Patiently Facing Annoyances
Abdullah ibn Umar reports that the Prophet once said, “A believer who engages with people and is patient when he faces annoyance from them shall have greater reward than he who neither interacts with others nor remains patient at the troubles caused by them.” (Musnad Ahmad, hadith no. 5022)
A person who lives all by himself, without any social interaction will not face any unpleasantness at the hands of others. But someone who lives amidst others and interacts with them and is socially engaged, will very naturally face various troubles, big and small, from others.
Why is someone who leads a socially-engaged life, where he or she has to face opposition from others, better than someone who leads a reclusive, lonely life?
The reason for this lies in a law of nature. Every person is born with innumerable capabilities. But these capabilities are in a potential state. In order to actualize this potential, one must have to face some shock or the other. The system of nature, you could say, is based on the principle of ‘shock treatment’. If you can withstand the shock that you face, your capabilities, that lie deep in your own self or nature in potential form, will begin to activate and unfold. Your intellectual development will proceed apace. On the other hand, if you are not ready to face and tolerate shocks, you cannot develop intellectually, and you will die just as you are now, without making any real progress.