Hadith 16 : Don’t Be Angry

On the authority of Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him): A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) and said, “Advise me.” He [the Prophet (peace be upon him)] said, “Do not become angry.” The man repeated [his request] several times and he [the Prophet (peace be upon him)] said, “Do not become angry.” (Recorded by al-Bukhari)

Anger

Anger is a natural human reaction when being faced with something that one dislikes. One cannot prevent its occurrence, especially if injustice is upon him, but one can train and must train oneself to react as how Allah is please.

This is a good article explaining about anger, its triggers, its consequences, management. HERE

Shaytan’s Involvement

Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasalam said,

Anger is from shaytan, and shaytan was created from fire (Ahmad and Abu Dawud)

This suggest that shaytan continually strives to anger people and justify their anger so that they will lose balance, speak sinfully, commit crime, preserve hatred and resentment in their heart, causing them to behave in ways that will insure his companionship in Hell.

Anger Management

I have looked up for anger management for teenagers around the internet. Here are a bit of summary.

i. Knowing what trigger your anger. Identifying it and find ways to prevent it in the future.
ii. Knowing the consequences of anger. How much damage itwill do to you and others too. Choose solution that will have no damage.
iii. Keep calm and step away for a while.
iv. Talk to someone with an open mind.
v. Feeling angry is not a bad thing but acting it out uncontrollably is.

Besides that, in a long run there are things you can adopt to help you be able to control your emotion such as
i. Not to fret over small stuff
ii. Knowing that life is not fair and that Allah allows things to appen to you for a reason
iii. Exercise regularly. Enter competition. It helps you in training your level of endurance and patience. (do not take the examples of sportsmen who cannot control their anger though)
iv. Talk to people who are wise and exchange opinion on matters. Their insights may be invaluable. More often than not, you will come to realize some of the youth anger can be channeled positively.
There are four views, of which two of them are from the earlier scholars and the other two are from the contemporary scholars, about the interpretation of the Prophet’s, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, statement “Do not get angry”:

i. A person should learn how to change his character and adapt the characteristics of generosity, kindness, calmness, modesty, patience and forgiving. If a person adapts these qualities, then he may be able to restrain himself when he is about to get angry.
ii. One should not act based on anger or while being angry.
iii. When a person is about to get angry, he should control himself, be patient and not get angry. This is a contemporary view from Sheikh Al-Bitar.
iv. Ustaz Jamaluddin Zarabozo says that the text can be interpreted in the following way: a Muslim must think before acting or speaking. As soon as the feeling of anger appears to oneself, then there is a need to think of why the anger appears and whether it is necessary to be angry. While asking these questions, the person must remember Allah and the Hereafter (Akhirah). This will cause the person to calm down and not get angry.

Most importantly let us look at how Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasalam tells us to deal with anger. Remember we said that anger is from shaytan thus our utmost interest is to avoid the trap of shaytan as much as we can.

Anger is a feeling that can be controlled. In the same way that a believer should think before they speak, they should think before they act on the feeling of anger. As soon as the feeling of anger rises, one should ask oneself, “Why am I getting angry? Is this something really worth getting angry over?”

Among them are
i. Taking wudhu’ when you are feeling angry

AbuWa’il al-Qass said: We entered upon Urwah ibn Muhammad ibn as-Sa’di. A man spoke to him and made him angry. So he stood and performed ablution; he then returned and performed ablution, and said: My father told me on the authority of my grandfather Atiyyah who reported the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) as saying: Anger comes from the devil, the devil was created of fire, and fire is extinguished only with water; so when one of you becomes angry, he should perform ablution.

ii. Another remedy mentioned by Allah’s Messenger sallallahu alaihi wasalam

Narrated Sulaiman bin Sarad, r.a.

Two men abused each other in front of the Prophet while we were sitting with him. One of the two abused his companion furiously and his face became red. The Prophet said, “I know a word (sentence) the saying of which will cause him to relax if this man says it. Only if he said, ‘I seek refuge with Allah from Satan, the outcast.’ ” So they said to that (furious) man, “Don’t you hear what the Prophet is saying?” He said, “I am not mad.” (Bukhari)

iii. To change the state you are in

Narrated Abu Dharr, r.a.

The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) said to us: 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.

Scholars commented that the one who is standing is in a position to take revenge, while one sitting is less prepared for that, amd one stretched out on the ground is in the state of least readiness. Thus the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasalam intended to distance the angry person from confrontation until his anger has subsided.

