Episode 15: The necessity of patience in life
A human being needs patience in every aspect of life in order to attain his religious and worldly interests. Earning a livelihood requires patience, dealing with people requires patience, fulfilling religious duties requires patience, refraining from sin requires patience, jihad for Allah's cause requires patience, confronting life's hardships, resisting its mishaps and enduring its burdens all require patience(1), supplementing oneself with useful knowledge and good deeds requires patience. As is the rest of a human being's chores, they all require patience.
The effect of patience
Patience has good effects and many benefits that [a person] gains by having this attribute. Some are:
1. Attaining high statuses and great rewards.
2. Attaining completeness in faith.
3. Marching on the path of victory over enemies, and ridding oneself from the effects of ordeals and disasters. According to Ibn Abbas: The prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: (… and know that victory is [attained] with patience)(2).
4. It is a way for the human being to gain his needs and attain his requirements.
5. Entering the accompaniment of Allah the Exalted for those with patience, as Allah Almighty said: (for Allah is with those who patiently persevere)(3). Which is the special accompaniment that calls for victory, support, assistance and success.
Patience of The prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)
The polytheists have used various ways of harm and persecution with the prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) to deter him from his [mission of] calling [to Islam]. They accused him of poetry, witchcraft, predictions and madness, and have tempted their fools so the fools discredited and harmed him. Eventually they ended up plotting to kill him, but Allah saved him from them. After his migration (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), they waged war on him and sought to destroy his mission [of calling to Islam], but he remained patient, [awaiting his reward from Allah] and seeking to reveal Allah's religion, until victory from Allah arrived and people in great numbers entered into Allah's religion.
Patience of the companions of The prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)
Next to the prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), his companions were the greatest in patience among the people. They followed [the prophet's] path in patience over the polytheists' annoyances. According to Saeed ibn Jubair, he said: (I said to Abdullah ibn Abbas: In torturing the companions of the messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), did the polytheists reach the point which justified for the companions to abandon their religion? He said: By Allah, yes; They used to beat, starve and force thirst upon one of them until he is no longer able to sit straight because of the severity of the harm that has afflicted him, until he gives them what they have demanded from him out of turmoil, until they would say to him: Are the Lat and Uzzaa [(Deities of the polytheists before Islam)] your deity instead of Allah? He would say: Yes. And even when a creeper insect passes by them, they would say to him: Is this creeper insect your deity instead of Allah? He would say: Yes, just to keep them from further straining him)(4).
1) See al-Akhlag al-Islamiah 2/306.
2) Produced by Ahmad 1/293.
3) Translation of meaning: Holy Quran, chapter al-Anfal, verse 46.
4) Narrated by Ibn Is'hag in Seerat Ibn Hisham 1/396, and conveyed by Ibn Katheer in al-Bedayah 3/65.