A man said to the Prophet (ﷺ), “Counsel me,” so he (ﷺ) said, “Do not become angry.” The man repeated several times, and he (ﷺ) said, “Do not become angry.” [Al-Bukhari]
I was an angry kid from the very start. Seething at every single thing. I broke things. I broke hearts…Because of which I was hardly ever happy. I thought taking out all that rage would relieve me. Instead, it just escalated. As I grew older, I became angrier. The much I took it out, the much it consumed me.
To top it all, I was blessed with a lot of physical strength (Alhamdulillah), but I used it in all the wrong ways. I won many fights. Physical and emotional. And I was very proud of them. Like I won. I thought I won, and I stayed in that little bubble of mine for a long, long time. Nothing changed till I chose to pop it when I felt that something was wrong – As I became aware of how my anger is destroying me.
I’m 23 now, and it all makes sense. Everything is connected. I am stronger than before Alhamdulillah. Both physically and emotionally. And I feel sorry for all those fights I won. Also, the ones I didn’t win. I don’t take pride in them anymore. The worst moments of my life have been due to anger. And even though I don’t feel bad about the trouble I went through, I still feel sad about losing the part of love from the people I loved, just to learn these valuable lessons in life. But in one way, I’m glad. I’m glad I went through all those hard days. They changed me for good. I learned self-control. It couldn’t have been possible without Allah’s help.
Following are the short points that might help you direct your anger (negativity into positivity) in shaa Allah:
1) Make Du’a:
This is the first step to redemption. Just ask from Allah. Ask Him for patience. Ask Him to grant you gratitude. Pray to Allah. Talk to Him. Go on a long drive alone and have an open-hearted conversation with Him about your frustrations. You wouldn’t hear anything back, but you would feel it.
Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu’minin: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) never went out of my house without raising his eye to the sky and saying:
“O Allah! I seek refuge in Thee lest I stray or be led astray, or slip or made to slip, or cause injustice, or suffer injustice, or do wrong, or have wrong done to me.” [Sunan Abi Dawud 5094]
2) Hope for change:
All that anger and all that rage, won’t take you anywhere – Trust me! Allah’s mercy is endless. Everyone’s point of view will be changed for you. What’s making you angry now, will have a different face tomorrow. Throwing your anger away won’t happen in a matter of a day, neither will it just vanish. Maybe after days, perhaps after years…but just trust Allah and you’ll see how it changes you for good. You won’t wake up tomorrow and wonder Where did all that rage go…But you can wake up next day and decide to use it in a positive way. Just cling to hope. Allah knows even if you don’t say a single word…
“And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than jugular vein.” [Quran; 50:16]
3) Forgive and let go:
If someone slaps me and I manage to forgive him, surely I won’t be that forgiving the next time around. By the third time, probably I would just want to shoot that person. And yet we, who can’t forgive people the third time around, expect Allah to forgive us every single time. It’s because He keeps on giving us the success and keeps on showering us with blessings. Then why not start forgiving people for the sake of Allah, to earn His pleasure and as a form of gratitude? You would love the feeling of letting go and feeling so light as a result.
“….So pardon and overlook…” [Quran; 2:109]
4) Try try try:
I’m a crazy, fearless person who loves to wrestle, but when you leave all that for the sake of Allah and of course with His help, you will be at peace with your soul. It might be painful to swallow your anger, but it’s best to let go. Keep practicing and remember:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger.” [Bukhari]
5) Remember the consequence:
Anger will destroy us here and the hereafter both. We will fall. You might not trip from the same rock I do, but both of us will fall. It’s a path that destroys a person after all.
Just ask yourself, don’t you want peace of mind and soul?
“…and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good…” [Quran; 3:134]
Practical anger management tips from the Sunnah:
1) Stay silent: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “…When one of you is angry, he should be silent.” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad]
2) Seek refuge from Satan: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “I know a word, the saying of which will cause him to relax, if he does say it. If he says: أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ – ‘I seek Refuge with Allah from Satan.’ then all is anger will go away.” [Bukhari 3282]
3) Mention Allah’s name: Prophet (ﷺ) said…Say: بِسْمِ اللَّهِ – in the name of Allah; for when you say that, he (Satan) will diminish so much so that he will be like a fly. [Abi Dawud 4982]
4) Change your position: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) 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.” [Abi Dawud 4782]
5) Remind yourself of someone in a worse condition and recall how they responded: Narrated `Abdullah: The Prophet ﷺ divided and distributed something as he used to do for some of his distributions. A man from the Ansar said, “By Allah, in this division the pleasure of Allah has not been intended.” I said, “I will definitely tell this to the Prophet ﷺ .” So I went to him while he was sitting with his companions and told him of it secretly. That was hard upon the Prophet ﷺ and the color of his face changed, and he became so angry that I wished I had not told him. The Prophet (ﷺ) then said, “Moses was harmed with more than this, yet he remained patient.” [Bukhari 6100]
6) Rectify your mistake once you’ve realized it: It was narrated that Imran bin Husain said: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said the salam after three rak’ahs of ‘Asr, then he entered his house. A man called Al-Khibaq stood up and said: ‘Has the prayer been shortened, O Messenger of Allah?’ He came out angry, dragging his upper garment and said: ‘Is he speaking the truth?’ They said: ‘Yes.’ So he stood and prayed that rak’ah, then he said the salam, then prostrated twice, then he said the salam (again).” [Sunan an-Nasa’i 1237]