What You Should Do or Not Do When You are Angry

The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said:

“If one of you becomes angry then he should be silent.” (Ahmad)

This is an important advice because during anger, most of our actions and speech may not be correct.

Narrated ‘Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakra: Abu Bakr wrote to his son who was in Sijistan: Do not judge between two persons when you are angry, for I heard the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, saying: “A judge should not judge between two persons while he is in an angry mood.” [Al-Bukhari; Vol. 9, No. 272]

This hadith is related to the previous hadith (Hadith 15) – it sets out to avoid the judge from making unjust judgement.

Not Being Angry Does Not Make You Weak

What Allah says about the Muttaqun

Al Imran 3: 133-134

133. and march forth In the Way (which leads to) Forgiveness from Your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqûn (the pious – see V.2:2).
134. those who spend [in Allâh’s Cause – deeds of charity, alms, etc.] In prosperity and In adversity, who repress anger, and who Pardon men; Verily, Allâh loves Al-Muhsinûn (the good­doers).

Perhaps this hadith will help us strengthen our self control when we are confronted with anger.

Narrated Abu Huraira, r.a.

Allah’s Apostle Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him 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.”

Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasalam is the Best Example

Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasalam example was reported by many of his companions. He, who was sent to mankind to teach them good moral conduct, learned to control his anger toward the Unbelievers and teach them appropriate expressions. He used to speak against being angry.

The Prophet (s), the best example for all mankind, would never get angry or take revenge for his own personal interest. His (s) anger was reserved for the sake of Allah (swt).

We think that we have it tough, when one of his days was probably tougher than the whole of our lifetimes! When we look at his life, our own difficulties seem so pathetic in comparison. Imagine spending 13 years completely devoting his life spreading the word of Islam and suffering hardship. This was a man who had the burden of the whole of mankind’s future on his shoulder. Yet he had the tolerance and self-discipline to be able to forgive those around him who were themselves so ignorant.

The best example of this was when the Prophet (saw) went to a place called Ta’if. This was at the time when the followers of Islam were at their weakest and the Prophet himself had suffered the loss of both his wife Khadijah (May Allah be pleased with her) and his uncle Abu Talib. He went to this town in the hope that they would listen to what he had to say. Instead he was insulted and chased out of the town by the children who threw stones at him till (it was described) the blood flowed from his body to his feet making his sandals sticky with his own blood. The Prophet was so depressed that he prayed to Allah, who then sent down the Angel of the mountains who asked for the Prophet’s permission to fold the mountains together and crush to death all those that lived there. But what was the prophet’s reply? “Yes, kill them all as they did not listen to me”? No, off course not! His answer was “No, I hope Allah will bring from them people who will worship Allah alone, associating none with Him.”

This was the example of the Prophet, even though he felt bitterness and was very angry with them, he had the discipline and control to not let his emotions control his actions and he forgave them realizing that they were merely misguided.

Righteous Anger

Not all anger is sinful. Anger that inspires a person to avenge his own personal feelings is indeed blameworthy. However, anger can also be felt for the sake of Allah and for His religion. This is the anger that a Muslim should feel when his religion is attacked, his beliefs blasphemed, and the honor and lives of the people are transgressed against. However, this anger, if it is truly and sincerely for Allah’s sake, will only inspire us to noble deeds and to personal sacrifice, and never to base, unjust, or ignoble actions.

The Companions relate that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would never became angry for anything. However, if the sanctity of Allah was profaned, then nothing could assuage his anger.” [ Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim ]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) never acted angrily for personal reasons. He never once so much as raised his voice to his servants or his family. Anas relates that he worked as the Prophet’s servant for ten years, and not once did the Prophet (peace be upon him) so much as say “ uff ” to him, or ask him when he did something “Why did you do that?” or ask him when he neglected something: “Why didn’t you do that?” [ Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim ]

The Companions relate: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) exhibited more shyness than a maiden in seclusion. If he saw something that he disliked, we would see it in his face.” [ Sahîh al-Bukhârî ]

Lessons

Anger is a normal reaction that everyone has. However some have better control and self restraint over another. There are too many negative consequences among them damaged relationship, hatred, fuelling more anger. To top it will affect the health such increase in blood pressure.

There are several tips to manage anger as narrated by Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasalam that we can follow Insya Allah.

Not being angry is not a sign of weakness, in fact as what Prophet Muhammad sallalhu alaihi salam, the strong ones are those who can control their anger.

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