Anger is a natural feeling experienced by every person. Although it is natural, anger can have serious consequences for us as well as the people around us. According to a narration by Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, a man said to the Prophet (PBUH), “Advise me.” He replied, “Do not become angry”. The man repeated his request several times, and each time the Prophet (PBUH) told him, “Do not become angry” (Reported by al-Bukhari).
It can’t be clearer that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) even advised against anger, so today we’re going to share some ways and tips recommended by the Quran and Sunnah, to control your anger.
1. Seek refuge with Allah
In a hadith reported by al Bukhari, a companion of the Prophet (PBUH) by the name Sulayman Ibn Sard said, “I was sitting with the Prophet (PBUH), and two men were slandering one another. One of them was red in the face, and the veins on his neck were standing out. The Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘I know a word which, if he were to say it, what he feels would go away. If he said “I seek refuge with Allah from the Shaytan,” what he feels (i.e., his anger) would go away’.
2. Be calm and silent
When a person becomes angry, there is high tendency for them to lose control and say things they will regret forever. That is why it is extremely important to stay calm and be quiet. Think about what you are about to do or say. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “If any of you becomes angry, let him keep silent”.
3. Change position and make Wudu
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in a Hadith narrated by Ahmad and Abo Dawood (deemed authentic): “If one of you got angry while standing then sit down, or if sitting down then lay down. If anger does not go away then do Wudu”.
4. Remember the promise of Allah
Allah has promised a great reward for the righteous (muttaqoon) who keep away from the causes of anger and struggle within themselves to control it, as it is one of the most effective ways of extinguishing the flames of anger.
One of the Ahadith that describes the great reward for doing this is, “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” (Reported by al-Tabaraanee).
Another great reward is described in the Prophet’s (PBUH) words: “Whoever controls his anger at the time when he has the means to act upon it, Allah will call him before all of mankind on the Day of Resurrection, and will let him choose of the Hoor al-‘Ayn whoever he wants” (Reported by Aboo Dawood, 4777, and others. It is classified as hasan in Sahih al-Jaami‘, 6518).
5. Remember the Sunnah
The most perfect man ever, our beloved Prophet (PBUH) has set numerous examples from which we can learn. He was a leader, but he only got angry solely for the sake of Allah. If it was not something that affected the religion or something that displeased Allah, he would not be angry.
One of the most famous narrations reported by Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, who said: “I was walking with the Messenger of Allah (saws), and he was wearing a Najraanee cloak with a rough collar. A Bedouin came and seized him roughly by the edge of his cloak, and I saw the marks left on his neck by the collar. Then the Bedouin ordered him to give him some of the wealth of Allaah that he had. The Prophet (PBUH) turned to him and smiled, then ordered that he should be given something”.
Subhan Allah, from this exmaple we can see the Prophet (PBUH) never got angry at others, despite having been treated badly. It only goes to show his self-control and patience.
6. Remember the effects of anger
Anger is like poison. Within minutes it can destroy everything a man has built- marriages, brotherhood, and friendship. It can even lead to bloodshed. One should be conscious of these effects and be very careful with one’s choices when in a state of anger.
7. Remember that Allah is mightier than you
In a hadith narrated in Muslim, a companion of the Prophet (PBUH) named Abo Masood Al Badri said: “I was hitting a slave of mine when I heard a voice behind me saying: Know Abo Masood, Know Abo Masood. I did not comprehend the words as angry as I was until the voice got closer. I turned around and it was the Prophet (PBUH) saying: Know Abo Masood that Allah is mightier on you than you are on this boy. Abo Masood replied that the boy is therefore a free-man. The Prophet (PBUH) said to him that if he did not do just that, then he would have been touched by the fire of hell”.
8. Make du’a
Du’a is the most important and powerful tool of a Muslim. Therefore, we must always pray against evils and for God to protect us against bad behaviour of any form.
There are many du’as that the Prophet (PBUH) used to make and this was one of them: “O Allah, by Your knowledge of the Unseen and Your power over Your creation, keep me alive for as long as You know life is good for me, and cause me to die when You know death is good for me. O Allah, I ask You to make me fear You in secret and in public, and I ask You to make me speak the truth in times of contentment and of anger. I ask You not to let me be extravagant in poverty or in prosperity. I ask You for continuous blessings, and for contentment that does not end. I ask You to let me accept Your decree, and for a good life after death. I ask You for the joy of seeing Your face and for the longing to meet You, without going through diseases and misguiding fitnah (trials). O Allah, adorn us with the adornment of faith and make us among those who are guided. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds”.
On a final note, keep in mind that anger and reacting to anger does not make you a strong man. The hadith narrates that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “A strong man is not the one who throws people down, a strong man is the one who withholds himself from anger”.
Anger can destroy relationships, health, properties and livelihood. This is because uncontrolled anger is from the Shaytan and he uses it to wreck lives. We must therefore be very conscious of the plot of the devil, and control our anger. There is a better reward for this in this world, and in the hereafter, In sha Allah.