The US has the highest homicide rate of any industrialized Western nation
Anger is the 2nd leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds
Anger is a leading cause of domestic violence
Anger is behind the rising “Road-Rage phenomenon”
Anger is even behind many physical diseases, such as heart disease (e.g. “type A personalities”)
“America is suffering from a kind of internal terrorism that is killing more of our citizens than any external threat from our enemies. The violence resulting from out collective inability to manage anger is having a devastating toll on our country, in terms of both damage to property and loss of lives.” -Leonard Ingram, president Chicago Anger Institute
In this session, we look at Prophetic narrations dealing with anger from the beautfiul Riyadh al Saliheen collection and conclude with 8 principles of Anger Management from the Qur’an and Sunnah:
ANGER MANAGEMENT FROM THE SUNNAH
- The Prophet said after seeing a man overcome with rage, “I know a word, the saying of which will cause him to relax, if he does say it. If he says: ‘I seek Refuge with Allah from Satan’ then all his anger will go away.” [Bukhari, Muslim]
إنّي أعلمُ كلمة ً لو قالها لذهبَ عنه ما يَجِد –
لو قال أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم
- “Anger comes from the devil, the devil was created of fire, and fire is extinguished only with water; so when one of you becomes angry, he should perform ablution.” [Abu Daud, Ahmad, authenticated by al-Arnaut but weak as per Albani]
إن الغضبَ من الشيطان ، و إن الشيطان خلِقَ من النار ، فإذا غضبَ أحدكم فليتوضأ
- Wudu as an activity takes your mind off anger; water has calming effect
3. Change Positions
- Abu Dharr narrated: The Apostle of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said to us: “When one of you becomes angry while standing, he should sit down. If the anger leaves him, well and good; otherwise he should lie down.” [Abu Daud, Ahmad, authenticated by Albani]
إذا غضب أحدكم و هو قائمٌ فليجلس فإن ذهبَ عنه الغضبُ ، و إلا فليَضطَجِع
- Physical change likely to lead to a mental change
- Modern Techniques:
- Find quiet place, lie down and relax.
- Physical time out: change activities.
4. Remain silent
- Hadith: “If one of you becomes angry then he should be silent.” [Ahmad, authenticated by Albani]
إذا غضب أحدكم فليسكت
- Modern techniques: Mental Time Out.
5. Never Act on Anger
- Narrated ‘Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakra: Abu Bakr wrote to his son who was in Sijistan: Do not judge between two persons when you are angry, for I heard the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, saying: “A judge should not judge between two persons while he is in an angry mood.” [Al-Bukhari; Vol. 9, No. 272]
6. Remembering Allah
- Al-Toofi: The strongest means of preventing anger is understanding the reality of tawheed; when one realizes that there is no mover or controller of affairs other than Allah, and all persons and actions are His instruments, then one accepts His will with calm
- Ibn Hajar: This is the secret behind isti‘adha: draws your attention to Allah and His tahweed.
- Modern techniques: Think pleasant thoughts.
7. Humbling yourself
- Among the most powerful precipitants of anger is Kibr- arrogance, the one who humbles himself and rids himself of arrogance will be protected from anger
- Islam proposes forgiveness and giving up your rights as a remedy [See al-A’raf 199, Al-Shura 40-41]
- Also see al-Nisa 148-149: theseverses revealed in early days of persecution, when natural and justified feelings of rage and anger were developing in the Muslims; Allah encourages them to take the higher moral ground: continue practicing virtue even in the face of evil and at least refrain from reciprocating evil [Maududi]