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Patience, Key to Goodness: Imam al Kazim (a.s.) a Paradigm

Patience, Key to Goodness: Imam al Kazim (a.s.) a Paradigm

The main axes of the subject:
– The truth of patience
– Patience and faith
– Part of patience


We will explain the meaning of patience while encouraging it as well as distinguish between the good of it and the contraries.

Exporting the subject:

Commander of the faithful Imam Ali (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “People, cling on to patience because he who lacks patience lacks religion.”

Truth of patience:
– Allah’ messenger (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying that he asked Gabriel: “O Gabriel, what is patience? He said: be patient in sorrow and poverty like being patient in richness, in tribulation like being patient in good health, and hence you won’t complain to the creature your striking tribulation.”1

Moreover, commander of the faithful was quoted as saying: “Patience is when man tolerates what strikes him and when he contains what angers him.”2

Therefore, the meaning of patience, based on the first speech, is that man should thank the grace of Allah (The Exalted), hence preserves and spends it in his obedience. He must not live his life ungrateful hence make a living without asking about the sources of his gains nor should he spend his money recklessly on his pleasures and the enjoyment of the worldly life without caring should he spend it in obedience or in wrongdoing and sins!

Sahib Ershad al Qulub mentioned that “The truth of patience is when you swallow the chokes during afflictions and bearing the misfortunes and tribulations. The aim of patience is that you do not separate between grace and trial…”

Patience also means: tranquility during trials coupled with bearing the weight of the affliction when it reaches its peak. Like someone said:

I endured without informing my love of my patience
And I concealed my bother about you from the position of my patience
I was afraid that my conscience could complain my desire
To my tear in secrecy hence making it run without me knowing3

The holy Quran has taught us to seek patience from Allah (The Exalted) and that we depend on his exaltedness. The exalted said in a story about David and his soldiers: “…Our Lord, pour upon us patience and plant firmly our feet and give us victory over the disbelieving people.”4

And he said the words of others: “Our Lord, pour upon us patience and let us die as Muslims [in submission to You].”5

– Patience is a sign of faith and derives from it

For example, Imam Ali (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Faith rises on four pillars: on patience, certainty, justice and struggle.”

Patience from those rises on four branches: on longing, compassion, asceticism and anticipation… He who misses heaven will think no more of seductions; he who fears hell will avoid prohibitions; he who renounces the worldly pleasures will find disasters easy; and he who anticipates death will rush into good things.”6

The Imam (a.s.) was also quoted as saying: “People, cling on to patience because he who lacks patience lacks religion.”7

In addition, Imam Abi Abdillah (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Patience to faith is like the head to the body, if the head goes the body will go. Hence, if patience goes faith will go.”8

– Parts of patience:

Commander of the faithful was quoted as saying: “Patience is two parts: patience in affliction is good; and what is better is patience from what Allah (The Exalted) has forbidden from you.”9

The greatest prophet (s.a.a.w.) said:
“Patience is three things: patience in disaster, patience with obedience, patience from wrongdoing.”10

– Which part of patience is the most gracious?

Imam Ali (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Patience from seduction is chastity, from anger is help, and from wrongdoing is piety.”11

He (a.s.) was also quoted as saying: “Patience is: patience on affliction, or on obedience, or from wrongdoing; the third part is of higher value from the first two.”12

– The sign of patience:

His exaltedness said: “And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return.”13

The patient man is truly he who is deeply rooted with the truth of faith, hence knows that affliction is his companion and that nothing will help him against this affliction but clinging on to the rope of Allah and by depending on him. He knows that depending on the exalted is the tree that will bear the fruits of patience and its blessings.

In addition, Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “The signs of a patient are in three: the first is that he does not linger; the second is that he does not bore; and the third is that he does not complain from his God (The Exalted). This is because if he lingers he will waste the rights; and if he bores he will be ungrateful; and if he complains his God (The Exalted) he becomes disobedient.”14

Most gracious patience:

This is the greatest patience in value and the most rewarding by Allah (The Exalted) who said addressing his prophet (a.s.): “So be patient with gracious patience.”15

His exaltedness said on the story of Joseph and Jacob (pbut): “And they brought upon his shirt false blood. [Jacob] said, “Rather, your souls have enticed you to something, so patience is most fitting. And Allah is the one sought for help against that which you describe.”16

Moreover, Imam al Sadiq (a.s.) was quoted as saying on Allah’s words ‘so patience is most fitting’: “No complaint.”17

Also his father Imam al Baqir (a.s.), when asked about the gracious patience, was quoted as saying: “In such patience you do not complain to the people.”18

– The example of gracious patience:

We can find in the affliction that stroke Imam al Kazim (a.s.) the best examples of gracious patience added to the narrations of the Holy Quran regarding several prophets with their followers.

The Imam (a.s.) sought against the wrongness of Haroun and the prison of Sanadi Bin Shahiq al Athim, refuge at Allah (The Exalted) coupled with worship. Therefore, he would fast his day and stay awake his night and day. Hence, he was never bore of imprisonment. Instead, he regarded it as a free time to be dedicated to worship and considered it as one of the greatest blessings. He would say in his supplication while in prison: “Lord, you know that I’ve been asking you to dedicate me for your worship. Lord, for doing so I thank you.”19

1- M’aani al Akhbar, by al Saddouq, P. 261, H. 1
2- Ghorar al Hikam was Dorar al Kalam, by al A’midi, H. 1847
3- Ershad al Qulub, by al Dailami, Vol. 1, P. 1-2
4- The holy Quran, Surat al Baqarah (the Cow), verse 250
5- The holy Quran, Surat al A’araf (the Heights), verse 126
6- Nahjul Balagha, wisdom 31
7- Bihar al Anwar, by scholar al Majlisi, Vol. 71, P. 92, H. 46
8- Al Kafi, by al Kulaini, Vol. 2, P. 87
9- Al Kafi, by al Kulaini, Vol. 2, P. 90, H. 11
10- Al Kafi, by al Kulaini, Vol. 2, P. 91, H. 15
11- Ghorar al Hikam, by al A’midi, H. 1927
12- Nahjul Balagha explanation, by Abi al Hadid, Vol. 1, P. 319
13- Holy Quran, Surat al Baqarah (the Cow), verses 155-156
14- Elal al Sharae’, by Scholar al Saddouq, P. 948, H. 1
15- Holy Quran, Surat al Ma’arij (the Ascending Stairways), verse 155
16- Holy Quran, Surat Yusuf (Joseph), verse 18
17- Al Bihar, Vol. 71, P. 87, H. 37
18- Al Kafi, Vol. 2, P. 93. H. 23
19- Manaqib A’l Abi Talib, by Ibn Shahr Ashoub, Vol. 4, P. 343.

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