By Sikandar Azam
Islam means peace and submission i.e. peace of mind and heart comes only through the path of submission. And the essence of true submission comes from total recognition of God’s control of our destiny and fate. This is the key to ultimate success.
When a man submits to God in totality, his practical Islamic life begins. It is not that his life turns to be a bed of roses; instead he encounters trials in the form of poverty, death, famine and insecurity. These trials on one hand test his claim of submitting himself to the Will of God and on the other prepare him to fulfil his role in this world. They make him able to defend the Divine world order, make it a reality in human society, and assert God’s unrivalled sovereignty over all its affairs.
This is why the Qur’ān mobilise the believers for the hard, long struggle ahead and increase their understanding of things to come. The Book of God repeatedly encourage the believers to bear these trials with utmost patience. The Qur’ān (2:155-156) says: “We shall certainly try you with a certain measure of fear and hunger, and with diminution of wealth, lives and crops. But give glad tidings to those who remain patient in adversity. Who, when a calamity befalls them, say, ‘To God we belong, and to Him we shall return’.”
The Qur’ān also prescribes for the believers the two-point formula of patience and prayer for success at times of hardships and adversity. These are the best help the believers may have in the fulfilment of their great role in this world. The Qur’ān (2:153) says: “Believers, seek strength in patience and prayer. God is with those who are patient.” God links patience with prayer, as an inexhaustible source of strength and energy. These two qualities combine to infuse the heart with boundless confidence and fortitude and to impart to the believers total tranquillity, happiness and inner peace.
Patience is an essential element in maintaining a steady and balanced pace in the face of the inevitable hardships and adversities of life. It is required for observing their religious duties, for resisting temptation, misfortune, poverty, oppression and injustice, and for carrying out their responsibilities towards the cause of Islam.
Patience and perseverance keep us always on the alert, ready to give whatever sacrifice may be needed. When falsehood seems too strong and help seems to be endlessly delayed, patience and perseverance are the most important qualities to have. These essential qualities are also needed to face those who are deviant, erring, harsh and persistent in their opposition to the truth. And this is the only way the believers can seek God’s pleasure, blessings and guidance, and thus can reap ultimate success.