Control Your Anger by Sheikh Saud Ash-Shuriam

As sala’amu alaikum 

I had come across a interesting and a speech that is well worth reading and learning from, it is given by Sheikh Saud Ash-Shuriam, who is one of the Imams in Makkah, May Allah reward the Honorable Sheikh. Aameen.

Walaikum as salaam 

بنت محمد ،

Bint Muhammed.

Control Your Anger

(by Sheikh Saud Ash-Shuriam Rajab 6, 1423 (September 13, 2002)

All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all the Worlds. May peace and blessings of Allaah be upon the Messenger, his       Household and Companions.
Brethren in faith! This world has never known an individual -in its long history- whom people had collusively wronged and abused with most insulting words in spite of perpetuity of his mission, his truthfulness and honesty like Muhammed, the Messenger of Allah. He had indeed been abused and insulted by all categories of the society. The poets had satirized him; the leaders of the society had mocked at him; and magic spell had been cast on him. When the day which Allah had promised His Prophet came and He conquered for him the city of Makkah, Rasulullah (SAW) entered the Sacred House and circumambulated it with people around him. Everybody was fixing his gaze on him in expectation of what he was going to do with his enemies. It was then that he said his famous word, “O people of Quraish! What do you think I am going to do with to you?”
They answered, “Good. For you are a noble brother, the son of a noble brother.”  Rasulullah (SAW) then said, “I am telling you what (Prophet) Yusuf (AS) told his brothers: “No reproach on you this day. Go, for you are freed.” It is then that great men like ‘Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl and Hind bint Utba embraced Islam and repented. The poets also turned in repentance and sought Rasulullah (SAW) forgiveness like Ibn Az-Zab’ury and Ka’b bin Zuhayr. He did not but forgave all and overlooked their past deeds.
Allahu Akbar! How beautiful is forgiveness in the midst of power, how excellent is generosity during hardship and glory in the midst of humiliation! None deserves all this more than the Messenger of Allah. Allah says about him:

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ
“Verily you (O Muhammad!) You are on an exalted (standard of) character.” (Surah Al-Qalam 68:4)
Dear Muslims! It is by this and other great stances that the Messenger of Allah was able to eradicate the customs and traditions of the time of ignorance and its darkness through different kinds of knowledge and guidance. It was by his forbearance and sense of forgiveness that he was also able to prevent corruption. Allah addresses him:

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ لِنْتَ لَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ كُنْتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانْفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ ۖ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ ۖ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ
“And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you.” (Surah Al-Imraan 3:159)
Rasulullah (SAW) has cancelled all the vows of the time of ignorance and established the pillars of the society on virtue and good conduct. He removed ignorance and anger and all admonitions he gave to people are directed toward this goal. Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Abusing a Muslim is an act of sinfulness and fighting him is an act of disbelief.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim) Fellow Muslims! Forbearance means to rebuke one’s soul when it wants to deviate to forbidden things when the opposite of its desires occurs. During anger, forbearance means to control oneself and suppress the anger. Forbearance is also the garment of knowledge; whoever misses it has revealed his nakedness to people. Does falsehood bring any good? Anger is the companion of evil and forbearance means peace of mind and prosperity for all people. Men are very different in nature though they all originated from the same parents and their differences are a great test; that is why Allah says:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ إِلَّا إِنَّهُمْ لَيَأْكُلُونَ الطَّعَامَ وَيَمْشُونَ فِي الْأَسْوَاقِ ۗ وَجَعَلْنَا بَعْضَكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ فِتْنَةً أَتَصْبِرُونَ ۗ وَكَانَ رَبُّكَ بَصِيرًا

