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Impatience

Publishing Date : 01 December, 2014

IQBAL EBRAHIM
UNDERSTANDING ISLAM


‘Allah is with those who patiently persevere’. (Quran 8:46)


Impatience lives within all of us; in some even more so than in others. When impatient some people will get fidgety, mumble and curse under their breath or even throw their toys out of the cot, whilst on the other hand others will be cool, calm and collected. Impatience comes in different packages and can stem from many sources.


There are the usual things like queuing at the bank, post office, government offices and other places of poor customer service that daily irk most of us. Unacceptable but somewhat understandable because of the insensitivity or inefficiency of others the rest have to suffer.


Taking it up to a different level, more specifically onto a ‘religious’ plane, we come across many who show impatience with their lives because of their high expectations leading them to believe that their prayers are not being answered. For them Allah has a message: "Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere, who say, when afflicted with calamity: 'To God We belong, and to Him is our return'. They are those on whom (descend) blessings from their Lord" (2:155-157)


Sometimes we earnestly pray for something and we despair when our prayers are ‘not answered’. We have to realise and accept that the Lord is in complete control of everything - we cannot always get what we want because the Lord knows best what is good for us, accept the will of God. ‘But it may happen that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that you love a thing which is bad for you.  And God knows and you do not know!’ (Quran 2:216)


A believer should rather ask Allah to bless him, make it easy for him and to grant him what is good in this world and in the hereafter. Be positive and look at the other blessings that you have instead. "Pray for help from God, and (wait) in patience and constancy: for the earth is God's, to give as a heritage to such of His servants as He pleases; and the end is (best) for the righteous." (Quran 7:128)


On the other hand when things go wrong we go into a tailspin, start blaming ourselves, others and at the worst we begin to question why the Lord has not favoured us, yet we forget the countless other daily bounties that the Lord has blessed us with. ‘When trouble touches a man, he cries unto Us, in all postures, lying down on his side, or sitting, or standing. But when We have solved his trouble, he passes on his way as if he never had cried to Us….’ (Quran 10:12)


When the stresses of life hit us and we are faced with challenges, it is only then that some of us turn to our Lord in prayer. Unfortunately, it is human nature to forget our allegiance to our Creator when things are running smoothly in our lives. This is true because when the going is good we put it down to our own efforts. Nothing wrong with that but we need to realise that all that happens is through the Will of God.    


‘…… when We bestow a favour upon him as from Ourselves, he says, "This has been given to me because of a certain knowledge (I have)!" Nay, but this is but a trial, but most of them understand not! (Quran 39:49)


We have become so obsessed with the trappings of this this material world that we have separated and compartmentalized our lives away from our faith because everything now revolves around moving up the economic ladder of life regardless of the cost to our souls.


Unfortunately many of us are impatient of the favours of our Lord we want things to happen now. We forget that the Almighty has a plan for each and every one of us, the good times, the bad times; the happy times, the sad times; the difficult times and the time of ease; and so it goes. From my school days, in physics class, I recall ‘for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’ – I suppose so it is with life.


The question begs; if we are so impatient about the ‘good’ in our life what about the bad? The Almighty asks us: ‘Do they then ask for Our penalty to be hastened on?’….yet there comes to them at length the punishment which they were promised’ (Quran 26: 204 - 206). Therefore we should balance our desires and pray for guidance, assistance and at the same time pray for peace of mind.


Impatience manifests itself into many people turning to those self-proclaimed ‘prophets’ – enough said. They promise you great wealth, worldly gains, winning of tenders and all those dazzling promises they make. Sadly many people are convinced that the ‘gospel of prosperity’ that these so-called prophets preach is the answer.  


Remember you cannot buy God’s favour with money, so what are you paying that prophet for – the only answer is, for his own ‘profit’? I remind them to read the Bible: “Thy money perishes with thee because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money”. (Acts 8; 20)

Think of those daily blessings that we take for granted, and which we should be grateful for to our Lord, rather start counting your blessings before counting your ‘shortages’;

Before you say an unkind word - Think of someone who can't speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your partner - Think of someone who's crying out to GOD for a companion.

Before you complain about life - Think of someone who died too young.

Before you complain about your children - Think of someone who desires children but they're barren.

Before you complain about the small house you live in - Think of the people who don’t have homes.

Before moaning about the distance you drive - Think of someone who walks the same distance on foot.

And when you complain about your job - Think of the unemployed who wish they had any job.

Before you think of pointing the finger or condemning others - Remember that not one of us is without sin and we all answer to one MAKER.

When depressing thoughts seem to get you down - Put a smile on your face and thank GOD you're alive and still around.

As the Quran repeatedly asks: ‘…..then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny’ (Surah 55)
Don’t be impatient, trust in your Lord, that trust will never be misplaced. ‘If Allah is your helper none can overcome you, and if He withdraws His help from you, who is there who can help you? In Allah let believers put their trust’ (Qur’an 3:160)
 

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