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Controlling anger, forgiving others

Controlling anger, forgiving others

In this characteristic, lies the crux of the problem for human nature. You see, anger and forgiveness go hand in hand. It is very easy to get angry, but it is very difficult to forgive. Just sit back and ask yourselves at this moment, how many friendships we could have saved; how many family disputes we could have avoided; how many severed relationships we could have mended, if we knew what Allah has said to us about it in the Qur’an. Anger and forgiveness are inseparable for in order to control one you must lose the other.


When one gets angry he loses his control over himself and thus is liable to say or do things that he may regret later when he regains control over himself. Even doctors and psychologists, in this 121st century, have proved through scientific research that when human beings get angry, they are in a state of subconscious in which they do not realise what they are doing.
This is why our Prophet described anger as a raging fire (Abu Dawood) and advised the Muslims not to say or do anything till their anger had subsided. A simile can be drawn here since fire destroys everything it engulfs. Similarly anger destroys human beings, since it is burning the individual who is angry as well as the people on whom that individual is letting his anger out on.
This is why in another hadith the Prophet said to the Muslims, “If you have nothing good to say remain quiet.” Meaning use the tongue only for halal good purposes otherwise keep quiet, because if you don’t then you are accumulating sins through the tongue. Certainly, the tongue will stand witness on Day of Judgment against you, because Allah says which means
“And they will say to their skins,” Why do you testify against us?” They will say: Allah has caused us to speak, – as He causes all things to speak...” (Surah Fussilat 41:21)
The tongue is a blessing which Allah has given to all of humanity. For he says in the Qur’an which means:
“And a tongue and a pair of lips.” (Surah Al-Balad 8:9)
This tongue can cause great harm if not used properly and guarding against it is very important. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
“Whoever guarantees me (the chastity of) what is between his legs (i e his private parts), and what is between his jaws (i e his tongue), I guarantee him Paradise.” (Bukhari)
One of the key distinctions of a true believer is the ability to control anger as described by Allah in the Qur’an:
“Those who spend in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves the good-doers.” (Surah ‘Ali-Imraan 3:134)
If we were to look at this aayah for a moment and see what Allah is saying with the many Ahadith mentioned about restraining our anger we would be able to understand them better. To share just a couple of them, the Prophet said:
“The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger.” (Bukhari)
In another hadith the Prophet mentions how to repress our anger. Allah’s Messenger said:
“When one of you becomes angry while standing he should sit down. If the anger leaves him, well and good; otherwise he should lie down.” (Tirmidhi)


Today, a person is considered powerful if he can show his strength and might through his anger or any other source, and by the same token a person who is mild, cool and easy going is considered to be a weak. This is indeed a sorry state to be in, and is a complete contradiction to our religion. As Muslims we have to understand that we have to see what the Qur’an and Sunnah are saying in regards to each aspect, and not follow the tide of society we are living in. From childhood to old age the social scientist, the psychologist and the psychoanalyst have been feeding us with the notion that we are to let it out i e our anger and not repress it.


Unfortunately some of these misguided people have influenced the Muslim community as well. We find people being less and less tolerant with each other and being more and more violent.
Alhumdulilah Allah has saved us from these wicked theories and given us His Glorious Book. In this Book He says “And Obey Allah and his Messenger, and do not dispute (with one another) lest you loose courage and your strength depart, and be patient. Surely Allah loves those who are patient.” (Surah Al-Anfal 8:46)
Instead of letting it out, here we are told to be patient by our Lord who is Knower and Hearer of all things.
We are encouraged by our Creator over and over to forgive others, so that He may forgive our mistakes. It is a double reward with Allah for implementing this characteristic, because Allah says in the Qur’an which means:
“...Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah An-Noor 24:22)


The mercy of Allah overcomes his anger as this is recorded in Saheeh Al-Bukhari. In his infinite mercy He has given us so many chances and opportunities to benefit from them. If we could even follow this simple hadith of the Prophet who said:
“He who conceals (the faults) of a Muslim, Allah would conceal his faults in this world and in the Hereafter,” not only would we benefit immensely, but our brother would be saved of being humiliated at the same time.
I pray to Allah that he give us the understanding to forgive each other and to refrain from being angry at each other. Ameen.

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