Satisfaction and Patience
Series of Prophets (peace be upon them)
In this world of land and water, the creation of Allah, who brought along with them the certificate of nobility from their Creator and inhabited this world, are called humans. For their test, guidance and to establish justice, a series of Prophets (peace be upon them) was sent to complete the argument. They were raised in this world to guide mankind. These luminous personalities came from the loin of Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) and began the process of guidance through their words and deeds.
The world is a field for cultivating the Hereafter. Whatever is sowed here will be reaped in the hereafter. To achieve this, as mentioned before, Prophets (peace be upon them) left no stone unturned to convey divine laws to the masses. Irrespective of the conditions they lived in, they made people aware of them through their conduct and admonishments. In the meantime, depending on the severity of the need, a book from Allah was presented to them. Thus, Holy Quran, the Old Testament (the Torah), the Psalms, the New Testament (the Bible) and other books were revealed.
In essence, the word “devilry” covers all the elements of evil acts in its ambit, such as being an outcast and deviated, among others. Satan straight away claimed his reward from Allah the Almighty for his acts of worship and defying Allah’s command, refused to bow down to Prophet Adam (peace be upon him). He argued that he was superior, thus exhibiting his arrogance. Justice demanded that he be rewarded, while refusing and professing disbelief warranted punishment. Both claims were apportioned by the Almighty Allah. For flouting the divine command, he was banished from the circle of angels and fulfilling the principles of His justice, Allah granted him respite.
While demonstrating His Greatness, Allah said, “You will never be able to deviate My special servants — the ones who obey Me — from the right path.” This is because while being expelled from the congregation of the angels, Satan had said, “I will work untiringly to deviate Your servants.” The Holy Quran, the mother of all books, says, “Why don’t you contemplate on the verses of Quran?” The reason is clear. In the light of Quran and traditions, Satan does not compel people to commit sins. He simply invites them towards evil and they themselves are the ones to commit evil by accepting his invitation with their own freewill which Allah has granted them.
Satisfaction and Patience
When the Creator granted intellect to mankind and fulfilled the need, He established two principles for guiding the children of Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) – His own satisfaction and the patience of His special servants.
The act of every individual striving to raise his level is aimed at divine satisfaction. If His satisfaction is added then in return for this short lifespan on this earth, hundred thousand difficult years of hereafter will pass in peace, happiness and bliss. We have heard the glad tidings of how comfortable life will be, but none can really narrate in detail what Allah the Almighty has planned for His special servants. When one can’t enumerate or imagine the bounties showered in this brief worldly life, there is no way one can measure the bounties of the hereafter.
But the measure of servitude in this worldly life is earning Allah’s satisfaction. Based on servitude, the levels will be assigned in the hereafter. In the night of ascension (Me’raaj), Allah the High revealed to His beloved servant, “O My beloved, ask whatever you wish for.” So, the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny), who had come as an Imam of Mercy for the sinners, requested Allah to address him once as ‘His servant.’ The Divine Power addressed His beloved in such a way that one cannot decipher its profundity. In the entire universe, wherever prayer is being offered, the status of servitude is recited before the rank of Prophethood. The point is that if satisfaction of Allah is the aim, then one ought to learn the etiquette of servitude. In this life, the moments lived need to be in conformity with the conditions of servitude. Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) had declared from his cradle, “I am a servant of Allah”. I have been sent as a messenger and have been given a book.” It means that the book, Prophethood and teaching servitude is a connecting chain between Allah’s satisfaction and a person’s servitude.
To fulfil the essentials of servitude is an extremely difficult affair and these intricacies engulf one ceaselessly. It is divine justice that a person comes across these difficulties every moment. It is with the aim of Allah’s satisfaction that Messengers (peace be upon them) arrived and heavenly books descended in every era. If a person charts the course of his life as per the guidance of these pious leaders, then all difficulties will automatically cease to exist and there will be an air of easiness within, while navigating different stages of life. If a person focuses on himself, he finds himself to be weak and because of this feeling, he looks to mould his character on the path of excellent virtues. But he faces grave difficulties which shackle him and arrest his movements. However, for those who tread the path shown by Allah, the links of the chain come undone and free the feet of a steadfast believer. It brings him good news and becomes a cause of Allah’s satisfaction and happiness. It results in Satan’s failure and thus he declares, “You are the Adornment of Worshippers (Zain al-Aabideen).” We will try and present a solid proof in the latter part of this article.
