A feature that is being propagated by different types of media about Muslims and Islam is an angry and aggressive face. This is while Islam has a lot of direct commands and recommendations about controlling anger and being good-tempered. A narration from Imam Sadiq (AS) defines good-temper very well: “Good temper is to soften your attitude and clear your speech and meet your brother with kindness.” 
In this text, we will study the viewpoint of Islam on being good-tempered.
There are many verses of the Quran that teaches us how to interact with others. The Prophet of Islam (PBUH&HP) was sent as a role model:
“There is certainly a good exemplar for you in the Apostle of Allah—for those who look forward to Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much.” (33:21)
This exemplar is defined in different verses of the Quran, not only by admiring the number of his prayers but with his excellent manners. Allah admires his apostle by saying:
“And indeed, you possess a great character.” (68: 4)
Therefore, when Allah tells us:
“Obey Allah and the Apostle so that you may be granted [His] mercy” (3: 132), He means that by following the characteristics of the Prophet (PBUH&HP), one can achieve success and prosperity. One of his most important features was his good-temper.
One may think that many people are not good-tempered and yet have very successful lives. However, the Quran introduces being soft and kind to people as a means of reaching goals.
Almighty Allah says to His Apostle:
“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. So excuse them and plead for forgiveness for them, and consult them in the affairs, and once you are resolved, put your trust in Allah. Indeed Allah loves those who trust in Him.” (3: 159)
As it is mentioned in the above verse, Allah introduces being good-mannered and good-tempered as the essential element that made the Prophet (PBUH&HP) successful in guiding people. Also, some of the features of a good-tempered person are mentioned in this verse:
1.To be forgiving towards people’s faults and mistakes in our social or family life (Excuse them).
2.To ask Allah to forgive other people for their sins and mistakes (plead for forgiveness for them). Having this manner helps us feel real compassion towards others, and therefore, it allows us to interact with them with kindness and a good temper.
3. To give credit and respect to other people by asking their ideas even if we know better than they do (consult them in the affairs).
Imagine that if in our daily life, we try to consider these three crucial hints, how peaceful our life will become, and how influential we can become in our relations and communications.
Should we be soft and gentle to everyone? Or are there groups of people to whom we should be harsh and demanding?
Two verses in the Quran explain how Muslims should behave towards different groups of people. This verse of the Quran: “Muhammad, the Apostle of Allah, and those who are with him are hard against the faithless and merciful amongst themselves,” (48: 29) indicates that Muslims should be kind and merciful to other Muslims and harsh on those who deny the existence of Allah and the hereafter. However, when Allah orders prophet Moses (PBUH) and Aaron to go to Pharaoh to invite him to monotheism, He orders them:
“Both of you go to Pharaoh, for he has indeed rebelled. Speak to him in a gentle manner; maybe he will take admonition or fear.” (20: 43-44)
Again, in this verse, Allah introduces the importance of soft and gentle speech as an essential means of reaching goals.
Experience shows that by being good-tempered, one can become popular among others and can make his/her own life as well as others peaceful.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) says:
"being good-tempered sustains friendship.” 
Imam Al-Sadiq (AS) says:
“Charity and being good-tempered flourish lands and increase lifetime.” 
And in the words of Imam Ali (AS):
“The treasures of the provision are in being good-tempered and affability.” 
These verses of the Quran clearly show that if people wish to have a good life in this world and the hereafter, they need to work on themselves to control their anger and to be good-tempered in their relationships.
- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 68, p. 389
- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 71, p. 389
- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 71, p. 395
- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 75, p. 53
Perhaps one of the most important questions for each of us about life is what a good and flourishing life is and most generally if it is worth living.
Many people, including great philosophers and scholars of ethics and mysticism throughout history, have tried to find an answer to this question regarding life worth. Albert Camus, one of the famous authors and philosophers of the 20th century, tried hard to fulfill his lifelong quest to shed light on the meaning of our lives, such that he believed: “Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest […] comes afterward. Those are games; one must first answer this” .
Now let’s see how different people have answered this important question about life worth. We can divide these viewpoints into three categories:
1. They believe life costs a lot and has very few benefits for us. As Woody Allan, the pessimist American director, puts: “Most of life is tragic. You're born, you don't know why. You're here, you don't know why. You go, you die. Your family dies. Your friends die. People suffer. People live in constant terror. The world is full of poverty and corruption and war and Nazis and tsunamis. The net result, the final count is, you lose - you don't beat the house” . Or as Samuel Butler says: “life is one long process of getting tired” . So some of these people think why not we commit suicide to get rid of this miserable life?!
