exactly the way we planned and perhaps by restraining from anger and retaliation that consists of hurtful words or a cold shoulder, you may replace an ill deed with a good deed by smiling instead and finding something to be thankful for.

How patience paves the way for forgiveness

Don’t ever let pride or arrogance get in the way of forgiveness. Allah (swt) made us all imperfect, so that means we are bound to make mistakes, break promises, or hurt our loved ones even when that is not our intention. We must lead by example and forgive, especially since anger and resentment can ruin relationships and cause us to speak, act, and think in a way unbecoming of believers.

And verily, whosoever shows patience and forgives that would truly be from the things recommended by Allah. [42:43]

Rest assured that Allah (swt) knows the wrong that has been done, and He will also know what has been done to make it right. Even though at times it may seem justified to cause equal harm, remember that Allah (swt) loves patience better.

Finding patience through prayer

When you feel yourself getting to a point where you feel as if you may break, instead of picking up the phone and calling your sister or friend and burdening them with complaints, turn to Allah (swt) and pray. Talk to Allah (swt) and ask Him to make things better for you. Ask Him for the patience to manage whatever difficulty you may be facing. Allah (swt) loves when we turn to Him, so pray and feel at peace.

And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive to Allah [2:45]

When faced with harsh words, difficulties, and condemnation, our Prophet Muhammad (saw) was instructed by Allah (swt) to bear these difficulties through patience and prayer.

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So bear with patience (O Muhammad SAW) all that they say, and glorify the Praises of your Lord, before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting (i.e. the Fajr, Zuhr, and ‘Asr prayers). [50:39]

Lessons in patience from the prophets (saws)

There are many stories in Quran when our prophets (saws) faced hardships we could never imagine. In every instance, when they felt unsure Allah (swt) reassured them and strengthened them. It was only through patience and trust in Allah (swt) that they were able to overcome.

When faced with oppression, Moses (saw) advises the people to be patient:

Said Moses to his people: “Pray for help from Allah, and (wait) in patience and constancy: for the earth is Allah’s, to give as a heritage to such of His servants as He pleaseth; and the end is (best) for the righteous. [7:128]

When faced with war, Dawud (saw) and the believers who fought Goliath and his treacherous army prayed for patience, even when it defeat seemed inevitable:

And when they went forth to [face] Goliath and his soldiers, they said, “Our Lord, pour upon us patience and plant firmly our feet and give us victory over the disbelieving people.” [2:250]

Abraham (saw) was able to remain patient when he was faced with the difficult task of severing ties and breaking a promise with his father to please Allah (swt):

And the request of forgiveness of Abraham for his father was only because of a promise he had made to him. But when it became apparent to Abraham that his father was an enemy to Allah , he disassociated himself from him. Indeed was Abraham compassionate and patient. [9:155]

Being patient is a part of believing

One of the qualities of a believer is patience. This applies in all situations, big or small. By remaining grateful and thankful for the mercy of Allah (swt) when calamity befalls and things are chaotic, we can maintain control of our emotions and not allow our anger, sadness, grief, or anxiety get the best of us. You never know, your actions may be contagious and someone may learn from you, in shaa Allah.

O ye who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear Allah; that ye may prosper. [3:200]

Praying you will benefit.


Vanessa Mullen

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