The first thing the Holy Quran has said about patience is: Verily, Allah is with the patient ones (Surah Baqarah (2): Verse 153). Then, Allah the High also says, “Why don’t they ponder on the verses of the Quran? (Surah Nisaa (4): Verse 82). The point to be understood here is: When the Creator is with someone, who can then deviate His creation? Who is it or who can dare deprive the creation of striving for the hereafter? Will there remain any difficulty which can’t be conquered? The key is exercising patience in every situation. Going forward, the path to guidance gets clearer but only for those who understand the meaning of patience and embellish their mind with the teachings of the Holy Quran. Those hearts that get tranquillity while remembering Allah. The feet which don’t slip are the ones which patiently mould their character on the rules laid down by the Holy Quran and the life of Infallibles ones (peace be upon them), who are the symbols of Allah.
Hasn’t the Holy Quran declared:
“We sent Our Messengers with clear arguments and sent down with them the Book and the Balance (of Right and Wrong), that men may stand forth in justice.” (Surah Hadeed (57): Verse 25)
What is patience? Why does it hold so much importance that it summarizes the teachings and conduct of all Prophets and Messengers (peace be on them all)? It was their way of life or the blood running in their veins. If the existence of humanity is summarized, then there is just one word ‘patience’ which directly connects to Allah’s pleasure and satisfaction. This patience was seen in the Prophets, their successors, the Messengers and the Infallible Imams (peace be on them all), not the one that was exhibited by power-hungry rulers in attaining power through bloodshed and corruption.
Allah the Almighty has even explained the reason for patience, which is a cause of His pleasure. Allah is the Master of the Kingdom. He created life and death in order to test mankind because this world has become the target of the wicked and there is a test waiting at every step. There are signals from all corners which are inviting the people towards deviation. For such people, who have been ambushed by difficulties, the Holy Quran has forewarned and advised in these words: Seek help from prayers (salaat) and patience (fasting) (Surah Baqarah (2): Verse 45).
An eloquent and calming sentence indeed, but the ones who have fortified their faith through patience and certitude and the ranks in the hereafter, which have been earmarked for people in heaven, will be given after being tested on these lines.
Allah is Just, Merciful and Benevolent for conferring nobility to His creation and thus completing the argument to the world. Now, if a person still becomes a troublemaker for his own vested interests, then there is only hellfire waiting for him, regardless of who he is, where he comes from, exhibits his leadership through his connections or status. (Allah doesn’t count the troublemakers as His friends).
The connection which Allah has established based on patience, as mentioned above, will remain manifest in the remotest part of the universe till the Day of Judgment, and keep the faithful ones safe from deviation and wrath. Here’s the greatest manifestation of patience just to sum things up:
The sun on the day of Aashura was on its way down, when standing alone on the plains of Karbala, Imam Husain (peace be upon him) raised the cry, “Is there anyone to help us?” A six-month old threw himself from the cradle. It was the thirsty infant’s, who did not have a drop of water for three days, way of answering the call of Imam (peace be upon him). Imam Husain (peace be upon him) came on a high ground, with Ali Asghar (peace be upon him) under his cloak. The enemies thought Imam was bringing the Holy Quran. Indeed, it was the Holy Quran. Imam uncovered Ali Asghar (peace be upon them), spread his cloak on the ground and placed the infant on it. He went and stood at a distance and said in a loud and clear voice, “You are the son of the Proof of Allah, complete the argument.” Did Ali Asghar (peace be upon him) understand the meaning of Proof? Is it possible? Ali Asghar (peace be upon him) rolled his tongue over his delicate lips. This act of his was an interpretation of divine satisfaction and patience. A revolution was sensed in the air. The stone-hearted wilted and lowered the bows and arrows. Spears slipped out of their hands and embarrassed swords lay buried. Tears started to trickle down.
O Son of Allah’s Proof! How well did you present the argument that it impacted the entire universe! O Dignified Son of Allah’s! How did you, despite your infancy, meet all the demands and statuses of helping (the Imam) and answering the call by accepting the accursed Hurmala’s arrow on your throat? The blood of Ali Asghar (peace be upon him) and the countenance of Imam Husain (peace be upon him) in the field of tribulations was a journey of patience towards the pleasure of Allah. The Holy Quran reflects this journey in the following words in Surah Fajr: So enter among My servants. Enter My gardens. The martyrdom of Ali Asghar (peace be upon him) is a rightful interpretation of this verse. But the call of “(O Allah) I am satisfied with Your decision and submit to Your order,” still rings in the atmosphere.
This has been engraved in bold letters in this exegesis. O Allah! Hearts are hurt. Isn’t it Your way of doing justice to bring forth the seeker of revenge for the blood of the martyred ones, who will also heal the broken hearts? The answer will be, “So wait, surely I am from the awaiting ones.” (Surah A’raaf (7): Verse 71)
Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) will avenge the blood of Imam Husain (peace be upon him) and perhaps the sword Zulfiquar will say, “I still have to seek revenge for a single drop of blood of Ali Asghar (peace be upon him).”