Shared Notes: Chapter 1 from Al Ghazali on Patience and Thankfulness


The following tid-bits are merely small attempts to share some of the great knowledge obtained from this work. It’s always best, if you can, to purchase the book in order to support and encourage more English translations of seminal Islamic texts:)

An Exposition of the Merit of Patience (page 7 – 11). These are some personal highlighted notes from Al Ghazali’s Patience and Thankfulness. The notes come from the version by the Islamic Texts Society, with introduction and notes by H.T. Littlejohn (may Allah reward their work).

“For each action bringing us close (to God) has its reward according to a predetermined measure and calculation, with the exception of patience. It is because fasting pertains to patience, and indeed is half of patience, that God (Exalted is He) has said ‘Fasting is mine and I shall reward for it,.’ He specifically related it to Himself, (and set it) apart from the the other acts of worship.”

“The Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) also said: “The best actions are those that people are compelled to do.”

“The Prophet said, ‘There is much good in being patient with what you dislike.”

“Christ (peace be upon him) said ‘You come to understand what you love only through patience with what you abhor.”

“The following is found in a letter of Umar b. al Khattab (may God be pleased with him) to Abu Musa l-Ash ari: ‘It is incumbent upon you to be patient. Know that patience is of two kinds, one is better than the other. Patience in misfortune is good, but preferable to it is patience in relation what God (Exalted is He) has forbidden. Know that patience is the foundation of faith and this is because the fear of God (taqwa) is the best part of piety (birr) and fearing God is (acquired) through patience.

“Whenever Habib b. Abi Habib used to recite the verse Surely We found him patient. How excellent a servant he was! He always turned to God, he wept and said ‘how wonderful it is! He gave and He praised.’ That is to say, God is the giver of patience and He praises (for it.)


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