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Ways for Encouraging this Branch of Patience

In view of its importance and fundamental role, many verses of the Holy Qur'an focus on this particular branch of patience, so that Muslims could feel the charm of this special struggle in their heart and spirit. One of the ways for being patient against optional tragedies is to ponder on tragedies which are beyond our control. In order that the confrontation with death may not be difficult for the wayfarers on the path of Allah, the Holy Qur'an reminds us that: Death is destined for all human beings. Those who do not die on the battlefield will eventually die on their beds in their homes. Life and death all belong to Allah, and the deeds which are accounted for his path carry the best of compensation and bonus from Allah the almighty.

"Muhammad is not but a Messenger, (other) Messenger have passed away before him. Will it be that, when he dies or is slain, you will turn back on your heels? He who turned back does not hurt Allah the least, and Allah will reward the thankful" (3: 144)

"Oh you who believe! be not as those who disbelieved and said of their brethers who went abroad in the land or were fighting in the field: Had they been (here) with us they would not have died or been killed; that Allah may make it anguish in their hearts. Allah gives life and causes death, and Allah beholds of what you do. (3: 156)

"Those who, sat at their home said to their brethern (who were fighting for the cause of Allah): If they had been guided by us they would not have been slain: say (unto them, 0 Muhammad): Then avert death from yourself if you are truthful." (3: 168)

The other method consists of reminding the progress accomplished by accepting these calamities on the desired path, and the severe blows dealt to the obstacles on the path by these means.

"Faint not nor grieve, for you will overcome them if you are indeed believers (3: 139)

"If you have received a blow, the disbelieving people have received a blow the like thereof. These are (only) the vicissitudes which we cause to follow one another for mankind, to the end that Allah may know those who believe and may choose witnesses from among you, and Allah loves not the wrong-doers." (3: 140)

The Holy Qur'an emphasizes upon its followers not to worry or be slow because victory eventually belongs to believers. If believers have received blows, similar blows were also dealt to the enemy.

The third method consists of narratives of the predecessors and their role against optional tragedies. The Holy Qur'an, puts the patience and steadfastness of the supporters of prophets and pioneers of Islam in the following language:

"And how many a prophet had fought with whom were a number of devoted men and they lost not heart at what befell them in the way of Allah, nor did they weaken, nor did they demean themselves (before their enemies); Allah loves the steadfast." (3: 146)

There are many such verses in the Holy Qur'an describing similar situations, and encouraging believers to tread the path of Prophets. Of course, patience against such optional tragedies, while it is quite difficult and requires strong determination and faith, but at the same time, in itself plays a miraculous role in producing firm resolve and righteous faith; and more important than that is responsible for creation of the ideal society of Islam.

It is for this reason that many verses of the Holy Qur'an , as well as of narrations of the infallible Imams, emphasize in different styles the importance of this branch of patience, and have issued the necessary guidelines and instructions about its practice. Since this discussion which is mostly based upon narratives, therefore let us quote one more narration about patience against all kinds of tragedies as follows:

"Abi Basir quotes from Imam Ja'fer Sadiq (A.S.): "A free person is free in all situations, if a terrible tragedy befalls him he is patient, and tragedies and inflictions cannot break him. He might be arrested, chained and tyrannized but converts hardships into comfort like Prophet Joseph the righteous, whose freedom was the least affected by oppression, tyranny and imprisonment". (al-Kafi vol. 2 p. 89)

Adapted from the book: "Discourse on Patience" by: "Seyyed Ali Khamenei'i"

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