“No one has swallowed back anything more excellent in the sight of Allah, Who is Great and Glorious, than anger he restrains (controls), seeking to please Allah Most high.” (Mishkaat)
Anger is a very strong feeling or emotion that we experience when we are offended (hurt) or upset. It could either be caused by an offensive word or statement or by a physical injury, i.e. someone hurting some part of the body.
Allah has instilled this quality in us as a “secret weapon” to be used mildly and rarely.
The Arabic word for anger is GHAYZ.
Allah tells us in the Holy Qur’aan in Surah Al Imran, Surah 3, Verse 134:
“…Those who restrain anger, and those who pardon (all) men; for Allah loves those who do good (righteous).”
This means that Allah loves a person who can control his anger, forgives people who commit any offence against him and still treat these very people favourably.
Every day we meet different types of people. Since we all do not have the same temperament (nature) we tend to disagree, feel offended and become angry. Therefore, in this lesson we will learn about the different degrees or levels of anger.
DIFFERENT LEVELS OR DEGREES OF ANGER
1. The anger of Allah when HE becomes displeased with us due to the disobedience of any of His Commands.
2. Righteous Anger (Justified)
3. Unrighteous anger (unjustified/uncalled for)
If people disobey the teachings of the Holy Qur’aan and Hadith, they will invite Allah’s anger. Natural disasters like earthquakes, drought, famine etc. are signs of Allah’s anger.
That is why the Holy Qur’aan teaches us in Surah Fatiha, Surah 1 Verse 7 to pray as follows:-
“Show us the straight path, the path of those who have earned your pleasure Your favour, Not of those who earn Your anger, nor of those who go astray.”
This means that we must ask Allah to guide us to do good deeds that will please Him and not do deeds that will bring about His anger.
Here is an event from the Holy Qur’aan that tells us how Allah showed His anger to the nation of ‘Ad.
ALLAH SHOWS HIS ANGER ON THE PEOPLE OF ‘AD.
Sayyidina Hud Alaihis salam was one of the very early Prophets sent by Allah to guide the people.
The people he was sent to were known as ‘Ad and they loved in the present-day Arabia. The ‘Ad were a very powerful and successful nation. Despite the many blessings Allah had given them, they still worshipped idols. 3 www.GardensOfSunnah.co.uk
Their main aim was just to increase their wealth, so that they could build huge mansions, which they thought would protect them against all sorts of disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, etc.
Sayyidina Hud Alaihis salam explained the following to the people ‘Ad:
1. He told them that he was the Messenger of Allah.
2. He told them about the Oneness of Allah.
3. He explained and reminded them of the numerous blessings Allah had given them, such as fertile land to grow fruit and vegetables, healthy animals and plenty of wealth to live in luxury.
4. He advised them to be grateful to Allah.
5. He told them to beg Allah for forgiveness and Taufeeq (ability to practice good behaviour).
6. He gave them the example of what happened to the people of Sayyidina Nuh Alaihis salam.
7. He told them that he had no desire to be their ruler (King).
8. He warned them of the anger and punishment of Allah.
Sayyidina Hud Alaihis salam preached for many, many years but the people of ‘Ad did not pay and heed to his words of advice.
Allah was very tolerant of their misdeeds. Allah allowed them much grace and time to change their ways. Since they still did not change, Allah displayed to them His first sign of anger. This appeared in the form of drought and famine.
When the people of ‘Ad still did not heed Sayyidina Hud’s Alaihis salam appeal to obey Allah and beg for forgiveness, Allah displayed His anger once again. 4 www.GardensOfSunnah.co.uk
This time Allah sent an extremely cold wind which blew for seven days and seven nights. The people of ‘Ad and all their belongings were destroyed. Only Sayyidina Hud Alaihis salam and his followers were saved.
Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace said:
“A community in the midst of which sins are committed and which could be, but are not corrected by the community, is most likely to be encompassed in its entirety by the punishment of Allah.” (Hadith)
This Hadith means that if some people in the community are doing wrong deeds and are not corrected by the others of the community, then Allah will become angry with both the wrong doers and those who did not correct the wrong doers. In other words, the entire community will be punished.
NOTE: It is the duty of every Muslim to do good and encourage others to do the same also.
