Patience Has its Reward

By: Khursheed Alam Dawood Qasmi*


The human being is naturally sociable. He likes social life. He is habitual of living together in a society. The people of different manners and natures live in a society. It is not necessary that one and all will like what one says and does. In such situations, ultimately there must be dissent and difference of opinion. If dissent and difference remains the same, it is not bad. But sometimes, it happens that when a person hears someone expressing a different opinion which he doesn’t endorses, he feels restlessness. Then the chain of arguments and answers to that opinion follows one after another from both the sides. One tries his level best to defeat another one. Then the difference of opinions turns into enmity and hostility. It causes dispute and quarrel among them. This situation is disliked and condemnable. When such situation arises, one should control himself, conquer his anger, let other express himself and respect one’s opinion. Following the Islamic teachings, one should keep silent, show tolerance and observe patience at such occasion. This attitude will have its rewards and fruits. It will assist stopping the dispute and quarrel in the society. The patience and tolerance are admirable qualities. They have been praised at several places in the Glorious Qura’an and the prophetic narrations. The patience, which is called “Sabr” in Arabic language, is presented here in details.


Definition of Patience:

Defining the word: patience, Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani (1897-1976) writes: “The real meaning of Sabr (Patience) is to tie, check, stop or hold back. In the terminology of the Qura’an and Sunnah, to hold the desiring human self back from going for the impermissible is Sabr. Therefore, the sense of Sabr (patience) includes abstention from all sins and doings counter to the dictates of the Shari’ah.” (Ma’ariful Qura’an 4/608)


Importance of Patience:

The patience has been mentioned at numerous places in the Holy Qura’an. Almighty Allah has mentioned some prophets praising them for having patience. The holy Qura’an speaks: “And (remember) Ismail and Idris and Dhul-Kifl. Each one of them was of those who observed patience. (Al-Anbiya: 85) The reward for patience has been mentioned in the Glorious Qura’an as well: “Certainly those who observe patience will be given their reward in full without measure.” (Al-Zumr: 10) Due to such verses of the Glorious Qura’an, the importance and the benefits of the patience is recognized among Muslims. When the Muslims observe the quality of patience, they will be granted its reward abundantly.


Patience on Hardships:

The Almighty Allah has ordered his beloved messenger Muhammad (SAWS) to have patience on the hardships. The Glorious Qura’an speaks: “Follow what is being revealed to you, and be patient until Allah gives His judgment, and He is the best of all judges.” (Yunus: 109)


Allamah Shabbir Ahmad Usmani (1887-1949) writes under the commentary the above verse: “The prophet (SAWS) has been comforted in this verse that if these people don’t accept truth, you don’t dissolve yourself in grief due to them. Following the dictates of Allah the Exalted, keep yourself busy in preaching activity. Have patience on the hardships coming in this path and tolerate the cause of harms from the enemies; until the Almighty Allah gives the best judgment between you and them. It means according to Allah’s promise, you are victorious and assisted or ruling about Jihad is revealed”. (Tafseer Usmani)


Treatment of Love for Position:

The learned people of the Book were much involved in the love for position, status and wealth. They didn’t believe in the messengerhood of Muhammad (SAWS); while the truth had become naked in this regard. The Exalted Allah stated the treatment of love for position and wealth that the patience will remove the great interest in the wealth and the Salah will cause the removal of the love for position and status from their hearts. Allah the Almighty has stated in the Holy Qrua’an: “Seek help through patience and prayer. It is indeed exacting, but not for those who are humble in their hearts.” (Al-Baqarah: 45)


Allamah Usmani writes: “The scholarly people of the Book, who didn’t believe in the Prophet (SAWS), even after becoming the truth clear, its actual reason was the love for position and the wealth. The Exalted Allah has mentioned the treatment for both of them. The patience would cause the removal of wealth and the Salah would cause the servant-hood and humbleness along with reducing the love for the position.” (Tafseer Usmani)


The Special Mention of those who have Patience:

Allah the Almighty has mentioned in His last and final revelation: the Holy Qura’an many righteous people. They are those who distribute their wealth among the relatives, orphans, helpless, travelers, beggars, those who spend their wealth for freeing slaves and those who fulfill their promises and agreements. Then He mentioned those people who have patience as worthy of special praise. The glorious Qura’an speaks: “Those who are patient in hardship and suffering and when in battle! Those are the ones who are truthful, and those are the God-fearing.” (Al-Baqarah: 177) Commentator states under this verse: “This means that among the righteous, the Sabirireen (the patient) are worthy of special praise since Sabr gives one special power to perform righteous deeds. In short, this verse holds in its fold important principles of all departments of Faith and its eloquent hints tell us the degree of importance of each one of them.” (Ma’ariful Qura’an 1/445)


Luqman’s Advice for Patience:

