“Something is different about you Adrian. You seem calmer, more at peace with yourself.”
“I found my call in Islam.” Adrian replied.
“Wait, what? I did not see that coming?”
His best friend Mark had known him since forever. They grew up together and knew pretty much everything about each other.
What Mark knew best about Adrian was his anger issues. He totally sucks at suppressing his anger. So if Adrian becoming Muslim meant he would be of a more tranquil nature, Mark was thinking maybe it was good for him after all.
Why Do People Get Angry?
People usually get angry for reasons such as frustration, helplessness, injustice, severe pain, etc. Also, some people are more tense by nature.
Something might trigger a reaction as well, such as a family member or friend commenting on something or even for no reason whatsoever.
Once you fall prey to your anger and choose to act out; shouting and perhaps even getting verbally or physically abusive is when things get bad. You choose to give in to your weakness instead of trying to be forbearing. Self-control is key here.
That is why Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) described the true strength of a person as:
The strong person is not he who has physical strength but who can control his anger. (Al-Bukhari)
Why Suppress Your Anger?
Let’s face it, most people choose not to suppress their anger as it is so much easier to just lose it when you get angry. Controlling that fume is so much harder. Let’s explore the benefits though of suppressing that anger; you will realize it is more of a win win situation.
Allah praises those who restrain anger:
Those who spend freely, whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon all men; for Allah loves those who do good. (Quran 3:134)
Tips From the Sunnah on Suppressing Anger
Tip 1: Seek Refuge with Allah
In a hadith reported by Al Bukhari, a companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him) by the name Sulayman Ibn Sard said:
“I was sitting with the Prophet (peace 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 Muhammad (peace 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 Allah from the Shaytan,” what he feels (i.e., his anger) would go away.
Tip 2: Shift Your Posture
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
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. (Abu Dawud)
This has an amazing effect on diverting one’s attention away from what is angering them.
Tip 3: Perform Ablution
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) recommended:
When anyone of you gets angry, let him perform ablution because anger arises from fire. (Abu Dawud)
Just like water puts out the fire, anger arises from fire so naturally it needs water to ‘put it out.’ It has an extraordinary healing effect to the raving anger.
Tip 4: Be Quiet
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) advised:
…When you get angry, be quiet.
Once a word is uttered you can not take it back. Unfortunately, the most hurtful words are uttered under rampant anger. Staying quiet is a priceless advice.
Tip 5: Say I’m Fasting
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had a tip for Ramadan as well:
If you are fasting and somebody tried to insult you or offend you, you should say I’m fasting.
In Ramadan some people could get extra sensitive due to lack of sleep and/or hunger. “I’m fasting” is a reminder that one should remain in a state of self-control so as to attain piety.
Stories From the Past
In a hadith narrated in Muslim, a companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him) named Abu Ma’ud Al Badri said:
“I was hitting a slave of mine when I heard a voice behind me saying:
Know Abu Mas’ud, Know Abu Mas’ud.
I did not comprehend the words as angry as I was until the voice got closer. I turned around and it was the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying:
Know Abu Mas’ud that Allah is mightier on you than you are on this boy.
Abu Mas’ud replied that the boy is therefore a free-man. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to him that if he did not do just that, then he would have been touched by the fire of hell”.
A man said to the Prophet:
The Prophet said:
Do not get angry.
The man asked (the same) again and again, and the Prophet said each time:
Do not get angry. (Al-Bukhari)
SubhanAllah, the true date of Laylatul Qadr was withheld because of an argument that took place between two Muslim men! ‘Ubaadah bin ‘Saamit said:
‘Once the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) came out to inform us the true date of Laylatul Qadr. (Unfortunately at that time) an argument took place between two Muslim men, whereupon he said:
I came out in order to inform you as to when Laylatul Qadr was, but because two people argued (the fixing of the correct date) was taken away. Perhaps that is better for you. So seek it among the ninth, seventh and fifth nights. (Reported in Mishkaat)
Stories From the Present
A Muslim mother-of-four whose veil was ripped off by a convicted racist has pleaded for her attacker’s freedom after she discovered he had cancer.
“I did not realize the man had cancer. I don’t want him to go to prison,” 39-year-old victim, who was not identified, told The Daily Mirror on Tuesday, March 21.
“I would like the judge to bear that in mind when he does sentence him.”
Esma Ali, a Muslim woman living in Monrovia, was interrogated as a suspect for committing crimes, as she walked down her neighborhood wearing a hijab one day. These were crimes Esma felt she never could have imagined committing! What shocked the officers was Esma’s response, rather than holding a grudge against the officers, she decided to hold a “Thank You” event for the officers because of the dignity they showed her.
Anger is the root of all evil. Nothing good comes out of anger but all goodness comes out of self-control. It only takes seconds to create a huge problem out of anger. How many times have you regretted over its’ consequences? On the other hand, I am sure you have never regretted being patient.
Follow The Sunnah of Suppressing Your Anger For a Better Ummah.