Tag Archives: People

Being Patient with People

Salam Alaykum,

today’s post is about having forbearance (Hilm). Forbearance, according to Merriam-Webster is “the quality of someone who is patient and able to deal with a difficult person or situation without becoming angry.” It is difficult to have patience generally, but it is more agonizing quite often when dealing with people who can’t get a move on, are rude, obnoxious and/or infuriating to swallow that anger and frustration that one feels and be patient. It is another step up to that challenge, to not just ignore such people but deal with them in a way that does not end in hating and killing each other.

It is however important to show patience in face of a difficult person or situation that raise ire, but also in situations where you are disappointed. It is of essence to deal with such a situation masterfully to not put yourself or another down. For you to not get depressed and sunk into a hole and for you to not unintentionally emotionally scar the other. This goes for every single situation that you find yourself in, you have to find ways to deal with people.

In the Muslim Community we have a problem with giving Advice. (Nasiha) It is important to give it, I would go as far as saying it is an obligation. As Allah (swt.) said in Surah Al-Asr:

“By time, Indeed mankind is in loss, Except for those who believe and do good deeds and urge one another to truth and urge one another to patience.“

[Surah Al-‘Asr]

However giving advise is constrained to time and etiquette (Adab). When giving Nasiha we have to find a time that is suitable to the one we are wanting to give advice to. We have to do it on their schedule not on ours, otherwise they won’t listen. Advice is also given with proper etiquette, it isn’t given in anger or self-righteousness. It is given because we care and not to satisfy our ego. We have an example in Luqman who gave advice to his son, pre-emptively addressing him with words of love.

We have to show patience when urging one another to the truth. Again realising that everyone is on a journey one may seem to be further ahead but be careful not to let another crash and burn with your harshness.  We should be helping each other along and that can only be done when we care, with Adab and with patience. On the other hand we have to be patient with those that deal in being rude and harsh.

As the Prophet (saw.) said in a hadith related by Ibn Umar (ra.):

“The believer who mixes with people and bears their annoyance with patience will have a greater reward than the believer who does not mix with people and does not put up with their annoyance.”

[Sahih | Sunan Ibn Majah]

This doesn’t mean that one should get steam-rolled by people, if there is abuse in a relationship for example the authorities need to be called. That in itself is patience, patience does not mean to suffer in silence as the origin of the word from latin infers. Abuse is abuse, is abuse. At the very least an independent arbiter should be involved.

I’m iterating, Patience is not to suffer in silence, firstly realise that God is always with you and He is the most excellent Partner to have. Secondly, “there is strength in numbers”. We are an Ummah (a community) you are not alone. If it is the case that your local community left you alone then get authorities involved. Go to the “Kafir” and get help, no matter what your family says.

Finally, learn to forgive people, to let things slide it will help you and the people around you. Don’t be serious all the time, there is a place and time to be so. We realise the End is coming, but if the Prophet (saw.) still laughed and smiled, raced and joked, so can and should you. Islam came to make things easier, not for us to breathe down everyone’s neck to make sure they do everything, as we think they should. Yes Islam came with clear rules and guidelines but showing forbearance and Patience in advising can  go a long way in helping to guide someone.

In the end Allah (swt.) is the One who guides and forgives may He forgive us abundantly on account of every discomfort, every illness, anxiety and grief, worry, prick of a thorn and any other pain that we may have experienced. May He make us people of patience. Amin

“Never a believer is stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn but Allah will expiate his sins on account of his patience”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Wa Salam,

Sincerity towards people

Salam Alaykum,

It is part of our religion to care for others as we would for our family and ourselves. As was narrated by Anas ra. that the Prophet(s.a.w) said:

“None of you believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”

A lot of Islam is dedicated to our conduct with other people Muslim or not. Often however we forget that, we forget that we are a part of humanity and that Allah swt honoured all of the Children of Adam. That we sincerely wish for every person to be saved from having to hear Shaytans khutba in Jahanam, affirming everything that Allah swt. has said and declaring everything that he said or promised to be a lie. It should never be our wish, that a person no matter how much we may hate them to be sent to Hell, as we say in our normal conversations.

In this consumer-driven society we as a community have seemingly lost that sincere care for the mental and physical well-being of our fellow people. Our conduct with each other, however is one of the most tale telling signs of our current state, one just needs to read the absolutely disgusting comments on a certain video from both sides of the argument, attacking each other instead of striving for good.

Balance is at the heart of our religion, we are called the nation of the middle in, in the exact middle of Surah Al-Baqarah. As such we should cling to the book of Allah and the Sunnah as a guide towards and on the middle path. If we truly want Change in our world, we have to become the change that we want to see. Starting with a sincere intention, as expounded on in the last post (in German), because while we do care about our fellow human beings we are not trying to please them to our detriment. Ultimately everything we do should be to please Allah swt., as Sheikh As-Sakandari said in Al-Hakim,

Actions are like statues that only come to life with the spirit of sincerity.

Ibn Taymiyyah also said this about sincerity to Allahs swt.:

Sincerity for Allaah is that a person’s intent is for Allaah and intends everything for Him, causing fountains of wisdom to spring up from his heart
on to his tongue.

