Patience in the Islam Is a Courageous Virtue

In the Islam, patience is a virtue. This patience requires your strength and courage in face of all unexpected and unwanted outcomes.

Sitting on the floor in a circle listening with patience
Listening with patience. Picture taken during the Nature of Wonder Autumn Retreat by Kia Mourato.

I wake up with a restless feeling and a lack of patience. A feeling I know all too well; when my mind kicks in, it goes over the endless lists of things I need or want to do. Life as a continuous ticking off checkboxes until death do us part. As a result, I have no patience for even the smallest daily rituals, like getting dressed or brushing my teeth. In my mind I am already rushing to the next item on my list.

I realize I am in a ongoing fight with my own relentless work ethic. Above all, something needs to change and I decide to go for a run to clear my mind. Meanwhile, the martins are back, soaring over the fields, playing and dancing with each other. House martins are busy birds. They collect little bits of mud to build their nests under rooftops. An arduous and lengthy task. For a moment, I watch a house martin build its nest, bit by bit. He inspires me to reflect on what it means to be patient.

The Virtue of Patience in the Islam

In the Islam, sabar is an intrinsic part of the Islamic faith. Sabar literally means endurance. Most importantly, it teaches us to remain steadfast and patient, specifically when we encounter opposition, problems or unwanted results. In other words, patience in the Islam is the perseverance we need in face of all unexpected and unwanted outcomes. Such a patience requires strength and courage.

I see it requires strength to patiently persevere in whatever I am doing, without allowing my thoughts to drift off into the future. And it takes courage to enjoy the present moment, not needing to know what the future brings.

For now, the house martin is flying off and on with little bits of mud in his beak. He is probably not burdening himself with a lack of patience. I imagine him hopping around in the nest when its done, enjoying his accomplishment and the prospect of what it will bring.

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