‘Patience in Dealing with People’
The Prophet ﷺ said, “Do not treat people but in the way you would love to be treated by them.”(Musnad Aḥmad, sahih).
Before we learn about Patience with people we should learn about how to control our own anger. Anger is one of the evil whispers of Shaytaan, which leads to so many evils and tragedies, of which only Allaah knows their full extent. Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that a man said to the Prophet ﷺ, “Advise me.” He ﷺ said, “Do not become angry.” The man repeated his request several times, and each time the Prophet ﷺ told him, “Do not become angry.” (Sahih Bukhaari)
According to another report, the man said: “I thought about what the Prophet ﷺ said, and I realized that anger combines all kinds of evil.” (Musnad Ahmad, 5/373)
For this reason Islam has a great deal to say about this bad characteristic, and the Prophet ﷺ prescribed cures for this “disease” and ways to limit its effects, among which are the following
This is because in most cases, the angry person loses self control and could utter words of kufr/disbelief (from which we seek refuge with Allaah), or curses, or the word of divorce (talaaq) which would destroy his home, or words of slander which would bring him the enmity and hatred of others. So, in short, keeping silent is the solution which helps one to avoid all that
The Prophet ﷺ said,
Remembering what Allaah has promised to the righteous (muttaqeen) who keep away from the causes of anger and struggle within themselves to control it, is one of the most effective ways of extinguishing the flames of anger.
The righteous (al-muttaqoon) are those praised by Allaah in the Qur’aan and by His Messenger ﷺ. Paradise as wide as heaven and earth has been prepared for them. One of their characteristics is that they (interpretation of the meaning)
Anger is a part of human nature, and people vary in their anger. It may be difficult for a man not to get angry, but sincere people will remember Allaah when they are reminded, and they will not overstep the mark. Some examples follow:
The damage to health that results from anger can only be described by doctors, such as thrombosis, high blood pressure, tachycardia (abnormally rapid heartbeat) and hyperventilation (rapid, shallow breathing), which can lead to fatal heart attacks, diabetes, etc.
Du’aa’ is always the weapon of the believer, whereby he asks Allaah to protect him from evil, trouble and bad behaviour and seeks refuge with Him from falling into the pit of kufr (disbelief) or wrongdoing because of anger.
Dealing with Parents who mistreat or cause trouble in practising Islam
Generally speaking the first hurdle for someone to start practicing is their own family members especially their parents. But unfortunately we see the one who is trying to be a practising Muslim starts being harsh with his/her parents. We need to remember honouring parents is one of the most important duties that people are obliged to do for one another.
It is clear that the parents’ rights to honour and good treatment are not waived if they fall short and mistreats the family. Rather everyone should fulfil the duties that they owe. Turning away from them, forsaking them and not serving them will make them even worse, and undoubtedly you do not want that. Imagine the reverts who are dealing with non-Muslim parents who they cannot even pray for. Have patience for your Muslim parents, be dutiful, obey them as much as possible and most importantly pray for them.
Patience with Parents when they are in Old Age
It’s very easy to lose patience with the elderly, especially when they tend to nag about something. Respect them not only with the use of kind words, but through your actions. Offer them a hand when walking, and ensure they don’t catch you rolling your eyes, the biggest defence mechanism we tend to make use of.
If Allaah has told us to treat even the disbelieving parents with respect and kindness, in spite of the heinous sin which they are telling their child to commit, which is the crime of associating something in worship with Allaah, then what do you think is the case with Muslim parents, especially if they are righteous? By Allaah, their rights are among the most important and most certain rights, and fulfilling these rights in a proper manner is one of the most difficult and most important duties. The one who is guided to do this is truly guided, and the one who is not helped to do this is truly deprived. Innumerable ahaadeeth also confirm this.
Allah Most High says: “Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them ‘uff’ (a word of contempt), nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.” (Surah al-Isra, v: 23-24)
While there are many verses in the Qur’an that instruct us to be good to our parents, this one specifically highlights how we should treat them in their old age. When parents are younger and stronger, their children rely and depend on them because they are able to help them. But as they age, the roles are reversed – the parents go from giving to being needy, from breadwinners to dependants.
One thing we all notice as our parents age is the change in their character. As we become more independent, they may become demanding, forgetful, irritable, and stubborn. You should also pay attention to the fact that when a person grows older, their reasoning diminishes and they become childlike in many ways. Because of this change in character, Allah (swt) reminds us that especially during this time we have to show the utmost kindness and respect to them.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Let him be humbled into dust; let him be humbled into dust; Let him be humbled into dust. It was said: O Messenger of Allah! Who is he? He said: He who sees either of his parents during their old age or he sees both of them, but he does not enter Paradise.” (Sahih Muslim)
Now that we are older, stronger and more capable than our parents, this is the time to really show our compassion to them. Our emotions will be stirred by what they say and do, which is why Allah (swt) reminds us that instead of getting angry, frustrated or annoyed at them, we should restrain ourselves and be humble.
Therefore seek the best form of mercy for them from Allah, the Most Merciful. [by saying] ‘My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small,’ (Qur’an 17:24).”
Just as they still loved us when we said or did things to hurt them as children or youths, we in return do the same in their old age. Don’t wait until you see your parents carried out of the masjid to realize how much better they deserved from you. Don’t wait until that largest gate of Paradise is closed in your face to realize how easy it could have been to enter through it.
May Allah have mercy on our parents.
Dealing with Hurtful Relatives
If you want to deal with them on the basis of justice, then it is permissible for you to respond in like to their unkind words, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And if you punish (your enemy), then punish them with the like of that with which you were afflicted” [al-Nahl 16:126].
