What is Anger?
It is many things. Anger is a type of madness. It issues from a man when he is vain and something does not please him. In that moment, he destroys what he has built up for many years because it is far easier to destroy than it is to build. It is our secret weapon towards evils but may result in destruction of many noble qualities. It snatches away the wisdom of man and thus he becomes a brute beast devoid of any sense. Anger is a temptation and deception of Satan.
In a Qur’anic verse concerning anger, Allah SWT has explained three qualities of his special servants:
1) Those that swallow their anger,
2) They forgive the mistakes of Our Servants,
3) They not only forgive, but do an act of kindness upon them, and Allah loves such people.
Abu Huraira (R.A) narrated that Allah’s messenger S.A.W said:
“Strength is not measured by brute physical strength, but a person is strong when he is able to control himself when he is angry.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W) said:
“Those who are merciful will enjoy Allah’s mercy; show mercy towards others on earth, that Allah in heaven may show His mercy to you.” (Tirmidhi)
What does anger do to you?
- Anger can damage your social reputation.
- Anger can damage your relationship with your family, friends, and colleagues.
- Anger can deprive you of power to make a right decision.
- Anger can damage your business.
- Anger can deprive you of peace of your mind and make you emotionally unstable.
We sometimes get angry with family members, at work and in other situations. But whether you are right or wrong in your anger, you need to control yourself, for you risk making irreparable damages with your words and actions. Anger is an unnecessary waste of your energy. Anger deprives you of your peace of mind.
How can we control our anger?
You need to realize that you are angry and emotionally charged. Stop what you’re doing, get away from whatever is irritating you, and take deep breath.
Realize your anger, ignore the other person and walk away. If you must, do this a few times until the person gets the hint that you will not tolerate it. It’s okay to use your words or body language to tell somebody you will not tolerate how they are treating you, as long as you respond to them in a calm and matter of fact manner, without being hurtful or trying to embarrass them as they have you.
“Anger is the effect of Satan and Satan was created from fire. And water extinguishes fire.” (Hadith)
So drink water to cool yourself down. If you are standing at that time, then sit down, and if you are sitting, then lie down. In this way you are getting further away from taking revenge.
“So overlook any human faults with gracious forgiveness.” (Al-Hijr 15: 85)
Then analyze your anger. Who or what is it directed at? Why is it invoked? Who should it rightly be directed at? Is it appropriate to get angry at such a situation? Is this anger helping the issue? Or is it damaging the circumstances even more? How could it better be handled?
Finalize your course of action. How are you going to control the situation best, without letting your anger influence the quality of your judgment and decisions? Then act upon it, and stand firm.
Seek Refuge with Allah:
Suleiman bin Sard narrated:
“I was sitting with the Prophet, when two men began slandering one another. One of them was red in the face, and the veins on his neck were standing out. The Prophet said: “I know a word which, if he were to say it, what he feels would go away. If he said: “I seek refuge with Allah from the Devil,” what he feels would go away.’”
The Messenger of Allah said:
“If a man gets angry and says: “I seek refuge with Allah,” his anger will go away.”
Think about the good things that person has done for you. Try to discuss the situation with yourself. Let negativity sweep away by practicing positive self-talk.
“But pass over their faults and say: “Peace “, soon they shall know “(Az-Zukhruff: 89)
Be considerate of others, and ultimately, yourself. The way you react will ultimately affect your surroundings. If you have to rebuke someone for doing something wrong, you can always do it calmly, in a private place. This method is always better for everyone in the long run. The other person will surely listen to you and be sorry for his behavior IF you control your anger at that time and softly explain to him your side of the story.
An Anger Treatment Prescription:
Hazrat Moulana Thanwi (RA) prescribed a treatment for a person whose anger always overpowered him.
- He advised him that when his anger cooled down, he should ask for forgiveness from the one to whom his anger had been directed.
- He should apologize to him in a gathering, for this method will break his pride. It will also prevent him from losing his temper with people, for fear of being disgraced in an assembly or in public.
- When anger overpowers one, immediately divert the mind towards one’s own faults and shortcomings.
- Ask ourselves how would we like to be treated by Allah Ta’ala if He were to punish us for our wrong doings? Would we not want that Allah forgive us?
- In the same way just as we love to be excused and pardoned, we too should become merciful and forgiving towards those who have wronged us.
After all, the person can never have wronged us to the extent that we have sinned in front of Allah. Yet, what is Allah’s treatment towards us? Time and again He has spared us through His benevolence and tolerance, if He so wishes, he can destroy us now! Allah is so kind and tolerant towards us, we are dependent on His forgiveness always, and then why should we not forgive the person?
The virtues of controlling anger:
There are many virtues in Ahadith regarding a person who controls his anger. In Tabraani, it is narrated that Rasulullah (S.A.W) said: Who ever controls their temper Allah will take away punishment from him and who so ever safe guard’s his tongue Allah will conceal his sins.
Concluding, the three ways shown in the ahadith to control you temper and anger are the following:
(1) To say ta’uuz.
(2) To perform ablution or drink water.
(3) To change position.
May we all be able to better handle our anger.
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