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The Role of Patience in the Victory of the Individual and the Islamic Nation

Patience does not mean simply accepting reality - even if spitefully and grudgingly - it is rather a condition of inner consciousness which makes the individual believe that there is a universal program moving towards a defined goal. Even though things might look bad in some stages over the short term, the general goal of existence is to spread the rule of the divine message over all the world, whether the unbelievers want it or not. That’s what we understand by the divine promise that the earth would be inherited by God’s righteous servants, and that is what we understand by God’s creation of the Imamate and guidance for the patient ones.
Throughout all of history, the earth has seen various civilizations established while others have vanished. This is God’s policy on the earth. Thus the days of rule alternate amongst the people as the Holy Qur’an mentions, and some people keep others in check! One should not feel desperate when he sees that religion becomes week during certain stages, since divine support for the struggle against falsehood has been continuous since Almighty God created Adam. Who would have believed in the early days when Islam was unknown that the call of monotheism would extend to all the corners of the world? And who would have believed that the cry of Imam Husain (A.S.) on the day of Ashura would gain a permanent place in history?
Amongst the things which expand the horizons of the soul and double its ability to endure hard times is believing in the eternity of human life. A limited hardship in limited time is so abundantly compensated on the day of Judgment that the worshipper will wish that the hardship had never been lifted. Rather he would wish, as the hadiths say, that not a single one of his prayers would have ever been answered. So there are people in the material world enduring so much pain now in search of delicious fruits later!
The worshipper attains a certain level of worship of his Lord by means of patience through an unwanted fate. If you believe that there is someone who has His hands firmly on the reigns of your life, why would you complain about how He manages your affairs? In fact there is no one kinder to the human being than the One who created him, unless he does something that removes him from the circle of God’s merciful inclination, when he goes too far in challenging the One who holds the authority of the heavens and the earth in His hands.
The worshipper ascends through the levels of worship until he reaches a stage where his patience is far above the common patience of those who pass through hardships. Many people of average faith patiently endure hardships on the basis of the fact that they have no other choice but patience, and that reality would never be changed. But there are some people who have reached a stage of faith where they are not only content, but they love the hardships that God has given them, the ones they have not caused themselves. The hardships caused by the actions of the worshipper himself carry no reward except by God’s mercy.
One of the greatest gates of patience after patience in worship and patience in hardship is patience in avoiding sin. We cannot deny that the desires have a huge attraction within the human soul, and it reaches the point that they cannot be resisted but by a great effort. We see this especially in this age, which we believe that none like it has occurred since God created the world because so many paths of corruption have arisen and been made easy. It is to the extent that young people, pre-teens, are committing things that teenagers in years past never even knew about because of the completion of instruments which spread corruption. We don’t know what kind of images of corruption and temptation the future holds which would make the wise man’s head spin.
One of the issues one must attend to when he sees a point of weakness in himself in resisting against waves of hardship and suffering is: pretending to possess a noble characteristic is a way to actually create that characteristic deep in the soul. That’s why the hadiths call for us to pretend patience, taking on the appearance of those who were given this ability. The one who pretends patience would be subject to divine grace by being granted patience, and he will find a resistance within himself which he never expected. God ordered us to pray like this, {Our Lord, pour forth on us patience, and set firm our feet and make us victorious over the unbelieving people}.
One of the most hopeful verses in the Holy Qur’an for the ones who are going through hardships is the one which says, {Who, when afflicted with calamity, say, “Truly to God we belong and truly to Him shall we return”}.
The amazing reward earned for that include the blessings of Almighty God and the graces which follow them. We see a small example of that in His blessings upon His Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W.). It includes divine mercy: if he were covered by this mercy, there would be no cause for his punishment in this life or in the Hereafter. It includes guidance: if this guidance is directed at the worshipper, visionary horizons of divine communion are opened to him, unimagined by any human heart. After all that, wouldn’t we be right in saying, “How fortunate are the patient ones!”

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