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Merits of Patience

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    Merits of Patience

    Know, O dear readers, that patience is better than appeasement of anger, as patience is brought through difficulty in appeasing it. To have patience is necessary for controlling anger, and that requires great efforts. If one is accustomed to controlling anger, it becomes a habit, and then anger does not arise. If it arises, he does not feel much difficulty in controlling it. That is a sign of the perfection of intellect. The Prophet (saaws) said: "Knowledge is acquired by efforts. He who seeks good deeds gets them. He who saves himself from sin is secure."

    It appears from above that it is by efforts that patience is gained. It is acquired like the acquisition of knowledge. The Prophet (saaws) said: "Search for learning and with it peace and patience. Treat with modesty with the persons who acquire learning and from whom you learn. Don't be included within the haughty learned men; if so, your ignorance will prevail upon your patience. The Prophet (saaws) used to say in his invocation: "O Allah, make me fortunate with knowledge, adorn me with patience, honour me with taqwa, and increase my dignity and tranquility."

    The Prophet (saaws) said, "Search for high rank to Allah." The companions said, "O Prophet of Allah, what is it?" He (saaws) said, "Join the tie with one who severs it from you. Give to one who deprives you." The Prophet said, "There are five conducts of the Prophets: shame, patience, cupping, cleansing teeth, and using perfume." The Prophet said, "A Muslim gains the rank of fasting all the year and praying all the nights by the effort of patience. For a man who is enrolled as an oppressor and haughty man, his power does not extend beyond his family members."

    Hazrat Abu hurairah said, "A man came to the Prophet and said, 'O Prophet of Allah, I have got relatives and I treat them well but they treat me with evil. I do them good but they do me bad. They hold me in contempt but I keep patience at it.' The Prophet said, 'If you stick to what you say, you are filling up their bellies as it were with the fire of ashes and so long as that fire remains in them, there will be a helper from Allah for you."

    A Muslim prayed, "O Allah, I have got no money that I can give in charity. If any man mars my honour, consider it as my charity." Allah then revealed to the Prophet of the age, "Tell him, I have forgiven his sins." The Prophet (saaws) once asked, "Cannot anybody amongst you like Abu Zam Zam?" The companions asked, "Who is Abu Zam Zam?" The Prophet (saaws) said, "There was a man named Abu Zam Zam amongst your predecessors. He used to pray at dawn, 'O Allah, I have given my honour to one who opposes me.'" Allah says, "When the ignorant address them, they say 'Peace!'" (25:63) Hazrat Hasan Basri explained that Allah has spoken here of those who are patient. If they are held in contempt, they do not hold in contempt.

    Hazrat Ali ibn Ali explained the word "Howna" in the verse, "they walk upon the earth with modesty" to mean "patience." When they pass by useless talks, they pass honourably. Muzahed said in its explanation --when they are given trouble, they forgive. The Prophet said: "O Allah, let me not reach the age, nor let the age reach me in which the people will not follow the learned, nor be ashamed to be patient, whose hearts will be foreign but whose tongue will be Arabic." The Prophet (saaws) said, "There are such persons among you now with me who are patient and forbearing, then their successors and then their successors. Don't hold different opnions which will separate your hearts and be careful of the dangers of markets.

    The Prophet once said to Ashaz who came as a deputation to the Prophet, "O Ashaz, you have got two conducts which Allah and His Prophet love." He said, "O Messenger of Allah, my parents be sacrificed to you, what are they?" The Prophet (saaws) said, "Patience and fortitude. These two conducts, Allah gave you." The Prophet said, "The Most Merciful loves the patient, the shameful, those who love freedom, those who refrain from begging even though they have large family members, and the God-fearing. He hates the hard-hearted, the beggars with earnestness, and the fools."

    The Prophet said, "The divine service of a man, who do not have one of three qualities, will not be accepted: 1) such taqwa that restrains him from sinful acts, 2) such patience that restrains the fools, 3) and such conduct with which he can live among the people."

    The Prophet said, "When Allah will assemble all the creatures on the Day of Judgment, a proclaimer will proclaim: 'Where are the persons of rank?' Then a party will run towards Paradise hurriedly. When the angels question them as to their reason, they will say, 'We kept patience while being oppressed, and we pardoned when held in contempt. Then they will be told, "Enter Paradise. How good are the rewards of the doers of good.