Friday, April 17, 2009

A few words on patience (12-8)

Abban ibn Taghlab said:
“I heard a Desert Man say, ‘One of the noblest of characteristics becomes manifest when one is afflicted by a trial and then uses patience to overcome that trial. His patience and hope affect him positively; it is as if he constantly visualizes himself being saved from his problem; his state of mind is positive to such a high degree because of his trust in GOD and his good opinion of Him.
Whenever one possesses these characteristics, he will never have to wait long for GOD to fulfill his needs and remove hardship from his life. He will be saved, and his religion and honor will remain safe.”
Al-Asma’ee related that a Desert Man said:
“Fear evil when you find yourself to be in a good situation; hope for good when you are in an evil situation. Many have lived who have sought after death and many have died who have sought after life. And safety comes most often for a person after he has followed the path of fear.”

Some of the wise would say:
“The wise person, when afflicted by hardship, consoles himself in two ways. The first is to be contented. The second is in hoping for a way out of the difficulties that have befallen him. The ignorant person is shaken and nervous in situations of hardship in two ways. The first is in the number of people from whom he seeks aid. The second is in his constant fears and apprehensions about that which is worse than what has already befallen him.”
And as I mentioned earlier, it has been said that GOD, the Exalted, disciplines us through trials, a form of education that opens hearts, ears, and eyes.
Al-Hasan ibn Sahl described trials as being a wake-up call for the forgetful ones, a means of achieving reward for the patient ones, and a reminder of blessings for everyone. And the decree of GOD is always better, especially for those who, through their bravery, appear to be seeking out death, who are searching for a life of remembrance, and who are unlike.

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