So be patient with beautiful patience. [Quran, 70:5]
In Surah Al-Ma’arij Allah addresses Rasulullah (PBUH) telling him to be patient with the denial and the harassment of the disbelievers. The “patience” referred to is specifically Sabr un Jameela, translated to “a beautiful patience”.
Patience can be translated and described in many forms, but many of us make the error of considering it to be akin to detachment, or even stagnancy. Quite on the contrary, patience is endurance, perseverance, forbearance, consistency, and restraint. What makes a patience beautiful, in my understanding, is when you add complete trust in Allah to your patience, and when you make the effort to have patience become a part of your nature.
Abu Malik Al-Ash’ari reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said: “Purity is half of faith, and the praise of Allah fills the scale. Glorification and praise fill up what is between the heavens and the earth. Prayer is a light, charity is proof, and patience is illumination. The Quran is a proof for you or against you. All people go out early in the morning and sell themselves, either setting themselves free or destroying themselves.” [Sahih Muslim 223]
When I read this hadith, it basically laid out the walkway to be successful. Patience is illumination, specifically stood out to me, because every action listed, requires patience. Patience is illumination because it is something that leads to other actions, it is a light, a guide. The way when we do wudhu, the places we wash will be covered with noor on the Day of Judgement, a part of me thinks how through patience, we will have deeds and a heart, that encompass us in more noor. And so patience is light.
Patience is not easy. Patience is seen in a tree, as it grows from small twigs to thick branches, only to lose and regain its leaves continuously. It is seen when the tree slowly reaches and settles it’s roots deep underground, the effort of which is not seen, but the result of which is known, only when the tree becomes sturdy and difficult to uproot without taking the whole ground with it. Patience is seen in a mother, who cares for her child regardless of their ungratefulness. Patience is seen when people in a war-torn and oppressed country, continue to live, thrive, and survive, all while maintaining their sanity. Patience is when someone calls you terrorist, and you approach them with kindness and mercy. Patience is returning to salah, 5 times a day, even when your heart isn’t in it and you have to drag your feet. Especially when your heart isn’t in it. Patience is in doing wudhu over and over again because you love to sleep or drink a lot of water, and your wudhu gets broken easily; but you know you can die any moment, and so you have to always be in a state of purity. Patience is studying, and sleepless nights, for the sake of a possible future. Patience is giving away what you love because someone else needs it more than you. Patience is lowering your gaze. Patience is not overeating even when you love food because you know your health is important. Patience is forgiving your sibling for taking your things, or for saying something hurtful to you, without holding any grudges towards them. Patience is being strict with yourself. Patience is truth to yourself. And the most beautiful patience is when you do all of this and more, only for Allah, thinking of Allah, and trusting Allah.
And so patience is the root of beauty. Because everything is a struggle, but with patience, with a beautiful patience, these struggles become successes, and sources of good. Patience is beautiful because most of the time you are patient, it’s so difficult you have a hard time being patient. You want to stop being patient, but you keep being patient. You wonder if you can do it. Sometimes it’s so hard you feel like it’s difficult to breathe, and you constantly pray to Allah you have the strength to keep doing it. You have to fight against yourself, for yourself, in patience. You have to fight against others, for others, in patience.
And with this beautiful patience, you do all the things that continuously tear your heart down, and rebuild it. Over and over again, until it is a part of you to be patient, and until your heart becomes close to its Creator. Patience is a source of good and creates beautiful things. When we make an effort to be patient, we are making a sincere effort to do good, and thus become even more beautiful than Allah created us.
Glad tidings are given to those who are patient. And so on the day of judgment, it is our actions through patience that will be the cause of our bodies being illuminated with light. That light on us will be the most beautiful sight on that day. It will be more beautiful and meaningful than any physical or material beauty we have right now on this earth.
A beautiful patience is the source of beauty.
I would like to thank Eema Manzoor, our former MSA president, and the author of this piece for being a guest writer on our blog!