essential practices along the spiritual path
By Nahid Angha, Ph.D.
Patience as it is practiced in Sufism possesses both an outwardly apparent and inwardly essential aspect. A salek always thinks before he speaks, awaiting the opportune moment, so as not to say what he may well later regret; likewise, he constantly attends to the care of his body and mind so as not to fall into distress and helplessness; most important of all, he keeps his heart from falling into rejection and denial: perhaps the most difficult of tests. Weakness in patience reflects uncertainty of belief, since patience is one of the reasons and methods that keeps belief intact.1 It has been narrated from Amir-al-Moumenin Ali that the relationship between patience and belief is likened to that of mind and body; a body without mind will not live; belief without patience will not endure.2
1 Ghotbeddin Abul Muzaffar Ebadi, Sufi Nameh. Teheran: 1347, pp. 75-76. 2
Dr. Nahid Angha, Principles of Sufism. Jain Publishing Company, 1986, pp. 47-48.
Sufism: An Inquiry Vol XVI, No. 1