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Chapter 33. A Return To Patience And Its Types

As we have said, the key to true strength is patience, it is a necessary element. Patience is of two types: patience when angry, and patience when afflicted with calamity. Al-Hassan (i.e. Al-Basry) said:

"No slave of Allah has struck a more effective blow than wisdom and forbearance in anger and patience in the face of calamity."


This is because the common element in all of these things is patience with what is painful. The courageous and capable is the one who can be patient and persevere in spite of pain.


Something painful - if it is something which can be driven away - causes anger. And, if it is something which cannot be driven away, it causes grief (huzn). This is why the face becomes flushed in anger, as the blood boils due a feeling of power and capability to destroy what is causing the anger, and the face becomes pale and bloodless in grief, as the blood recedes due to the feeling of weakness and inability to do anything about the cause of grief.


Thus, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) joined the two types of patience in the following sahih hadith found in the collection of Muslim:


"The Prophet said: "How do you define Ar-Raqoob (childless) among you?" They said: "Ar-Raqoob is the one to whom no child has been born." The Prophet said: "That is not Ar-Raqoob, rather Ar-Raqoob is the one who has not offered any one of his children" (i.e. in the path of Allah). Then, the Prophet said: "And who do you consider invincible (or "the mighty") among you?" They said: "The one who men cannot overcome or defeat." The Prophet said: "It is not so, rather, the mighty is the one who can control himself in anger."


In this hadith, the Prophet mentioned that which includes patience in the face of calamity (i.e. losing of sons to fighting in the path of Allah), and patience in anger. Allah said about calamity in general:


[And give glad tidings to the patient ones *Those who, when afflicted by any calamity, say: "Verily, from Allah we came, and unto Allah we will return.""]


And Allah said about anger:


[Good acts and bad acts are not the same. Drive away (bad) with that which is better. Suddenly, the one with whom there was enmity becomes as a close and devoted friend * And none will achieve this except those who are patient, and none will achieve this except those of the greatest good fortune.] Quran 41/34-35


This exposition of common elements between patience in the face of calamity, and patience in anger is analogous to the citing of the common element between patience in adversity and patience in plenty and ease as in the following verse:


[And if we give man a taste of mercy from us, and then take it away from him, verily he is despondent and ungrateful. And if we give him a taste of plenty after some adversity which had afflicted him verily, he will say: The evil has left me. Verily, he is joyous, haughty. All except those who are patient and do good works, for these are forgiveness and a great reward.] Quran 11/9-11


[In order that you may not become despondent over that which did not come to you, nor (overly) joyous over that which came to you.] Quran 57/23


With this characteristic, the poet Ka'ab ibn Zuhair described the Migrators among the companions (May Allah be pleased with them) saying:


"They are not overly joyous when their swords have struck their opposition, nor are they despondent when they themselves are struck."


Another poet, Hassaan ibn Thabit said in description of the Ansar (Helpers):


"There is no haughtiness if they inflict wounds on their enemy, and there is no lassitude and no discontent if they themselves are wounded."


Some of the Arabs used to say about the Prophet:


"When he is victorious he is not haughty, and when he is defeated he is not grief-stricken."


Chapter 1

Enjoining Right: Our Prophet And Those Before Him

Chapter 2

This Nation Is The Best Nation For The People

Chapter 3

What Is Maruf (right) And Munkar (wrong)?

Chapter 3

Let Your Enjoining Of Good Be Itself Good

Chapter 4

Benefits Must Outweigh Negative Consequences

Chapter 5

Methodology Of Enjoining Right And Forbidding Wrong

Chapter 6

Pitfalls Of Enjoining Right And Forbidding Wrong

Chapter 7

Rebellion Against The Imam Of The Muslims

Chapter 8

The General Principle Of Enjoining And Forbidding

Chapter 9

It Is Obligatory To Measure All Things By The Criterion Of The Shariah

Chapter 10

The Love Of Good Should Be In Harmony With What Allah Loves

Chapter 11

The Love And Hate Of The Heart

Chapter 12

What Exactly Is Hawaa

Chapter 13

The Following Of Hawaa In The Previous Religions

Chapter 14

What A Person Loves And Hates Must Be In Accordance With The Order Of Allah And His Prophet

Chapter 15

What Are "good Works"?

Chapter 16

Action Is Not Possible Except With Knowledge And Understanding

Chapter 17

Compassion, Patience & Forbearance Are Required In Enjoining Right

Chapter 18

The Difficulty Of These Requirements

Chapter 19

Disobedience To Allah Causes Difficulty, Obedience Causes Ease

Chapter 20

Allah's Punishment Of The Previous Nations For Their Disobedience

Chapter 21

Punishment Of The Evil-doers In This World And The Next

Chapter 22

Promises And Threats Of Punishment Were The First Part Of Revelation

Chapter 23

Differences About Enjoining & Forbidding Are The Cause Of Division

Chapter 24

Sins Are Desired By Human Nature

Chapter 25

Greed Is The Cause Of Slipping Into Deviation

Chapter 26

Types Of Sins

Chapter 27

Success In Worldly Affairs Is By Justice

Chapter 28

Human Nature: Tyranny, Envy & Oppression

Chapter 29

Good Must Support Good As Bad Supports Bad

Chapter 30

The Severity Of The Test Causes Elevation Of Rank

Chapter 31

The Need For Certainty Of Belief

Chapter 32

Human Affairs Will Not Go Straight Except With Courage And Generosity

Chapter 33

A Return To Patience And Its Types

Chapter 34

The Forbiddance Of Transgressing The Bounds

Chapter 35

Fervour And Courage Which Is Praiseworthy

Chapter 36

Fear Of Falling Into Temptation As An Excuse For Neglecting Enjoining Right

Chapter 37

The Sons Of Adam Do Not Live Except In Societies

Chapter 38

Pure Intention To Please Allah Is Required In All Righteous Deeds

Chapter 39

The Meanings Of Islam

Chapter 40

The Meaning Of Submitting One's Face To Allah

Chapter 41

Definition Of Righteous Action

Chapter 42

The Meaning Of The "sunnah" In The Discourses Of The Salaf