Message of Thaqalayn

A Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies

Patience and Gratitude

Abstract: The ‘patient and grateful servants’ in the Qur’an are those who take lessons from how God has created the world of nature and how He has treated the previous nations in history (14:5, 31:31, 34:19, 42:33). The significance and connection of these two qualities is seen more vividly in a Prophetic narration: ‘Īmān (belief, faith) is split in two halves: one half of it is [in] patience, and the other half is [in] gratitude.’ A clear meaning of this is that at times of ease, success and bounty, a believer must be grateful, and at times of difficulty, loss and affliction, a believer must be patient. In several hadiths, the ‘one who is grateful when he is given [a blessing], and patient when he is afflicted [with hardship]’ is described as a believer, the best of people, the noblest and most honourable servant to God, and one who is given the good of this world and the Hereafter. This article discusses the meanings of each quality and how they are integral elements of faith. It shows that the essence of both qualities is the realisation that God is the sole owner of everyone and everything in the universe. God’s absolute ownership is the spirit of patience and gratitude.

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