Islam has spread much more quickly than the other religions all over the world. The question is how this has happened? And it becomes more important when we consider the situation in which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) emerged.
He (PBUH&HP) invited people to Islam while he did not have any wealth or position and even when his family opposed him; except his wife, Lady Khadija (AS), and his cousin, Imam Ali (AS). Several factors were involved which we will discuss in a series of articles. Here, the focus is on how pleasant characteristics of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) helped Islam to become well known throughout the world.
In the Quran it is emphasized that the morals and attitude of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was one of the factors which attracted people to Islam: “had you been harsh and hard-hearted, they (people) would have surely scattered from around you” (3:159). This pleasant behavior of the Prophet (PBUH&HP) which made people inclined to him and Islam is known to be due to the God’s mercy over him (PBUH&HP) (3:159).
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was forgiving towards those who had bothered him or even insulted him. It is narrated that once, a Jew accused Prophet (PBUHHP) of owing him some money and insisted on paying him back immediately. Prophet (PBUH&HP) told him gently that he had made a mistake, but the man repeated his claim and suddenly assaulted the Prophet (PBUH&HP). The companions of Prophet (PBUH&HP) came to interfere, but he (PBUH&HP) said: “I know how to deal with my friend.” He (PBUH&HP) behaved very nicely such that the man acknowledged that this behavior is only expected from a prophet and he declared his belief and embraced Islam right there.
However, he (PBUH&HP) was very serious about applying Islamic regulations or others’ rights. It is narrated that a woman from Quraysh [i] had stolen something; she confessed and had to be punished. Many people, including her family, interfered to change the Prophet’s mind and to stop her punishment. Prophet (PBUH) told people that they had meddled because she was from a famous family, but there is no exception to Islamic rules.
To provide an exemplary leader for others, to train people to act alike, to valorize his companions and to convince people to follow his instructions, Prophet (PBUH) used to take advice. Of course, in the end, he (PBUH&HP) was the one who decided and made firm decisions: “consult them on the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah” (3:159).
“Invite (mankind) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better” (16:125). Unlike what is advertised against Islam, Prophet Muhammad (PBUHHP) never forced people or threatened them to accept Islam.
On the contrary, following the advice of the Quran, he promoted Islam with kindness, fairness, and wisdom. Instead of humiliating and discriminating non-Muslims, or being harsh and fierce, he used rational argument and discussion which also improved their rationality and thinking power . This followed the fact that embracing Islam should be according to the personal perception and understanding and it cannot be based on the imitation .
[i]A mercantile tribe that historically inhabited and controlled Mecca and Ka'aba.
Do you find your temper on a short fuse when confronting your teenage child? Do you get mad when somebody cuts you off while driving? Don’t these make you clench your jaws, have a rapid heart rate, sweat or tremble?
We all have experienced these physical reactions to anger. In fact, anger is a normal healthy emotion. But when out of control, it can turn destructive and lead to many problems. This article will help us learn how to keep our anger under control and to act more appropriately to lessen the impact it has on our daily life.
As defined in Cambridge dictionary anger is “a strong feeling that makes you want to hurt someone or be unpleasant because of something unfair or unkind that has happened” . It is typical of a human’s behavior to get angry when he/ she is deceived, irritated, attacked or mistreated. If used correctly, anger can be profitable in helping us distinguish between right and wrong.
It can also motivate us to make a change and speak up for ourselves. In some cases, however, it becomes really difficult to manage our anger. This will most probably affect our relationships and lead us to say or do things that we later regret.
That is why the religion of Islam attaches so much importance to controlling this natural human behavior. Imam Sadiq (AS) says in a narration that the one who has no control over his/her anger has no control over his reason .
Sometimes you get so angry that you cannot think straight and are unable to make sound decisions. That’s when anger could be a breeding ground for many evils. As Imam Sadiq (AS) puts: “(uncontrolled) anger is the key (that opens the door) to all kinds of vices” 
Based on vast scientific studies, anger can determine various mental or physical diseases and many other deadly risks. This includes the increase in the number of road accidents, violent crimes, etc.:
“Chronic anger and anxiety can disrupt cardiac function by changing the heart’s electrical stability, hastening atherosclerosis, and increasing systemic inflammation”  “Research also shows that even one five-minute episode of anger is so stressful that it can impair your immune system for more than six hours” . Studies have linked anger to mental health problems like depression, loneliness, anxiety, eating and sleep disorders, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive behavior as well. 
