YOUR FOURTH QUESTION
What is the purpose and aim of the words: “God is with those who patiently persevere?”(2:153; 8:46)
T h e A n s w e r : As required by His name of All-Wise, Almighty God placed in all things an arrangement like the steps of stairs. The impatient man does not act with slow deliberation, so either skips some of the steps and falls, or leaves some deficient; he cannot mount to the roof of his goal. Greed is therefore the cause of loss. Patience however is the key to all difficulties, and the saying, “The greedy are subject to disappointment and loss,” and the Hadith, “Patience is the key to happiness,”1 have become proverbial. That is to say, Almighty God’s grace and favour are with the patient. For patience is threefold:
The First is to patiently persevere in refraining from sin; this patience is taqwa and manifests the meaning of the verse:
God is with those who fear Him and restrain themselves.(2:194)
The Second is patience in the face of calamity; this to place one’s trust in God and to submit to Him. It is to be honoured by the manifestation of these verses:
God loves the patient.(3:146) * God loves those who put their trust in Him. (3:159)
As for impatience, it amounts to complaining about God, and to criticizing His actions, accusing His mercy, and not liking His wisdom. For sure, man is weak and powerless, and weeps complainingly at the blows of misfortune, but his complaint must be to Him, not about Him. It should resemble Jacob’s (Upon whom be peace) words:
He said: I only complain of my distraction and anguish to God.(12:86)
That is to say, he should complain to God, not lament saying: “What have I done that this should have happened to me?” as though complaining to other human beings about God; to excite the sympathy of impotent humans is harmful and meaningless.
The Third Sort of Patience is patient perseverance in worship, which raises a person to the station of being beloved of God. It urges him towards perfect worship of God and servitude of Him, which is the most elevated station.
al-‘Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa’, ii, 21.