Patience in perseverance is a very good thing, but it
can only be possessed by those who have confidence. Each
Sura of the Quran is addressed to those who have patience
and great importance is given to confidence: iman.
Muslims perform namaz, their prayers, five times
a day. If you ask an old Muslim whether he has gained anything
by it, he will answer, 'What do you know about it?' I have
gained what I wanted: my satisfaction.' If he is ill he
does not care, he does not blame God. If he loses his fortune,
he does not blame God. He does not say, 'After so many years
of namaz this illness, this trouble has come!'
Everything that has been done has been done by confidence,
and nothing can be done without confidence. You cannot dig
the earth for gold, if you do not have confidence that the
gold is there; you cannot watch the cooking pan, if you
do not have confidence that there is something in the pan
which the fire has the power to cook.
If I were to tell you to work three hours in the night
repeating the name of Allah, you would say, 'My Murshid
has told me so, and I must do it, but...' Then when you
repeated Allah, Allah for half an hour, you would think,
'Here I am sitting for half an hour in this cold, and I
do not see what I have gained by it. If I were to write
some music now, tomorrow I could sell it for five pounds.
Then I would have worked and I would have gained something.'
It has been the difficulty of all prophets, of all who
have come with a message, that people said, 'Show us something
that these eyes can see. Show that the sun comes down, or
the moon, or that the earth cleaves. But the message of
God – what is it? Show us something.' That is why, if there
is a suffrage meeting, at once there is a subscription for
a thousand pounds, because people know that by fighting
the government they can get laws passed. If someone comes
with a message from God and says, 'We need money to spread
this message,' people say, 'Why do you need money? Money
is needed for a scheme. Have you engineered a scheme?'
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 illuminates the whole room so that everything
can be seen and known. More than all else this patience
is the greatest gift and blessing.
Every success in life is brought about by confidence,
iman, and all our lacks are due to want of confidence.
It is so with material as well as spiritual things.
In India many things are thought lucky or unlucky. If
you go out on an undertaking and a cat crosses your road,
it is thought that you cannot be successful then. If you
go out and at once meet a person carrying flowers, then
you will be successful. It is easy to understand the reason.
If you first meet something that gives you pleasure, you
have a good impression, and that gives you confidence. If
you receive a bad impression your confidence disappears.
A man, an ordinary sort of man, once came to my Murshid
and asked him, 'Give me your blessing for good luck. I have
built a carriage and I want to make some money with it.'
My Murshid said, 'Every morning when you get up count your
Whatever we are to undertake, we should say, 'I shall
accomplish it, or lose my life.' Failure comes from lack
of confidence, lack of confidence comes from doubt, doubt
comes from reasoning, and reasoning comes from thinking
of the means. If you think, 'I will go to Brighton, but
perhaps, if I do, the Zeppelins will come and I shall be
killed.' Then you lose your confidence. There was no need
to think of the Zeppelins. They might come, but if they
come you would be one among the many inhabitants of Brighton,
and you might not be killed.
Whether in our own undertakings or in what we may do
to help another, confidence is needed. You may do everything
to help another, but if he has no confidence, if he does
not work also, there cannot be success. God also needs your
confidence and your effort for success.