A Muslim Call for Hope: Living as Faithful People in a Violent Age (Part 2)

Follow models of patience
We need patience for our devotion and worship. We need patience for resisting worldly temptations. And we need patience to overcome our difficulties and tests. The Holy Quran tells us about different models of patience that the apostles of God resembled. Adam with Satan, Abraham with the tyrant Nimrod, Ishmael (as Muslims maintain) with the test of his sacrifice by his father, Jacob when he lost his son, Joseph and his brother, Joseph with his own brothers, Moses with Pharaoh, and Jesus with his enemies.

The Quran empowers us with the special stories of five specific apostles of God, those of strong will and determination: Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (PBUT). The Quran tells us how those five set the model for their followers to counter the violence of their rejection until God interfered and resolved the situation.

Patience is a special gift to a person who can benefit a lot from such a practice in their life. Patience is a religious necessity as well as a worldly one. It elevates human spiritually and physically, individually and congregationally. Patience is necessary like a farmer after seeding the soil or student with his lessons. Patience is the key to Paradise and protection from Hell. Paradise at the end of this life is so precious and the price has to be paid by the believers.

Turn to God in prayer
True faith in God teaches us to also use another technique to overcome our violent circumstances. Allah says in the Quran: “O you who have attained to faith! Seek aid in steadfast patience and prayer: for, behold, God is with those who are patient in adversity.”

So after we talked about patience we come to the other technique which is prayer in which a believer will draw him/herself out of all the attachment of this world and turn to the Almighty with true submission and sincerity, crossing all the human, materialistic, and psychological barriers between a believer and God, turning to Him with a pure humble heart and with full confidence of the answer. God is the only One worthy of man’s awe and reverence requiring one’s turning back to Him. God is so close to every human being if just that later turns correctly to Him in his inquiries.

Originally published on Sunday, February 28 in the Omaha World-Herald.

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