Yusuf (Joseph) was one of many sons of Yacub (Jacob), peace and blessings upon them both. Yusuf was Yacub’s favorite and his other sons realized this and became jealous to the point when they plotted to kill Yusuf. The eldest brother suggested that instead of killing him, it would be best to just leave him somewhere for someone to find him. So they did just that. They took Yusuf with them and put him in a well, where he would eventually be found. They ripped a piece of his shirt, then killed a sheep and covered his shirt with the sheep’s blood. So when they went back home to their father and showed him Yusuf’s falsely bloody shirt, they told him that a wolf had eaten Yusuf. Yacub felt that they were not being truthful and told them that all he could do was be patient:
وَجَاءُوا عَلَىٰ قَمِيصِهِ بِدَمٍ كَذِبٍ ۚ قَالَ بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنفُسُكُمْ أَمْرًا ۖ فَصَبْرٌ جَمِيلٌ ۖ وَاللَّهُ الْمُسْتَعَانُ عَلَىٰ مَا تَصِفُون
“And they brought upon his shirt false blood. [Jacob] said: Rather, your souls have enticed you to something. A beautiful patience [should be my course]; and Allah is the Refuge from the things you say.” [Quran, 12:18]
For the first time ever, Azkar and I decided to have the same theme for two consecutive months. For our March theme, our lives consisted of so many things that required our patience. And though it is easy to say we are patient as we whine and worry, true patience comes with little complaining and with sincere belief that Allah has His own plans for us. Though we may not see the benefits of our fate immediately, in the long run, it will prevail and we will understand why God did things the way He did. So we thought of Yacub’s patience; his “beautiful patience”, as the verse above suggests, and his true contentment with everything that God decreed upon him. It is a truly admirable characteristic that we hoped to attain throughout the month of March. But with life seizing us from every angle, we found ourselves getting lost in our worries. So after much thought and a much needed lesson on patience, we decided to extend the theme through April.
It was truly a struggle to constantly remind ourselves to do our best and leave the rest to God. And in my individual struggle, I found myself thinking about how Yacub’s struggle was so much more difficult than mine, and if he could be beautifully patient in his situation, then I had no excuse. One of the first things I did to help with my patience was making duaa (supplication). Although I regularly make duaa, very rarely do I feel passionately about the things I ask for. Throughout this journey, anytime I felt doubtful that my faith was lacking, Allah would answer my prayers immediately. At first I thought it was nice that my prayers were being answered so quickly, but when it kept happening almost everyday, I understood that God was giving me a clear sign. This greatly strengthened my faith, alhamdulilah, because Allah was telling me that I’m going to be okay if I just trusted Him and depended on Him and that if I worked to see my patience as a positive thing, then He would take care of me. Sometimes we overthink things and try to control every situation, but as humans, there is only so much we can do. There is a limit to our hard work. In the end, no matter how much we plan and prepare, everything depends on what God has planned for each of us. Sometimes we just have to let go and let God.
The Quranic story ends with Yacub and Yusuf reuniting after many, many years of being apart. The key was Yacub’s commendable handling of the situation which required his reliance on God and having beautiful patience. After all, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
“And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and ease with hardship.”
May we all have the beautiful patience to guide us through our difficult times, bring us closer to God and to ultimately make us into better people, inshAllah. Ameen.
فَاصْبِرْ صَبْرًا جَمِيلًا
“So be patient with beautiful patience.” [Quran, 70:5]
Read Azkar’s Pt. 2 Here.
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