Anger Management

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Question:

Assalaamu ‘alaikum

Respected ‘Ulama

If someone says something which angers you (particularly a family member who one lives with), will it be permissible to walk away without responding, until your anger has subsided?

What is the correct manner to respond in, and also, what can one do to control their anger and not lose their temper quickly?

Jazakallah

Answer:

Bismihi Ta‘ala

Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barkaatuh

Respected Sister in Islam

1. When somebody has angered you, if there is a strong fear that by remaining there you are going to say or do something which may escalate the matter and worsen the situation, then you should quickly leave until you have cooled down.

However, if the opposite person is a senior, such as your parents, teachers, senior family person, etc. then you should do what is the dictates of adab and respect. If just turning around and walking away would be considered disrespectful, then you should remain quiet and not move away until the person is finished. You may then respectfully take leave. If you really fear that you will blurt something which will cause even greater disrespect to the senior, then you should quickly leave, but as soon as possible, you should then apologize for having left and also state the reason, that it was just in order to avoid any disrespect that you feared you may fall in. 

2. In order to control anger, you should undertake the following:

a) Whenever you feel angry, immediately start reciting ta‘awwuz (a‘oozu billahi…). Also, keep reciting durood. If, on any occasion, you forget to do this when angry, you will nevertheless remember later that this is what you should have done. In such a case, impose a penalty upon yourself for having forgotten, such as performing four rakaats nafl salaah, giving some sadaqah, etc. Insha-Allah, if you keep imposing a penalty upon yourself each time that you forget to do what you should have done when you get angry, in a short time, you would become very conscious and will manage to refrain from venting your anger.

b) If your anger is being provoked, quietly leave the room and calm yourself down by drinking some water, engaging in some other work, etc.

c) Make muraaqabah (meditation) of the following daily:

- Make muraaqabah of the following aayat of the Quraan Majeed:

وَسَارِعُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿١٣٣﴾الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ فِي السَّرَّاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗوَاللَّـهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿١٣٤﴾​

Race with one another towards forgiveness from your Rabb and towards a paradise, the width of the heavens and the earth. It has been prepared for the Allah-fearing. Those who spend (for Allah Ta‘ala’s sake) in prosperity and adversity, control their anger and forgive people. And Allah Ta‘ala loves those who do good. (Surah Aal ‘Imraan v. 134-134)

Very slowly recite this aayat several times while pondering over its meaning. Then, contemplate that it is the Day of Qiyaamah and those who suppressed their anger are being forgiven and sent to Jannah, but those who vented their anger are being led in the opposite direction. Feel the fear and the horror of being led towards Jahannam. After pondering over this for a short while, make sincere taubah and commit yourself to never venting your anger in future. Do this daily for at least 2-3 minutes.

- Think that if someone had to slap you, and in the same moment, give you R1000 for the slap, would you still be angry? Would you still lose control of your temper? If he says to you that for each slap, he will give you a thousand rands, how many more slaps will you be prepared to take? The reason for being able to control one’s temper in this situation is that one can see what one is getting in return for the sabr (patience). R1000 is not even a droplet compared to the tremendous rewards for making sabr. One gets the closeness of Allah Ta‘ala. Allah Ta‘ala fills one’s heart with peace and imaan. The reward for sabr is limitless, as explained in the Quraan Majeed.

- A Sahaabi once asked Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) for advice. In reply, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Do not get angry”. He asked for more advice and was given the same reply a few times.  (Saheeh Bukhaari #6116)

For at least 10 days, stop every hour or two and deeply contemplate upon this hadeeth for 2 - 3 minutes. Also, imagine that you are standing close to the Raudhah Mubaarak and a voice coming from the Raudhah Mubarak is directly addressing you saying, “Laa taghdhab” (do not become angry). Hear this being repeatedly said to you with the ears of the heart. In reality, all these ahaadeeth are addressed directly to each one of us.

d) Also do the following:

- Daily recite “Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem” 7 times and blow on the food and water that you consume.

- Keep reciting Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem, keeping the meaning in mind, as often as possible for at least ten days (while walking, lying down, etc.).

- Do not ever say anything in anger. Hold your tongue between your teeth and sit down, or immediately move away. If you have said something incorrect, apologize immediately. Also, perform two rakaats of taubah salaah and ask for forgiveness.

Answered by:

Uswatul Muslimah Panel of ‘Ulama