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On Patience 

compiled by Cherag Suleiman Grosslight


From the Bhagavad Gita, #30 

Offer to me all thy works and rest thy mind on the Supreme. Be free from vain hopes and selfish thoughts, and with inner peace fight thou thy fight.


From the Dhammapada p 191 

Be truthful Patient, and Generous. 

One should utter the truth. One should not be angry. One should give even from a scanty store to him who asks. Along these three paths one may go to the presence of the gods.


From the Divine Songs of Zarathustra p. 40 # LXVIII 

In times of doubt, O Mazda kAhura! 

In times of stress and strife, Thou Best One! 

When the vengeful harm of the wicked threatens us, 

We shall recall all the best Thou hast taught us, 

In the wide bright glow of the Altar-flame!


From Proverbs 25 #25 

By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.


Romans 15, 1-5 

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 

Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, the reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on lme. 

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus. 


The Koran, Family of Imran 

A recompense from God and the best of rewards is with God......So you who believe have endurance in suffering, be patient and persevere, strengthen eachother and be firm. Be pious and fear God that you may find success.

FROM THE GAYAN of Hazrat Inayat Khan 

" Patience is the lesson I had given to me from the moment I stepped on the earth; ever since I have tried to practice it, but there is more to be learnt." 

"Lack of patience starves virtue to death" 

"Riding on the horse of hope, 

Holding in my hand the rein of courage, Clad in the armor of patience, 

And the helmet of endurance on my head, I started on my journey to the land of love." 

"Thou teachest me patience, sublime nature, by thy patient waiting." 

"We shall see who will endure to the end, my persevering adversary or I with my long-cherished patience." 

"Patience is a process through which a soul goes in order to become precious." 

"Forbearance, patience, and tolerance are the only conditions which keep two individual hearts united."

Sermon reference 

Gathas, Tasawwuf p. 247 "Patience" 


(compiled by Rev. Hamid Touchon) 

'There are many moral principles, just as many drops fall from one fountain; but there is one stream that is at the source of all, and that is love. It is love that gives birth to hope, patience, endurance, forgiveness, tolerance, and to all moral principles. All deeds of kindness and beneficence take root in the soil of the loving heart. Generosity, charity, adaptability, an accommodating nature, even renunciation, are the offspring of love alone.' 

from "Sufi Thoughts" Hazrat Inayat Khan

'The Sufi avoids all unrhythmic actions; he keeps the rhythm of his speech under the control of patience, not speaking a word before the right time, not giving an answer until the question is finished.' 

from, "Harmony" H.I.Khan

'But patience is never wasted; patience is a process through which a soul passes and becomes precious. Souls who have risen above the world's limitations and sorrows, the world's falseness and deception, they are the souls who have passed through patience.' 

from, "The Education of the Infant" H.I.Khan

'And now coming to the subject of patience, how can a child be taught patience? By teaching it to wait. Because a child is very impatient by nature, and if this tendency remains, then after that child is grown-up it will give it great unhappiness. When a person has no patience life becomes death for him. Patience is like death, but not to have patience is worse than death. Besides patience produces wonderful fruits, and patience is a quality which is beyond comparison with any other qualities in the world. If there is anything that gives kingliness to the soul, it is patience. What was the secret of the masters who have accomplished great things, who have inspired many and who have helped many souls? Their secret was patience. This is the time to sow the seed of patience in the child. In little things you can give the child the habit of patience. In asking for food, in wanting to go out to play, and in many other things a child shows lack of patience; yet if at that time, without hurting it, one gives it the habit of patience, the child will begin to show nobleness of spirit.' 

from, "The education of the Child" H.I.Khan

The third aspect of magnetism is perhaps a higher kind than the two which have been described above, for this magnetism is more profound and it affects another person more deeply. This is the magnetism of love, of sympathy, of friendliness. A person who by nature is sympathetic; a person who tolerates, who forgets, who forgives; a person who does not keep bitterness nor malice in his mind against anyone; a person who admires and appreciates beauty, who loves it in art, in nature, in all its forms, and who goes out to friend and foe, to the acquaintance, the stranger, to all; the person who can endure and who can suffer, and who has the power to have patience through all conditions of life, who feels the pain of another in his heart and who is always willing to become a friend, it is that person whose magnetism is greater than all the other magnetisms that we know of.' from "Magnitism" H.I.Khan 

'Patience' H.I.Khan

Patience, the word itself, is the heaviest thing that is. To one who is in difficulties and troubles, to one who is in sorrow, to one who lives in the wish of obtaining his desire, the word patience has a dreadful sound. The sound is dreadful, the thought is terrible, the idea is frightful to us. Yet all our difficulties in life, all our failures come from lack of patience. All the results of life often are lost through impatience. A person may have patience for forty years, and then lose patience, and so lose the result of all his endeavors during so many years. 