The Almighty Allah blessed Luqman (AS) with wisdom, insight and understanding.  He had talent to differentiate between good and bad things. He gave his son some pieces of advice. He advised him to thank Allah on His favours, avoid polytheism, establish Salah and observe patience on the hardship and difficulty afflicting you due to instructing the people to do good and forbidding them from evil deeds. His pieces of advice are recorded in the holy Qura’an: “My dear son! Establish Salah and bid the Fair and forbid the Unfair, and observe patience on what befalls you. Surely, this is among the matters of determination.” (Luqman: 17) It has been written under the commentary of this verse: “Whatever hardships befall, which are very provable due to enjoining good deeds and forbidding evil deed, bear it with determination. Due to hardships, a brave and bold person should not feel nervous and lose courage.” (Tafseer Usmani)


Status of Patience:

If a preacher faces hardship and trouble in the path of preaching, he should observe patience; because the status of patience is much better than retaliation. The Holy Qura’an speaks: “And if you were to harm (them) in retaliation, harm them to the measure you were harmed. And if you opt for patience, it is definitely much better for those who are patient.” (Al-Nahl: 126) Let’s read the commentary of this verse! “If someone causes you trouble and hardship in the path of preaching; you have the power, so you can retaliate and take revenge in the same measure as you faced the trouble; as it is allowed. But the status of patience is better than revenge. If you observe patience, its outcome is better for yourself, for the spectators and even for those who have caused trouble and wronged you.” (Tafseer Usmani)


Rewards for Patience and Good Deeds:

The patience and good deed are two such qualities that whoever is equipped with them are perfect human being. He will receive its reward. Allah the Almighty says mentioning its reward: “Except those who are patient and do good deeds. Such people will have Allah’s forgiveness and a great reward.” (Hud: 11)


This is common human weakness that when the people face hardship after receiving bounty, they become hopeless and start thanklessness. They forget that the Supreme Lord who blessed them first time with the bounty, can give them again. Similarly, when someone is blessed with bounty and comfort following the hardship and suffering, he becomes arrogant and starts behaving boastfully. He starts thinking that the bounty was his right, it was to reach him necessarily and it will remain with him forever. “It means that people exempted from this common human frailty have two qualities: Sabr (patience) and al-‘Amal as-Salih (good deeds).” Those who are attributed with these two qualities are from perfect human beings. “At the end of this very verse, also identified there is the recompense of these perfect human beings. Those are the people for whom there is forgiveness and a great reward” (Gist from Ma’ariful Qura’an: 4/608-609)


Importance of Patience and Forgiveness:

The patience and forgiveness are very important qualities. The Almighty Allah has counted them from the courageous conducts. The Glorious Qura’an speaks: “And if one observes patience and forgives, it is, of course, one of the courageous conducts.” (Al-Shura: 43)


The commentator writes under this verse: “To conquer the anger, tolerate the harms and forgive the oppressor are very important and courageous works. It is in a Hadith that the person who is oppressed and forgives just for the sake of Allah; surely Allah will grant him high dignity and will assist him.” (Taseer Usmani)


Numerous verses of the glorious Qura’an with their commentary have been presented here. These verses are providing the great lesson on the patience and tolerance. We should think and ponder over it. Finally, when someone is suffering form; he should control himself and have patience. It will guarantee the success, In Shaa Allah.


Patience in Ahaadeeth:

It is well-known that the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was sent to this world as the teacher for humanity. As long as he (SAWS) was in the world, he played a pivotal role in the reformation and success of his Ummah. He (SAWS) instructed and brought up his companions in the way that none of the teacher of any institution can do it for his students as long as this world exists. Whatever instructions he (SAWS) gave to his companions, he (SAWS) showed them doing practically in his day-to-day affairs. His life was great ideal in regard to patience and tolerance. He never followed his desire for the satisfaction of his sentiments. Following his departure, his instructions are elixir and remedy for the training and guidance of his Ummah. There are a number of lessons in those instructions on the patience and tolerance. We can learn a lot form them. So, some Ahaadeeth related to the topic are presented here.


Patience is Pleasing Deed:

The patience, in one Hadith, has been described as the light. Allah’s messenger (SAWS) says: “The patience is illumination.” (Sahih Muslim: 223) It means that the patience is beloved, pleasing, desirable and praiseworthy deed. The one who has patience is always guided towards right path and is illuminated.


