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Anger management skills and techniques in Islam: Anger (Ghadab) and Islam

Anger management skills and techniques in IslamDo you find it hard to forgive someone who has done you wrong? Do you often find yourself in heated arguments with the people with whom you are closest? Have you ever been so angry that you could not remember what you said or did? Have you ever gotten so angry that you resorted to physical violence, hitting people or breaking things?

If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, you might have an anger problem. These are just a few of the symptoms of anger addiction. This article offers the anger management skills and techniques according to Islamic teachings.

Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems - problems at work, in your personal relationships and in the overall quality of your life. And it can make you feel as though you are at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful emotion.

Anger is complex, bodily and emotional response. Even before you begin to shout, hit or scream, your body functions changes drastically. Your brain goes into crisis mode and releases powerful chemicals, telling your body to prepare for attack. Your blood pressure skyrockets, your heart rate rapidly increases and all of the blood is directed toward unnecessary bodily processes. Your vision sharpens and your body literally prepares for battle.

This natural process enables human beings to be both courageous and outrageous. Our physical response to anger equips us to survive dangerous circumstances. Our brains and bodies mobilize quickly to respond to attacks by wild animals and rescuing others from danger. But the same effective response that allows human beings to escape a grizzly bear attack also drives us to hurt other people and destroy relationship. In addition to destroying relationships, constant anger can lead to serious health problems like persistent headaches, high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes. Anger, quite literally, can kill you.

Some people keep their anger buried deep inside. It's not good to hide your anger, so you should find a way to let it out without hurting yourself or others. As a matter of fact, the real problem is not anger itself; the real problem is the mismanagement of anger. Mismanaged anger and rage is the major cause of conflict in our personal as well as professional relationships. Because, never getting angry is impossible. Instead, remember that how you act when you are angry can make the situation better or worse. Don't let anger be the boss of you. Take charge of it! Stop anger before it destroys your life and the lives of those around you. Effective anger management skills and techniques benefit your health and your relationships.

Please note: Don't make decisions when you're angry and don't make promises when you're happy.

Anger (Ghadab) and Islam: Anger management skills and techniques in Islam

Anger (Ghadab) and IslamAnger is one of the conditions of the soul, and possesses three states.

  1. The state of excess, which is defined as what would put one outside the bounds of Islam religion and its laws.
  2. The state of deficiency, which is defined as the state in which one fails to take a violent action even though it is necessary for his self defense.
  3. The state of moderation, in which anger is stimulated in appropriate and permissible circumstances. Thus it is clear that the first and the second states are amongst the vices of the soul (diseases of soul), while the third is amongst ethical virtues produced by courage.

Excessive anger is a fatal disease, which can be considered as a type of temporary madness. When it subsides, it is immediately followed by remorse and repentance, which represent healthy responses of a rational person.

Anger (Ghadab), Bad Temper and Human Vice according to Islamic teachings

Anger is a secret weapon of man towards evil but in the state of excess, it results in the destruction of many noble qualities. It snatches away the wisdom of man and thus he becomes a brute beast devoid of any sense. Anger is a temptation and deception of Shaytaan. Anger is the root of all evils. Anger is a spark of fire that is always bursting. Anger is a very bad condition that weakens the person Imaan (Faith). Anger is the strong feeling caused by extreme displeasure and hostility.

Imam Ali (as) has said: "Anger is a stroke of madness, since the afflicted later feels remorse and regrets. If someone does not feel any remorse after anger, it means that his madness has become fixed."

Imam Ali (as) has also said: "Protect yourself from anger for its beginning is insanity and its end is remorse."

Moreover, absolute absence of anger is also a vice, which drags man into humiliation, subjugation and inability to defend his rights. In order to cure excessive anger, one must first remove its causes. These may be pride, selfishness, stubbornness, greed and other such vices. One must also consider how unseemly excessive anger is, and how evil its consequences may be.

Secondly, he must examine the benefits of forbearance and self-restraint and associate with people who possess these qualities. He must also realize that Allah's (SWT) power is supreme, and everything is under His command, which would make him realize his own weakness compared with the infinite power of Allah (SWT).

Thirdly, he should know that a person in a state of anger is not loved by Allah (SWT); moreover, he may do something in anger, of which he will be ashamed later on.

