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Those Who Have True Patience ?

Therefore be patient with a beautiful patience. (Surat al-Ma'arij, 5)

Only the faithful understand the true nature of patience and live in the manner of which Allah approves, for they have accepted the Qur'an as their guide. And, only the Qur'an explains the real meaning of patience and the type of patience that is acceptable to Allah. For this reason, the only people capable of being "patient with a beautiful patience" are those who follow the Qur'an.

The source of their patience is their faith in Allah and their submission to Him. Like all of their other characteristics, patience emerges only through a true understanding of faith, because to believe is to understand that there is no deity but Allah, that He encompasses all things in His knowledge, that only Allah has the power to determine one's destiny, and that nobody can enjoy gain or suffer loss without His willing it.

One reason why the believers can show patience is because their faith enables them to appreciate Allah's might and glory. Those who know that Allah has boundless wisdom and boundless knowledge also know that only He can determine what will be the finest life for them. They know that Allah possesses all knowledge about all creatures and events in the past, present, and future, whereas people have only a limited intelligence that is prone to making mistakes in determining what is good and what is bad. In most cases, a seemingly unfavorable event may bring many benefits, although people may well be totally unaware of this. Allah points out this important truth: "It may be that you hate something when it is good for you, and it may be that you love something when it is bad for you. Allah knows, and you do not know" (Surat al-Baqara, 216).

Thus, knowing that only Allah possesses this knowledge and wisdom, the believers put their trust in Him, fully aware that whatever He wills is always beneficial, even though the benefit may not be immediately apparent. Therefore, they display true patience. In other words, one characteristic of those who have true patience is that they are people who have grasped and embraced the nature of destiny.

The Qur'an states that the faithful are patient and put their trust in Allah, as follows:

Those who are steadfast and put their trust in their Lord. (Surat an-Nahl: 42)

Another reason why the believers exhibit such a patient determination throughout their lives is their strong fear and consciousness of Allah. Just as they know that Allah has a boundless love and mercy for His servants, they also know that the punishment of Hell is eternal. Allah warns those who consider themselves too great to worship Him and who turn their faces away from Him of the torment to come. As the faithful are aware of this warning, they take pains to avoid it by being extremely careful and patient in implementing all of Allah's instructions and prohibitions. They channel their fear and consciousness of Allah into living the Qur'an's morality throughout their lives.

Awareness of this world's true face also ensures that the faithful will continue to be patient. As is stated in "We will test you until We know those of you who strive hard [for the cause of Allah] and those who are steadfast, and test what is reported of you" (Surah Muhammad, 31), Allah makes a distinction between those who show patience in their worship of Him and those who manifest their resistance by becoming impatient. As a result, He will give those who worship Him in this life noble residences as hospitality in the next, while punishing those who deny Him with an eternal, inescapable Hell.

No matter what hardship they encounter, the faithful know that such hardship is a test from Allah and so do not lose their patience. How could they, knowing that they will face the Day of Judgment and receive their reward for their fine morality? Allah's Messenger (saas) also mentions that the believers remain patient when faced with calamity, since they always trust Allah, as follows:

The example of a believer is that of a fresh tender plant. From whatever direction the wind comes, it bends it. But when the wind becomes quiet, it becomes straight again. Similarly, a believer is afflicted with calamities (but remains patient until Allah removes the difficulty). (Bukhari)

One fundamental element of patience is exactly this—the believers have certainty about the Day of Judgment and the afterlife. Armed with the strength they derive from the knowledge that they will be tested here and rewarded on the Day of Judgment for every event for which they showed patience, and that Allah gives the good news of His mercy to those who show patience, they are committed to showing patience.

As we can see, only the faithful can experience true patience, because only they have bound and delivered themselves up to a sincere faith in Allah, have appreciated His might, and put their trust in destiny. In addition, they have a powerful fear and consciousness of Allah, have understood this world's true face, and believe firmly in the afterlife.

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