SIGNIFICANCE OF BEING PATIENT

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THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BEING PATIENT
“o you who believe! Be patient and excel in patience and remain steadfast, and be careful of (your duty to)Allah, that you may be successful.”

One faithful day, during the hour of Salatu-l-Zuhr (afternoon prayer for muslims), a musafir (traveller) was urged to lead the congregation in prayer. And after the completion, he narrated a short but beautiful story on the virtues of patience and forbearance. In shaa Allah, I will retell this story, as accurately as possible, using his own perspective.
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There was a time I had problem with my skin, so I paid a visit to a clinic that specialises in skin diseases, or so it seemed. I was told to wait, along with some others, at the reception. There were four of us; two appear to be conscious muslims and the last individual is a lady.

As time went by, the lady began to sing Christian songs, apparently seeing that those with are belong to another faith. Ideally, the muslim brothers ignored the lady’s clear attempts at provoking. Not getting the result she wanted, the lady raised her voice, and even turned in the muslims’ direction. Yet, they remained calm. In fact, being a muslim myself, and witnessing the whole episode, I felt obliged to address the woman and correct her lapse. More so, that my appearance would not present me as one who is biased. However, I remained silent.

After some time, the two brothers left the reception. And I asked the lady why exactly she pulled the stunt, knowing full well that they are muslims. She then said; “No o! Don’t you know those guys? They’re not muslims! One bears the name Paul and the other one is Samuel.” I was shocked at this response, but not for too long as I soon found out that she had a mental impairment.

Just imagine what could have happened if the reaction of the muslims had been retaliatory or violent? Who knows what might have ensued.
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The lesson I learnt from this story is to be patient in all situations. Things are not always as they seem. A muslim does not act based on emotion, but on reasoning. He does not allow his ego to rule over his intellect and moral code. If everyone goes mad, a muslim must be able to keep his head.

The truth is that if the two brothers had complained or shouted at the lady, everyone would heap the blame on them. The world is forever watching the muslim ummah for mistakes, flaws and shortcomings so that they may capitalise on such, and tarnish the image of Islam. We cannot allow this to happen. And that is why we must always act with caution, making sure to follow the example of the prophet (PBUH) to the letter.

This reminds of the story of how Hazrat Hamza (RA) reverted to Islam. One day, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was in meditation at the foot of Safa mountain, when Abu Jahl rebuked him in an extremely objectionable language and struck him. Uttering not a word, the Prophet (PBUH) returned home. Hamza had just returned from hunting, and he came to know about this incident. He rushed angrily to the compound of the Ka’aba, and saw Abu Jahl sitting among other Quraish leaders. He reproached and hit him, making the Shahada (the testimony in the oneness of Allah and prophethood of Muhammad). If the prophet had not been patient, and had he spoken angrily back at Abu Jahl, Hamza most likely would not have died as a believer.

The Prophet exhibited this attribute on countless occasions, and because of it, many believed and followed his path. It is, therefore, imperative for us too to inculcate it. May Allah (glorified and exalted is He) make it easy for us.

Amin.

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