In patience, the faithful know no limits and compete with one another

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As stated in "No indeed! Truly man is unbridled, seeing himself as self-sufficient" (Surat al-'Alaq, 6-7), the faithful know that regarding themselves as competent in any field leads to excess and conceit. Thus they do not consider themselves competent even if they perform some tasks perfectly. Throughout their lives, they strive to develop themselves and achieve a finer, better behavior.

Behind these sincere efforts lies their attachment to and love of our Lord, and their fear and consciousness of Him. Since their greatest aim is to achieve His love and approval, they try to live according to the spirit and the letter of the Qur'an's teachings. Aware that they can never be adequate in such a task, they always strive to put even more effort into adhering to His teachings in this life.

They know that the amount of effort they make will earn a commensurate reward in Allah's presence and that, to this extent, they can easily be united with His blessings. With the words, "Race each other to forgiveness from your Lord and a Garden [i.e., Paradise] as wide as the heavens and the Earth, prepared for the people who guard against evil." (Surah Al 'Imran, 133), Allah urges the faithful to compete in good with each other in order to gain His approval and a place in Paradise. One of these matters is patience, as we read: "O you who believe, be steadfast; be supreme in steadfastness" (Surah Al 'Imran, 200). In such cases, the faithful know that they will earn Allah's love and closeness to Him, and so compete with one another to display their best behavior. The believers are patient regardless of their circumstances and, trusting in our Lord, show their determination through their consistent behavior. Even when confronted with totally unexpected developments, such as being forced to live in the streets or a shelter because their houses have burned down, they do not complain or think "if only it had not happened." They understand that Allah has sent a hidden blessing to them, and so live in the tranquility that this understanding brings. They continue this behavior even if faced with another event that makes their situation even worse. In short, no matter what terrible difficulties they may face, they race each other to patience, as Allah has ordered.

2009-04-24 19:39:28

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