Factors that support patience
Imam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
Since Allah has commanded patience, He has also provided
some means that lead to and support it. Whenever Allah ordains something, He grants the necessary help and appoints the way
to maintain it.
Allah never inflicts a disease except He provides
its remedy by wich, recovery is ensured, if He wills.
Though difficult for the soul, ptaiende is possible
to attain and something to strive for. Patience has two aspects: theory and practice. In these, cures of the hearts and the
body are found.
The theoretical aspect, as well as the practical,
should be present so that the most effective treatment may be facilitated. The theoretical aspect requires us to get acquainted
with goodness, benefits, bliss and perfection of this obligation; as well as the evil and harm of what is forbidden. When
both are realized, and man adds to them his truthful resolution, powerful will and his sense of honor, patience is the result.
When this occurs, hardships become of little importance, bitterness becomes pleasure and man's agonies become joy.
There is a continual struggle between patience and
impatience. Both seek victory over the other but the only way to true success is to support one at the cost of the other.
When one's lusts and whims become stronger and gain supremacy, to the point that relief is unavailable, man is usually tempted
by promises of gratification and dissuaded from the Divine Remembrance and contemplation of what is beneficial to him both
in this world and the Hereafter. However, if he is resolved to treat himself and resist such a spiritual infection, he can
overcome it by observing the following:
First, the negative side of the desires is nourished
by that wich stimulates and stirs it into action. So to weaken the effect of this process, we should avoid the stimulus such
as excessiveness in food. Fasting helps to control and cure the desires, especially if the fast is broken with a modest meal.
Second, to avoid the effect of envy often stimulated
by actions like gazing the eyes should be lowered as much as possible. The motivation of one's will and desire, with wich
the heart may be moved, are stirred by gazing. Abu Hudhaifah reported that the Prophet(saws) said,
"A gazing is a poisonous arrow of Satan's".
Satan sends its arrow against an unarmored heart.
By "armor", here, we mean either lowering one's eyes or diverting them. Such an arrow is thrown from the bow of physical forms.
If you abandon it, it misses its target, otherwise the heart would be smitten.
Third, pleasure should be sought in what is permissible.
Man's natural instincts can be satisfied with what Allah has permitted. as pointed out by the Messenger(saws), this is an
effective treatment prescribed for most people.
Fourth, to ponder the harms of wrong-doing in this
world. In fact, if there were neither Paradise or Hell, contemplating the harms of wrong-doing in this world would be sufficient
to lead man away from doing wrong.
Fifth, to think of the ugly aspects of the evil inclinations
and whims of the soul. a man, having even the slightest sens of honor, naturally dislikes to be involved in any evil affairs.
The Incentive of Religion
The incenitve of religion is empowered by:
1 - Glorifying Allah: This means to glorify Allah
by refraining from disobedience for He is Ever-Hearing and Ever-Watching. When your heart is full of Divine sublimity, you
cannot act sinfully.
2 - Loving the Creator: If the heart is full of the
love of Allah, man gives up all sins. Indeed, love commands obedience.
3 - Gratefulness to the Divine Bounty and Beneficence:
a Virtuous person can never repay his benefactor with offensive deeds. This is something only the wicked can do. One should
fall down in disgrace, out of humility, as he recognizes Allah's bounties being continually sent down to him, then any repulsive
sins seem all the more detestable.
4 - fearing Allah's wrath and Punishment: If man insists
on rebellion, Allah's wrath descends upon him. His wrath cannot be resisted. At the same time, man is weak by nature, so,
is in constant need of Allah's Mercy and Guidance.
5 - Expecting loss because of sin: Sinful man is in
a state of loss in as much as he loses good both in this world and the next. The smallest atom of faith is better than the
whole universe! How can man desire to relinquish it? Can he trade it for a brief moment of pleasure that fades away in no
time, but whose consequenses will be felt forever. desires languish while misery remains. Abu Huraitah(radi Allahu 'anhu)
reported that the Prophet(saws) said,
"He who commits adultery is not a believer (at the
moment of his sin)."
According to some Companions of the Prophet(saws),
faith is taken away from him like an umbrella from over his head. When he repents, he obtains it once more.
