Patience, the focus of about two hundred verses of the Qur’an, and referred to indirectly in many others, may be termed the core subject of the scripture. The verses directly relating to patience are quite explicit in their content. For instance, Allah Almighty says:

(And seek help in patience and prayer.) (Al- Baqarah 2:45)

(And endure patiently whatever may befall you.) (Luqman 31:17)

(And exhort one another to be patient.) (Al-Asr 103:3)

(And heed not their annoyance, but put thy trust in Allah.) (Al-Ahzab 33:48)

A very pronounced and direct instruction to behave with patience and endurance is apparent in these verses.

The majority of the other verses are also intensely concerned with patience. The very first verse of the Qur’an begins with (Praise belongs to Allah) (Al-Fatihah 1:1). This shows that Allah expects mankind to express its gratitude and admiration to Him. But this is a very trying expectation! We know that this world is full of unpleasant experiences and that nobody can be insulated from them. According to the Qur’an, man is created in affliction (Al-Balad 90:4). Indeed, it is not possible for anyone to create a life of absolute bliss for himself.

How then can a person become grateful and appreciative of Allah’s grace in the real sense? The only way to be so is through patience. It is only when a man patiently endures worldly problems that it is possible for him to express his feeling of gratefulness to Allah. It is for this reason that the Qur’an associates gratefulness with patience (Luqman 31:31).

Patience makes a person capable of finding a positive and successful solution to any problem. When someone explodes with anger while facing his adversary, he loses the faculty to respond effectively or to think of well-planned action. But when he applies patience and tolerance, he finds himself competent to make a rational move instead of an impulsive reaction. History testifies that one who acts on impulses and emotional reactions, invariably fails; and one who responds rationally, always succeeds. Patience is undoubtedly the superior solution to all problems.

By Dr. Wahiduddin Khan