Allah swt promised us that when we do His work for His pleasure alone then He will make people be pleased with us.

“Whoever seeks the pleasure of Allah though it displeases the people, then Allah becomes pleased with him and He will make the people pleased with him. Whoever seeks the pleasure of the people and it displeases Allah, then Allah becomes displeased with him and will make the people displeased with him.”

[al-Mundhiri, al-Targhib wa’l-Tarhib, 3:208 and al-`Iraqi, al-Mughni `an Haml al-Asfar, 4:68]
We therefore strive to be godly people in everything that we do, it does not matter to us then if we are thanked by the recipient of our good deed or not.

While we call people to good and call people to abstain from the bad, we should recognise and have in the back of our head where people are coming from. Knowing or being familiar with their social, socio-economic, ethnic and geopolitical environment, and knowing what shapes them is an important aspect in knowing how to call them to good
beyond the surface level. It should be an invitation that comes from the heart because we value them, and care about their well-being in this and the next life.
A part of being godly people, especially in connection to being sincere is not to lie, being it a white red or black lie. We have the most excellent example in the Prophet saw. who was known to his people as As-Sidiq, the truthful.  As he saw. said in a hadith narrated by Abdullah ra. :

Truth leads one to Paradise and virtue leads one to Paradise and the person tells the truth until he is recorded as truthful, and lie leads to obscenity and obscenity leads to Hell, and the person tells a lie until he is recorded as a liar.

We should also be keeping the secrets and confidences of other people. Private information is just that, private and should only be shared in emergencies if it comes to that and then only what is relevant. This information is an Amanah, it is the sign of a hypocrite that he should share such information as the prophet saw has said on the authority of Abu Hurairah ra.

Signs of a hypocrite are three: whenever he speaks he lies; whenever he promises, he breaks his promises; and whenever he has been entrusted, be betrays his trust; (Another narration adds) even if he fasts and prays and even if he claims he is a Muslim.

You are the guardian of this information so do not spread it in gossip. Backbiting in Islam is seen as eating the flesh of your dead brother. As a brother reminded us today, if you have nothing to say keep quiet. It is very easy to talk badly about people, sometimes it is just done to liven conversations. It is harder but better to keep quiet.
Allah swt. says in the Quran:

O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.

[Quran Surah 49:11]

Allah swt. also says:

Woe to every slanderer and backbiter.

[Quran Surah 104:1]
Every single day we should take account of ourselves, of what we have done on that day. Ask for forgiveness for our shortcomings, and resolve to be and act better the next day and to increase in the good that we do.
Wa Salam,

Thank the People

Our society is very consumer oriented, what I mean by that is when we pay for a laptop we’re not supposed to get a phone. We paid good money after all, no matter how one might try to sugar coat it  it’s not going to suddenly become a laptop, at least not yet. The power of money is known to everyone, the customer is king. No matter how horrible the customer is, the customer is “always” right.

However within all this capitalist market thinking, we’ve lost the value of a simple “Thank you”. “Thank you for your work today.” “Your presentation was great.” “Thank You for the cup of tea.” We’ve got loads to be thankful for, that people don’t have to do for us but still do, whether it’s part of their company profile or not. No matter how big or small.

I think we’re taking a lot of things for granted, yes granted we paid for the service but still it would all just go smoother with a please and thank you. We’ve become quite arrogant about it too, “I don’t need to thank him/her, they’re just doing their job!”. They are but you could also just be a nice person and make your and his/her day better by being the only one all day to thank him/her for the service provided.

Abu Hurairah ra. narrated that the Messenger of Allah said :
“Whoever is not grateful to the people, he is not grateful to Allah.”

[Sahih Tirmidhi]

It is manifest in Islam in words that every Muslim knows knowledgeable or not even many non-Muslims I’m sure have heard them wondering what it meant.

Usama Ibnu Zaid ra. reports: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever some good was done to him, and he says: ‘May Allah reward you in goodness’ (Jazakallahu Khairan) then he has done the most that he can of praise.

[Hasan Tirmidhi]

To not be grateful for the things that the people around you do for you, may be a sign of you not going to be grateful for the things that God has given you in abundance. The Prophet saw. is our role model he was sent to us to perfect our character. So let us whenever someone does something for us, be it small or big,  thank him or make a small dua’ (supplication) for him or her.

Exchange little gifts to show your appreciation and love for certain people. Tell them you appreciate what they’re doing for you and lighten up their and your day.

I understand it’s hard, I know especially for us males. I remember during Ramadan listening to Dr. Tariq Ramadan’s podcast, he used to always end it with “and don’t forget to tell the people you love that you love them”. It’s sad, I realised then how rarely I’ve told my parents or my siblings that I love them. So this is a reminder for myself and for you to do so often, to do so as long as you can.

#January – Being Thankful

Also read this post and this.

PS: Can’t believe I forgot Dr. Ramadan’s podcast (Ramadan Chronicles) that was like one of the ones on the top of my list. I’m going to have to add it as soon as possible.