It was one lesson that I learnt two days ago, when it was so frustrating that I couldn’t focus on worshipping Allah and reading my books for my exams. What happened was that I came across an article that talked about patience, and I realized that being patient meant more than I thought.
The dictionary defines patience as being able to wait for a long time or deal with a difficult situation without being angry or upset. In Islam, sabr (patience) is used to refer to accepting Allah’s decree and whatever comes one’s way, whether good or bad.
I used to think that patience only meant enduring hardships. That, when maybe something doesn’t go your way, or that you lose something, or that you go through pain for something, accepting it meant that you’re patient.
I also thought that patience only meant being contented with what you have with the hope that Allah gives you something better, that being patient only meant that when you ask Allah for something and He doesn’t give you immediately, you keep asking Him for it until He gives you that thing or something better.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that all those things I wrote above don’t mean patience. What I’m saying is that patience means a lot more. A whole lot more.
I realized that patience is preserving to do the good things that Allah has ordained in order to please Him. No matter how hard it is to perform a good deed, striving to do it is patience. For example, sometimes, it can be very hard to get up to pray the five daily prayers as a Muslim. You know, maybe you just came back from school very tired, and it’s time for asr (midday) prayers. Or it’s time for fajr (morning) prayers and you don’t want to wake up yet, you want to sleep more. Or that’s it’s hard obeying your parents, especially when they say things that annoy you. Or it’s just so difficult to sit down to read for your upcoming exams. But, I found out that pulling through all these things to please Allah, is patience.
I also realized that patience is avoiding doing bad things to please Allah. It can be really tough as a teenager to be a proper Muslim, because all around you, people seem to be doing something different from what you do. It’s very hard to resist peer pressure because your friends keep telling you to do something bad or exposing you to different illicit things. But refusing to cave in because you want Allah to be pleased with you, is patience.
Patience is also all about being gentle with yourself when you fall short of your own standards. Believing that you would be a better person tomorrow with Allah’s Grace is patience. It’s always hard to change our bad habits and we have to accept that we can’t become perfect in one day. Struggling to go through that change, no matter how hard or slow it is, is patience.
May Almighty Allah help us to always remember this wonderful virtue of patience and implement it when the need arises. And may He also help us to be patient in every aspect of our lives. Amin.
“And seek assistance through patience and prayer, and most surely it is a hard thing except for the humble ones, -Who know that they shall meet their Lord and that they shall return to Him”. [Qur’an chapter 2: verse 45 & 46]