الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ فِي السَّرَّاء وَالضَّرَّاء وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ وَاللّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿١٣٤﴾
Brothers and Sisters!
Our Lord Almighty wills in our Holy Book: “Who spend [in the cause of Allah] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people.”[i] And He declares controlling their temper is another trait of pious believers.
While conversing with his companions one day, our Prophet (s.a.w) asked them: “Whom do you count as a wrestler amongst you?” They said, “He who wrestles with persons.” Then our Master said: “No, it is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the wrestler is the one who controls himself while in anger.”[ii]
The Prophet of mercy sent a message to be engraved in hearts and minds with this simple but yet such a meaningful message. He warned us about giving in to rage which causes so many regrets, tears, and remorse. While educating his companions about temper management on one hand, our Master gave indispensable advice for each one of us on the other. Once, a man approached him saying, “O Messenger of Allah! Give me one succinct counsel!” And he replied: “Do not get angry.”[iii]
Allah Almighty provides us with segments from lives of prophets on avoiding anger in our Holy Book. One of these prophets is Moses (a.s.). In his absence, his brother Aaron could not prevent his tribe from going astray. Infuriated with the situation, Moses seized him and shook him angrily. Eventually, he composed himself upon his brother’s warning and sought the Lord’s shelter by praying, “My Lord, forgive me and my brother. And admit us into Your mercy, for You are the most merciful of the merciful.”[iv]
Jonah (a.s.) invited his people to submission and servitude to the one Allah. But they turned him down. In response, Jonah the Prophet abandoned his people in anger. But his anger turned into a test for him. He ended up in the dark inside a fish’s stomach. He once again comprehended the meaning of patience and composure. And he remorsefully took refuge in Allah saying, “There is no deity except You. Glorified are You. Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers.”[v]
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
The Lord of All Worlds educates us with these examples on prophets who shed light on the path of humanity. He teaches us that even prophets get angry from time to time but they get over it by taking shelter in Allah. Our Prophet (s.a.w.) also advises us to take shelter in Allah at the moment of anger and to remember the settlement day, the good deeds, and the sins.[vi] He asks us to use our tongues for words of prayer, tranquility, and well-being and not for words of revolt, impiety, and revenge.
Brothers and Sisters!
As humanity, we are living in an age of stress today. From time to time, we encounter exasperating incidents in daily life. But even if we are right to be angry, we should remember where it may drag us. We should always keep the fact in our minds that life is a test for us. We should filter through good sense everything we hear and everything we experience. Let us, as believers, have mercy, compassion, tolerance, and patience at all times. Let us not darken our hearts with the captivity of anger and with emotions like hatred, fury, and hostility. Let us make Mawlana’s saying “Sword of clemency is sharper than sword of anger” a slogan for ourselves.
May our Lord Almighty makes us among His pious servants who keep their patience, overcome their anger, and forgive others even when they are right and not among those who succumb to their anger!