PATIENCE AND ANGER
How many times have you shouted at your parents? How many times have you felt so angry that you were just about to hit someone? Does this happen a lot? You're not the only one. Many people now are unable to control themselves and end up arguing with others, often the ones that they love - their parents, their brothers, their sisters, their husbands or wives.
"Love each other and enmity will disappear"
We are the followers of Muhammad (saw), right? What better example of patience do we have than that of the our own blessed Prophet himself? We think that we have it tough, when one of his days was probably tougher than the whole of our lifetimes! When we look at his life, our own difficulties seem so pathetic in comparison. Imagine spending 13 years completely devoting our lives to doing good, spreading the word of Islam and suffering hardship only to end up with a handful of people! This was a man who had the burden of the whole of mankind's future on his head and we worry of the burden of looking after our little brother or sister. Perhaps more significantly despite all these pressures, despite the constant rejections, humiliations and even the constant incidents of physical violence that he faced, he had the tolerance and self-discipline to be able to forgive those around him who were themselves so ignorant.
The best example of this was when the Prophet (saw) went to a place called Ta'if. This was at the time when the followers of Islam were at their weakest and the Prophet himself had suffered the loss of both his wife Khadijah (ra) and his uncle Abu Talib. He went to this town in the hope that they would listen to what he had to say. Instead he was insulted and chased out of the town by the children who threw stones at him till (it was described) the blood flowed from his body to his feet making his sandals sticky with his own blood. The Prophet was so depressed that he prayed to Allah, who then sent down the Angel of the mountains who asked for the Prophet's permission to fold the mountains together and crush to death all those that lived there. But what was the prophet's reply? "Yes, kill them all as they did not listen to me" ?
No, off course not! His answer was "No, I hope Allah will bring from them people who will worship Allah alone, associating none with Him." This was the example of the Prophet, even though he was depressed, bitter and very angry with them, he had the discipline and control to not let his emotions control his actions and he forgave them realizing that they were merely misguided.
Now let us look at ourselves, nowadays our youth ask : "If someone calls you a name or swears at your mother, is it Islamically okay for me to punch them?" or "Can you fight with Muslims if they pick a fight with you?" Why do we always choose the violent way? Islam does not say that we must never fight, but most of the time it can be avoided if we don't have something to prove, if we are not trying to show off thinking that we are strong in our ability to fight, for it is clear in the hadith of the Prophet that:
"A strong person is not the person who throws his adversaries to the ground. A strong person is the one who contains himself when he is angry".
So who do we follow: ourselves or Muhammad (saw)? Even amongst good Muslim brothers and sisters we find that there can be bad feelings between one another. Maybe your brother or sister says something which hurts you and we can't find it in our hearts to forgive them. Was this the way of our Prophet? He taught us: "It is not permissible for a Muslim to shun his brother for more than three nights, that is they meet, and this one turns away and that one turns away. The better of the two is the one who says the greeting first."
Anger is a natural response and sometimes we will find it difficult to contain this. The Holy Prophet (saw) knew this and gave advice what to do in these situations: "Shake hands and rancor will disappear. Give gifts to each other and love each other and enmity will disappear".
A man came to the Prophet (saw) and asked "O Messenger of Allah, teach me some words that I can live by". The Prophet replied "Do not be angry". And the Prophet of God even gave us a way of dealing with our anger, he said that if you are angry and standing then sit down, if you are still angry then lie down. Anyone who has tried this will know that it works. It is very difficult for two people to have an argument while they are lying down!
Anger is one of the weapons of Shaytaan, we should be careful that we do not fall prey to his weapons, rather we should protect ourselves by being patient and in this way we can close the door to our real enemy - Shaytaan.