Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
29 November 2019 / 2 Rabiul Akhir 1441H
Rasulullah s.a.w.’s Way of Dealing With Anger
Blessed Juma’ah congregants,
Let us increase our taqwa for Allah s.w.t. by fulfilling His commands and abstaining from His prohibitions. May Allah s.w.t. make our hearts firm in our faith throughout our lives. Amin ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.
Allow me to start today’s khutbah with a Hadith narration reported by Imam Al-Bukhari, about a man who came to Rasulullah s.a.w. and asked for the Messenger’s advice. He said, “O Rasulullah, advise me.” Rasulullah s.a.w. answered, “Do not get angry.” Then the Companion asked again, “Then, what else is your advice o Rasulullah?” Rasulullah s.a.w. repeated his answer, “Do not get angry.”
There are several important life lessons we can get from this hadith. First and foremost, the hadith acknowledges that anger is part of human nature.
It is not denied by our religion. Perhaps, at this very moment, some of us here are withholding some form of anger. The feeling of anger may be due to some sort of misunderstanding or mistakes, coming from the people around us, including our own family member, friends or colleagues.
It is thus important for us to understand that Islam does not dismiss the feeling of anger, but rather, it teaches us to control it. Let us ponder upon the following Prophetic tradition:
Which means: “The strong man is not one who is good at wrestling, but the strong man is one who controls himself in a fit of rage.” [Hadith reported by Imam Al-Bukhari].
This prophetic guideline, in my humble opinion, is indeed incredibly meaningful. It educates us about the true meaning of ‘Sabr’, or patience, during a state of anger.
A truly patient person does not remain silent or avoid responding when triggered by something hurtful, but he/she is someone who strives to respond calmly and speak in the best manner possible to the person who is causing the anger.
Indeed, the attributes of a true believer include expressing good speech with love and respect, even during times of anger. At the same time, a true believer is kind enough to forgive those who have upset them. This can be found in Allah s.w.t.’s description of the believers in Surah Ali Imran, verse 134:
Meaning: “Who spend [in the cause of Allah] during ease and hardship, and who restrain anger, and who pardon the people - and Allah loves the doers of good.”
All praises to Allah for those who have acquired these qualities and practise accordingly. As for those who are unable to do so, then what the Prophet s.a.w. has taught us is to be very careful in our speech and in making decisions when we are angry. The Prophet s.a.w. often made the following du’a:
Which means: “O Allah, I ask You (to grant me) a word of the truth, in both contentment and anger.” [Reported by Imam Ahmad]
Let us together appreciate and emulate Rasulullah s.a.w.’s character in educating his family with much patience and compassion. Not using force nor with anger. Just like many of us, Rasulullah s.a.w. also faced challenges in his household. However, how did Rasulullah s.a.w. manage to overcome those challenges? Did he take immediate action and speak his mind in every single situation? Did he use violence against his wives? Or did he instead manage each conflict with patience, communication and love?
It is very important for us to know– that Rasulullah s.a.w. never once retaliated against any sort of misdeed done to him. Even within his household, Rasulullah s.a.w. remained a patient, kind and responsible man. In fact, one of his final advices to the Muslim community before his departure was about women, as narrated in a Hadith which means: “Remember that I advise you to be kind to women.” [Hadith reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
At times, we hear about cases of domestic violence taking place in our society. Certainly, this is a very worrying issue. This is because domestic violence is completely unacceptable in Islam, whether it involves psychological abuse or physical abuse. Just like how we see the need to have a good relationship with God and good conduct with friends and acquaintances, we also need to ensure our relationship with our family members and loved ones remain positive.
Couples facing domestic violence must be quick to resolve their issues in the best manner possible. Be open-minded and forgiving when resolving marital issues, and never resort to violence.
The most important thing is that those facing such violence must not be silent and keep to themselves. If we happen to know anyone who is having such trouble, we must help them. Sometimes, the best form of help is to inform the right agencies or report to the authorities so the right course of action can be taken immediately.
May Allah s.w.t. protect our family institutions and increase love and affection in our households. May this eventually lead to the formation of a community whose members are forgiving towards one another and are protected from the dangers of domestic violence that can destroy human relationships.