Responsibility 72: Bearing Difficulties with Patience
Another responsibility is to observe patience in the face of persecution and harassment and to withstand the hatred of the enemies, hypocrisy of the hypocrites; and to patiently bear the difficulties, losses, tribulations, poverty, abjectness and sufferings and all other types of afflictions which come upon a true believer.
In addition, one must also observe perseverance in relation to the affairs of the faith and must be firm in regards to the Shari’ah.
One must observe patience in the face of the examinations which come from Allah and must be able to bear them and strive to become victorious during these tests. During this period, one must be patient with those who deny the Imam and mock the religion and must show forbearance in the face of those who belie and seek to deny the Imam.
Imam Ja’far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as) has quoted the Messenger of Allah as saying:
سَيَأْتِي عَلـى النَّاسِ زَمَانٌ لاَ يُنَالُ الْمُلْكُ فِيهِ إِلاَّ بِالْقَتْلِ وَ التَّجَبُّرِ وَ لاَ الْغِنـى إِلاَّ بِالْغَصْبِ وَ الْبُخْلِ وَ لاَ الْمَحَبَّةُ إِلاَّ بِاسْتِخْرَاجِ الدِّينِ وَ اتِّبَاعِ الْهَوى، فَمَنْ أَدْرَكَ ذٌلِكَ الزَّمَانَ فَصَبَرَ عَلـى الْفَقْرِ وَ هُوَ يَقْدِرُ عَلـى الْغِنـى وَ صَبَرَ عَلـى الْبِغْضَةِ وَ هُوَ يَقْدِرُ عَلـى الْمَحَبَّةِ وَ صَبَرَ عَلـى الْذُّلِّ وَ هُوَ يَقْدِرُ عَلـى الْعِزِّ آتَاهُ اللٌّهُ ثَوَابَ خَمْسِينَ صِدِّيقاً مِمَنْ صَدَّقَ بِـي
“A time will come upon the people when they will not acquire power except by means of murder and tyranny; they will not gain riches except by means of usurpation and stinginess and they will not gain love (and respect from the people) except by abandoning the religion and pursuit of lowly desires.
So whoever lives in such a period and endures poverty although he can acquire riches; endures hate (and enemity of the people) even though he can acquire their love; and endures humility even though he is able to acquire honour then the Almighty Allah shall grant him the reward of fifty entirely truthful individuals who believed in me.”1
In another tradition, Imam Ja’far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as) has stated that:
أَلاَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ مَنِ انْتَظَرَ أَمْرَنَا وَ صَبَرَ عَلـى مَا يَرى مِنَ الأَذى وَ الْخَوْفِ هُوَ غَداً فِي زُمْرَتِـنَا؟
“Do you not know that a person who waits for our command to come and is patient upon that which he sees from the difficulties and the fear will, tomorrow, be (with us) in our company?”2
As well, Imam Ja’far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as) has said:
عَلَيْكَ بِالصَّبْرِ فِي جَمِيعِ أُمُورِكَ
“I advise you to observe patience in all of your affairs.”3
Of course, the meaning of patience and withstanding difficulties does not go against the principle of supplicating and taking legitimate steps to remove any difficulties or obstacles; nor does it go against the principle of the right of a person to defend himself.
Without doubt, a true believer must struggle to ensure that all of the difficulties, challenges and problems are kept far away from him and of course, this must be done through the legitimate means.