6 - Longing for a victory over one's self and satan:
man controls his desires and overcomes satan, he finds sweetness and delight in his heart. It is greater victory than one
over human enemies. It is also more impressive and pleasurable. Its outcome is more praiseworthy. It is similar to the effective
remedy that treats the ailments of one's body and health.
7 - Anticipating the compensation from allah: Allah
has promised to compensate His servants for giving up what is forbidden, and for restraining their desires. they are entitled
to weigh ech of them against one another and choose the one having preference, so as to be content.
8 - Seeking Allah's aid: The Glorious Qur'an, in more
than one Ayah, speaks about the happy persons whom Allah will aid and support. Allah, Most High, says,
For Allah is with those who patiently
For Allah is with those who restrain
themselves, and those who do good.
For verily Allah is with those who
Allah's aid is better for man in this world and in
the Hereafter. Eternal success and happiness is so much more desirable a short joy in the brief period of our lives.
9 - Worrying about unexpected death: Always in thr
back of man's mind is the fear of death, wich can take him by surprise at any time. The time of death is unknown for anyone.
At the moment of death, the sinful man regrets for his negligence and disobedience. We will not appreciate this fullyy until
our lives are over and it is too late.
10 - Making disinction between the real affliction
and the well-being: Experiencing tribulation is often related to sins and their consequences while well-being comes from obedience
to Allah as a reward and a mercy. earlier scholars have said, "When we see people in great difficultu. we should ask Allah
for well-being. When people try to evade performing their obligations to allah, become willfully disobedient and negligent
in remembering allah, then affliction follows.
11 - Training one's self to overcome whims and evil
desires; Training is necessary to develop the incentive to fight against negative desires until the sweetness of victory is
felt, wich in turn strengthens resolution. Experiencing and overcoming hardship is a part of this development. If man withdraws
from this battle of the desires, his religion would weaken, and his desires would flourish. If a man can accustom himself
to oppose his desires, he would subdue them.
12 - Combating the evil inspirations: If a man finds
his desires overcoming him, he should strongly combat them. He should neither accommodate nor encourage them, for they grow
into wishful thinking. Unless man curbs his inclinations, they turn into inspirations, then worries and anxieties, and finally
they become resolutions that are united with intentions and actions. It is therefore easier to dispel the first inclination
than to ward off its consequences.
13 - Steering clear of relations and means that entice
man to incline to his desries. it is not intended that man should have no desires, but that he should turn them into something
beneficial and employ them in carrying out Allah's commands.
In that way, he would be saved from evil, wich is
the consequence of disobedience to Allah. If he fails to do this, he would be utterly destroyed.
Every effort and intention must be dedicated to Allah.
If man makes it a habit to act for Allah's sake, he would find it most difficult to serve anything else. On the other hand,
he who gives himself up to his whims finds it most difficult to serve Allah sincerely.
14 - Pondering on Allah's signs, over wich |He has
invited humans to meditate. These are Allah's miracles, wich He has manifested to us. When man's heart becomes in tune with
these wonderful signs, it shuns evil temptations. We wonder at the follishness of the one who incurs the wrath of Allah and
is indifferent to His scriptures and His Messengers. All in all, such a man has given himself up to satan.
15 - Thinking over this world, its transience and
its inevitable end. As a result, we find only the malicious and the hard-hearted who find contentment in preparing for their
eternal life with the vilest of what the world has to offer. If man only knew the reality of this world and what it contains,
he would know that there is little here to benefit him. Violent grief follows those who seek only the world without thought
of the Hereafter. Imagine! How could you strive for a profit that only brings chastisement?
16 - Persisting on invoking Allah, Who captures all
hearts, ordains all affairs, and to whom everything returns. In doing so, man's invocation is ought to be answered, particularly
when his supplication meets with a time in wich Allah promises to answer the call of His servants.
Let man never feel distressed due to his outward condition,
because Allah tests him compliance with "none is like unto Him, both in His Deeds and His Attributes. Allah deprives to bestow,
afflicts a disease to prescribe its remedy, and takes lives to resurrect them.
