Patience and Gratitude

I used to think of patience and gratitude as two different things… until yesterday when a friend of mine called me to share the sad news of the death of her very dear friend’s son who had died a couple of days ago… She said she knew this young man since he was a child and had so much closeness with this family that she just couldnt bear it that how come he had died at such a young age fighting the terrorists… she was literally in tears and said she was so devastated so what must be the state of his mother?

I just had one thing to say in response… shouldn’t we be happy for this great woman who had been honoured to be the mother of a martyr?

But we are not happy because we don’t see the reality… we see only the appearance in which a mother has lost her son… a young man has gone from this world…But the reality is that if he had given his life to Allah then right at this moment when we are crying at this loss; Allah must be honoring him with the highest titles of the paradise… because in Allah’s eyes this is the highest level of achievement…

Then I recalled the real life incident from six years ago when my son had gone to pray juma prayer and the masjid had been attacked with bombs and grenades and bullets… my son was not found among the survivors and my husband was trying to recognize him among the mutilated bodies of the martyrs… at that moment when he called me to ask what clothes he had been wearing so that he could make him out… I remember the pain that stabbed my heart but then Allah blessed me with a glimpse of the reality that if my son had gone while praying then he is in paradise and what better place could I want for my child? Immediately I had found happiness and peace in my heart even in that moment of extreme unrest… later we found our son and that was another story altogether… but the point is that the patience which I achieved that day was in fact gratitude for the reality. So I learned from that experience that whenever the situation gets tough and I am in need of patience… all I have to do is to look at the reality and be grateful for it… because every thing bad and difficult is in fact a good news from Allah that I am with you and if you hold my hand and cling tight to me I will show you the other side of the picture so you may be happy and grateful even in pain… But of course I am an ordinary human being and so I am not always like this… I get tense and fearful and lose my cool too… but the thing is that if we learn to focus on Allah… if we get convinced that what we see is not the reality but a test… then we can get the ability to remind ourselves to see the reality in every situation and be grateful… because only gratitude can help us to attain patience and this is the best gift that anyone can wish for…

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