Quranic Reflection No. 437. Āyat 52:48 – Before Allah’s Eyes

وَاصْبِرْ لِحُكْمِ رَبِّكَ فَإِنَّكَ بِأَعْيُنِنَ
Wasbir lihukmi rabbika fainnaka bi-a‘yunin
And wait patiently for the judgment of your Lord for surely you are before Our eyes.
(Sūrat al-Tūr, No 52, Āyat 48)

This verse tells the Holy Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-ālhi wasallam to be patient in the face of all the accusations against him. The enemies spread many false things about him, wanting others to believe that he was a poet, a sorcerer, a mad man… anything but a Prophet sent by God. They hoped that the accusations would make people doubt the authenticity of his words. They troubled him in many ways. In the face of opposition and rejection the Prophet is told to be firm and steadfast. This patience would steel him and enhance his resolve to spread the mission.

There are two things mentioned in this verse which help in maintaining the resolve of patience:
1) That the judgment of Allah ‘azza wajall will come to pass. According to Allāmah Tabātabā’ī in Tafsīr al-Mīzān, the judgment would be regarding the rejecters of faith. They would be granted time to accept but would eventually have a seal on their hearts due to continuous rejection.
2) That the Prophet is under Allah’s watchful eye. The Almighty is fully aware of what is happening and is in complete control. Allah (swt) is not heedless of all that happens and its effects on the Prophet.

‘Bi-a‘yunina’ is a term that signifies caring concern as well as protection. It is to show the source of the patience that the Prophet should have. The understanding that he is not alone as he faces difficulties. God is with him, watching the moves of the enemies and safeguarding him from them. His grace envelops the Prophet and whatever befalls him is accounted for by God. This reassurance is a source of support and comfort. It motivates and energizes. It can give solace to a flagging spirit. It also emphasizes the sense of responsibility.

The same term is used when Prophet Nūh (a) is told to build the ark. Allah subhānahu wata‘ālā tells him: Build the ark before Our eyes and by Our revelation (Q 11:38). It is a reassurance to Prophet Nūh that all his efforts are seen by Allah and the hardships he will undergo when building the ark will be before the eyes of God.

When Imam Husayn ‘alayhis salām was faced with the heartbreaking tragedies of the Day of Ashura; he uses the same words to point out the source of his solace. According to Hadith, after burying his son Ali Asghar, the Imam says: What has befallen me is made easier by knowing that it is in front of Allah’s eyes (Bihār al-Anwar, v. 45, p. 46). The supreme patience required for such a calamity could only come from knowing that God was watching.

Recite this verse to increase your patience and motivation in difficult times. All that happens to you happens in front of Allah’s eyes, Who rewards immensely for our patience. He is watching and the ultimate end will be according to His decision and plan.

Sources: ‘Allāmah Muhammad Husayn Tabātabā’ī, Tafsīr al-Mīzān; Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (Ed.), Tafsīr-e Namūneh