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Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported, “A man said to the Prophet (SAW), ‘Advise me.’ The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘Do not get angry.’ The man asked again, and the Prophet (SAW) said, ‘Do not get angry.’” (Imam Bukhari)


The above hadith tells us that a man who asked the Prophet (SAW) to advise him with an all-comprehensive saying so that he might remember it. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) advised him not to get angry. The man asked again and again and the Prophet (SAW) repeated his very same reply. This indicates that anger is the root of all evil and that avoiding it is the key to all goodness.


When the companion heard this hadith from the Prophet (SAW), he said, “I reconsidered what the Prophet (SAW) said and I reached the conclusion that anger is the root of all evil.” (Imam Ahmad)


The hadith indicates two things:

First: The Prophet (SAW) commanded the companion to adhere to good morals and manner, such as generosity, forbearance, modesty, humbleness, bearing hardships, abstention from harming others, forgiveness, suppression of one’s anger, and decency. If a person adheres to these manners and becomes habituated to them, he will avoid anger even if there are channels leading to it.


Second: the Prophet (SAW) may mean that a person should not act in response to angry irritations. One should try hard to abandon any actions when he is in angry state. Once dominating man, anger will control him.


If a man does not act according to his angry state and does his best to control it, the evil arising from such anger will be driven away. His anger may be appeased, as if he had not gotten angry at all as Allah (SWT) said: “And when they are angry, they forgive(Ash-Shura:37). Allah (SWT) also said: “Who represses anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves the good doers.” (Ali Imran:134).


The Prophet (SAW) used to command the angry person to stick to a behaviour that will divert hisanger. The Prophet (SAW) also commended theperson who controls himself when he is angry. On the authority of Sulaiman bin Surad who said, “When I was sitting in the company of the Prophet (SAW), two men abused each other and the face of one became red with anger, and his jugular vein swelled.” On that the Prophet (SAW) said:” I know a word, the saying of which will cause him to relax, if he will say it. If he says: “A’udhu billahi minash-shaitanir-rajim” which means ‘I seek refuge with Allah from Satan,’ then all anger will go away.”


Abu Dzarr who reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: “When anyone of you gets angry while he is standing, he should sit down. If his anger is not repressed, he should lie down. (abu Dawud).


The hadith indicates that the person who is standing is ready to take revenge, while the person who is sitting down is less liable to such behaviour. When he lies down, he is further away from such behaviour. Thus, the Prophet (SAW) commanded us to keep away from the behaviour of taking revenge.


Ibnu Abbas recorded that the Prophet (SAW) said:  “When anyone of you is angry, he should keep silent. The Prophet (SAW) said it thrice. ((Imam Ahmad). This hadith gives a great cure for anger as an angry person almost always utters words that he regrets after his anger is appeased. He may insult people or cause harm to them. If he keeps silent, all such harmful words will not be said.


A man talk to Urwah bin Muhammad As-Sa’dy which led to being angry. Urwah stood up, performed ablution and said: “My father told me on the authority of my grandfather ‘Atiyyah that the Prophet (SAW) said:” Anger is caused by Satan. Satan is created from fire. Fire is extinguished by water. When anyone gets angry, he should perform ablution.” ((Abu Daud). The Prophet (SAW) said further:” The strong (man) is not the one who overcomes people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger.” (Bukhari).


(Prepared by Abdul Muhaemin Karim)

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