The importance of controlling your anger
BY SUMAYYAH MEEHAN
28 December 2007
OVER the recent Eid Al Adha holidays, I witnessed a very unfortunate event. Two men became embroiled in a street brawl over something as ridiculous and petty as a parking space! One of the men was really muscular but was remaining calm in the face of this really slender guy screaming at him because he supposedly ‘stole’ the parking space.
But the muscular guy’s patience was wearing thin and finally he manhandled the slender guy and pushed him hard against the hood of his own car. They continued to fight each other until another man intervened and reminded them that it was Eid and that they should be more patient.
The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) warned us against anger in several authentic hadiths. In one, instance a man came to Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and asked for advice. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Do not get angry.” The man repeated his question several times and the response was the same. “Do not get angry.” (Bukhari)
As with everything in our lives, Islam gives us the tools we need to succeed in this world. Anger is a harmful beast that can be tamed in all of us. It is simply a matter of having the mindset to implement these tools when anger flares up.
The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) gave some very beneficial advice for controlling anger: “If one of you gets angry when he is standing, let him sit down, and if that does not take away his anger, then let him lie down.” (Abu Dawood)
There is also an immense reward for being patient and forgiving when others seemingly trespass on our property or sensibilities.
The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said: “Whoever controls his anger at the time when he has the means to act upon it, Allah will fill his heart with contentment on the Day of Resurrection.” (Saheeh Al Jaami)
The only cure for anger is to take preventative measures to control it. Brute force, muscles, strength and fortitude are not the things that make us strong. Strength lies in being able to control our emotions for the sake of Allah and our fellow men. This is a lesson that most of us should have learned in kindergarten classes, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
Sumayyah Meehan is a Kuwait-based American writer who embraced Islam.