AHHHHHHH!

Once upon a time, there was a boy who would get angry frequently. He would get angry over anything and everything. His father came up with an outlet for his anger.

 “Come here my son” he called for him. When the boy came, he was handed a bunch of nails and a hammer by his father.

“Whenever you’re angry, I want you to go out and hammer these nails in until you find yourself not angry anymore.”

Hmm…that sounded like a good way to let off some steam. So every single day you would find that boy outside hammering in nails into the fence.

As the days went by, he would spend less and less time outside hammering nails until he wasn’t angry anymore. On that day his father called him outside and made him take out each and every the nail that he had hammered into the fence.Imagine picking out 100’s of nails!When he was finished, his father asked him to look at the fence and tell him what he sees. “I see holes” the boy replied to his father.This is what happens when you’re angry. These holes represent the damage we might end up causing, leaving permanent scars if we don’t learn how to properly deal with it. We’ve probably left numerous scars here and there without even realizing it.

– Mom says no you can’t go out with your friend’s tonight- yelling and screaming followed by “I hate you’s” and the slamming of your room’s door.

– An older sibling tells us to do something- “Who does she think she is?!” Speaking from experience, I’ve had moments where I, myself felt like punching out my own brother (May Allah forgive me)

– You’re late for school. You’re running down the stairs at mega-speed, out the door, up the street, you make it RIGHT in-front of the bus stop and the bus is RIGHT there. The bus driver looks at you, shuts the door in your face and drives away – RACISM! JUST BECAUSE I’M MUSLIM WALLAH!!

You’re furious. You’re boiling. You can feel the blood in your veins turning on the ignition, getting ready to zoom through at full acceleration. You clench your fingers into your palm so hard that you don’t even notice the reddish-purple imprint it leaves behind. The temperature start rising like the effects of global warming; slow at first and then BOOM! And ofcourse you’ve turned redder than a tomato.

Now right before you literally E.X.P.L.O.D.E! and turn the whole situation into World War III.

S.T.O.P

Take a deeeeeep breath.

Take a seat.

Say “Bismillah”

And read the Islamic Edition of “Anger Management 101” I have for you:

1) Build yourself Islamically. You need to be strong on the inside:

Strength here isn’t judged by how many pushups you can do within 4 minutes nor is it judged on how badly you recently knocked out that guy who simply “brushed” against you in the hallway (That’s bullying by the way). Strength is determined on how well you control your emotions, specifically anger, because if you have control over that then you have control over everything else.

Narrated by Abu Huraira: The Messenger of Allah said: “The strong is not the one who is physically powerful, but, indeed, the one who controls himself when angry.” (Bukhari; 135)

2) Seeking refuge from Shaytan:

Can’t you see! The Shaytan is fueling your anger! The angrier you get, the more wood he adds onto the fire. What are you waiting for? Send him on his way and seek refuge from the cursed devil!

The Prophet (peace be upon him) saw two men arguing and were cursing each other. He said I know a statement if they were to say it would calm them down. He recited “A’udhi billahi mina shaytanir rajeem” (“I seek refuge in Allah from the cursed Shaytan.”) [Bukhari]

3) Make Wudu:

Just how water extinguishes fire, wudu also calms down down a person when he is angry both internally and externally. Externally when a person is mad, he turns red and hot, wudu cools his body down. Internally, wudu calms down the person as it extingushes the devil.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) says “If you become angry, make wudu.” [Sunan Abu Dawud]

4) Stay quiet:

Don’t scream. Don’t swear from A to Z and back again. Just remain silent. It may sound crazy because who really stays quiet when angry? Well you just might say something in that state of anger to a person which you may not have meant but before you could take it back, the damage will already be done.

One situation was an argument between two brothers. In a state of anger one of the brothers yelled “I hope you die!” The other brother then left and went for a drive to cool himself off, only he ended up in a car accident and the comment his brother made came true. Imagine the guilt this brother will have to endure for the rest of his life? Just because of one comment.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “If any of you become angry, then let him stay quiet.” [Ahmad]

5) Change one’s physical settings:

When your standing up it usually means that there is something big you want to say. People don’t sit down and yell at others, they usually stand up. Also when your standing your muscles are all in use and when your angry your muscles become stiff. when you sit down your muscles become less tense, and your body relaxes as well as your brain. When you lie down you become even more relaxed.

“If any of you are mad and standing, then sit down. If you’re sitting, you should lay down.” [Ahmad 5/152]

6) Remembrance of Allah:

Start repeating to yourself Alhamdulilah, Subhanallah, Allahu Akbar, La illaha illa Allah.

“Except (with the saying), “If Allah will!” And remember your Lord when you forget and say: “It may be that my Lord guides me unto a nearer way of truth than this.” (18:24)

According to Ikrimah, “forgetting” in this ayah actually means in the time of anger.

7) Remember the reward for someone who suppresses his anger:

There are numerous rewards promised for the one who suppresses his anger. For the brothers especially:

Whoever suppresses his anger while in a position to enforce it, Allah will call him at the head of the creation until he chooses for him from the hoor’een (special women of Jannah that are promised to the believer), for him to marry from them as he pleases. [Ahmad and At-Tabaraanee]

It is also one of the signs of taqwa (piety):

“… spend (in Allah’s Cause) in prosperity and in adversity, [they] repress anger, and pardon men; verily, Allah loves al-muhsinoon (the good-doers)” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:134]

8 ) Befriend those that are better than you in this regard:

Just like how if you surround yourself with a perfume-seller you would end up smelling like perfume, you will learn how to control your anger when you surround yourself with a person who is known to rarely be angry or just know how to control it VERY WELL.

Follow them around (or stalk if you like) with a notepad and pen and jot down their anger-management techniques. Perhaps they take it out by punching into a punching bag or screaming into their pillow or by simply screaming “Allahu Akbar!”- double reward, let it all out AND praise Allah (Just be sure not to scare your neighbors, ok?)

9) Leave the setting one is in when he becomes angry:

Take a walk outside and get some fresh air or simply go into a different room and give your mind and body a chance to cool down and think straight.

10) Know the effects of anger on one’s health:

Did you know that a person who is constantly angry for long periods of time are more likely to die before they reach the age of 50? Why you ask? Well not only does being angry increase your blood pressure but it also increases your chances of stroke, heart disease and weakens the immune system therefore you’re more prone to getting sick.

The next time you’re just about ready to throw a fit…

Don’t scream.

Don’t throw a tantrum as if you’re two-years-old again.

Don’t swear in four different languages.

Simply Stop. Take a deep breath and implement what you’ve just read!

The Messenger of Allah said: “Do not become angry, and Paradise is yours.” [‘Sahih al-Jami’; # 7374]

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