Do Animals Have Patience?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The lexical meaning of ‘patience’ is standing for pain and difficulties. It means for a person who is hit by a calamity and trouble is not to panic and scream but to wait for the end and endure with tolerance.

As it is seen, in patience, to show tolerance by thinking of the end of the incident is in question. Thinking that the tolerated incident will make us gain in the near or distant future i in question.  

For instance, man shows patience so as not to sin. Moreover, he shows patience in the face of diseases, and calamities he is exposed to. He shows patience against hunger by fasting and thinks that Allah will give rewards for all his patience in afterlife.

Patience is not an easy deed. Therefore, we are frequently advised to show patience against the soul and devil. We are given glad tidings that those who are patient will be saved.

Thus, patience is to endure distress by thinking its results. In animals, it is not in question to check their souls by thinking about the future benefits when they confront something. In fact, it is directly proportional to the mind, reasoning, and thinking about the benefits of the world or hereafter.

Even man, who is equipped perfectly with faculties like the mind, thought and conscience cannot act patiently in the perfect sense most of the time; therefore, it does not seem possible that animals will act patiently.

Waiting behavior and tolerance seen in animals in some cases can be explained as divine inspiration from Allah, which is expressed as instinct rather than patience.

For example, chickens and birds sit on the egg for a while at a certain time of ovulation. At other times, it is not possible to make them do so.

The cat waits for the mouse to exit out of the hole next to it. This waiting is an innate pattern of behavior given to them to continue their lives rather than patience.

Prof. Dr. Adem TATLI   

Questions on Islam

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