[These are my notes taken from “Patience and Gratitude: An Abridged translation of Uddat As-Sabirin Wa Dhakhirat Ash-Shakirin by Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah” translated by Nasiruddin Al-Khattab. So I hereby give you the summary of a summary. 🙂 Oh, and the first part is here. ]

Sabr – Patience

When do we need patience?

1)  For worship: in order to perform it regularly, sincerely and correctly.

2)   To keep from wrong, through:

–     haya’ (shyness or shame) before Allah.

–     Learning more about Allah (this is the importance of learning His Names and Attributes).

–     Fear of punishment.

3)   In accepting Allah’s will, through:

–     Husn a-Dhun, or thinking well, both of Allah and of His creation, including people.

–     Remembering Allah’s previous blessings, as Luqman said to his son:

Oh my son! Establish regular prayer, enjoin what is good and forbid what is wrong; and bear with patience whatever befalls you; for this is firmness (of purpose) in (the conduct of) affairs. (Surah Luqman : 17).

The worst and hardest type of patience is in trying to keep away from our Lord, as this contradicts a person’s natural state (fitrah).

How to strengthen patience:

1)   Through knowledge of Allah and His attributes, because if you love someone, you should want to be like them. It’s a case of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery. Also, it enables you to attain Allah’s love, as He is with those whom He loves, and He loves those with His characteristics. And as Allah has said:

O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer, verily Allah is with those who patiently persevere (Surah Al-Baqarah: 153).

2)   By taking action to reduce temptations, and surrounding yourself with positive reinforcement as much as possible.

Tools to develop patience:

1)   Remember the glory and greatness of Allah and that He is too great to be sinned against.

2)  Remember that if we love Allah, as we claim, then we should not disobey Him.

3)  Think of all that He has given us – do not sin against one who has bestowed so much on you.

4)  Think of the wrath and punishment for those who sin.

5)  Think of what you have to lose: iman (faith), the next life, etc.

6)  Relish the idea of defeating satan.

7)  Remember the reward and compensation of Allah.

8)  Be mindful of death.

9)  Stop thinking of falsehoods and rubbish.

10) Gradually strengthen yourself by defeating your whims and desires, etc, because the more you do it, the more you can do it.

11) Direct your thoughts towards contemplating Allah.

12) Remember how short our stay on earth is. Do you really have the time to be sinning?

Looking at this list of tools to increase patience, I’m reminded once again how little I do them. Alhamdulillah I’ve started making dua and saying adhkar, so my thought are directed towards Allah more, and since Ramadan I’ve tried to keep up some of my Ibadahs, even if I’d rather read, watch TV, or do anything else (Procrastinating Queen, right here) and as such I’ve been fighting them whims and desires. Aaaannnnndddd that’s it. The problem, of course, is that you need patience in order to practice the tools to develop patience. Hah! So I guess the key is to start small – slow and steady wins the race, people!

Which – if any – of the tools do you utilise? Are there any others that you can think of?