May 29, 2024
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ANGER MANAGEMENT IN LIGHT OF THE QURAN AND SUNNAH

Anger Management in Islam: Insights from the Quran and Sunnah

WHAT IS ANGER?

Anger is an emotional state that is triggered by inner turmoil and the desire for revenge. When this agitation turns violent, it increases the anger’s fire. An intense commotion takes over the brain due to which the mind and the intellect loses its control and is rendered powerless. It is the reason why people who are affected by this kind of trauma become blind and insensitive to guidelines and etiquettes.

Anger is an area of weakness, yet most people view it as strength. In truth, it’s just sparks that set your body on fire, and later you cause others to burn. The fire that you ignite is not only destructive to you, but also hurts other people too. The Imam of Baqir (a) stated: “Indeed, this anger is an ignition source set by Satan in the soul of Adam’s son. Adam (Al-Kulayni, Al kafi Vol. 2 page 304 and hadith no. 12)”.

THE DEVASTATING EFFECTS OF ANGER

While anger is natural but it can be detrimental on people who let it influence their emotions. It impacts one’s mental wellbeing which can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety as well as guilt, anger, and feeling of isolation. It’s not just about psychological health but can have a significant impact on the physical health of a person as well. This includes headaches, eye strains and upset stomachs, heart issues etc.

It also affects families and the entire society. If someone is upset and then acts on the anger, he increases anger amongst himself and those who surround him. As the result people break connections with the person. The worst can cause death and bloodshed. In the end, whoever is displeasing Allah and decides to turn away from the path of righteousness and is then subject to consequences until He is able to seek forgiveness or mercy from Allah.

ANGER MANAGEMENT IN LIGHT OF THE QURAN

As human beings, we experience various emotions that we are in control of. The emotion of anger is one of them and the strongest. For us, fortunately, Allah has told us in the Quran how to handle anger. This is the reason why the Quran is an important source of knowledge that will assist us in living an Islamic life. Allah has instructed us to suppress our anger in every situation, no matter how testing they are. He has explicitly mentioned this in the Quran when He states:

“Those who spend (in Allah’s cause) in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger and who pardon men, verily, Allah loves Al-muhsinoon (all good doers).”

[Surah Al-e-Imran, 133-134]

What greater accomplishment can be achieved other than the love of Allah and, as they say that we are in His Good Book? Repressing anger can cause a situation which can quickly turn ugly This is the reason why Allah has ordained it for us. Allah has repeatedly spoken about the need to suppress anger and forgiveness repeatedly and repeatedly in the Holy Quran by giving examples of His prophets, as well. Allah says in Quran:

“Prophet Ibrahim’s (PBUH) father said to him: ‘I will surely stone you, so avoid me a prolong time.’ He (PBUH) responded: ‘peace be upon you’”.

[Surah Maryam, Ayah 47]

If someone is not sure what to do in any circumstance it is best to go to the Holy Quran and seek Allah’s direction and consult the prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and our pious predecessors to figure out the most effective way to behave.

Another instance of a man’s ability to control his anger is described in the life of The Holy Prophet (PBUH) when a person approached him about the murderer of a relative. He (PBUH) asked”Pardon him” however the man did not agree. The Prophet (PBUH) advised”Take the blood money’, but the man was still refusing. The Prophet (PBUH) told him”Go kill him. because you are exactly like him. After this, the man allowed him to go.

In other instances, anger management is also discussed in the Quran and in conjunction with it is mention of the extent to which a person who manages his anger is appreciated by Allah. It is mentioned:

“So whatever you have been given is but (a passing) enjoyment for this worldly life, but that which is with God (paradise) is better and more lasting for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord. And those who avoid the greater sins, and illegal sexual intercourse, and when they are angry, they forgive.”

[Surah Shurah, Ayah 36-37]

Being able to manage anger is an indicator of righteousness. A person who is righteous is promised a paradise. Therefore, let us be careful with our anger, and avoid saying any words that cannot be changed back. It is stated: “Yet forgive and overlook, till God bring His command (Surah Al-Baqarah)”. It is certain that the person who controls his anger is pleasing to Allah and abides by the traits of the righteous believers.

ANGER MANAGEMENT IN LIGHT OF HADITH AND SUNNAH

The emotion of anger is one of the evil words of shaytan, which can lead to a variety of bad things, and Allah is aware of their fullness. To this end, Islam has a great number of things regarding this negative characteristic. The prophet Mohammad (PBUH) provided ways to treat this condition as well as ways to minimize its consequences. Among these are some of them:

1. Looking for refuge in Allah from the Shaytaan

Sulayman Ibn Sard said: “I was in the presence of The Prophet (PBUH) and two men were making fun of each other. One of them was red in the face and the veins on his neck were sticking out. It was said by the Prophet (PBUH) stated: “I can say a word, should he say it, he would feel that the anger would disappear: “I seek refuge in Allah from the shaytaan”, what does he feel (anger) would disappear.’ (Reported by Al-Bukhari in his book. 054 Hadith no. 502)”.

