It is stated that belief has two parts; half of it is thanking (Allah) and the other half is patience. Will you explain it? What is meant by patience and thanking here?

Details of the Question
It is stated that belief has two parts; half of it is thanking (Allah) and the other half is patience. Will you explain it? What is meant by patience and thanking here?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Belief is sometimes used in the sense of 'approving the principles of the religion'. It is sometimes used for the righteous deeds originating from that approval. It is sometimes used for both of them. Knowledge has a lot of parts; similarly, belief has a lot of parts. The term belief encompasses all of them; therefore, belief has more than seventy parts.

However, patience is half of belief in terms of two meanings and uses. One of those uses is the use of the term belief for both approval and deeds. In that case, belief has two parts. One of them is yaqin and the other is patience.

What is meant by yaqin is the definite knowledge that originates from Allah’s guiding a person to the principles of belief.

What is meant by patience is acting in accordance with yaqin; for, yaqin informs man that sins are harmful and that worship is useful. Abandoning sins and continuing worship can be possible only through patience. Patience means to use the encouragement of the religion in order to overcome laziness and the power of the soul. Thus, patience is half of belief in this sense. Therefore, the Prophet (pbuh) stated the following by combining them:

"The least one given to you is the azimah of yaqin and patience." (1)

The second one is the use of the term belief for the states that bear deeds as fruit, not for knowledge. In this context, all of the things that a slave encounters are divided into parts that are useful or harmful to the slave in the world and the hereafter. The state of patience of the slave is in question in the face of the harmful ones and the state of thanking is in question in the face of the useful ones. In that case, thanking becomes one of the two parts of belief. As a matter of fact, yaqin is one of the parts of belief in the first sense.

As a matter of fact, Ibn Mas'ud stated the following: "Belief has two parts; one of them is patience and the other is thanking (Allah)." This statement is also attributed to the Prophet (pbuh). (2)

Patience means to show patience in the face of the thing that encourages the desires of the soul thanks to the perseverance of the thing that encourages belief. The thing that encourages the desires of the soul has two parts. One of them comes from lust and the other from fury. In this context, lust serves to demand what is delicious. Fury serves to escape from the pain giver. In addition, fasting means to show patience in the face of the demands of lust. It is not the demand of the fury but the lust of the stomach and the genitals.

Therefore, the Prophet (pbuh) said,

"Fasting is half of patience." (3)

For, patience becomes perfect by showing patience in the face of the demands of lust and fury. In this context, fasting is one-fourth of belief. It is appropriate to understand shari’ah, which determines the boundaries of deeds and states and their proportions to belief, like this. What is essential here is to know that belief has many parts; for, the term belief is used in various senses.

References:

1) Shahr b. Hawshab, (from Abu Umama).
2) Bayhaqi and Daylami.
3) Ibn Majah.

(see Imam Ghazzali, Ihyau Ulum, Sabr and Shukr)

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