Learn patience and sympathy for society from Malik Ashtar

The spirit of patience is just one of the qualities that we need to include in our social interactions: this is why patience has been, frequently, stressed in Islam and Islamic ethics. Lack of patience, thereof, gives rise to many of the problems both on individual and social echelons. If our political parties, politicians, and their supporters treat each other with a manner of patience, conditions will improve. Being patient does not mean that we should ignore one another’s flaws; it does not mean that we should ignore the principles and values that we believe in. Patience relates to the manner by which we treat people: "Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and have disputations with them in the best manner." [The Holy Quran, 16: 125] Even the disputes that arise due to our beliefs or other important issues should be discussed "in the best manner.” 

Oct 11, 2012

I invite the mobilized forces(Basijis) to observe morals and good temper [towards others]. What does it take to have morals and good temper? These qualities embrace patience, tolerance, resistance, honesty, purity, courage, sacrifice, and piety. Basijis need such qualities so that this strong structure continues to prevail. If you want this lofty structure to stand firm against the enemies, like a well-made fort, you should observe these practices: you should exhibit tolerance and patience, you should behave with proper mannerisms, and you should maintain a state of purity. Take a look at the great role models throughout the early Islamic era, for example, and avoid arrogance and conceit. 

Despite his great position and courage and despite the fact that he was deeply respected by the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.), Malik al-Ashtar* was walking down the street one day, when a boy, who was unknown to him, began to bully Malik: perhaps, he even threw stones at him. The boy noticed that someone was venturing off somewhere, and he decided to make fun of Malik for amusement. However, Malik al-Ashtar avoided him and changed his direction. The onlookers said to the boy, "Do you know what you just did? Do know whom you just made fun of?” But the boy was unaware, and he said, "No.” The onlookers replied. "That was Malik al-Ashtar.” The boy became agitated, he rushed after Malik, either on his own or with his father and friends, to make some form of an apology. They felt the need to apologize to avoid trouble. 

They went after Malik al-Ashtar, and they found him in the mosque praying. They moved forward and tried to apologize. Malik al-Ashtar said, "I have come to the mosque to pray to Allah, the Exalted so that He forgives this young boy.” —Notice that this is forgiveness, sense of responsibility, and tolerance. You and I should practice such behavior.

Nov 27, 2014

*Malik Al-Ashtar was one of the most loyal companions of Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib(as) and was appointed by his eminence as governor-general in Egypt.


  • Malik Ashtar
  • Patience
  • political tolerance