2. Keeping silent

Allah’s messenger Allah (PBUH) stated: “If any of you gets angry, he should remain in silence (Reported by Imam Ahmed, Al Musnad. Also see saheeh Al-jaami 693 4027)”. This is because a person who is angry loses control and may speak words of awe or curses, or even the words of divorce that would ruin his home, or remarks of slander that could cause a lot of ire and resentment of other. Therefore, avoiding speaking is the best way to avoid unpleasant situations.

3. Still not Moving

A messenger from Allah told us: “If any of you is angry and is standing sitting, take a seat, so that his anger will be gone. If it doesn’t disappear, lay him down (Abu Dawud book. 034 and hadith no. 4764)”.

The person who narrates this believed is Abu Dharr and there is an account that goes with the story he tells:

“He was drinking camels at his trough at the time, and other people were there and they were saying (to each other)”Who can beat Abu Dharr (in taking animal drinkers) and cause his hair to grow long? One man replied”I can do it’, and which is why he took his animals to compete with Abu Dharr. The result that the trough became broken (i.e. Abu Dharr was hoping for assistance in the watering of his camels) however the man acted out, causing the trough break. Abu Dharr stood, so the man sat down. He then laid down. One of his friends asked him: “O Abu Dharr. Why did you lie down and sit and lie down?’ He replied”The messenger of Allah has …(repeated that the Hadith)”.

4. Following the advise of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)

Abu Hurayrah reported that the man told God the Holy Prophet (PBUH) “advise me and I will be grateful’. To which the Prophet replied”do not get angry’. The man recited his request many times, and each time, the Prophet advised him to not be upset’ (Reported by Al-Bukhari, Fath al Bari, 10/456).

5. Don’t get angry, and heaven will be yours

The practice of recollecting the promises Allah promises to those who are righteous and stay away from the reasons for anger and fight within themselves to manage it, is one of the most efficient ways to smother the anger flames. One of the ahadith that describes the reward that comes from accomplishing this is: “Whoever controls his anger, when he is in a position to take action on it, Allah will fill his heart with happiness at day of resurrection. Day of resurrection (Reported by Al-Tabarani on 12/453. Also see shaheeh Al-jaami 6518)”.

6. Be aware of the high status that is offered

A messenger from Allah declared: “The strong man is not the one who can overpower others (in wrestling), rather, the strong man is the one who controls himself when he gets angry (Reported by Ahmed, 2/236)”. The more rage you have is, the more prestigious the status of the person in charge it.

7. In accordance with The Prophet’s (PBUH) model

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is our leader and has set a great standard in this regard. One of the most famous Ahadiths was narrated by Anas who stated: “I was walking with the messenger of Allah (PBUH) as He had on his traditional najraani cloak, which had an uncooperative collar. A Bedouin was able to grab the man roughly by the edges of his cloak. I noticed the marks left on the neck by the collar. The Bedouin demanded that he give him a portion of the riches that Allah that he owned. He was astonished by the Prophet (PBUH) looked at him and smiled. He after which he ordered that the person should receive something (Agreed on, Fath al Bari, 10/375)”.

8. To the glory of Allah

Another method in how we can emulate the actions from the Prophet (PBUH) is by making our angrily for Allah whenever His right are infringed. It is what we call the type of anger that is highly praised. As an example prophet Muhammad (PBUH) got angry when he learned of his imam, who had been making it difficult for people off praying by prolonging it as well as when he was able to see curtains with illustrations of animals as praying. His anger was solely to please Allah.

9. Be aware of the negative effects of anger

The negative side effects of anger are numerous. In short they can cause harm to yourself and other. The person who is angry may say words of insults, or they may be violent towards other people (physically) in an uncontrolled way, sometimes at the point of murder. Ilqimah Ibn Wawa’il said how his father (may Allah be pleased with his son) stated to him:

“I was seated in the presence of Prophet (PBUH) when the Prophet (PBUH) was approached by a man and was dragging another by rope. He said : ‘O messenger of Allah This man murdered my friend’. Allah’s messenger Allah demanded: “Did you murder him did you kill him?’. He replied: ‘Yes’. The Prophet asked: “How was it that you killed the man How did you kill him?’. The man answered: “He and I were pounding an oak tree in order to make leaves fall for animal feed. He was a slanderer to me and I hit with an axe on his forehead with an axe and killed him. …..’ (Reported by saheeh Muslim 1307 and revised by al-Baaqi)”.

Extreme anger can result in social discord and the break-up of family bonds. It can cause in sadness for children, anger, regret mental stress, and a stressful life.

10. Supplication

Dua “a” (supplication) is always the weapon for the believer. Hence, it prays to Allah to shield him from harm, troubles and anger. One of the dua ‘a of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was:

“….O Allah O Allah, I ask You to cause me be afraid of You in the privacy of my home as well as in public and ask You to help me declare the truth in moments of joy as well as in times of anger …. (Saheeh Al-Jaami, 3039)”.

Anger is a human nature. People differ in how they react to anger. It may be challenging for an individual to not become angry, but people who believe will keep in mind Allah at the time they are in a state of mind and will look to Allah for help and direction. May Allah help us find the path of righteousness and allow us to be the most revered of His people.

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