Patience means ‘to stop’ and ‘to control oneself’. We come across a lot of unpleasant events in life. At times, we might be at the receiving end of someone’s transgression, but if we react hastily in a negative way it can worsen the situation. The only solution is patience [sabr]. Whenever we are about to take a negative action, fasting is a continuous reminder that we must refrain from arguing and creating an unnecessary disturbance. At such instances, the words, “I am fasting” act as a shield or a defense mechanism that remind us that “I can control myself and I know how to be patient.”
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Fasting is shield or protection from the fire and from committing sins. If one of you is fasting, he should avoid sexual relation with his wife and quarreling, and if somebody should fight or quarrel with him, he should say, ‘I am fasting.’” [Bukhari: 1904]
[Book: The Way to Patience and Gratitude by Ibn Qayyim]
Fasting removes Rancor of the Heart
It is narrated by Ibn Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Fasting is the month of patience (i.e. Ramadan) and fasting for three days each month remove rancor of the heart.” [Sahih al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib: 1032]
Fasting puts a break on some of our most beloved past times and trains us to be patient which is a necessary virtue if we want to attain success both in this world as well as in the Hereafter. It is stated in the Qur’an:
إِنِّي جَزَيْتُهُمُ الْيَوْمَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا أَنَّهُمْ هُمُ الْفَائِزُونَ
“Indeed, I have rewarded them this Day for their patient endurance – that they are the attainers [of success],” [al-Muminoon : 111].
When dealing with people in daily life, if we come across an unpleasant situation that provokes us, then we should deal with it with tolerance, for the sake of our fast. We should especially endeavor to remain silent when angry. Although, exercising patience can be very difficult its reward is Paradise.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
وَجَزَاهُم بِمَا صَبَرُوا جَنَّةً وَحَرِيرًا
“And will reward them for what they patiently endured [with] a garden [in Paradise] and silk [garments],” [ad-Dahr : 12].
Although, practicing patience can be extremely hard its reward is without an account.
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمْ ۚ لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا فِي هَٰذِهِ الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةٌ ۗ وَأَرْضُ اللَّهِ وَاسِعَةٌ ۗ إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
“Say, ‘O My servants who have believed, fear your Lord. For those who do good in this world is good, and the earth of Allah is spacious. Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account,” [az-Zumar : 10].
Things to Do:
– Always try to be patient even in the most difficult of times.
– Take special care of the tongue and resolve not to speak any ill.
– Control your anger and enjoin others to be patient when they lose control too.
– Keep reminding yourself that positive actions yield better results while negative reactions open the door to evil.
[Book: The Many Dangers of the Tongue by Ibn Qayyim]