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What does patience mean?

“What does patience mean?

It means to be far-sighted enough to trust the end result of a process.

It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn.”

-Rumi

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Al-Bukhaari (1496) and Muslim (1053) narrated that Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“…whoever is patient Allaah will bestow patience upon him, and no one is ever given anything better and more generous than patience.”

And Muslim (918) narrated that Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said:

I heard the Messenger of Allaah (S) say:

“There is no Muslim who is stricken with a calamity and says what Allaah has enjoined – ‘Verily to Allaah we belong and unto Him is our return. O Allaah, reward me for my affliction and compensate me with something better’ – but Allaah will compensate him with something better.”

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`Umar bin `Abd al-`Azeez said:

“He who acts without knowledge causes more corruption than good, and he who does not consider his speech to be part of his actions sins repeatedly. Satisfaction is scarce, and the true believer should rely on patience. Allaah never bestowed a blessing upon one of His servants and then took it away from him, giving him patience in return for that which was taken away, except that the replacement was better than what was taken away from him.”

Then he recited the following verse:

“Surely the patient will be paid their wages in full without reckoning.” [39:10]

إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

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The one who makes gracious patience the foundation of all his affairs turns to every goodness, reaches every thing that he hopes for, and wins all that he seeks.

[Imam al Haddad]

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Imam ibn Al Qayyim said:

“The ibtilaa’ (testing) of the believer is like medicine for him. It cures him from illness. Had the illness remained it would destroy him or diminish his reward and level (in the hereafter). The tests and the trials extract these illnesses from him and prepare him for the perfect reward and the highest of degrees (in the life to come).”

Calamities, trials and tests are signs of love from Allaah for the believers. They are comparable to a cure; although it may be bitter, you accept it because it is from the one whom you love; and to Allaah belongs the best example.

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The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

“The magnitude of the reward is proportional to the magnitude of the affliction. When Allaah سبحانه وتعالى loves some people, He tests them. He who is content (with Allaah’s decree) will receive the Pleasure (of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى); and he who is discontent will attain the wrath (of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى).”[10]

Related by at-Tirmidhi

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Some of the Salaf رحمهم الله said

“If you are afflicted by a calamity and you are a patient, then your calamity is one. But if you are not patient, then your calamity is doubled – losing the reward and losing the beloved one, the Hereafter (Paradise).”

This saying of some of the Salaf is in relation to what Allaah سبحانه وتعالى mentions in Surah al-Hajj, verse 11:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ عَلَى حَرْفٍ فَإِنْ أَصَابَهُ خَيْرٌ اطْمَأَنَّ بِهِ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ فِتْنَةٌ انقَلَبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ خَسِرَ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةَ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْخُسْرَانُ الْمُبِينُ

{And among mankind is he who worships Allaah as it were upon the edge (i.e. in doubt): if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a trial befalls him he turns back on his face (i.e. reverts to disbelief after embracing Islaam). He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss.} [Al-Hajj 22:11]

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