2. These people believe life is so valuable no matter how it seems and we have to live it at any price. Lots of people choose to think this way. Henry James has said: “Be not afraid of life believe that life is worth living and your belief will create the fact” . Or there is another quote from Ellen DeGeneres that says: “My life is perfect even when it's not” . Also, one of the most popular contemporary writers, Paulo Coelho seems to have a kind of optimistic view about life when he says: “Never give up. When your heart becomes tired, just walk with your legs – but move on” 
Some other people seem to have found the golden mean between the two previous extremes:
3. So, sometimes it is worth living and sometimes not. This is what Islam and Islamic leaders teach their followers about life worth. There are examples in the lives of the infallible Imams in which they indicate that we are not created only to live this worldly life and that this life is merely a path for us to reach a higher status. As the Holy Quran says: “while the Hereafter is better and more lasting” (87:17). So, we should always think if this earthly life will be to our benefit in the hereafter or not. If yes, then it is worth living; if not fight for those benefits even if you die.
One of the most significant role models for us in this regard is Imam Hussain (AS), the third infallible Imam, whose act of sacrifice has left a profound impact on humankind throughout history. Imam Hussain (AS) believed accepting humiliation and obedience to mean people is like living in hell. So, when all he did to guide his enemies to the right path failed, he said: “To me, death is nothing but happiness, and living under tyrants nothing but living in a hell” .
At this state, death to him is more desirable than living under the oppression of the tyrants and surrendering to their wishes. Therefore, when he was placed in a dilemma by the oppressors to be humiliated by swearing allegiance to the tyrant of the time, Yazid, or to fight and probably die, he decided to fight even if he died. He sacrificed all he had in this way and departed this earthly life with glory.
Now, after about 1400 years, every year in Muharram, lots of ceremonies are held around the world to commemorate the anniversary of his martyrdom. Lots of people from different religions get influenced by him and his ideology and sometimes it makes them embrace Islam.
Which point of view do you agree about life worth? Will you ever give up your benefits for the good of others to make them have a flourishing and more valuable life?
One of the significant aspects of responsibility in Islam is the responsibility towards ourselves and how we treat our bodies and souls. As discussed previously, every Muslim is responsible towards himself.
Since human beings owe their existence to their unique Creature, they should treat themselves as their Creator has commanded. The spiritual responsibilities of a human towards him\herself and some of the duties that one has towards his\her body were discussed in the previous part of this topic. Here, we continue the discussion on the rights of the parts of the body.
The eyes are the means of insight and awakening of the heart. Imam Ali (AS) said that a faithful person looks to learn, but a hypocrite looks to amuse . Thus, of the rights of the eyes and one's responsibility in Islam towards them is to lower the gaze from whatever that is unlawful (Haram) and not to look at everything and everywhere around, unless there is a lesson or advice behind . According to Imam Ali (AS), whoever closes the eyes from Haram, his\her heart will be relieved .
The legs are the means to walk towards the right path and to overtake others in doing good deeds. Hence, of the rights of the legs over one and the responsibility in Islam towards them are not going towards what is unlawful (Haram) or what humiliates him\herself .
Of the rights of the hands are not to do what is unlawful (Haram) with them, otherwise one will be punished in the Hereafter for what has committed by his\her hands, and will be blamed by others in this world; not to prevent the hands from doing what God has commanded to; and, to allow the hands to seek what is beneficial and useful for one .
Of the rights of the stomach are :
To be careful about what you eat (80:24);
Not to eat what is unlawful (Haram), neither a little of it nor too much;
Not to consider the stomach as a container and not to overeat while ignoring others who suffer from hunger; “eat and drink, but do not waste” (7:31);
To eat moderately even when eating lawful (Halal) foods because eating less is the key to good health ;
Not to forget that overeating makes one bored and lazy and stops him\her from doing good deeds. According to Imam Ali (AS), to eat less enlightens the mind ;
To remember that drinking too much will also cause indiscretion and absurdity;
Of the rights of the private parts are to protect them from what is unlawful (Haram). To do so, one requires lowering the gaze since the eyes affect the heart and mind greatly. Also, one should frequently remember the death and the afterlife. He\she should always have a fear of the divine punishment and ask God to help him\her to protect his\her private parts from sins .
Every human being is composed of a body and a soul. These two, together, help one to live a natural life. The health of the body is as important as the health of the soul. Devoting everything in life to prepare for the afterlife and depriving oneself of the God’s blessings in this world is blamed in Islam. In Surah Qasas verses 77, Muslims are advised to apply the capabilities and wealth that they have been given to do good deeds and to gain rewards for the afterlife.
But, they should also consider and benefit from the blessings of this world (28:77). Indeed, it is possible to consider both the physical needs as well as spiritual ones simultaneously. Although fulfilling the physical needs is known to be important in Islam, one should keep a balance in life and avoid being luxury-oriented. Otherwise, he\she will always be busy to increase his\her wealth, and this might force him\her to unlawful (Haram) ways of raising money.
- S. al-Harrani “Tuhaf al-Uqul”, p. 212.
- Imam Sajjad (AS), Treatise On Rights (Risalat al-Huquq).
- “Ghurar Al-Hikam Wa Durar Al-Kalim”, T. 9122.
- S. al-Harrani “Tuhaf al-Uqul”, p. 172.
- “Ghurar Al-Hikam Wa Durar Al-Kalim”, T. 8462.
- M. B. Majlesi, “Bihar al-Anwar”, vol. 78, p. 321.