The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “When Allah loves someone then He tests him: as for whoever is content – Allah will be pleased with him; and as for whoever is discontented – Allah will be displeased with him.” [As-Suyuti; al-Jami as-Saghir]
A Muslim may experience one of two states as regards what he dislikes: the state of being content, or that of being patient. Both are praiseworthy but being content is a higher quality, while being patient is a duty which the believer must fulfil.
Being patient involves restraining the self and preventing it from giving in to resentment, in spite of any suffering that it experiences – in the hope that the misfortune which afflicts it will come to an end – as well as restraining the limbs from behaving badly, out of impatience.
Being content, on the other hand, involves feeling at ease in accepting the Divine Decree, and being unconcerned with when any suffering will stop, even though it is being experienced. If the contentment increases in its intensity, then it removes the experiencing of any suffering altogether.
But from where does such contentment come?
It comes from knowing that Allah ta’Ala is always right in whatever He decrees. It comes from knowing that only Wisdom, Beauty and Perfection are the source of all that He decrees. It comes from knowing that “no misfortune happens without the permission of Allah” [Quran: Surah At-Taghabun, Ayat 11]. And so we place our trust in Him.