In Surah Hud, Surah 11 Verse 102 Allah says:
And similar is the seizure of your Lord when He seizes the townships upon their injustice; indeed His seizure is painful, severe
“Such is the chastisement of your Lord when He chastises communities in the midst of their wrong; Grievous indeed, and severe is His chastisement.”
This means that Allah can punish us at any time if we do something which is against His teachings. Remember, Allah’s punishment can be very harsh.
2. RIGHTEOUS ANGER
It is justified to display one’s anger against anyone who speaks or writes words of blasphemy (disrespect) against: – 5 www.GardensOfSunnah.co.uk
2. The Holy Qur’aan- even if it be a single word or verse
3. Any of the Prophets (Nabi’s)
4. Any Sahabi of Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)
5. The teachings of Islam
It is duty of every Muslim to express their disapproval against such actions either in words, deeds or thoughts as Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:
“Whosever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart- and that is the weakest degree/level of Imaan.” (Muslim)
The above hadith means that if we see something evil taking place, then we must make use of our hands to remove it. If that fails, then we must use our tongue to speak out against it. If we are unsuccessful, then we must sincerely make Dua and ask Allah to change it.
Anger must be expressed when people write or make blasphemous statements about our religion.
THE HOLY QUR’AAN IS THE BOOK OF GUIDANCE THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE BUT WILL SERVE THE NEED OF HUMANITY FOR ALL TIMES. 6 www.GardensOfSunnah.co.uk
Therefore, Allah tells us in Surah Taubah, Surah 9 Verse 73:
O Herald of the Hidden! Fight against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be stern with them; and their destination hell; and what an evil place to return!
“Oh Prophet! Strive hard against the unbelievers And the hypocrites, and be first against them.”
This means that we must express our strongest disapproval against the enemies of Islam. Regarding criticism about the Sahaba, Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:
“On the person who criticizes my Sahaba rests the curse of Allah and angels and of men combined. Neither his Fardh nor his Nafl is accepted by Allah.” (Mishkaat)
This means that if anyone criticises the Sahaba, the curse of Allah, the angels and men will fall upon them. And if he is a Muslim, then his Fardh and Nafl Ibaadah will not be accepted by Allah.
We must not allow anyone to say anything against our religion and get away with it. Therefore, it is important for us to attend Madrasah regularly, so that we learn about our Deen and be able to defend Islam and its teachings.
3. UNRIGHTEOUS ANGER
This type of anger is unnecessary and is totally disliked by Allah. It is brought about by lack of trust in Allah, selfishness and pride. It is a kind of anger that should be controlled by us.
No matter how difficult it may be for us to control our anger, we must control it to please Allah.
Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: 7 www.GardensOfSunnah.co.uk
“No one has swallowed back anything more excellent in the sight of Allah, Who is Great and Glorious, that anger he restrains (controls), seeking to please Allah Most High.” (Mishkaat)
This hadith means that Allah is most pleased with the person who controls their anger for the pleasure of Allah.
To control our anger, we must do the following: –
1. Recite Ta’awwuz
2. Make Wudhu with cold water (since anger is like fire and cold water will cool it.)
3. Make Taubah sincerely- ask Allah for forgiveness.
4. Give Sadaqah (charity) as Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has said:
“Fear Allah wherever you are and follow up a bad deed with good deed as it will wipe out the sin. Behave well towards people.” (Tirmidhi)
Harmful effects of anger
If we do not learn to control anger, we will experience the following: –
1. In terms of health, anger puts great pressure on the brain, which in turn puts pressure on the veins and as a result the face becomes flushed and the eyes red. This gives a person an unattractive expression on his face.
2. It will make us say and do things which we may later regret as anger makes us lose control of our senses.
3. Valuable possessions might be damaged or ruined.
4. Worst of all, we may hurt someone or we ourselves may get hurt. We will even break up relationships with families and friends which will displease Allah greatly.
Therefore, our beloved leader Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has taught us how to control our anger in the following hadith:
“Whenever one of you gets angry whilst one is standing let him sit down. If anger goes out of him (that is good) and if not, let him lie down.” (Tirmidhi)
If we lose any of our possessions or if we suffer a person loss, then we should not become angry or upset, but we should recite the following Ayah from Surah Baqarah, Surah 2, Verse 156:
“To Allah do we belong and to Him is our return.”