The impatient person will show his impatience in his speech. When you ask him something, he will not let you finish your sentence; he answers before you have finished because he thinks, "Why should you still say that half sentence?" The impatient person eats very fast, and all the veins and tubes of his body cannot drink so fast as he drinks. If he walks across the room he will stumble ten times; he walks into chairs, into the table, into the door and does not look into whom he walks. If he intends to take some action, he starts, and three times before he reaches the door he will say, "I am going, I am not going, I am going", because he does not give time to his decision. 

All our errors and faults come from impatience. It is not that the soul wants something which is wrong, but we do not stop to weigh our acts. We seize upon the first thought that comes to us without weighing or considering it. Nowadays the wish for variety has grown so strong that we always wish for new surroundings, new friends, new faces, and our thoughts change every moment. If we could hold our thought, we should increase its power. We think, "It is only a thought, it will pass". In reality, by our thought we create a spirit, a jinn, a genius, that acts and works and achieves. The more patiently we think a thought, the stronger the thought becomes. 

The lesson of patience is much less taught nowadays as the influence of religion has become much less, and education is mostly given for commercial purposes. So we must look upon the lesson of patience as a lesson we give to ourselves; we must think of all the beautiful results we gain by patience, and be sure that, if we have conquered patience, we have conquered the whole world. 

To have patience, to have confidence, we must see an object before us. We can have confidence in obtaining any material object. It is much more difficult to have patience where there is nothing to show - only the satisfaction of the soul; to have patience enough to acquire virtue, to merge in the illumination, to gain the light. It is the same with fire: at first there is smoke mixed with it and, if it had no patience until it would become a flame, there would only be smoke and then it would go out. If it has patience it will become a flame that illumines the whole room so that everything can be seen and known. More than all else this patience is the greatest gift and blessing. 

from, "Confidence" H.I.Khan

Those who love their enemies and yet lack patience are like a burning lantern with little oil. It cannot keep alight, and in the end the flame fades away. The oil in the path of love is patience, and besides this it is unselfishness and self-sacrifice from beginning to end. 

Some say, 'I have loved dearly once, but I was disappointed.' It is as if a man were to say, 'I dug in the earth, but when the mud came I was disappointed.' It is true that mud came, but with patience he would have reached the water one day. Only patience can endure. Only endurance produces greatness. from, "The Mystical Heart" H.I.Khan

'The nature that is too enthusiastic may, instead of benefiting, perhaps harm itself in whatever line it may have taken up, worldly or spiritual. For everything there is a time, and patience is necessary in all striving. A cook may burn food by applying more heat in order to cook more quickly, and this rule applies to all things. With little children the parents are often anxious and enthusiastic; they think their children should learn and understand every good and interesting thing on earth. Too much enthusiasm is not right. We must give time to all things; the first and most important lesson in life is patience; we must begin all things with patience.' 

from, "The Meaning of Initiation' H.I.Khan

Patience is very necessary on the path. After my initiation into the Order of the Sufis I was for six months continually in the presence of my murshid before he said a word on the subject of Sufism; and as soon as I took out my notebook he went on to another subject; it was finished! One sentence after six months! A person would think that it is a long time, six months sitting before one's teacher without being taught anything; but it is not words, it is something else. If words were sufficient, there are libraries full of occult and mystical books. It is life itself, it is living that is important. The one who lives the life of initiation not only lives himself, but also makes others who come in contact with him alive. Therefore one is initiated into the Sufi Order not especially for study, but to understand and follow what real discipleship means. With regard to the subject of discipline; anybody without a sense of discipline is without the power of self-control. It is discipline which teaches the ideal, and the ideal is self-discipline. It is the disciplined soldier who can become a good captain. In ancient times the kings used to send the princes out as soldiers, to learn what discipline means. The path of initiation is the training of the ego, and it is self-discipline which is learned on the path of discipleship. 

from, "What is needed on the Path" H.I.Khan

Life in the world, and especially as we live it amidst the crowd, will test and try our patience every moment of the day, and it will be most difficult to preserve that harmony and peace which is all happiness. For what is the definition of life? Life means struggle with friends and battle with foes. It is continual giving and taking. 

from"World Reconstruction" H.I.Khan

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