The opposite of anger is mildness and forbearance characteristics which count amongst perfect qualities of the soul. They make a person forgiving and merciful, although he may have complete power to take revenge.

Noble Qur'an says: Keep to forgiveness, and enjoin what is fair, and turn away from the ignorant. (7:199)

And Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) has said: "Forgiveness raises a man's station; forgive so that Allah (SWT) may honour you."

Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and Anger management skills and techniques in Islam

Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and Anger management skills and techniques in IslamThe behaviour of a courageous person is based on wisdom and serenity of soul. He gets angry on proper occasion and is patient and restrained. His anger is to the proper extent and if he takes revenge, it is with reason and discretion. He knows well as to whom he should forgive and what to overlook and ignore.

The anger of a true believer is for the sake of Allah (SWT). In the state of anger, he keeps in mind his duties, rights of creatures and never oppresses anyone. He neither makes the use of indecent language nor acts indiscreetly. All his acts are based on rational considerations and are in accordance with the norms of justice and Divine laws. He always acts in a way that he will not regret his actions later on.

Hence a true believer practices self-control and suppresses the motives of ill-temper through taking enough time before saying or doing anything.

Anger (Ghadab), Bad Temper and Human Vice according to Prophetic Sayings (Hadith)

Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "The best Jihad is self-control."

Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "He is not strong and powerful, who throws people down, but he is strong who withholds himself from anger." Therefore, Anger is the sign of weakness not a sign of strength.

Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "Whoever suppresses his anger, when he has in his power to show it, Allah (SWT) will give him a great reward."

Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "Anger corrupts faith in the same way that vinegar destroys honey."

Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) narrated on the authority of his father Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) that, a Bedouin came to Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and said: "I live in the desert; hence, I want you to instruct me the comprehensive of speech." Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "I instruct you not to be angry." As the Bedouin repeated the same request three times, Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) repeated the answer three times. Then Bedouin commented: "I will not ask you for anything any more. Certainly, Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) has instructed me the best."

Imam Ali (as) said: "The most powerful person is the one who is victorious over his anger with his forbearance."

Imam Ali (as) said: "When a person gets angry, if he is standing, he should immediately lie down (sit down) on earth for a while as this removes the filth of Shaitan (Satan) from him at that time."

Imam Ali (as) said: "Keep off anger because it is one large army from the Shaitan's (Satan) armies."

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) said: "Any one who suppresses his anger, Allah (SWT) will add to his honour and authority in this world and the world to come."

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) said: "A man often becomes so angry that he is never pleased until this causes him to be in Hell."

Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) said: "One who refrains his anger (towards someone), Allah (SWT) will cover his secrets."

Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) said: "Anger is the key (that opens the door) to all kinds of vices."

Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) said: "A Mu'min (believer) is the person who when angered, his anger doesn't lead him away from that which is true."

Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) said: "He who has no control over his anger has no control over his reason."

Anger management tips and techniques according to Islamic teachings

Anger management tips and techniques according to Islamic teachingsNoble Qur'an says, "And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Shaitan (Satan), then seek refuge in Allah, He is hearing and knowing." (7:200) and Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "If a man gets angry and says, 'I seek refuge with Allah,' his anger will go away."

Therefore when someone is angry he should immediately say "A'udhu billahi minash shaitanir rajim." Meaning, I seek shelter in Allah (SWT) from the rejected Satan.

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) said: "Verily, anger is a spark ignited by the Shaitan (Satan) in the human heart. Indeed, when anyone of you gets angry, his eyes become red, the veins of his neck become swollen and Shaitan (Satan) enters them. Therefore, whosoever among you is concerned about himself on account of it, he should lie down for a while so that the filth of Shaitan (Satan) may be removed from him at the time."

Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) has said, "Anger is from Shaitan, Shaitan is from fire; fire is put out by water; so when one is angry he should do Wudu (Ablution)."

Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) has said, 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.

Be silent, don't speak. Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) has said, "If any of you becomes angry, let him keep silent."

Divert attention away from the cause of anger and participate in strenuous physical activity aiming at letting steam out and relaxing muscles.

Try to pinpoint the exact reasons why you feel angry. Once you identified the problem, consider coming up with different strategies on how to remedy the situation.

Forgive and forget. Remember the rewards and virtues of patience, mercy and forgiveness. Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men; Allah loves those who do good. (Noble Qur'an, 3:134)

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