Dear brothers and sisters, the vityue of patience is one of the best gifts we have received from Allah SWT. The prophet SAWS said:
And whoever remains patient, Allah will make him patient. Nobody can be given a blessing better and greater than patience.
The topic this week has been chosen as it is imperative that we demonstrate this virtue in our worship of Allah SWT. Unfortunately some Muslims are caught in the trap of poor attitude towards worship which manifests into laziness in worship. An example of this is the blind following of others without understanding of what the correct path is.
We need to understand that patience and perseverance in worship means to perform the acts of worship as Allah SWT instructed us through the Prophet SAWS. It also means that we do not take short cuts but in fact take the time and effort to perform each correctly.
Allah SWT has instructed us to do this and as Muslims we are left in no doubt as is reminded to us by the imam in Sura Al-Maryum, ayat 65 and Sura Al-Hijr, ayat 99 which is translated to say:
Lord of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them – so worship Him and have patience for His worship. Do you know of any similarity to Him?”
And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death).
Dear brothers and sisters, we can further separate the virtue of patience in that which is acted upon through choice versus that which is required as a result of a trial. Scholars have stated that the act of showing patience through choice holds a higher status than that through a trial.
One example of this comparison can be found in the Glorious Quran. The patience of the truthful Prophet Yusuf – May the peace of Allah SWT be upon him, when he was put in the well, because this patience is patience that you do because you are in the situation – but the patience of saying no to the wife of the king – that’s a choice he made, and that has higher reward and status. Allah SWT knows best.
We can also reach this conclusion through the meaning of the ayats in the Glorious Quran. The imam mentioned the 144 ayat of Sura Al-Imran which is translated to say:
Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.
Dear brothers and sisters, the context of this verse is after the battle of Uhud. This was a time of great trial and tribulation and yet, the verse speaks not of patience during the trial but of those who will be grateful and thus rewarded. Scholars state that those that are worshiping and carried on worship Allah despite the huge tribulations are the ones being mentioned here.
Patience is a gift but not everyone has the same amount of patience. Some people are known for their patience and you probably can think of someone in your life that is known by this trait. Equally so, we can probably think of someone that has a short fuse and the opposite is true. We need to appreciate that we are all on different levels but that we do not use this fact as an excuse. We need to work on our level of patience and improve it – as the prophet peace and blessings be upon him said:
“Whoever tries to be patient, Allah will give him patience, and no one is given a better or vaster gift than patience.”
Dear brothers and sisters, our reminder today was on the act of patience and perseverance in worship. Each and every one of us can improve on this and nobody is perfect. However, we need to assess ourselves to see if this lack of patience and perseverance is falling to a level that is dangerous for us.
If one finds themselves in a habit of taking shortcuts in worship and the idea of performing it with time and effort as it warrants, causes a feeling of annoyance then the matter is one of concern and needs to be remedied quickly. One needs to assess the root cause of this and fix the underlying disease and not it’s symptoms.
It’s easy to blame modern life. However, to blame life is to look at it wrong. Who is it that gifts us life? Who is it that gifts us energy? Who is it that gifts us time? By short-cutting the connection back to Allah SWT, one is short-cutting themselves inevitably as the problem of life getting in the way will only get worse. This disease of the heart will continue to spread until we have no patience left or our acts of worship have no blessing to them.
One practical tip is to expose the lie of Shaytaan telling us life is too busy. Write out your day yesterday and see how much of it was spent on the phone, on the TV or on other things which have replaced sincere worship. Recent studies state that an average of 3 hours per day is spent on smartphones. Such an audit ought to be done to see if we are falling into the trap of no time but yet lots of wasted time.
Next, we ought to reconnect to Allah SWT through remembrance, supplication and repentance. Make the extra time to perform salah as it is deserving, make the extra time to carry out our deeds with sincerity and focus. Understand that life is about priorities and nothing is greater than worship.
At first this may prove to be difficult as our heart is used to telling us excuses, but as we persevere in repairing our hearts through remembrance of Allah SWT, this will become easier and our patience and perseverance will improve which will in turn make our acts of worship improve.
Dear brothers and sisters, patience and perseverance in worship is an ongoing battle we will all face. From coming to the masjid for Fajr prayer to Zakat payment, we will all have times when things feel difficult to do. However, if we remind ourselves that the source to cure is a healthy heart then we can begin it’s repair through acts of remembrance which will in turn enable us to improve in our patience and perseverance in worship.