Transcribed Lecture of Dr. Saleh as-Saleh
You can Listen to the lecture Here
Transcribed by – Fatimah bint Mohamed min Canada

The next topic of tonight, insha Allah will be, on the following title, a short talk about a matter which all of us need, and this is to know of anger. We all get angry. And getting angry is just one of our natural instincts. And anger affects everybody, young and old. Muslim or non-Muslim. But the difference lies with the way a Muslim approaches his/her anger: how it should be. Because they are some Muslims who are not abiding by the way to deal with anger, that you can’t really differentiate them from others, from the non-Muslims, or otherwise. We know that whenever someone loses their temper, their anger begins to control them. It orders them and it forbids them, and so one becomes subservient to ones anger without realizing it. This sadly happens very frequently. If we look into our own selves or own lives, and often with disastrous consequences. People have kept off ties because of heated words, exchanged in anger. People have killed each other because of their anger. You can hit someone or kill someone because of your anger. The husband may hit his wife out of anger or the other way around. But there is an urgent need for Muslims to put into practice the teachings of our Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) and learn to control our anger. Anger in itself is not forbidden, we spoke about this earlier. Feeling angry is natural.

The Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) did not forbid anger itself but what has been forbidden is when we act upon the anger unjustly. He also told us what steps to take in order to control this anger. For example, Suleiman ibn Suraad relates, that he was sitting with the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) when two people fell out and exchanged hot words. The face of one of them became red, and his veins of his neck became swollen. The Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) said, “If he could repeat a phrase of which I know, he will get rid of the condition of which he is in. If he said, “a’udubillahii minashaytaani rajeem” (I seek refuge with Allah against Shaytaan, the rejected one) then that which he is experiencing would have gone away from him”. This is reported in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. Another time the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) said: “when one of you gets angry while standing up, he should sit down. Then the anger will leave him. And if not, then he should lie down.” This is Sahih Hadeeth reported by Abu Dar, in Sunun Abi Dawud.

SubhanAllah, Islam does not leave anything out, from Aqeedah, from creed, to morals and manners. We are told everything. If you sit down when you are angry, it shows that you are in control of your anger. Unlike the other way around. Because when you do this action, you are now making yourself do something opposite to what your rage, anger, and Shaytaan want. I will repeat that, Islam doesn’t leave anything out from creed, to morals and manners. We are told everything. If one sits down when she/he are angry, it shows that she/he are in control. They are in control of their anger and not the other way around. Because when you do this action, you are now making yourself do something opposite to what your rage, anger and Shaytaan want. You are acting according to what Islam teaches you to do, so your anger subsides. Controlling anger is very important. Because when we get angry we know, we are going to say something that we will regret. Something that may ruin our dunya, our life, and or our next life. The Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) said: A man speaks an evil word not realizing it its importance for which Allah records for him his displeasure till the day he meets him. This is part of a hadith, reported by at-Tirmidhi and others. And it is sahih. It’s correct. In this way anger can destroy faith, which is why you find that once –when– a man came to the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) seeking some advice, the Prophet simply said “do not become angry” repeating it several times. What a beautiful piece of advice, undoubtly , so many of our problems would be solved if we just heeded this one piece of advice. On another occasion, the prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) said the strong, isn’t the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself, while in anger. And of course we all know that when we fight to control anger, then indeed, you need to be very strong.

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar relates that the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) said: “no gulp has a greater reward with Allah than the swallowing of rage, which a servant surpasses seeking the Face of Allah.” So when someone has done some wrong to you and you are about to say or do something that neither you or that person will ever forget, and instead of acting upon his anger, if you stop and swallow this, then this so belongs to Allah (subhanahu wa Ta’ala).

These ahadith which I mentioned, should be taken in context. It doesn’t mean that we should never become angry or display our anger. There are certain situations where we should become angry. With tawheed being undermined for instance, or when people are looking down upon the Sunnah of the messenger Muhammad (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) or when Muslims are being killed or treated unjustly. We know that under circumstances, such as these, it is correct to be angry because there are many occasions like these where the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) became angry. For example, when he saw pictures of animals hanging in ‘Aishah’s house, as in Sahih Bukhari or when he heard of men who failed to attend the congregational prayer, also in Sahih al Bukhari. All these things caused him to be angry. But his anger was always for the sake of Allah not for any person or injury. And that is why ‘Aishah (radiAllahu Ta’alaa anha) said: (talking about the Messenger (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam)) “he never took revenge on his own behalf for anything unless of which Allah has forbidden, has been transgressed, in which case he took revenge for it for Allah’s sake.” When we talk about anger, it is not only the anger we feel when we are in wrong, but also experience anger when we feel that we are in the right. We feel that someone has wronged us and that we must defend ourselves. Here again, we must not let shaytaan ever order us to act on that anger and be unjust making us believe we are correct in doing so.

The Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) said: “I am a claimant for a house on the outskirts of paradise for one who leaves off arguing, even if he is right, and maybe our act of repressing anger, when in a position to give them to it, will yieldfruitful results.”[Hasan hadith. See 'Saheeh ul-Jaami us-Sagheer' (no.1477). ]

Allah says, in Surat Fussilat chapter 41, verse 34, “repel the evil with one which is better, then verily, he between whom, you are in enmity, will become as though you are close friends.”

Therefore, insha Allah, we must try to follow the example of Prophet Muhammad Muhammad (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) to not become angry except for the sake of Allah. The Messenger (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam) has left us with numerous ahadith concerning anger and you can find them in chapters of that in books of ahadith. And we must really try to implement this guidance and this is a reminder for myself, wallahi first and for all of us.

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