We are often told that we should control anger.
Does it mean not to feel angry at all? Is this an Islamic teaching?
No. Anger is an element of our emotional plane; it is part of us and often we need it for motivation to stand up for our just right.
We need it to fight against oppression and tyranny.
Anger gives us energy to eradicate injustice, abuse and all other evil practices that destroy peace and increase sufferings.
But anger has to be within control. If not, anger causes chaos.
Anger is like fire. If we use it in a controlled manner like in our safe stove, we can cook with it for our benefit. When the fire gets out of control, it would burn us into ashes and cause severe destruction.
Almighty Allah admonishes us for controlling our anger; and not for ‘not feeling angry.’ “Who controls anger and pardon (all) man: Verily Allah loves those who do good” (Holy Quran 3.134).
Why do you feel angry?
If you ask yourself this question and find the answer, it will help you to control your anger.
Usually people say, “I feel angry” when they see injustice, when someone lies to them, when someone criticises them, when someone tells them off, when someone puts them down, when their child does not listen to them and when they are sick and so on.
I do not think that these are the main reasons for anger.
Suppose that a child says to his or her father, “You silly dad!”
That comment would make the mother angry and she would retort, “What did you say? You must apologise to your father!”
But the father may say, “We did not teach our child well. It is our fault.”
Why it is that one person was angry and the other was not?
That was because the parents had two different mindsets, two different ways of looking at the same thing.
Our mind set is a combination of how we see things, how we analyse them, how we rationalise them and how we see the results.
Almighty Allah gives guidance to a person who uses his or her mind for thinking, and reasoning.
“Men who remember the praises of Allah, standing, sitting and lying down on their sides and contemplate (wonders of) creation in the heaven and the earth.” (Holy Quran 3:191).
Therefore, if we want to control our anger, we have to control our mindset.
The things that make us angry will be the same occurrences in our life.
Can we remove all these occurrences not to feel angry? Can we change the world to suit us for not to feel angry? Will we ever have a perfect world where we will never feel angry?
No! We cannot change the world and its imperfection but we can change our mindset. That will fix the problem. We will see the same disruption but we will feel controlled and wise and we can use our anger in a controlled manner to achieve positive outcome.
Islamic teachings target our mind to be equipped with the right information, the divine teachings, tips from the Almighty and how to see the result before an action.
Allah’s teaching is not faulty, not imbalanced; it provides guidance in every inch of our life including anger and guarantees successful outcome.
“And there will come to you guidance from Me; those who follow My guidance, for them there shall be no fear, and they shall not suffer.” (Holy Quran 2.38)
Anger and Satan
The Holy Quran tells us that anger and Satan have a close link.
Satan looks for every opportunity to take us out of control.
When we are out of control, we tend to make mistakes and mistakes take us closer to the Hell Fire.
Prophet Mohammed (Peace be Upon Him) tells us, “Al Gadabu Minash Shaitaan”)’Anger is from Satan’- Hadis from Abu Dawood)
What does that mean? We learn from hadis that when someone feels angry about something, Satan pushes that anger button and does not let it go.
This is because he wants the person to feel angrier and do wrong so that the person will lose something forever, regret forever, be depressed and be negative about everything.
Satan wants one bad snap to ruin love relationship, reputation and precious faith.
How to drive away Satan?
We are not alone when we are angry. Satan is with us to misguide our anger towards reckless and dangerous direction.
Our task then is to drive the Satan away so we can control our anger to use it wisely and constructively. Because we do not see Satan (he can see us), it becomes an uneven battle for us.
Islamic knowledge from Almighty Allah offers us a rescue plan. We cannot find this plan in any science laboratory or university, but in our Holy Book.
“If a suggestion from Satan attacks your [mind], find [your] shelter with Allah; Verily, Allah hears and knows [all things].” (Holy Quran 7.201).
How do we seek shelter with Allah when we are angry? It is simple.
We must say ‘Au Dhu Billa Hi Minash Shai Taa Nirrazeem’ three times.
“I am seeking refuse in Allah from the cursed Satan.”
It is easy and simple. We do not need a knife, gun, tank or bomb.
We need not become violent. Merciful Allah taught us a very easy and peaceful way to drive away our greatest enemy.
Source: Rocket Science, Newsletter of Mt Albert Islamic Trust, Auckland