Anger – How to control it
Anger has been created to dispel harm. If there were no anger, then how could we dispel that which was harmful to us? Like a sword whose job it is to cut. On whosever throat you place the sword, it will cut. It is the choice of the sword wielder to use the sword on a fit occasion. Similarly using anger when it is not appropriate is also bad.
There is indeed difficulty in controlling anger but later on there is a certain special pleasure as well. If one doesn’t control anger and says whatever one wants to say, then the Self (Nafs), but later on there develops a certain grime in the heart and then regret. Peace and solace become nonexistent. The same Self, which was inciting you earlier, now reproaches you. After this, on seeing the results of the anger, one feels really sorrowful. That is why, use anger appropriately. This was what the Companions (May Allah be well pleased with them) did.
When anger takes root in the heart, then it creates many (spiritual) diseases like enmity, jealousy, rancor, etc. It is as if anger is a seed which leads to many evils. It is due to anger only that one curses oneself and one’s children. Divorces happen and homes are shattered and people commit suicide and this anger goads people into committing murders as well. That’s why dispelling anger is highly necessary.
If there is cheap stuff in the house, then ordinary locks are used and if there is expensive stuff, strong locks are used and if there is a treasure in the house, a lot of locks are placed and a guard is also set. In the same way, considering its importance, special preparations are needed to control anger as well. Remember that a Muslim gains the status of a worshipper and ascetic by being calm and composed.
Hadhrat Imam Ja’afar Saadiq (May Allah be well pleased with him) said: The root of every evil is anger and one’s forbearance is tested in times of anger.
Hadhrat ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (May Allah be well pleased with him) asked the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam): What can save me from the wrath of Allah Most High? The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: You stop being angry at others and Almighty Allah will not be angry with you.
Hadhrat Sulaiman bin Dawood (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) says: One should desist from being angry all the time as excess anger destroys the heart of a forbearing man.
The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: The man who contains his anger and doesn’t express it, in spite of being able to do it, on the Day of Judgment, Almighty Allah will fill that person’s heart with His love and pleasure.
Once, Hadhrat Imam Hussain (May Allah be well pleased with him) was having a meal with some guests. A servant dropped piping hot dish on the head of the Imam. The Imam looked at him with displeasure. The slave recited this verse of the Holy Quran:
The Imam said: I have contained my anger. The slave recited:
The Imam said: I have forgiven you. The slave again recited:
The Imam said: I have freed you for the sake of Almighty Allah.
Did you notice? This is not expressing anger even when having the ability to do so. This is forbearance and forgiveness. Every Seeker (Saalik) should also develop the same.
Cures for anger
If one gets angry, one should immediately make ablutions (Wudhu). Praise be to Allah! What a beautiful cure. Anger is from Satan who is made from fire. So anger is like a fire and fire is doused with water. That is why anger is lessened with ablution.
The second cure is that if one is standing, one should sit. If one is sitting, one should lie down so that one gains complete power to contain that anger. Anger is arrogance. It is dispelled with humility.
The third cure is to recite: ‘Aoodhubillahi Minash Shaitaan Nir Rajeem. This contains the anger.
The fourth cure is to think that Almighty Allah is also angry with one. First, anger one’s own self should be dispelled and only then should one think about expressing anger onothers.
The fifth cure is to leave that place, as if the person whom we are angry with is not before us, anger automatically cools down.
Don’t be angry. Its evils are not ordinary. A person requested the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam): Please give me some special advice. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: Don’t be angry. The Companion made the request thrice and the Prophet gave the same answer thrice.
[Excerpted from Mawaaiz-e-Hasana, Vol. 1]