Tag Archive | Sunnah

Prophetic Guidance in Anger Management

fire1Consider this:

  • 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

[click here for audio]

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:


1. Istiadha

  • 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

2. Water/Wudu

  • “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

8. Forgiveness

  • 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]

Reliving the Sunnah: Ongoing Commentary on Riyadh al-Saliheen [MCMC]

The greatest Muslim generation was that of the Noble Companions of the Prophet. The secret to 1754534their greatness? In their daily lives, they heard two things: the words of Allah and the words of the Messenger of Allah. In our communites and masajid today, we hear the words of Allah in the daily prayers but seldom here the Prophetic traditions. With Allah’s grace, we are embarking on a grand project of weekly readings from the Prophetic Sunnah, utilizing the text Riyadh al-Saliheen of Imam Yahya bin Sharaf al-Nawawi, here at MCMC NJ.

There are 1896 hadith in the text, and if we read 3 per week it would takes us 12 years, at 5 per week 7 years, and at 10 per week about 3 1/2 years. We seek Allah’s assistance in making this a reality. I will be uploading the weekly audio.