And We have made some of you [people] as trial for others – will you have patience? And ever is your Lord, Seeing. – [25:20]
Some people will stab you, and then get offended, because you bled. The offence here is symbolic for avoiding responsibility for what they did.
Having patience with such people doesn’t mean putting up with the harm they inflict, by turning the other cheek. Rather having sabr/patience means remaining in your centre. From being in your centre, the understanding that some people’s purpose in your life is by way of trial and all that comes with knowing that, is cultivated.
You can never control what others do as you only have control over yourself.
“Will you have patience?” In the above ayah is akin to “will you remain whole?” If you are struggling with it. Or “Will you choose wholeness?” If trial momentarily and/or unknowingly made you depart from it.
In any case what is remarkable is how patience that is seen by many as proof of “powerlessness” is actually the bedrock of standing with power.
Ibn taymeeyah r/a faced trials through the people of his time and acquired much wisdom as a result of it, he once said…
The patience he had is what allowed him to look at a situation through the lens of an eagle. Through patience he was able to scan the horizon, see the bigger picture and extract profound meaning, that connected him to him self. He transmuted the “consequence” into a blessing in disguise, or a blessing by default.
If they exiled him, then they set him on a path of spiritual journey. If they killed him (based on the reasons they wanted to) they render him shaheed. If they imprison him they can’t take away his inner peace, because it was never something to be obtained outside of him in the first place.
This is what true patience does, it empowers because it restores and protects ones balance. It provides meaning that is personal to the self, and clarity that results in self assurance.
The picture above presents the experience of the Irish in the states, in comparison to the African American. On the one hand yes the slave era was worse, but on the other ones experience shouldn’t be invalidated because a worse type exists.
It should provide perspective but never invalidation. As the former supports patience and the latter injustice in and of it self.
Every ones experience is valid. It doesn’t require external recognition, comprehension or even acceptance to make it so.
Allah has made some people as trials for others. These people come in all forms, shapes and statuses. From clear oppressors to those incognizant of what they do. These people can be strangers or even those closest to you.
These existing variations in their persons and actions are just as important, as the distinction and differences in circumstances where a trial is presented. Important to the one experiencing it.
Personally I am not a fan of conscious invalidation. I say concious because sometimes a blind spot in a matter can make one invalidate another’s feelings or experience unintentionally. So they can’t be categorised the same as those who do it whilst aware.
In any case, the only common ground for those on the receiving end, is that opting to have patience when others are made a trial for them, assists all that aligns with their highest good.
If there is no contrition among those who harm you or set out to do so, remain centred anyway, what they lack isn’t your business. Have patience because your business is the fact that they are a trial for you. Reflect in case you’re a trial for the other too. Sometimes two people can be a trial for each other. So scanning for that possibility, is from integrity especially when the external reality points to you being wronged. Empathy doesn’t always intend to summon activity by default of it being felt. It just means you consider, or are made aware of a whole host of things.
Sabr/patience stems from a soul space, those who embody it at the first strike of a calamity or tension are rewarded the most because they act from a soul space not ego. May Allah make this our default state. Some have experienced it through soul leaks so are aware of its benefit. But to have it embedded into your subconscious so it becomes a default state is a mercy and grace in and of it self.