Patience is the key to happiness

Patience is the key to happiness

Patience is the key to happiness

By Samar Yahya


In our lives, we all experience ups and downs, and many hiccups on the way.  Sometimes, one may feel like difficulties keeping add up, one after the other, and that the light at the end of the tunnel is merely an illusion. At such times, what can we do to maintain our productivity even through the times of tribulation? As Muslims, we should know that these difficulties are all a part of life.

This is where patience comes in, as cultivating patience can ease many hard situations.

Patience can be classified into two categories. The more straightforward form is patience during hard times and calamity and accepting what Allah has decreed for us. The other form of patience is remaining steadfast in following Allah’s orders and not submitting to life’s temptations.

We are instructed in the Holy Qur’an to hold on to patience and prayer. Patience in Arabic means sabr.

{And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah ].} (Chapter 2, verse 45) 

In this verse we see that patience comes first. Patience is not an easy behavior to gain; however we have several examples of patience shown by the prophets during hard times.

We must be confident that whatever Allah gives us is for our good. Sometimes the outcome of a bad incident might be positive not only for the person, but for other people around him; his family, friends, relatives and others. Hard times might be the turning point in a life of someone from negativity to appreciation and gratitude. It is like a wake-up call for the person to stop and review his past life and how he spent it.

I know a family whose father was so harsh with his children all the time, to the extent that they even used to avoid staying in the same room with him. One of these children got a serious disease and the physicians were not very hopeful. At that moment the father who felt that he may lose his son, reviewed and screened his life and the time he had with his children and how he had been treating them. It was a turning point not in the father’s life, but also for the whole family. The father took a very courageous, emotional, and sensible decision and started a new era of kindness, compassion, sympathy, and softness with his children.

Another example of patience is a family with a child who has special needs. They turned what could have been something negative in their lives into something positive. By taking the initiative to study and learn about the child’s condition and how to care for this child, they started also helping and educating other families who are in the same situation.

The story of Prophet Ayyub is an excellent example of patience. Prophet Ayyub was tested in all his wealth, and in his own health and his children. He lost his riches and his children. He became ill and had sores all over his body. Everybody around him shunned him: friends, relatives and even strangers; he was left alone on the edge of the city and there was no one who treated him with compassion except for his wife, who took care of him. He lived in a state of sickness for years. And throughout all these trials, Prophet Ayyub had the utmost patience! He is the best example of it.
 He did not give up hope, and he turned to Allah in prayer.

The supplication of Prophet Ayyub is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an.

 {And [mention] Ayyub, when he called to his Lord, “Indeed, adversity has touched me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful.”} (Chapter 21, verse 83).

Avoiding life’s temptations is another kind of patience that we as Muslims should be aware of.

The attractions in this life are numerous including money, power, fame, and many more. When a rich Muslim spends his money in good channels and does not fall into the trap of extravagance and spending his money on mere desires, that is is a kind of patience.

Prophet Yusuf is another excellent example of patience and non-submission to the enticements he was exposed to.

{And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him. She closed the doors and said, “Come, you.” He said, “[I seek] the refuge of Allah. Indeed, He is my master, who has made good my residence. Indeed, wrongdoers will not succeed.”} (Chapter 12, verse 23).

Fasting is one more example of patience and honesty especially that fasting is the sole action that is strictly between a Muslim and Allah. This patience and honesty is reflected in keeping the promise of not eating or drinking in secret since a Muslim wants to please Allah and follow His orders.

Mus’ab ibn Sa’eed reported that his father asked, “O Messenger of Allah, which people are tested most severely?” The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “They are the prophets, then the next best, then the next best. A man is tried according to his religion. If he is firm in his religion, then his trials will be more severe. If he is weak in his religion, then he is tried according to his strength in religion. The servant will continue to be tried until he is left walking upon the earth without any sin.” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2398]

 Patience is never giving up hope of Allah’s mercy despite failures and adversity.

 Whatever you have will end, but what Allah has is lasting. We should learn to remain positive in all times, especially during hardest times. When going through a difficult time, engage yourself in repentance and seeking forgiveness from Allah.

 Trust Allah in whatever befalls you, and think well of Him.

 Being patient means we should not be hasty in obtaining an answer from Allah nor should we get frustrated. Always remember that everything that befalls us is for the best, even if we cannot comprehend that in the moment.

 Stay away from sins. Do not call out to Allah only when you are going through hardships. Be proactive by being thankful to Allah in times of ease, and remembering Allah through the good and the bad.


  1. Jazakallahu khairan for reminding us of a great virtue. It is so relevant in today’s world.
    InnAllaha Ma’as Sabireen
    إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ
    Verily, Allah is with those who are Patient
    [Quran 2:153]