Maulana Wahiduddin Khan I Call to God
Generally, people think of patience as a negative type of passivity, but it is not so. Patience is a positive attitude. In fact, it is the very foundation of all positive actions. Without patience, one cannot achieve anything worthwhile in life. Towards the end of his life, Prophet Mohammad sent out letters, inviting kings and chieftains who ruled in and around Arabia to accept Islam. Clearly, this was a positive action on the part of the Prophet. But this could only come about when circumstances looked favourable, and for this the Prophet had to be patient. Circumstances did then develop in which it became possible for him to take this important and positive step.
It is known that these letters to chieftains and kings were sent after the Treaty of Hudaybiyya. Clearly, they could have been dispatched before the treaty was signed. Why, then, did the Prophet wait until after peace had been made? The practical reason for this was that before the Treaty of Hudaybiyya, the Prophet was operating under a state of siege. Day and night, there was the threat of enemy attack, and all the attention of the Prophet and his companions was directed towards defending themselves. Under such volatile conditions, it was practically impossible for plans to be made for inviting kings and chieftains to accept Islam, and even more difficult for such plans to be implemented.
The Treaty of Hudaybiyya amounted to a ten-year, no-war pact between the Muslims and their foes, and once in force, conditions became completely stable. Now the Prophet was able to make plans for calling rulers to Islam. Without any further delay, he dispatched these invitations, the texts of which are recorded in biographies of the Prophet’s life.
The truth is, that no positive action is possible without patience. If one wants to invite people to accept Islam, one shall have to, unilaterally, put an end to one’s quarrels with them. If one wishes to acquire a humble character, one shall have to bury one’s pride. If one desires to work for the betterment of humanity, one shall have to suppress all jealousy and resentment towards others. If one seeks to be just, one shall have to put aside vindictiveness and anger. Only patience can help an individual to accomplish all these tasks. Without patience, there is nothing that can be achieved.