Patience and Perseverance in Da’wah

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As Du’ât, it is very important that we must develop patience and perseverance. Da’wah is not an easy task. We should know that as believers, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) will try our Iman (faith). Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) may test us as to which of us is best in deed (67:2). The closer we are to Him, the more He will try us, just as He did to all His prophets and messengers. For those who are not living in a comfortable life let the life of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) be a lesson for us. The following is just one of the many narrations how he lived in a destitute life but shows how patient he was:

Ibn Abbas (radhiallahu anhu) narrated that according to 'Umar bin Al-Khattab(radhiallahu anhu) … “Underneath his (Prophet’s) head there was a leather pillow stuffed with palm fibers, and leaves of a saut tree were piled at his feet, and above his head hung a few water skins. On seeing the marks of the mat imprinted on his side, I wept. He said, 'Why are you weeping?’ I replied, 'O Allah’s Messenger! Caesar and Khosrau are leading the life (i.e. luxurious life) while you, Allah’s Messenger though you are, is living in destitute.’ The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then replied, 'Won’t you be satisfied that they enjoy this world and we the Hereafter?’” (Bukhari 6/435)

We should be patient because Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) commands us to patiently persevere (2:153). We should remember that Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) shall test us:

“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.” (2:155)

Abu Hurairaht narrated that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “A Muslim male or female, remains subject to trials (in this world); in respect of self, children and property till he or she faces Allah the Exalted (on the Day of Judgment) in a state in which all his or her sins have been remitted.” (Tirmidhi 49)

Allah may try our patience and perseverance by the hands of the non-Muslims or enemies of Islam and even fellow Muslims, who may harm, insult or ridicule us. We should take lessons from the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) who showed patience and perseverance at all times:

‘Abdullah Bin Mas’ud (radhiallahu anhu) narrated that once the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was offering prayers at the Ka’ba. Abu Jahl was sitting with some of his companions. One of them said to the others, “Who amongst you will bring the abdominal contents (intestines, etc.) of a camel of Bani so and so and put it on the back of Muhammad, when he prostrates?” The most unfortunate of them got up and brought it. He waited till the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) prostrated and then placed it on his back between his shoulders. I was watching but could not do any thing. I wish I had some people with me to hold out against them. They started laughing and falling one another. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was on prostration and he did not lift his head up till Fatimah (radhiallahu anha) (Prophet’s daughter) came and threw that (camel’s abdominal contents) away from his back... (Bukhari 1/241)

Bin Mas’ud (radhiallahu anhu) narrated that once Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) divided and distributed (the war booty). An Ansar man said, “By Allah! Muhammad, by this distribution, did not intend to please Allah.” So I came to Allah’s Messenger(sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and informed him about it whereupon his face became changed with anger and he said, “May Allah bestow His Mercy on Moses for he was hurt with more than this, yet he remained patient.” (Bukhari 8/85)

As much as possible we should show patience for whatever trials we may incur. We should remember that Allah the Most Gracious surely rewards those who patiently persevere.

O you who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy: vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear Allah; that you may prosper.” (3:200)

Those who fulfill the Covenant of Allah and sail not in their plighted word; those who join together those things, which Allah has commanded to be joined, hold their Rabb in awe, and fear the terrible reckoning. Those who patiently persevere seeking the countenance of their Rabb; establish regular prayers; spend (out of the gifts) what We have bestowed for their sustenance, secretly and openly; and turn off Evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the (Eternal) Home Gardens of perpetual bliss. They shall enter there, as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their offspring: and angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation): ‘Peace unto you for that you persevered in patience!’ Now how excellent is the final Home!’ (13:20-24)

“Say: ‘O you my servants who believe! Fear your Rabb. Good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is Allah’s earth! Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure.’” (39:10)

Abu Hurairah (radhiallahu anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah says, 'I have nothing to give but Paradise as a reward to my believer slave, who, if I cause his dear friend (or relative) to die, remains patient (and hopes for Allah’s Reward).” (Bukhari 8/432)

Shaddad and as-Sunabihi (radhiallahu anhu) narrated that ... Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, Allah who is Great and Glorious says, “When I afflict a servant of Mine who is a believer and he praises Me, for the affliction I have brought upon him; he will rise from that couch of his as sinless as he was the day his mother gave birth to him.” The Rabb, Who is Blessed and Exalted, will say, “I fettered and afflicted My servant, so record for him what you were recording for him when he was well.” (Tirmidhi 1579 and Ahmad)

In the course of our Da’wah the non-Muslims may not only insult us verbally, but also act in ways that may hurt or even harm us physically. We should be firm in our patience and perseverance just like the way the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did:

“And let not their speech grieve you, for all power and honor belong to Allah. He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” (10:65)

“So bear with patience (O Muhammad) all that they say, and glorify the Praises of Your Rabb, before the rising of the sun and before its setting.” (50:39)

“And be patient (O Muhammad) with what they say, and keep away from them in a good way. And leave Me Alone to deal with those in possession of the good things of life, (who yet deny the Truth;) and bear with them for a little while. With Us are Fetters (to Bind them) and a Fire (to burn them). (73:10-12)

As Du’ât, we should be strong and patient when facing any obstacle, problem or trial that may befall us. We should persevere and always turn to Allah for His help. We should never blame ourselves for any failures, as we should remember that everything is in Allah’s hands:

Abu Hurairah (radhiallahu anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer. There is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart. And if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don’t say: ‘If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so’, but say: ‘Allah did that what He had ordained to do.’ And your “if” opens the (gate for the) Satan.” (Muslim 6441)

We should also share our knowledge about the virtues of patience in Islam with non-Muslims. We should make it clear to them that if they embrace Islam and then show patience for whatever trials or problems they may encounter as Muslims, Allah for sure will reward them, if not in this world then in the Hereafter.

By Dr. Norlain Dindang Mababaya