Patience in the Qur’an

Imam Ahmad said, “Allah has mentioned patience in the Qur’an in ninety places,” Here, we will list the different contexts in which patience appears:

1. Instruction. Patience is enjoined upon believers:

“Now await in patience the command of your Lord…” (Surah at-Tur [52]:48)

2. That which is opposite to patience is forbidden:

“So lose not heart nor fall in despair…” (Surah Al ‘Imran [3]:139)

3. Patience is a condition of success and prosperity:

“O you who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear Allah; that you may prosper.” (Surah Al’Imran [3]:200)

4. The rewards of those who exercise patience will be doubled:

“Twice they will be given their reward, for that they have persevered…” (Surah al-Qasas [28]:54)

5. Patience and iman are prerequisites for leadership in the religion:

“And We appointed, from among them, leaders, giving guidance under Our commands, so long as they persevered with patience and continued to have faith in Our Signs.” (Surah as-Sajadah [32]:24)

6. Patience is the way to earn the companionship of Allah:

“…and be patient and persevering: for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.” (Surah al-Anfal [8]:46)

7. Allah will reward those who have patience with blessings, mercy and guidance:

“…but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere – who say, when afflicted with calamity: ‘To Allah we belong and to Him is our return’ – they are those on whom (descend) blessings from their Lord, and Mercy and they are the ones that receive guidance.” (Surah al-Baqarah [2]:155-157)

8. Patience is a means of seeking Allah’s help:

“…seek (Allah’s) help with patient perseverance and prayer…” (Surah al-Baqarah [2]:45)

9. Patience and taqwa are conditions for Allah’s help and support:

“…if you remain firm, and act right, even if the enemy should rush here on you in hot haste, your Lord would help you with five thousand angels making a terrific onslaught.” (Surah Al ‘Imran [3]:120)

10. Patience and taqwa have great protection against the cunning of enemies:

“…But if you are constant and do right, not the least harm will their cunning do you…” (Surah Al ‘Imran [3[:120)

11. The angels will salute the people of patience in Jannah:

“…and angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation): ‘Peace unto you for that you persevered in patience! Now how excellent is the final Home!” (Surah ar-Rad [13]:24)

12. Allah made it permissible to treat our enemies no worse than they treat us, but He made it clear that patience is better:

“And if you do catch them out, catch them out no worse than they catch you out: but if you show patience, that is indeed the best (course) for those who are patient.” (Surah an-Nahl [16]:126)

13. Allah made patience and right actions a condition of forgiveness and great reward:

“Not so those who show patience and constancy, and work righteousness; for them is forgiveness (of wrong actions) and a great reward.” (Surah Hud [11]:11)

14. Allah has made patience a standard of courage and determination in the conduct of one’s affairs:

“But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs.” (Surah ash-Shura [42]:43)

15. Allah has promised the believers His support and victory, and has said that they deserve this because of their patience:

“…The fair promise of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because they has patience and constancy.” (Surah al-A’raf [7]:137)

16. Allah has made patience a condition of His love:

“How many of the Prophets fought (in Allah’s way), and with them (fought) large bands of godly men? But they never lost heart if they met with disaster in Allah’s way, nor did they weaken (in will) nor give in. And Allah loves those who are firm and steadfast (as-sabirin).” (Surah Al ‘Imran)

17. Allah has made patience a condition of receiving many blessings:

“But those who had been granted (true) knowledge said: ‘Alas for you! The reward of Allah (in the Hereafter) is best for those who believe and work righteousness: but this none shall attain, save those who steadfastly persevere (in good)” (Surah al-Qasas [28]:80)

18. Allah has mentioned that only those practise patience and gratitude will benefit from the Signs of Allah:

“Do you not see that the ships sail through the ocean by the grace of Allah? – that He may show you of His Signs? Verily in this are Signs for all who constantly persevere and give thanks.” (Surah Luqman [31]:31)

19. Allah praised Ayyub, peace be upon him, for his patience:

“…Truly We found him full of patience and constancy, how excellent in Our service! Ever did he turn (to Us)!” (Surah Sad [38]:44)

20. Allah has given a general ruling that whoever does not have faith and does not belong to the people of truth and patience is in a state of loss:

“By (the Token of) Time (through the Ages), verily man is in loss, except such as have Faith, and do right actions, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy” (Surah al-’Asr [103]:1-3)

21. Allah has mentioned the main characteristic of those who attain salvation is peace and constancy:

“Then will he be of those who believe and enjoin patience, (constancy and self-restraint), and enjoin deeds of kindness and compassion. Such are the companions of the right hand.” (Surah al-Balad [90]:17-18)

22. Allah has also mentioned patience together with the pillars of Islam and iman; salah; right actions; gratitude; truth; compassion; faith and truth.

All praises be to Allah Who has made patience a means of attaining His love, His companionship, His help and support, and His good rewards. Who could ask for more than these? May Allah strengthen us with patience and make it a source of seeking His pleasure. Ameen.

Extracted from Patience and Gratitude by Ibn al-Qayyim Pages 44-49

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