Since this emotional behavior is hard to control and sometimes makes us commit irrational deeds, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) introduces the most courageous person as the one who does not let these negative feelings take over and can overcome his/her anger . Such a person is virtuous in the eyes of Allah:
“those who spend in ease and adversity, and suppress their anger, and excuse [the faults of] the people, and Allah loves the virtuous” (3:134)
Fortunately, Islam recommends some ways to control and overcome anger in our life:
When you find something annoying, you can either choose to vent your frustrations or cool down and take a minute to think twice about the negative consequences that inevitably follow the expression of anger. Why don’t you find some way to put yourself in other people’s shoes? Don’t you want to give yourself a chance to turn that anger to love?
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) says: “the best people are those who do not get angry easily and get satisfied (calm down) quickly.”
Saying the prayer or any other act of worship can help you tame your anger. Pray for yourself and the person or the situation that has made you angry. Remember Allah and ask Him to soften your heart and help you in forgiving others.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) has said: “Anger comes from Satan, and Satan was created from fire. Fire is put out by water; so when you become angry, perform ablution (Wudu) with water” .
Nowadays scientists have proven how changing your posture can affect your mood, your energy level as well as the ability to generate positive and negative thoughts. “According to one study from Texans A&M University, lying down can reduce feelings of anger and hostility” .
It has also been reported from Imam Baqir (AS) that: “Verily, anger is a spark ignited by the Devil in the human heart. Indeed, when anyone of you gets angry, his eyes become red, the veins of his neck become swollen, and Satan enters them. Therefore, whosoever among you is concerned about himself on account of it; he should lie down for a while so that the filth of Satan may be removed from him at the time” .
A Chinese proverb says If you are patient in the moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow. So, it is not wise to be swift in seeking revenge. It has also been narrated from Imam Ali (AS) that the best revenge at the time of anger is to show forbearance . When you are fuming over something, before any reaction, ask yourself if you want to live a life filled with vengeful and angry thoughts or a peaceful and decent life in which you try to forgive patiently. Which one would you choose?
Imam Ali (AS) says: “Anger is a very bad companion, it reveals your flaws, brings the evil near and distances the good” .
It is narrated from Imam Ali (AS) that the most powerful people in recognition of the right are the ones who do not get angry .
Imam Ali (AS) introduces anger management as a way of developing wisdom . Since a wise person would never do anything regrettable at the time of anger.
Imam Sadiq (AS) has said: “If someone got angry with you three times but did not insult you, then choose him/her as a friend” . In another narration, Imam Ali (AS) says making your friend angry will lead to separation from her/him .
Imam Ali (AS) has advised us to keep silent at the time of anger: “Protect yourself from anger for its beginning is insanity and its end is remorse” .
Anger management will also make you close to the holy infallible Imams and follow in their footsteps. Then you will become a dignified person who deserves to be saved from Allah’s wrath both in this world and the hereafter.
“Muhammad, the Apostle of Allah, and those who are with him are hard against the faithless and merciful amongst themselves” (48:29)
As stated above anger can be constructive too. When managed well, anger has no or very few detrimental consequences. Instead, it is a warning sign of corruption or an evil action; that something around you is not right. It then motives you to take action to correct the wrong. In such cases, Muslims are recommended to express anger for the right, to defend the good, and only to gain Allah’s satisfaction.
Yet, how you end up handling the anger is of great importance, too. As Muslims, we are not allowed to violate anyone’s right or act indecently at the time of anger. All our actions should be based on rational considerations and the Divine laws. Imam Sadiq (AS) says in this regard: “A believer is a person who when angered, his/her anger does not lead him away from that which is true” .
- al-Kafi, v. 2, p. 305, no. 13
- al‑Kafi, vol. 2, p. 303, hadith 3
- happiness stress heart disease
- emotional wellness
- harmfull effects of holding anger
- Nahj al-Fasaha, p. 549, hadith 1872
- Nahj al-Fasaha, p. 286, hadith 660
- movement can feel you better
- Al-Kulayni, Usul al-Kafi, Vol. III.
- Tasnif ghurar al-hikam wa-durar al-kalim, p. 285, hadith 6400
- ibid, p. 302, hadith 6893
- ibid, p246, hadith 5062
- ibid, p. 242, hadith 4919
- Ma’dan al-Jawahir, p. 34
- Naj al-Balaqa (Sobhi Salih), p. 559, hadith 480
- Al-Amidi, Gharar ul-Hikam wa darar ul-Kalim, hadith 2635
- Al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 186, hadith 11
- anger in islam
How high is the power of his religion that even 1400 years after his death, some people try to tarnish his personality? The religion of Islam brought and spread by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) is gaining more and more followers and lovers. This vast amount of conversion to Islam has negative consequences for the materialist and capitalist rulers in the world. By following Islam, people learn to stand for their rights and oppose the tyranny of oppressors. The rules of Islam question the rules made by the oppressor rulers in different societies.
