The Prohibition of Anger

Imām Ibn Daqīq al-ʿĪd

An excerpt from the book Sharḥ al-Arbaʿīn al-Nawawiyyah (Explanation of Nawawī’s 40 Ḥadīth) by al-Imām, Ibn Daqīq al-ʿĪd.
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On the authority of Abū Hurayrah (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu) that a man said to the Prophet (ﷺ) “Advise me.” He (ﷺ) said: “Don’t become angry” So the man repeated (his request) several times (and each time) He (ﷺ) said: “Don’t become angry.” (AI-Bukhārī)

(Shaykh Ibn Daqīq al-ʿĪd explains): “The Author of Al-lfsāh1 said concerning what is understood (from this advice of the Prophet (ﷺ), that the Prophet (ﷺ) came to know about a great deal of anger on the part of this man so, (as a result of that) he (ﷺ) favored him with this advice.

The Prophet (ﷺ) has praised the one who controls himself at the time of anger. He (ﷺ) said: “The strong one is not the one who can fight, the strong one is the one who can control himself when he is angry.”2

Allāh the Most High also praises (the one who controls himself when he’s angry) saying:

وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ

“… (Those who) repress anger and pardon men … “
[Ālī-ʿImrān, 3: 134]

It has also been related from the Prophet (ﷺ) that he said: “Whoever suppressed his anger while he has the ability to carry it out, Allāh will summon him on the Day of Resurrection before the leaders of the creation until he chooses whoever he wants from al-Ḥūr.”3 4 

It has also come in the ḥadīth:

Undoubtedly, anger is from the Shayṭān.5

Prophet Muḥammad (ﷺ)

 
As a result of this (anger which the Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ) said was from the Shayṭān) a person leaves his good condition, he will pursue and commit blameworthy actions and he will intend rancor, hatred and other than this from the shameful and forbidden acts. All of this is from anger, may Allāh give us refuge from it.

And it has come in the narration of Sulaymān ibn Sarud (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu): “Seeking refuge in Allāh from the accursed Shayṭān will cause anger to go away.”6

Surely the Shayṭān is the one who beautifies anger and makes it fair-seeming, and (he is the one who makes) everything that is not worthy of praise appear to be praiseworthy, so the Shayṭān deceives a person and causes him to become distant from the pleasure of Allāh thus seeking refuge in Allāh from him is from the strongest weapons against his plot.”

Endnotes:

  1. [Translator’s note]: The Book and author referred to here and Allāh knows best is al-Ifsaah ‘an Maʿānī al-Sunnah of Ibn Ḥubayrah.
  2. Reported by aI-Bukhārī in The Book of Adab, Chapter Warning against Anger, on the authority of Abū Hurayrah (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu)
  3. Reported by At Tirmidhī in the Book of al-Birr was-Silah wa-al-Adab, Chapter “Whoever Suppresses Anger”, on the authority of Muʿādh Ibn Anas al-Junanī. And Al-Tirmidhī Said: This Ḥadīth is ‘Ḥasan Gharīb’.
  4. Translator’s Note] Al-Hoor l are very fair females created by Allāh as such not from the offspring of Ādam (ʿalayhi al-Salām), with intense black irises of their eyes and intense white sclera (for more info, refer to Hadī al-Irwah of Ibn Qayyim.)
  5. Reported by Aḥmad: On the authority of ʿAtiyah as-Saʿdee (or ʿUtbah as-Saʿdee, print wasn’t clear enough [or translator to make out the name, wallāhul-mustaʿān] The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Undoubtedly, anger is from the Shayṭān and Shayṭān was created from fire and surely the thing that extinguishes the fire is water, so when one or you becomes angry let him make wuḍūʿ (falyatwadaʾ)” [Translator’s note]: The narration of Muʿāwiyah (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu) says: “Let him make Ghusl (Falyaghtasil).”
  6. Reported by al-Bukharī in The Book of Adab, Chapter Warning Against Anger, on the authority of Sulaymān ibn Sarud (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu) who said, “Two men insulted one another in the presence of the Prophet (ﷺ) so one of them became angry, his face reddened, and his veins were popping out. The Prophet (ﷺ) looked at him and said “I know a word which will make your anger leave from you if you say it: ‘a’udhoo billāhi min-ashayṭānir-rajeem.. ‘”
    [Translator’s note]: In this ḥadīth tile Prophet (ﷺ) has given us an antidote for anger which is al-Istiʿādhāh (seeking refuge in Allāh). However, this isn’t the only remedy or antidote for anger as can be seen in footnote 6 above, which mentions making wuḍūʿ or ghusl as a remedy. Beyond these three antidotes there are more, such as duʿāʾʾʾ, as the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “I ask you (O Allāh, for the ability to speak a word of truth in times of ANGER as well as pleasure.” (Sūrah al-Nisāʾ)
    Another antidote is to shut up and be silent so as not to offend anyone as the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “If you become angry, then be silent” (Jami’ aI-ʿUlūm wa-al-Ḥikam)
    Another remedy is to sit down and/or lay down so as to lessen the chance of a person acting out on his anger as the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “If one of you becomes angry while he is standing then let him sit down, his anger will leave him, and if it doesn’t then let him lie down.” (Abū Dāwūd)
    And the list goes on and the best guidance is the guidance of Muḥammad (ﷺ).

Translated by Nāṣir al-Dīn Ibn William Ferron

Published: December 15, 2010
Edited: January 28, 2022

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