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Anger - The killer disease

Anger is a normal emotion that is within every human. Anger is part of human nature. The real question is, what is the permissible level of anger? How can we handle that anger when we do become angry?

The way one reacts when angry determines the conduct of a person. If one loses control and becomes completely overwhelmed by anger then it turns destructive and can lead to problems at work, in relationships, and in the overall quality of one's life. Anger opens the door to all bad qualities and staying away from it opens the door to all good qualities. Anger opens the door to all other evil.

Do not become ANGRY

A man came to Nabi (Salllahu Alaihi Wasallam) and asked him for advice. He r said, “Do not become angry.” The man repeated his request for advice, and each time, the Prophet replied with this one phrase: “Do not become angry.” (Bukhari)

“Do not become angry” does not mean that it is impermissible to have any sort of anger, because that would be outside human ability. It is obvious that as humans we need to live and interact. We will at times disagree or become upset with the approach and attitude of others. This can lead us to becoming angry and venting our emotion on others by words or even physically.

We cannot avoid people's anger and aggressive attitudes, but can surely deal with such situations in a manner that diffuses the problem. Anger is likened to fire. And if you fight fire with fire, then this would result in an explosion that causes harm to all affected by it. Pouring water onto fire will have a calming effect and serve to diffuse the destruction it could cause. So by adopting a calm, tolerant and composed approach to a situation will serve to combat anger like water extinguishes fire.

Rasulullah (Salllahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Anger is from shaytan and shaytan has been created from fire. Only water puts out fire, so if any of you gets angry then make wudhu.” (Abu Dawood)

Who is a strong man?

Nabi (Salllahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “The strong man is not the one who can wrestle, but it is the one who can control himself when he is angry.” (Bukhari)

This hadith gives us a profound definition of a strong man. Generally strength is attributed to the physical abilities of a man. Here we learn that physical ability and strength count for nothing if a man cannot control his emotion and anger.

Harmful effects of anger

There are many harmful effects of getting angry. These effects can harm us physically, psychologically, socially or emotionally. It is well known today that anger causes many health problems and can be a symptom or cause of mental illness, especially if not controlled.

Neurologists claim that every time you resist acting on your anger, you're actually rewiring your brain to be calmer and more loving.

Let us examine some practical methods in which we can develop the control of anger and better our conduct.

Regard anger as a malady that needs cure

If you get angry quickly then acknowledge this deficiency and weakness and work out ways to lessen and overcome your temper.

One remedy is to let go of the situation. If someone is angering you or provoking you, let it be. Move away, avoid reacting or just make a kind dua for the poor fellow. All this will save you the trouble of shouting back, screaming, defending your argument and will make the opposite person think differently as to your reaction. You will lose nothing but much will be gained psychologically.

Be the one who keeps the peace

By not reacting aggressively and diffusing a potentially explosive situation you will be championing the cause and concept of peaceful existence and upholding the principles integrity and honour.
“Do not be angry with each other and do not envy each other and do not turn away from each other, and be slaves of Allah, brothers. It is not proper for a Muslim to shun his brother for more than three nights.” (Muwatta Imam Malik)

React with calming statements and dua

For example, “I understand how you feel, I know you must be angry, etc. Try and avert the angered person from thoughts that continue to anger them. Shower the person with good wishes and duas.

Diverting the whole situation into a pleasant tone will help lessen tensions. On the other hand, harsh words trigger retaliation.

Hate the act not the person

When provoked then concentrate your anger and hatred towards the wrong action and not the person.

If you hate the attitude of the person who's angry direct this hate to the person by responding harshly to the person, then you are no better. To be the better person you have to react differently.

Three instant ways of combating anger

1. Recite Ta'awuz – Aoozu billahi minash shaytan nir rajeem

2. Change your posture – sit down if standing or lie down if sitting

3. Drink water - wash face hands - make wudhu

Remember, the relationships and attitudes you cultivate within your life will determine who you are.

Darul Ihsan Centre

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