Prepared by Kabir Helminski
To embody patience is, at the least, to show no haste in matters that require time. This requires a presence that is fully in the moment and, simultaneously, outside of time. Only in this way can we give each thing its proper time. But the mental awareness alone is not sufficient to induce a holy patience. Something else is required—a sense of the Divine Presence.
As usual the Qur’an touches the essence of practicing patience: O you who keep faith, endure with patience; and strengthen the bond among yourselves; and be conscious of God, that you may truly come into well-being.
And seek aid in steadfast patience and prayer: and this, indeed, is a hard thing for all but the humble in spirit, [Wasta`inuu bis.-S.abri was Salaah; wa innahaa lakabiiratun ‘ilaa `alal Khashi`iin.] (Qur’an 2:45)
Embodying patience is to resist temptations of the lower self, endure the trials of life, and be content with God’s decree. Finally, it is to experience happiness even in the difficulties of servanthood. As Mevlana Rumi says “Patience is the key to joy.”
Finally, to bring it even more into daily life, we might reflect on these two sayings of our beloved Prophet:
If Almighty God has destined one of his servants for a high rank that he cannot reach through his religious activities, He may cause him to endure matters related to his own self or family and equip him to meet suffering with patience. It is through patience that he is elevated to the rank that he is destined for.
How extraordinary are the affairs of the faithful, for it is always to his benefit, and this is only for the faithful. If something good happens to him he thanks God, which is to his benefit; if something bad happens, he endures it, which is also to his advantage.
God loves the patient [Wallaahu yuh.ibbus. S.aabiriin] (Qur’an 3:145)