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
Does the Quran have any direct verses about books? Can the Quran guide us on what kinds of books to read? How can a book that was revealed about 1400 years ago tell us about which book genres are useful and which are not?
In this text, we will study the status of reading books in the Quran and in Islamic teachings.
The first thing about books is the fact that the Quran, the miracle of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) is a book. Therefore, there is no doubt that there are no problems with reading books in Islam. But, the question that if there is any limitations in reading different types of books is considerable.
The word book has been used a lot in the Quran and has been used for three different meanings. Yet, all of them are used for a thing that records concepts and meanings and transfers them to the audience. In all different meanings of the book, it has been mentioned as a medium. The three different types of books mentioned in the Quran are as follows:
1- The books that contain religious rules and laws. 
2- The books that record the deeds and actions of people. 
3- The book in which all the events and details of this universe have been written and is kept by Allah. 
Writing books is also an important point in the eyes of the Quran, as books are crucial means of conveying messages and transferring history to the next generations. They are also great means of spreading knowledge, wisdom, science, etc. the status of books and writing are so high in the eyes of Allah (SWT) that there is a chapter in the Quran called “Pen” (Qalam) in which Allah (SWT) swears by pens and what is written by it. 
However, it is also very important that the written content should be useful, based on truth, and produced for the growth and improvement of human beings:
“So woe to them who write the Book with their hands and then say, ‘This is from Allah,’ that they may sell it for a paltry gain. So woe to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for what they earn!” (2: 79)
This can be a very important lesson and point to all of those who use their writing talent and produce written material for their audience. The above verse shows how enormous the effect of written products are on the readers.
Reading is also a very important point that is mentioned in the Quran. The most unique verse of the Quran that shows the importance of reading is, according to some Islamic scholars, the first verse of the Quran that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP):
“Read in the Name of your Lord who created; Created man from a clinging mass. Read, and your Lord is the most generous, who taught by the pen, taught man what he did not know.” (96: 1-5)
The above few verses show how learning knowledge and wisdom is connected to writing and reading. It is by writing that human beings transfer their thoughts and learnings to others, and it is by reading those writings that people learn from others. It is by reading that people think, contemplate, and come up with new ideas which lead to more learning, wisdom, discovery and inventions. Therefore, Allah compares those who seek knowledge and those who do not and asks us:
“… Say, ‘Are those who know equal to those who do not know?’ Only those who possess intellect take admonition.” (39:9)
Despite the importance of gaining knowledge through reading in Islam [i], still we might ask if all the books available in the market are useful, worth reading and lawful (Halal) to read in Islam.
The point is that the Quran does not mention all different book genres and does not discuss each genre in detail. But, it provides specific frameworks that work as a type of criterion. Knowing the criterion helps us to distinguish which books are useful for us and which ones can harm our soul and spirituality.
For example, the Quran is not against stories or novels since the Quran itself is full of amazing stories, some of which are examples or stories . Allah (SWT) claims that He is the best storyteller when He says:
“We will recount to you the best of narratives in what We have revealed to you of this Quran, and indeed prior to it you were among those who are unaware [of it].” (12: 3)
Reading such books will result in many positive effects on our mind and soul. As Imam Ali (AS) says, “The greatest peace is obtained by reading books”. Also, at the times of difficulties and hardships, sometimes one finds no remedy other than taking refuge in books, perhaps to find a way out; As Imam Sadiq (AS) puts, “There will be chaotic days when people would not find peace unless within their books” .
However, this does not mean that reading all types of storybooks, novels or myths are useful. Allah mentions in the Quran that real believers are those who “avoid vain talk” (23: 3). Therefore, books in which we can find parts that would waste our time or those that contain stories, chapters, or lines that may harm human soul and spirituality are not recommended to read. Apart from the books that may harm our soul, reading and learning can be considered as a sign of a Muslim.
[i] “Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon Muslims.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) .
- The Quran (38:29)
- The Quran (45:29)
- The Quran (10:61)
- The Quran (68:1)
- The Quran (39:27)
- Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim, Hadith no.8126.
- Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, vol.1, p.52.
- ibid, p.83.
Undoubtedly, all of us have heard more or less about the word ‘ intention ’. There is a famous English expression which says: “When there is a will, there is a way.” It has a miraculous power hidden beneath, but not if you just look at it and do nothing!
What does it mean, by the way?! Very briefly, it is as stretching or bending the mind towards a goal that makes you go ahead. Intentions occupy a vast and different portion of our everyday life. A very simple example: when a person greets you, tells you a few loving words, his intention will determine the effect of his words. If he loves you, then those words will have a good impact on you, and if not, the more he repeats these phrases, the more you get disgusted!
Now let’s start with what God says. According to the Quran: “All His command, when He wills something, is to say to it" Be," and it is” (36:82). In other words, He [God] stands upon the summit of the mountain of intention, and again, the Quran says: “Indeed we belong to Allah” (2:156). So, we can conclude that we have immense power, something similar to God. But the point is that every person can use this magic tool based on his inner self.
Imam Ali (AS) says: “having good intention arises from the pure inner self,” so when you could capture a pure soul, it brings about a healthy body for you.
When we have a great God, why don’t we set our aspirations to him? The Holy Quran says: “O Prophet! Urge on the faithful to fight: If there be twenty patient men among you, they shall overcome two hundred; and if there be a hundred of you, they shall overcome a thousand of the faithless, for they are a lot who do not understand” (8:65).
Another example: “As Saul set out with the troops, he said: ‘We have no strength today against Goliath and his troops.’ Those who were certain they would encounter Allah said, ‘How many a small party has overcome a larger party by Allah's will’ (2:249). Yes, as you noticed they believed in Allah, and they won.
So, whatever your goals are, try to adapt them to God's will; this way you will make them come true. Abraham (AS) is one of the prophets who is also called the friend of God. But why?! It is a long story, in Quran Allah himself says: “Indeed I have turned my face toward Him Who originated the heavens and the earth, as a hanif, and I am not one of the polytheists” (6:79). He believed that everything in his life belonged to God, that’s why God chose him as a real friend.
Do not forget this golden rule which says: Do everything for God; then, he opens the way for you.
The mere good intention of a person even without acting upon it is praiseworthy since it will lead to getting close to God.