“Those who spend (in Allah’s cause) in prosperity and in adversity, who repress their anger, and who pardon men, verily, Allah loves the al-Muhsinun (the good-doers).”
[Surah Al-Imran (3) : Ayah 133-134]
Abu Hurairah related that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said: “A strong person is not the person who throws his adversaries to the ground. A strong person is the person who contains himself when he is angry.” [Al-Bukhari; Book 47, No. 47.3.12]
I despise confrontation and do my best to stay away from it, so anger has never been a prominent emotion in my life. The idea of hurting the ones that are closest to me pains my heart, and anger is an emotion that leads to this. A temporary loss of our senses leads us to saying things that are hurtful: bursts of strong, deep-felt words that often come out with exaggeration and aggression. My late father always used to say that the best way to win an argument is to walk away, and without a doubt, his wise words have helped me to remain calm in the face of adversity. A moment of anger may temporarily help us to release pent up emotions, but ultimately it can lead to pain and regret.
So what is it that sparks off that fire? What triggers our blood to start boiling? Many a time it is our nearest and dearest that evoke this negative emotion – clearly, the ones we love the most are the ones that will also upset us the most when they speak or act in a manner that displeases us. To take a deep breath and respond with calmness is not an easy task, especially if you are a strong, passionate person who reacts instinctively with emotions. This is where one’s faith comes in. Our existence in this world should be a positive experience, not just for ourselves but for all of those around us, and reacting to negativity with serenity and understanding allows those around you to be inspired. It takes a bigger man to walk away, a bigger man to react with a smile, rather than with aggression and it is this concept that many faiths preach to their followers.
Unfortunately, there are many cases of Muslims reacting to an act of injustice, however big or small, with outright anger. Anger that sometimes breeds violence. These cases of overt cruelty towards humanity weighs heavily on the hearts of those Muslims who try their upmost to uphold the above quotations from the Quran and Ahadith. Many of us attempt to live the life of our supreme role model, the prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) yet a minority ignore the strict guidelines that our faith makes, choosing instead to follow the animal instinct that hides in all of us, breeding misconceptions of Islam and truly betraying the very heart of our faith.
We may not be able to control those who turn their anger in to violence, but as individuals we can all attempt to hold back our anger, not just for ourselves, but for the sake of others. Anger breeds negativity and negativity diminishes good health. It is an unpleasant characteristic that, when not kept in check, can draw people away from us. Let us all remember to take a deep breath when we feel those anger bugs bite and let us all learn to walk away. Time always makes what seemed like the end of the world less of a disaster so take some time out rather than jumping, head on in to the war zone. Learn the art of anger management – the rewards are truly beneficial for all.