People tend to be impatient if they do not use their mind, conscience and will. Usually, people seek to easily get what they want with little effort, solve a problem immediately, overcome a difficulty, and that the troubles would pass quickly. However, as a requirement of the trial on earth, sometimes things are not solved in such a short time. Sometimes, it may be necessary to work towards something for months, even years, and have patience for a very long period of time. For this reason, people should refrain from misconceptions like “It doesn’t work,” “I should give up making an effort.”
Patience means being less strict towards time. Believers know that patience overcomes all the difficulties they will face in the worldly life, and that it will lead them to the right path. For this reason, with great patience they become self-sacrificing, with patience they forgive people, and with patience they become generous. People who love God and believe in God with all their heart will improve themselves in many ways. One of the beauties of the month of Ramadan that we are in is that it enables people to improve themselves in terms of patience, both bodily and spiritually.
Our Prophet (saas) stated that the month of Ramadan is a month of patience in one of his hadiths, which is as follows:
“O People! There comes upon you now a great month, a most blessed month, in which lies a night greater in worth than one thousand months. It is a month in which God has made compulsory that the fasting should be observed by day; and He has made the worship (tarawih) by night a sunnah. This is indeed the month of patience. And the reward for true patience is paradise. Ramadan is the month of sympathy with one’s fellowmen. It is the month wherein a true believer’s sustenance is increased. (Ibn Khuzaymah, Sahih, III, 191-192,) (Thk. M. M. A’zamî)
Patience is a great virtue, as our Prophet (SAW) remarks, and the month of Ramadan is a very valuable period of time where one can direct his will for this purpose without succumbing to the things we like and take for granted every day. The patience shown until the end of Ramadan will bring the comfort of surrendering to God. Ramadan is an opportunity, a way to train ourselves in spirit and body, to show our love and commitment for God.
Just like we know when the time comes for prayer and we perform it, being patient is also a worship. For this reason, a person who does not eat or drink when he is hungry or thirsty because he is fasting is actually fulfilling another beautiful manner of worship by having beautiful patience.
Whenever someone is being patient, he becomes closer to God and his commitment to God is strengthened. When someone shows patience for God’s favor, it also becomes a reason for happiness for him. Tolerance is people doing something to get it over with as soon as possible, to earn other people’s favors, and, indeed, is not the same kind of worship as patience is. A person who is in a state of mind to just tolerate something is not at peace. That is why it is important and valuable to be patient and not just tolerant during Ramadan as well. And this means that a Muslim displays good morals, speaks beautifully and always give priority to others even when he is hungry, thirsty and tired.
The author is a Turkish writer. He blogs at: www.harunyahya.com