But if you bear it with patience, that will be better for you, as Allaah says at the end of the same aayah (interpretation of the meaning): “But if you endure patiently, verily, it is better for al-saabireen (the patient ones).” [al-Nahl 16:126]
Also Allaah tells us (interpetation of the meaning): “whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allaah” [al-Shoora 42:40]
If you want to turn enmity into love, then treat him well, if he treats you badly, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better, then verily! He between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.” [Fussilat 41:34]
The words, “The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal” mean that there is a huge difference between the two. “Repel (the evil) with one which is better,” means that when someone treats you badly, answer back with something better, as ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “There is no better punishment for the person who sinned by being bad to you, than your obeying Allaah by being good to him in return.” (Tafseer Ibn Katheer).
A man came to the Prophet ﷺ and said: “O Messenger of Allaah, I have relatives with whom I try to keep in touch, but they cut me off; I treat them well, but they treat me badly; I try to be kind to them, but they are cruel to me.” He ﷺ said: “If you are as you say, it is as if you are putting hot ashes in their mouths. You will continue to have support from Allaah against them so long as you continue doing that.” (Sahih Muslim)
Also the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,
However, all of this does not prevent us from protecting ourselves from the evil and harm that such relatives may cause. If going to their houses, for example, will cause some kind of offence or harm, then the relationship can be limited to telephone calls, kind words, the occasional gift and so on. The relationship can be maintained at a distance, if being too close will cause problems.
We ask Allaah to guide us all, to help us not to bear any grudges towards anyone, and to treat one another properly.
Allaah is testing you by means of a man whose behaviour and attitude are bad.
Scholars advice to the one who is dealing with a harsh husband is not to respond to criticism with more arguments and stubbornness, because this will put more strain on the connection, which can break because of that. Being more easy-going and diplomatic is something that is required from both parties. It is required from the husband, in the form of kindness, overlooking mistakes and showing compassion, and it is required from the religiously committed, smart and wise wife to put up with the annoyance of her husband, and not to be so harsh with him if he is harsh with her; rather she should be easy-going, as much as she can, avoid provoking his anger and not be confrontational. She should be as gentle as she can, and be soft with him.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Shall I not tell you about your wives among the people of Paradise: the one who is loving, fertile, and beneficial to her husband, who if she is upset or annoyed, she comes and takes her husband’s hand, then she says: ‘By Allah, I shall not sleep until you are pleased with me.” (an-Nasaa’i; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani)
Put up with what you dislike, for in patiently bearing what one dislikes there is a great deal of good, as the most truthful one (the Prophet – blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said.
Remember, if her husband gives her her rights as prescribed in sharee’ah, then it is haraam for her to ask for divorce, because the Prophet ﷺ said: “Any woman who asks for divorce when there is no reason, the fragrance of Paradise will be forbidden to her.” (Abu Dawood & Tirmidhi, classed as Sahih). But if she is being harmed, and the situation is too much for her to bear, and he is not spending enough on her or he is not giving her her rights, then she has the right to ask for a divorce. She should go to the qaadi and explain the situation to him, and he in turn should ask the husband to give her her rights or to divorce her.
Perhaps Allaah will compensate you with someone better than this man. If you cannot find another husband, then staying without a husband in your parents’ house, where you will be cared for and respected, will be better for you than staying with this man, so long as you do not fear that you will be tempted or will fall into haraam things. But if you fear that you may be tempted, then being patient and bearing worldly troubles by staying with this man will be better for you than having to bear the punishment of Allaah.
Click here to read about the reasons for which it is permissible for a woman to seek divorce (khula’) from her husband.
It is not permissible for a woman, so long as she is still a wife, to refuse to share her husband’s bed even if she dislikes him, because allowing him to be intimate with her is a right that is granted by sharee‘ah. Hence it is not permissible for her to refuse that. But if she dislikes him and is put off having marital relations with him, then Islam has given her a respectable way out by means of khula‘. So she should hasten to separate from him by means thereof.
Similarly, it is not permissible for her so long as she is still a wife, to refuse to obey him in that which is right and proper, because this is also one of the rights that he has over her.
How would you respond to a wife who every time you came home had something negative to say or every time you got into an argument with her you found her to be foul mouth and insulting, For many, the answer would be, “ I’d divorce her.”, Then if we go with that answer then the divorce rate would skyrocket.
Allah said: …And live with them honorably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good. (An-Nisa:19)
In these verses Allah orders us to treat our wives kindly and to live with them in righteousness; and when we see something we dislike in them then know that it’s possible that Allah will facilitate an abundance of good from their companionship.
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “A believer must not hate (his wife) believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics he will be pleased with another“.
If the wife insults and reviles her husband, then he must advise her and warn her, and explain to her that her bad talk incurs sin, especially since the husband is the most deserving of people of her respect and good treatment, as the Prophet ﷺ said: “If I were to command anyone to prostrate to anyone, I would have told women to prostrate to their husbands, because of the rights that Allah has given them over them.” (Abu Dawood & al-Tirmidhi; saheeh by al-Albani).
We also advise the husband to repent to Allah from all sins, for the wife’s bad attitude may be a punishment for sins that one has committed, as it was narrated that al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyad (may Allah have mercy on him) said: I disobey Allah then I see that in the attitude of my mount or my wife.
Marriage is patience and hard work, Imam Ash-Shafa’I said: “I spent forty years asking married couples about their relationships and none of them said it was easy.” We advise both brothers & sisters to be patient and do things for the sake of Allah.
To conclude we would like quote an ayah and a few hadeeths about patience & forbearance.
فَاصْبِرْ صَبْرًا جَمِيلًا
So be patient with beautiful patience.
Surat Al-Ma’arij 70:4
Not just patience but beautiful patience.
The Prophet ﷺ said,
May Allah make it easy for all of us and make us amongst As-Saabiroon