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How can one avoid getting angry quickly?

I am a person who gets angry quickly, and I cannot control myself when I argue with anyone, even my parents. Please tell me of ways and means of avoiding getting angry quickly. May Allaah reward you with good.

Praise be to Allaah.  

Allaah has commanded us to honour our parents and treat them kindly in word and deed, and he has forbidden us to offend them in word and deed, even in the slightest manner. 

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.

24. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.’”

[al-Isra’ 17:23-24] 

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) advised us not to get angry, i.e., to avoid the causes that lead to that and to be careful of what may result from that.  

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that a man said to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Advise me.” He said: “Do not get angry.” He repeated his question several times and he said: “Do not get angry.” 

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5765. 

The Muslim should be above getting angry for his own sake or for the sake of anyone other than Allaah, because that may lead to regrettable consequences either in this world or in the Hereafter, or in both. 

Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali said: 

‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: It may be known whether a person is really patient at the time of anger. And he used to say that the beginning of anger is madness and the end of it is regret, and anger cannot be justified by offering a humble apology. Calamities may come because of anger. It was said to al-Shu’bi: Why is a person who is quick to get angry also quick to calm down, and the one who is slow to get angry is slow to clam down. He said: Because anger is like fire; that which is easier to start is easier to extinguish. 

Al-Adaab al-Shar’iyyah, 1/183 

If something happens to a Muslim that makes him angry, he should remember the advice of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Do not get angry,” as if the hadeeth applies directly to him. And he should remember that Allaah has commanded him to treat his parents well and has forbidden him to offend them, as if he has heard that from Him directly. 

There are means of soothing anger if it arises, which will enable the one who does them to cure himself of anger and its effects. Al-Maawirdi mentioned a good number of them when he said: 

“Remember that there are means of soothing anger if it arises, which a person may use to help himself become patient. These include: 

1 – Remembering Allaah, which should make him fear Him; this fear will motivate him to obey Him, so he will resume his good manners, at which point his anger will fade. 

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And remember your Lord when you forget”

[al-Kahf 18:24] 

‘Ikrimah said: i.e., when you get angry. And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytaan (Satan), then seek refuge with Allaah”

[al-A’raaf 7:200] 

i.e., if the Shaytaan makes you angry – then seek refuge with Allaah, for He is the All-Hearer, All-Knower – i.e., He hears the ignorance of the ignorant and He knows the things that take anger away from you. 

One of the wise men said: Whoever remembers the power of Allaah will not use his own power to wrong the slaves of Allaah. ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Muslim ibn Muhaarib said to Haroon al-Rasheed: “O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, I ask You by the One before Whom you are more insignificant than I am before you, and by the One Who has more power to punish you than you have to punish me: why don’t you let me off?” So he left him off, because he had reminded him of the power and might of Allaah. 

2 – He should get out of the situation he is in, so that his anger will dissipate because of his moving away from that situation. 

It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to us: “If one of you gets angry when he is standing, let him sit down, and if that does not take away his anger, then let him lie down.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4782; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood

3 – He should remember what anger leads to of regret and the need to apologize. 

One of the literary figures said: Beware of the pride of anger, for it leads to the humiliation of apology. 

4 – He should remember the reward for forgiving others and of being tolerant, so he should force himself to overcome his anger, seeking that reward and so as to avoid deserving blame and punishment. Raja’ ibn Haywah said to ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwaan, when he had the power to capture some of his enemies: “Allaah has given you the victory that you wanted, so give Allaah what He wants of forgiveness.” A man said something that ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez disliked to hear, so ‘Umar said: “You wanted the Shaytaan to provoke me because of my position so that I would be harsh with you and in return you would harm me tomorrow (i.e., on the Day of Resurrection). Go away, may Allaah have mercy on you.” 

5 – He should remind himself of the way that people like and respect him, and he should not risk losing that because of his anger, so that people change their minds about him. He should know that by forgiving people he will only increase the respect with which they view him.

As the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah will not increase a person who forgives others except in honour.” Narrated by Muslim, 2588.  

And one of the poets said:

“It is not a trait of nobility to be swift in seeking revenge.

And generosity does not lead to a loss of blessings.” 

Adab al-Dunya wa’l-Deen, p. 258-260. 

For more details on how to deal with anger, see the answer to question no. 658

And Allaah is the Source of strength.

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