Therefore, the increase in the number of people who embrace Islam and the Islamic lifestyle frightens those tyrant rulers, and they make plans to decay the status of Islam in different ways. One of the plans that they have been applying throughout the past decades was to introduce a violent personality of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). In this text, we will study the conduct of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) and the representation of his manners and behaviors in the Quran to review his kind and merciful character better.
Sending messengers by Allah Almighty to people implies His deep care for them and His will to guide them toward prosperity. But His messengers were supposed to follow specific rulings in their invitation of people toward Him. Being kind and merciful to people is one of the characteristics that Allah Almighty ordered His messengers to observe.
When Allah was sending Prophet Moses and Aaron (PBUT) to Pharaoh, who claimed to be Allah, He told them that if they want their words to be heard, they should speak to him in a lenient manner: “Both of you go to Pharaoh, for he has indeed rebelled. Speak to him in a soft manner; maybe he will take admonition or fear.’” (20: 43-44)
Prophets were commanded to be patient with their people and never become angry at them. The only prophet mentioned in the Quran who became disappointed of his people and left them was Prophet Yunus (AS), who was punished by Allah for his impatience and disappointment: “And [remember] the Man of the Fish, when he left in a rage, thinking that We would not put him to hardship. Then he cried out in the darkness, ‘There is no god except You! You are immaculate! I have indeed been among the wrongdoers!’” (21: 87)
Therefore, when Allah Almighty’s criterion in choosing His messengers is mercifulness and kindness, how can He keep a violent prophet among His servants?
Like any other prophets, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) had the characteristics of a chosen prophet. He was kind and merciful by the Mercy of his Lord as mentioned in the Quran: “It is by Allah’s mercy that you are gentle to them; had you been harsh and hardhearted, they would have surely scattered from around you...” (3: 159)
But the kindness and mercy of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) throughout his call toward Allah (SWT) come to a point where Allah Almighty tells him to be easier oh himself: “You are liable to imperil your life [out of distress] that they will not have faith.” (26: 3)
When Allah Almighty sees the unfriendly behavior of people toward Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), He starts to point out and count Prophet’s kindly manners to people: “There has certainly come to you an apostle from among yourselves. Grievous to him is your distress; he has a deep concern for you and is most kind and merciful to the faithful.” (9:128)
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was not only merciful to the people in Arabia, but he was sent to be a caring for all human beings in all times: “We did not send you but as a mercy to all the nations.” (21: 107)
All presentations of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) in the Quran are about his great kindness and his caring personality. Allah describes his manner and behavior as being the perfect example for humankind: “and indeed, you possess a great character.” (68: 4)
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was so kind to people that even if they harmed him, he did not reply to them violently. It is narrated from Ibn Mas’oud, who said: I saw people hit the prophet and made his face full of blood, but while he was rubbing the blood off his face, he prayed, “O Lord! Please forgive my people as they are ignorant.”  In the early years of his prophethood, people kept harming the Prophet (PBUH&HP), but instead of cursing them, the Prophet (PBUH&HP) kept praying for their guidance.
The Prophet (PBUH&HP) never violated the heads of Quraish for their aggravation and torture and kept asking Allah Almighty to forgive them, until Allah Almighty by His knowledge of their persistence in remaining infidels sent him the following verse: “It is the same for them whether you plead for forgiveness for them, or do not plead for forgiveness for them: Allah will never forgive them. Indeed Allah does not guide the transgressing lot.” (63: 6)
Allah Almighty then described the characteristics of Muslims in a way that at the same time that they should not oppress anyone, they shouldn’t undergo any oppression, and defined the real Muslim society with the following manners:
“Muhammad, the Apostle of Allah, and those who are with him are hard against the faithless and merciful amongst themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in worship], seeking Allah’s grace, and [His] pleasure...” (48: 20)
Like any other human being, despite his great and kind personality, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) had to react in different manners with different people. Therefore, if he had any serious encounter with people, it was not because of his violent attitude, but because of the correct reaction that any sane and smart man should have in facing different people.
- Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 9, P. 20.