Showing Patience in Trouble:

There is good in all cases for a believer. It depends on a believer that how he handles his affairs. If he is in a case of happiness, he should thank Allah and if he is facing a trouble, he should have patience. Then he will earn rewards in both the cases. The Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) says: “Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in his every affair and this is not the case with anyone else, except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (Allah), thus there is a good for him in it. And if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it. (Sahih Muslim: 2999)


Guiding for Patience on the Death of a Child:

When the son of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS)’s daughter: Zainab (RA) was on the point of death; she sent someone to call for him (SAWS). At the point, he (SAWS) sent a message to her which was for observing patience. The message was: “Whatever Allah takes is for Him and whatever He gives, is for Him, and everything with Him has a limited fixed term (in this world) and so she should be patient and hope for Allah’s reward.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari: 1284)


Observing Patience on Baby’s Death:

If three children die and the parents don’t show impatience, crying and bewailing, rather they seek reward with Allah, they will enter Jannah. On one occasion, the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said to some of the Ansari women: “None of you has three children who die, and she seeks reward with Allah; but she will enter Paradise.” One of them said: “And two, O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “And two.” (Sahih Muslim: 2632)


Patience at the First Stroke of Calamity:

It is difficult to observe patience at the first point of the affliction with a calamity. It is easier to do so with the passage of time; but with the passage of time, the patience is observed itself. That is why, when a person is afflicted with a calamity, he should observe patience at the first time. This is real patience and the observer is rewarded for. It is narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) passed by a woman who was weeping beside a grave. He (SAWS) told her to fear Allah and be patient. She said to him, “Go away, for you haven’t been afflicted with a calamity like mine.” And she didn’t recognize him (SAWS). Then she was informed that he was the Prophet (SAWS). So, she went to the house of the Prophet (SAWS) and there she didn’t find any guard. Then she said to him, “I did not recognize you.” He (SAWS) said: “Verily, the patience is at the first stroke of a calamity.” (Sahih Bukhari: 1283)


Patience at the Time of Breaking out Epidemic:

If a fatal disease, like cholera, plague, corona etc. breaks out in a city or a country, the citizens should stay at the same place patiently hoping for Allah’s reward. The citizens shouldn’t run away from a place to the other one fearing the epidemic; rather they should observe patience and believe that what the Almighty Allah has decided for them, will take place. In this situation, they will receive the reward similar to a martyr. Our beloved mother, Aisha (RA), the wife of the Prophet (SAWS) says: “I asked messenger of Allah (SAWS) about the plague. He told me that it was a punishment sent by Allah on whom he wished, and Allah made it a source of mercy for the believers, for if one at the time of the spread of a plague epidemic stays in his country patiently hoping for Allah’s reward, and believing that nothing will befall him, except what Allah has written for him, he will get a reward similar to that of a martyr. (Sahih Bukhari: 3474)


Observing Patience at the Deprivation of Eyesight:

Allah has blessed the people with two eyes. They are great bounty from Him. They are very essential to perform the day-to-day activities. The value, importance and necessity of eyes cannot be denied at all. How nicely this proverb has been said: “One eye-witness is better than hearsay.” However, if a person is deprived of the eyesight and he has patience on it, he will be granted Jannah for those two eyes according to one Hadith. The prophet (SAWS) says: “Allah said, ‘If I deprive my slave of his two beloved things (i.e. his eyes) and he remains patient, I will let him enter Paradise in compensation for them’.” (Sahih Bukhari: 5653)


Having Patience on the Annoy:

There are some people who don’t like to mix with the people. They prefer to live the lives of loneliness. But there are also such people who mix with the people and like to spend their lives socially mixing with the people. Occasionally, such people have to face annoying behavior of the people of his society. But they don’t get fed up and don’t want to get rid of them; rather they bear it with patience. Such people will be rewarded for their patience. Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said: “The believer who mixes with people and bears their annoy ante with patience will have a greater reward than the believer who doesn’t mix with people and doesn’t put up with their annoyance.” (Sunan Ibn Majah: 4032)



It has been noted in the first paragraph that the human being is naturally sociable. They live in a society. While living together, not only with those who are short temper, but even also with those who are soft-spoken and kind-hearted, they have some arguments and differences sometimes. But let me jot here clearly, sometimes a person faces unpleasantness even in his own home with his own uncle, aunty, wife, children, brother, sister and parents and they face strained relations unfortunately. That is the main point of time, the people need to stop from taking any quick decision in irritation; but need to think, conquer the anger, observe patience, show tolerance and forgive each other. If they practice it, their lives are normal and will go ahead happily. The family is safe and the mind is in peace. If they don’t do so, the family is broken, life is miserable and the future is in tension, stress and duress. Moreover, they will be rewarded by Allah for observing patience and showing tolerance. Remember, sooner of later, “Patience has its reward.” The final message is that if one wants peaceful life, he should learn to forgive, tolerate, have patience and evade a quick decision adhering to the instructions of the holy Qura’an and Sunnah. Allah the Almighty instructs his beloved messenger Muhammad (SAWS) to have patience and avoid haste: “So, (O prophet,) observe patience, as the resolute messengers observed patience, and be not in haste about them.” (Ahqaaf: 35) ⦁⦁⦁⦁


*Moon Rays Trust School, Zambia, Africa


Khursheed Alam Dawood Qasmi is a notable freelancer. He has authored dozens of pieces on diverse topics such as politics, religion, Muslim World and society.