Patience is half of faith; for this is a quality composed of patience and gratitude (shukr). As one of the ancestors (salaf) has said: Faith is in two halves: one half patience, one half gratitude. And the Most High said: Indeed in that there are signs for each one who is patiently persevering and truly grateful [Surah Ibrahim: 5].
Patience in relation to faith is like the head in relation to the body. It is of three types:
- (1) patience concerning the obligations (fard) laid down by Allah, that one should not neglect them;
- (2) patience in abstaining from actions forbidden by Him, that one should not commit them;
- (3) patience concerning His judgments (qada') and decrees (qadar), that one should not resent them.
Whoever perfectly fulfills these three degrees has perfected patience. For the pleasure of this world and the next, their blessings, and victory and conquest can only be reached over the bridge of patience, just as no-one reaches Paradise except by crossing over the Path. 'Umar b. al-Khattab said: We attained the best of life through patience.
If you reflect on the degrees of perfection acquired in the world, you will see that they are all dependent on patience. And if you reflect on imperfection, which one is blamed for possessing, you will see it all stemming from lack of patience. Thus courage and purity, goodness and love of others, all this is the patience of an hour.
Most sicknesses of the body and heart arise simply from lack of patience. And there is naught like patience for preserving the health of hearts, bodies and spirits. For it is the great remedy, the mighty tiryaq, even if it were to contain only the company of Allah "for Allah is with the patient" [Surah Al-Baqarah:153], and His affection for them for indeed "Allah loves those who are patient"[Surah Al-Imran:146], and His giving victory to His people 'for victory comes with patience'; and that it is a good for the people of patience, "And if you show patience, that is indeed the best course for those who are patient" [Surah An-Nahl: 126], and that it is the cause of prosperity, "O you who believe! Persevere in patience, vie in perseverance, be ever vigilant, and fear Allah, that perchance you may prosper" [Surah Al-Imran:200].
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