Give me patience !

by Sr Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood.

One of my distressed correspondents asked me if I could provide her with some du’a’s or ayat to recite after her salah, with the aim that Allah would ease her anger and reward her with patience. Below, I give an edited version of my reply:

My dear sister, I wonder what it is that has made you burn with anger and feel the need to ask for extra help to find enough patience to cope. Something has obviously grieved or hurt you, or you are struggling with some burden that seems unreasonable to you. How often do we find that this is usually caused by the unfortunate behaviour of someone close to us who we might have hoped would have been our support and help, and not a trial.

Sadly, it is in the nature of things for those we care for to prove to be terrible burdens for us from time to time. Our Lord warned us – there would be tests for us in our spouses, our children, our parents, our workplaces and so on. We are not usually granted a life in which all these trials are avoided.

‘Do you think that you will enter paradise without going through the trial? Allah has not yet tested you to see who among you strive hard for His cause and who show patience for His sake.’ (Surah 3.142)

‘O believers! Surely among your wives and your children there are some who are your enemies: so beware of them. But if you pardon, overlook and forgive their faults, then know that Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Your wealth and your children are but a trial. It is Allah with Whom is the greatest reward. Therefore, fear Allah as much as you can, listen to His message attentively, be obedient, and be charitable, this is for your own good. Those who are saved from the covetousness of their own souls, it is they who are truly successful. If you lend to Allah a goodly loan, He will pay you back manifold, and will forgive you your sins. Allah is Appreciative and Forbearing to those who are grateful. He has the knowledge of the unseen and the seen, He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.’ (Surah 64.14-18).

‘And among humans are those who worship Allah upon a narrow margin so that if good befalls them they are content, but if a trial befalls them, they fall away completely. They lose both this  world and the Hereafter. That is sheer loss.’ (Surah 22.11)

‘And Moses chose of his people seventy men for Our appointed meeting and, when the trembling came on them, he said: My Lord! If thou had so wished You could have destroyed them long before, and me with them. Will You destroy us for that which the ignorant among us did? It is but Thy trial (of us). You send who You will astray and guide who You will. You are our Protecting Friend, therefore forgive us and have mercy on us, You, the Best of all who show forgiveness.’ (Surah 7.155).

Therefore what to do? We have to ask for strength to cope when things are tough, and especially when we are exhausted and at the end of our tether. We have to have the humility and honesty sometimes to ask others for help – to explain the situation and seek helpful advice or counselling, or a good friend or relative who can help us literally, and not see this as a weakness. It grants another person the opportunity to do good deeds.

Then, we need to remember that as regards most of our loved ones, we did not choose them for ourselves, and also that we have no control over the life-span Allah has granted to each of them, or their characteristics or attitudes. We can teach, we can give an example, but we are not supposed to nag, or feel that we have become ‘martyrs’, or give in to misery and depression, or feel that it is we who have failed. We have to remember instead that people, including those dear to us, do not all progress at the same speeds.

It is worth remembering often that none of us knows when we or anyone else will finish our lives here. Each day we should remember, and be grateful. We should love and try to have patience while we have the chance. Such remembrance makes things fall into perspective. If the person who was so troublesome for you was going to die this evening, would it not make the things that irritate you fall into perspective?

Indeed, it is true that there are ‘women who love too much’. They make every effort to please, carry out unflinchingly every duty (even the highly unpleasant ones) – yet all they do for others apparently goes unappreciated and even unseen.

Don’t let this get you down. Remember that what you are doing is building up your own ‘Paradise bank balance’. If you do good deeds and nobody sees, Allah sees, and it is recorded for you. If someone offends you and you do not bite back, that is a merit for you. If your loved one is really being rotten, that is a matter between that person and Allah, and how youreact to it is a matter to you. How often a woman’s love and forgiveness earn wonderful sadaqah, even if the irritating person never changes or gives up.

Cheer up. I do not recommend any particular set du’a, but I suggest simply that while you are at prayer (or just after), you talk to Allah as you would to your closest friend, as the Dear One that you can trust – and then see if you can listen and get a feeling for what Allah is asking you to do. It will always be the best possible thing and most kind thing, in any situation or circumstance.

And never forget that Allah sees all, and loves very dearly all His creations, especially those who are struggling and finding difficulties, but who carry on caring undaunted, nevertheless.


God bless you, wasalaam, Ruqaiyyah.



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