In this day and age there are many things which would drive a person to anger. Perhaps it is the frustration at one’s boss, or maybe the situation at home is a volatile one and your family members are getting on your last nerve, or maybe the driver in front of you is going too slow prompting a fit of road-rage. Whatever the situation anger seems to be the first emotion our minds resort to. It is as though we are unaware that Allah Almighty has stated: “And those who swallow their rage and pardon people. Allah loves the doers of good.” (3:134)
Allah is the Creator of man, he understands that man will become angry, however he loves that person who controls his anger. The Prophet has stated: “The strong man is not the one who throws others down on the ground. Rather, the strong man is he who masters himself when he is angry.” (Bukhari: 6114) All men want to be strong, they will go to the gym, perhaps involve themselves in a martial art in order to get the title of ‘a strong man.’ However, the best of creation is giving that title to one who is master over his anger definitely not a slave to it.
Indeed, anger is such an emotion that it makes a person do things that he would never do if he was in a normal state. Often being a cause of much regret in the future. How many marriages have been broken because one spouse got too angry? How many friendships have been ended because one party could not control their anger? That is why the Prophet himself has instructed us not to lose our temper: “A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘Messenger of Allah, teach me something but not too much so that i might commit it to memory.’ He said, ‘Do not become angry.'” (Tirmidhi: 2020) The Greatest of Messengers knew that anger would lead even the most intelligent man to ruin, which is why he instructed us not to lose our cool in a difficult situation.
He further counselled, to a man who had become angry due to the abuse of another man: “I know a phrase-if he said it-what he experiences (of anger) would leave him; if he were to say: “I seek refuge from the accursed shaytaan (Satan)” (Bukhari: 3282) (Muslim: 2610) The Prophet also said in regard to controlling anger, “If any of you become angry while standing then let him sit down. Then if the anger leaves him…, but if not then let him lie down.” (Ahmad 5:152) (Abu Dawud: 4782) As this makes it less likely that he will lash out at a person. He also advised; “When any of you become angry, let him say nothing,” and he repeated it three times (Ahmad 1:239) as again if a person is quiet he is less likely to use profanity or to utter something foolish. The Prophet also encouraged a person to use water to cool down in the heat of anger: “Anger is from Shaytaan, and Shaytaan is created from fire, and only water extinguishes fire. When any of you become angry then wash (as for prayer).” (Ahmad 4:226) (Abu Dawud: 4784) What comprehensive advice!
May Allah give us true strength at the time of anger, May he allow us to avoid any actions that will elicit remorse later on, May he forgive our outbursts of anger. Ameen.