Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa) says in the twice in the Qur’aan: “Indeed Allaah is with As-Saabireen (those who are patient)” and mentions the word ‘sabr’ 90 times in the Qur’aan. In our lives we go through periods of joy and periods of sorrow. A true Mu’min is the one who remains patient through these periods of sorrow seeking the reward and pleasure of Allaah subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa, turning to Him to and complaining only to Him as Ya’qoob (‘alayhis-salaam) did as mentioned in Surat Yusuf “He (Ya’qoob) said, “I only complain of my suffering and my grief to Allaah…”
The word patience is a word with a very vast meaning, what in particular does it mean to be patient? One aspect of being patient is ‘restraining the soul from panic and anger’, another aspect is ‘restraining the tongue from complaint when something happens to you’, another aspect is ‘being aware that Allaah is with you’. He is the One that you should complain to and seek help from.
Being patient carries immense rewards, Allaah says in the Qur’aan in Surat Az-Zumar: “Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.” Allaah also says in the Qur’aan in Surat Huud: “And be patient, for indeed, Allaah does not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good.”
There are also many ahadeeth about the virtues of being patient: Abu Yahya Suhaib bin Sinan (radiAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that: The Messenger of Allaah (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allaah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him“.
Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (radiAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that: Certain people of the Ansaar asked the Messenger of Allaah (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and he gave them; then they again asked him and he gave them until all what he possessed was exhausted. Then the Prophet (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Whatever wealth I have, I will not withhold from you. Whosoever would be chaste and modest; Allah will keep him chaste and modest and whosoever would seek self-sufficiency, Allah will make him self-sufficient; and whosoever would be patient, Allah will give him patience, and no one is granted a gift better and more comprehensive than patience.”
Anas (radiAllaahu ‘anhu) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) saying, “Allaah, the Glorious and Exalted said: “When I afflict my slave in his two dear things (i.e., his eyes), and he endures patiently, I shall compensate him for them with Jannah.”
Abu Sa’eed and Abu Hurayrah (radiAllaahu ‘anhumaa) reported that the Prophet (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Never a believer is stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn but Allah will expiate his sins on account of his patience.“
All the Prophets of Allaah (‘alayhimus-salaam) were all tested greatly; by means of their family like Prophet Yusuf (‘alayhis-salaam), by disease like Prophet Ayyub (‘alayhis-salaam) and many by their own people like Prophet Nuuh (‘alayhis-salaam) they all faced their tests with great patience and tawakkul ‘alaa Allaah.
And of course, the trials and tribulations our Prophet Muhammad (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) went through – the incident of Taaif comes to mind. The Prophet (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) went there to preach Islaam to the people, however the leaders rejected the Message and also sent young children to taunt him and throw stones at him (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) as he was chased out. The first thing he (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) did upon leaving was to make du’aa to Allaah. An example to us as to how we should act when we are presented with a trial, turn to Allaah.
Then, Angel Jibreel (‘alayhis-salaam) came to the Prophet (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and offered to make the mountains around Taaif collide together and crush the people or any other punishment that our Prophet (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) desired on its people. However, our Prophet (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) refused to punish the people of Taaif saying, “No, do not destroy them, for I hope that Allaah will bring out of their offspring people who worship Him alone without associating any partner with Him in worship.”
SubhaanAllaah – this was the patience of our Prophet (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam); if we were in the same situation could we do the same? Allaah has described the impeccable character of Prophet Muhammad (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) in the Qur’aan, in Surat Al-Qalam, “And indeed, you are of a great moral character.”
If the Prophet (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) exercised such beautiful patience, who are we not to follow his example? So, a believer should display patience and perseverance during sickness and hardships, hunger or other afflictions, accept that the calamity is from Allaah and should show gratitude and thankfulness for all the wonderful blessings that Allaah grants him and show thanks to Allaah when they are given a trial as it a sign of Allaah’s Love in testing His servants.
 Surat Al-Baqarah, verse 153 & Surat Al-Anfaal, verse 46
 Imaam Ahmad, Related by Ibn al Qayyim in Madaarij As-Saalikeen
 Surat Yusuf, verse 86
 Surat Az-Zumar, verse 10
 Surat Huud, verse 115
 Bukhaari and Muslim
 Bukhaari and Muslim
 Surat Al-Qalam, verse 4