Slowing It Down


In a society that thrives off of hastiness, Allah reminds us that patience is the key to success.

“Yet man prays for evil as fervently as he ought to pray for good and mankind is ever hasty.” [Surah Banee Isra’eel: 11]

SubhanAllah, as you read this verse, what comes to mind? How can people make du’aa for evil? Why would they pray for something wrong to happen? It’s something we would never do, right?

In a society where negativity and suicide seem to be as common as eating and drinking, this verse is all too relevant. Take Suzy for example. She wanted to go out to dinner with a friend, yet something came up for her friend, causing her to decline. Suzy gets mad and logs on to Facebook to post “So much for friends. I hate my life. Someone kill me now.”

Isn’t this something we hear and see all the time? Perhaps we’ve grown immune to this in our drive-thru-I-want-it-now society. But Alhamdulillah, that’s why the Qur’an and Sunnah are here to remind us.

In this verse, the word ‘ujla means to be hasty and desire something before its due. ‘Ajul is one who is very hasty and impatient. They rush into something without thinking of the consequences. We’re in a society of hastiness – you see, you want, you buy it. Don’t think if you have enough money or enough time, just do it. I can drive up to a window, order food and get it three minutes later. SubhanAllah, in this verse, the whole of mankind is described as hasty, beginning from the time of our father Adam ‘alayhis salaam. Since it is an inherent characteristic, it is also a test.

There is no delayed gratification, yet that’s what our deen is about. We don’t see the bigger picture. We all have tunnel vision. I want XYZ now and if I don’t get it, I will do… subhanAllah, is Allah not Al ‘Aleem, the most Knowing, and Al Hakim, the most Wise? Would He not know what is best for us, both in this life and the next? So what if something does not go according to our plan? If it’s His plan, subhanhu wa ta’ala, I will be content because that is the best of plans.

The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said,

“Strange is the affair of the Mu’min (the believer), verily all his affairs are good for him. If something pleasing befalls him he thanks (Allah) and it becomes better for him. And if something harmful befalls him he is patient (Saabir) and it becomes better for him. And this is only for the Mu’mmin.” [Muslim]

SubhanAllah, every situation, good or bad, is actually good for the believer. It only requires patience. This is an amazing blessing Allah subhanahu wa t’ala has given us.

As Shaykh Yasir Qadhi once said, ‘How is it that someone cannot be patient, when the Quran says: “Allah is with those who are patient?”’ [2:153]

How does this all relate to hijab? Wearing hijab in a society of instant gratification is hard. The reward for hijab isn’t seen now but it’s being stacked up in our ‘accounts’ of the hereafter. A woman can walk outside, beautifully adorned, and get the instant praise of catcalls and comments from men right away. A hijabi is saying that she can wait—she can wait for marriage to display her beauty to one man who will look at her alone so that her beauty stays preserved for him. The man who decides to marry her is the one most deserving of my beauty. Most of all, she can wait for the hereafter and the pleasure of her Rabb. It could be easy to say ‘I wish to be like those women walking around’ or ‘I wish I could take off my hijab.’ Every girl wants to dress up, but that is where the wisdom comes of knowing when it is correct to dress up and when it is not.

What does this all require? Patience. Without patience, hijab is just some cloth covering your body. With patience, it becomes a way of life, a form of ‘ibaadah, a way to stack up hasanaat for the hereafter, and a means of pleasing your Rabb. Without patience, wanting to act and do whatever any girl is doing is the strongest desire. With patience, the desire to please Allah alone is stronger. It might be tough because the stares are intimidating and there is no one to dress up for, but if you are patient, Allah is with you. And if Allah is with you, what more do you need?