 “And We have made some of you as a trial for others; will you have patience? And your Lord is Ever All-Seer.” (Surah Al-Furqaan 25:20)
There are among people a forbearing and deliberate man who when afflicted with hardship, composes himself as there are among them a lighthearted, inpatient, gullible and foolish one who is easily influenced by insignificant things. Such a person talks and acts before he thinks and at the end, blames himself for that. Rasulullah (SAW) has warned, “Do not say a word that you will need to apologize for tomorrow.” (Ahmad) This is because, apology will be of no avail, for his act and word of anger must have already done their havoc. And the angry man has not left any opportunity for reconciliation when he was in his rage; for when he was then admonished, he would increase in rashness and when he was reminded he would increase in rage. Rage sometimes, leads some people to insanity when they believe that they have been disgraced so woefully that it is only by killing that they can be satiated. Do you think that any Muslim who lives by the virtues of his religion can think of pain of committing such a grievous act? A Muslims must know that insults affect the one who makes them before they reach their goal and that the first victim of the Fire is the one who makes it? It is therefore not suitable for the bighearted Muslim to lose the control of his temper. He should rather be patient and forbearing and show compassion to those who misbehave towards him, so that he may lead them to good and eventually cause them to praise him. There are some people who cannot suppress their anger. You will always see them angry and annoyed. If anyone harms them you will see them flying with unsurpassed rage, cursing and discrediting. Their rage may even lead them to stupidity where they curse a door if they find it difficult to open, or an animal or curse a woman or break her ribs for flimsy things and then divorce her for a thousand times. His rage can also lead him and his wife to fighting like dogs and cocks and cursing each other which only naturally result into their children being made orphans while they are still alive. Rasulullah (SAW) said, “The Muslim should not be a defamer nor a curser or obscene or immodest.” (At-Tirmidhi) Then, do not ask of the regret of the two couples when regret will be of no avail. They will then be looking for excuses and consulting judges and muftis in an attempt to remove the effect of their senseless rage that has already destroyed a vital family structure that could have been saved had anyone of them been able to suppress his anger. Then what is the sin of a child who goes out of a home like this, gloomy and constrained, moving here and there and looking for a way of relieving himself of the distress. He can in this state, fall into the hands of beasts of darkness and society wolves. He may then follow them and get lost in the cause taking hard drugs and intoxicants. All this is a result of a rage of his father or mother that was ended with name calling, beating and even cursing and expulsion. The family structure is hereby destroyed and the society is disorganized. Fellow Muslims! A man may show forbearance out of weakness or cowardice, such a person gains nothing and loses nothing. But if he claims to be patient while he actually is incapable of punishing his opponent, that is the habit of mean people. When he deceives by his patience and shows signs of the believers while inwardly he harbors hatred and rancor and aims at retaliating, such a person is wicked and recalcitrant. He is a disease in the body of any society he lives and he will be exposed and disgraced by Allah. If he is however forbearing and good-natured though he is able to punish the offender, such a person is like Ashajj Abdul Qays to whom the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “You have two traits that are loved by Allah and His Messenger: forbearance and deliberateness.” He asked the Messenger of Allah, “Is this something that I adopted or naturally inborn for me?” He answered, “It is naturally inborn for you.” He then said, “Praise is due to Allah Who created in me two traits that Allaah and His Messenger love.”
If he is naturally easily annoyed and is inconvenienced by his offender, but is patient, hoping for reward and forgives the offender, though he is capable of retaliating, and follows the injunction of his faith that enjoys righteousness and forbearance, such will be rewarded in this life and the Hereafter. In fact, he is the one described with real power in the saying of the Messenger of Allah, “The powerful is not the one who can fight, but the one who can control himself when angry.” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim) Rasulullah (SAW) also said, “Whoever suppresses anger though he is capable of giving vent to it, Allah will call him in front of all creatures and will ask him to choose whomever he likes of the houris of Paradise to marry.”
May Allah protect us from anger and its evil effects. May He also grant us forbearance. Allah says:

 وَسَارِعُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ الَّذِينَ يُنْفِقُونَ فِي السَّرَّاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ۞

“And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the pious, those who spend in (Allah’s cause) in prosperity and in adversity who repress anger, and who pardon men. Verily, Allaah loves the good-doers.” (Surah Al- ‘Imraan 3:133-134)
Brethren in faith! It is incumbent on us to follow the teachings of our pure religion as well as the directives of the Messenger of Allah. We must suppress our anger and not do any action that we will come to regret later. A Muslim is also required to seek for Allah’s protection against the evil of his soul and its lust and against Shaytaan.
Listen, dear brethren, to an admonition of Rasulullah (SAW) to one of his companions who asked him for an advice. Rasulullah (SAW) told him repeatedly, “Do not be angry”. The meaning of this Hadith is that, one must not act according to one’s anger, one should rather struggle to suppress that anger. For when anger overwhelms man, it becomes his master. This is referred to in the Saying of Allah:

وَلَمَّا سَكَتَ عَنْ مُوسَى الْغَضَبُ أَخَذَ الْأَلْوَاحَ ۖ وَفِي نُسْخَتِهَا هُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِلَّذِينَ هُمْ لِرَبِّهِمْ يَرْهَبُونَ

“When the anger of Moses was appeased, he took up the tablets: in the writing thereon was guidance and Mercy for such as fear their Lord.” (Surah Al-Araaf 7:154)
So when man struggles with own soul, he prevents the evil of anger from himself. This is referred to in the Qur’an where Allah says:

وَالَّذِينَ يَجْتَنِبُونَ كَبَائِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَالْفَوَاحِشَ وَإِذَا مَا غَضِبُوا هُمْ يَغْفِرُونَ

“And when they are angry, they forgive.” (Surah Ash-Shura 42:37)
Brethren in faith! People view anger in different perspectives, but in the general framework of Islamic Law, it is of three categories:
1) : Moderate anger. This is when man becomes angry in order to defend himself, or his religion, dignity or property. Had this type of anger not existed, anarchy and lawlessness would have held sway in the society. Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Whosoever is killed while protecting his wealth, such a person is a martyr; whosoever is killed while protecting his honour, such a person is a martyr and whosoever is killed while defending his life, such a person is a martyr.” (Ahmad)
2) : Allowing one’s anger to go below the state of moderation. That is when man refuses to be angry where he should. This condition is repulsive especially if the issue has to do with the rights of Allah. Ayesha (RA) said, “The Messenger of Allah never stroke anything with his hand be it a woman or a maid. He only did that when he fought in the way of Allah. He was also never attacked and he sought for revenge on his attacker except when one of the rights of Allah was violated, it is then that he would avenge for Allah.”
3) : Allowing anger to overwhelm one’s reason and religion; a state that can lead angry man to commit major sins. This category of anger cannot be suppressed except by following the direction of the Messenger of Allah. He says: “If anyone of you becomes angry, let him keep silent.” (Ahmad)
In another hadith, two men exchanged insult in the presence of the Messenger of Allah and the face of one of them became red out of anger. Rasulullah (SAW) then said, “I certainly know that if this man says, ‘Aoodhu billahi minash-Saytaanir rajeem’ (I seek refuge with Allah from Shaytaan the accursed) his anger will go away.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

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