It was said
"Oh ye, Adam! Never be disheartened of My saying:
'Get out of the Garden,' as I have created it for you and you will be accommodated therein once more."
17 - Realizing that man faces two enticing tendencies:
good and evil. In fact, his tribulation lies between them. he is either attracted to the supreme companion, Allah, to be aresident
of the uppermost Heaven, or he is reduced to the lowest statues in the company of the dwellers of Hell. By responding to either
one, man reaps its consequences. Whenever he wants to know to wich category he belongs, let him consider the wereabouts of
his spirit in this world. Upon death, man's spirit descends to the Supreme Lord, to Whom it was already attached by nature.
This is natural for him, to enjoy the company of his beloved Lord.
Everyone yearns for what he aspires for. Allah, Most
Everyone acts according to his own
Accordingly, the pious people seek and hold fast to
Allah, Most High, while the wicked follow their own desires.
18 - admitting that evacuation of one's land is necessary
for receiving the showers of mercy. Unless man frees his heart from desires and evil inclinations, he will never attain Divine
Mercy. Hence, when man purges his heart from desires and evil inclinations and sows in it the seeds of Divine Remembrance,
contemplation, love and sincere Devotion. This is when he obtains Allah's Mercy, and waits for its shower, so to speak, in
due course. He becomes eligible to enjoy their fruit. Just as rain is strongly hoped for, so the answering of our prayer is
earnestly expected in the recommended times for supplications.
The hearts expect help from Allah, especially when
resolutions come together, hearts support one another, and the congregation becomes as massive as the Day of Arafa and the
Prayers for rain(Istisqaa') as well as the Friday prayer.
In fact, Allah has appointed these means for obtaining
goodness and mercy; just as causes naturally lead to their effects. However, these spiritual causes are even more effective
than material worldly ones in yielding their fruits. But man, due to his ignorance and inequity, is so often overtaken by
the worldy, rather than the wholesome spiritual aspects. These spiritual aspects are called the 'Unseen' for they are not
visible to the naked eye.
If man forsakes his desires and reforms his heart,
he will behold fascinating wonders. Allah's Grace and Bounty is withheld because of man's inner corruption.
When the impediments of the heart are removed, Allah's
Grace and Bounty rushes to man from every side. It is like a great river that irrigates every land through wich it passes.
Likewise, one who neglects the heart may be compared to a landowner who complains of drought while the river is near from
19 - Understanding that Allah has created him for
an eternal life, for honor without disgrace, for affluence without destitution, for pleasure devoid of pain, for security
purged from fear, and for integrity freed from deficiency. However, in this world, Allah has tested man with a life that ends
with death, honor rhat is often followed by disgrace, and security that is often overtaken by fear and anxiety. Everything,
in the life this world, is detected and rapidly repelled by its opposite.
Consequently, most humans err when they seek improperly
for bounty, dominance and glory, and in this way man is removed from his high position. Additionally, despite man's efforts,
too often he never achieves his aspirations and even if they are realized, are only fleeting pleasures. All of Allah's Messengers
have been sent only with the call for eternal salvation and entry into the supreme kingdom. A man, who respinds positively
to their call, enjoys the best of this world and the next and his life will be more pleasant than that of kings.
Renouncing worldy pleasures is a means to power. Due
to this, satan is envious of the believer. As a result, he does his utmost to prevent him from reaching his end.
When man controls his temper and desires, yields to
religious incentives, he finds the true kingdom; for then he attains freedom. On the other hand, a king who gives himself
up to his desires and temper becomes their servant, driven by them both. Only the fool mistakenly concentrates on outward
sovereignty, while its reality is servitude. The lust that begins with pleasure end up with grief.
20 - Keeping in mind the fact that a mere knowledge
of the above-mentioned is insufficient to obtain this end. Man must do his utmost to put them into practice.
To achieve this goal, man is required to forsake his
customary practices, wich are at odds with self-development and success. In fact, desires and prosperity hardly ever come
together. The Messenger(saws) is reported to have said,
"Let him who hears of the Anti-Christ remain aloof."
[Abu Dawud 4319 and Hakim 4/531]
Thus, nothing helps more to get rid of evil than to
ward off its means and its most likely whereabouts.