”I was so angry and in the process divorced my wife! I did not mean to!”
How many times have we heard this line? May Allah protect the ummah…Ameen.
Dear reader, all of us at some time or another have experienced this natural human emotion; we have even witnessed anger in children!
Anger is an adaptive response to threats; it inspires powerful, often aggressive, feelings and behaviors. It invokes the mind to behave in an antithesis (complete opposite) manner of mercy, compassion, self-restraint, and kindness.
Anger varies in intensity from person to person; for some of us it is mild irritation, frustration and annoyance which would be dealt with quietly and internally whereas for others it is a full blown rage in which hurt is caused to oneself or others, both spiritually or physically.
Both forms if left unchecked and uncontrolled, can lead to the evilest of deeds and to the worst and most tragic consequences.
Those who keep anger bottled up and do not express it outwardly may have averted immediate danger however may fall prey to the effects the anger can have on their bodies internally i.e. hypertension, depression etc. It is also possible that if this quiet anger is not dealt with, the person will behave in a passive aggressive manner (trying to get back indirectly) or develop a perpetually cynical and hostile personality.
It is our Islamic duty and responsibility to learn how to manage this anger. When one feels angry there are physiological and biological changes in the body; heart rate and blood pressure rises as do the levels of certain energy hormones. Consequently managing anger can be done on two fronts:
1) Avoid the causes of anger
2) Calm down internally
Islam being the complete way of life has taught us steps that can be taken to help achieve this internal calmness when Shaytaan instigates aggressiveness.
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) is reported to have said:
“Anger is from Satan, and Satan was created from fire. Fire is but extinguished by water, so if one of you gets angry, he should perform wudu (ablution)’.” (Sunan Abi Dawood).
He (SAW) also advised: “If one of you gets angry and he is standing, then he should sit down until his anger subsides. If it does not, then he should lie down.” (Sunan Abi Dawood).
We should seek refuge with Allah Almighty when we become angry.
Sulayman ibn Sard said: “I was sitting with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and two men were slandering one another. One of them was red in the face, and the veins on his neck were standing out. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 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 Allaah from the Shaytaan,” what he feels (i.e., his anger) would go away.’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, 6/337)
The Prophet (SAW) further advised us not to speak when we are angry. He said: “If one of you gets angry, he should be quiet.” (Musnad Ahmad)
May Allah Almighty protect our marriages and make us from amongst those who can exercise mercy and forgiveness especially when we have the chance and power to exercise aggressiveness. Ameen.
By: Sheikh Sajid Umar – Follow him on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sajid-Ahmed-Umar/379316922096011