UNIT EIGHT – PATIENCE

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Suhayb ibn Sinan, may Allah be well pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said: “How wonderful is the situation of the believer, for all his affairs are good, and such a condition is only for a believer. If something good happens to him he gives thanks, and that is good for him; if something bad happens to him he bears it with patience, and that is also good for him.” (Sahih Muslim, Zuhd, 64).

 

NARRATOR

Suhayb ibn Sinan

a) Suahyb ibn Sinan is a Companion famous with the name Suhayb al- Rumi.

b) Learning Islam from Ammar ibn Yasir, he became Muslim at once.

c) Giving everything that he had to the Meccan polytheists, he emigrated to Medina suffering a thousand and one difficulties.

d) Highly proficient at shooting with a bow and arrow, Suhayb participated in all battles alongside Allah’s Messenger.

e) At the time Umar was assassinated, he acted as interim caliph for a period of three days upon the caliph’s request.

f) He passed away at the age of seventy-three, in the thirty-eighth year after the Emigration, and was buried in Medina’s Al-Baqi Cemetery.

May Allah be well pleased with him.

 

EXPLANATION

1. In this hadith, the Messenger of Allah draws attention to the favorable situation of the believer, in which all their affairs are good and felicitous and thus invites believers to patience and thankfulness. Life continues with its highs and its lows. Becoming spoilt when one experiences joy and unmeasured grief in the face of sorrow can adversely affect a believer and lead them to great error. The believer is delivered from this hazardous situation through thankfulness for bounties and patience in the face of hardship.

2. Allah the Almighty declares: “We will certainly test you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and fruits (earnings); but give glad tidings to the persevering and patient” (al- Baqarah 2:155). It is declared in another verse: Those whose hearts tremble with awe whenever Allah is mentioned, who are always patient with whatever ill befalls them, who always establish the Prayer in conformity with its conditions, and who spend (in Allah’s cause and for the needy) out of whatever we provide for them. (al-Hajj 22:35)

3. Types of Patience: a) Patience in the face of misfortune; b) Patience in avoiding sins; c) Patience in observing regular acts of worship; and d) Patience in relation to time.

Patience:

a) Patience in the face of misfortune: Misfortune encompasses the various difficulties and hardship that a person can meet throughout their lives, such as illness, death and the like. Strictly speaking, a person must accept the misfortunes befalling them as being from themselves and consider where and how they went wrong that this evil befell them. They must call themselves to account and perpetually keep themselves in check. In other words, if a person seeks to correct their errors, they must act as a prosecutor to their own carnal self and a defense attorney to others. A believer knows that whatever evil befalls them, it is from themselves and whatever good happens to them is from Allah; they are thus patient when misfortune strikes and thankful and humble when they receive goodness. Consequently, the standard of a believer must always be Divine approval and they must do whatever is right and leave the outcome to Allah, in perfect reliance upon him. Allah the Almighty declares:

…It may well be that you dislike a thing but it is good for you, and it may well be that you like a thing but it is bad for you. Allah knows, and you do not know. (al-Baqarah 2:216)

Human beings have no right of complaint in tribulation and illness.

1) Life is cleansed and strengthened, bears fruit and achieves completion with tribulations and illness.

2) This world is an arena of trial and examination and is the site of service. It is not the site of pleasure, merit and reward. One hour of patience during times of illness enables a person to earn the reward of one day’s worship.

b) Patience in avoiding sins: A person must respond with the same patience to those things that Allah has prohibited. Patience to be shown upon the first emergence of sin averts the evil to come from it and the person thus staves off its blow. It is for this reason that the Messenger of Allah said to Ali, “O Ali, the first glance is in your favor, but the second is against you.” In other words, one’s gaze can fall upon the forbidden, but if they immediately avert their gaze, this is not recorded as a sin in their name.

c) Patience in observing regular acts of worship: Patience is vital in constant and regular worship of Allah. For a person who is only just beginning to observe the Prescribed Prayer, this act of worship can seem quite onerous at the first instance; however, if they are patient and if their spirit becomes one with the Prayer, any Prayer missed thereafter becomes a source of the greatest sorrow for them. The same can be said of such acts of worship as fasting, offering the prescribed annual alms, and the Pilgrimage. Consider the fact that those who undertake an act of worship as arduous as the Pilgrimage wish to return each year. At times, even the quotas placed on the number of people attending disturb them immensely. This love of worship in a sense implies their overcoming their initial exertion. This is the same for virtually all forms of worship.

d) Patience in relation to time: This is the type of patience that a person needs to show towards affluence and poverty. One must not question why they are poor while another is wealthy, but must be patient and work. They must not show haste in realizing hopes or plans that require a certain length of time to achieve.

 

WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED

1. Belief is not a barrier to affliction and hardship. 2. Hardship can be transformed into bounty through patience. 3. Just as thankfulness for a bounty is a means for its increase, patience in the face of affliction can be a means for its transformation into goodness. 4. Thankfulness and patience provide the opportunity to spend one’s entire life upon goodness.

 

EVALUATION

1. What does a believer do when they are happy and when affliction befalls them?

2. Write three characteristics of Suhayb ibn Sinan.

3. How does Allah describe the qualities of believers in the Qur’anic chapter Hajj, verse 35?

4. How many types of patience are there? What are these?

5. What should a person do if they want to straighten their errors?

6. Human beings have no right of complaint during misfortune and illness in three respects. List these.

7. What has the Prophet said in relation to looking at the forbidden?

8. What are the four essentials leading to a person’s happiness and success enumerated in Surah al-Asr?

9. Which individual became resolved to pursue his studies to become a great scholar after observing that water wears away the hardest stone?

10. What lessons can be taken from this hadith?

 

 

Tekines, Ayhan. “An Introduction to Hadith” Tughra Books Press. January 2013.