Do the angels share with us any patience? The angels are unable to experience desires that may overwhelm their reason and knowledge. Devotion and obedience for them are like breathing is for us. Therefore, it is unimaginable that they have patience, the real essence of which is to keep the forces of reason and religion firm against the forces of lust and desire.

They have the quality of steadfastness that is suitable for them, i.e., to be constant and steadfast in what they have been created for, without any interference from lust or desire.

When a man’s patience is so powerful that it overwhelms the motives of lust and desire, he reaches the level of the angels, but if the motives of passion and desire defeat his steadfastness, he joins the rank of the devils. When he is unable to restrain himself from the habits of eating, drinking and sexual activities he descends to the level of animals.

Qatadah said:

“Allah, the Almighty created angels with reason without desire, He created animals with desire without reason and He created humankind and endowed him with the faculty of reasoning and with desires. So, if a man’s reason dominates his desire, he joins the angels, but if his desire controls his reason, he becomes like the animals.”

Excellence of Patience & Gratefulness by Ibn al-Qayyim, Darussalam Publishers, Abdul Ali