15 Nov Defusing Hatred and Animosity.Part2
Anger that burns the soul brings a feeling of vengefulness to the heart and can feed vengeful actions. Some people easily lose their temper. They are merciless, severe, and cruel. Some people, though they have quick tempers, are also quick to recover from anger.
In this regard the Prophet divided people into three basic groups, according to how quickly they anger and how quickly their anger departs. He also explained which one of these groups is most virtuous. In addition, he gives an immediate practical solution for anger: taking ablutions to help the feeling subside.
Abu Said al-Khudri narrated,
“God’s Messenger said, ‘Be aware that there are people who are slow to anger and quick to repent of their anger; there are also people who are quick to anger and quick to get over it. There is also a third group of people, who anger quickly and are slow to let their anger go. The best of these are those who are slow to anger and quick to turn from anger. The worst are those who are quick to anger and are slow to let their anger go. Beware! Anger is like a burning ember in the heart of man. Do you not see the eyes that glow and the cheeks that puff out? Whoever feels himself beginning to get angry, he should touch the ground….”
Accordingly, taking ablutions or bathing as well as touching the ground or walking on the soil barefoot are some practical ways of dispelling anger. But there is another dimension as well: one who feels overwhelmed by anger should seek refuge in God.
Muadh ibn Jabal relates,
“Two people cursed each other in the presence of the Messenger. The face of one of them showed anger at the other. God’s Messenger said, ‘I know a word that you can say to ward off the anger that I see in your face. That is a‘udhubillahi min ash-shaytan ar-rajim (I seek refuge in God from Satan,who is eternally rejected from God’s Mercy).’”
Abu Hurayra provided the following hadith:
“A man asked the Prophet, ‘O Messenger of God! Give me a short, easy piece of advice, that I won’t forget it.’ He repeated his request several times, and the Prophet answered with, ‘Don’t get angry!’”
A person with a quick temper should be careful not to miss good advice or exhortation by becoming upset at being urged to that which is good or commendable (and therefore not listening to the other person). Ibn Abbas narrates that when Uyayna ibn Hisn came to Medina, he stayed with his nephew Hurr ibn Qays, who was a person whom Umar used to keep near him as one of the learned men who knew the Qur’an by heart (qurra) and who by virtue of their knowledge can give legal opinion or judgment (fuqaha). Uyayna said to his nephew,
“O nephew! You are close to this ruler, so ask him for an audience for me!” So the nephew asked Caliph Umar for this. But when Ibn Hisn came into Umar’s presence, he said, “Beware! O the son of Khattab! By God, you neither give us enough provision nor judge among us with justice!” Umar was extremely upset. He was almost ready to hit Uyayna when Hurr jumped up and said,
“O Ruler of the Believers, God said to His Messenger,
‘Adopt the way of forbearance and tolerance, and enjoin what is good and right, and withdraw from the ignorant ones (do not care what they say and do)’ (A’raf 7:199).
This man is ignorant.”
When Hurr recited this verse Umar instantly froze in his tracks; he could not ignore the Qur’an, so he did nothing to the insolent man.
A person who is overwhelmed by anger will have trouble making sound decisions. There is a direct prohibition regarding situations like this. Abu Bakr told his son ‘Abdullah, who was serving as a judge,
“When you are angry, do not judge between two people. For the Messenger said, ‘No one should judge between others when he is angry.’”
Concerning the verse,
“Goodness and evil can never be equal.Repel evil with what is better (or best). Then see: the one between whom and you there was enmity has become a bosom friend. And none are ev- erenabled to attain it (such great virtue) save those who are patient (in adversities and against the temptations of their souls and Satan), and none are ever enabled to attain it save those who have a great part in human perfections and virtues” (Fussilat 41:34–35),
Ibn Abbas said,
“‘what is better (or best)’ in this verse means ‘patience at the moment of anger, and forgiveness at the moment we are wronged.’ If people do these things, God will protect them from their enemies; He will cause their enemies to become friends for them.”