Thank you for the question; anger is an intense, emotional response to a provocation that is perceived as hurtful, harmful or a threat. Anger can also be a response to discomfort, uncooperative or dismissive statements or actions. The first question is, do we need to control our anger? The simple answer is, “yes” and this is illustrated in the advice given by the Prophet (pbuh) when he stated, “The strong is not the one who overcomes the people. Rather the strong person is the one who controls him/herself while in a state of anger.” (Sahih al-Bukhari) Furthermore, Allah describes the believer as one who controls their anger, in Surah 3, Verses 133-134.

So, how do we gain control? The Prophet (pbuh) taught us the following:

  1. Seek refuge in Allah from the accursed devil (A’ouzoobillahi Min ash-shaytani rajeem) (Sahih al-Bukhari)
  2. Perform wudu’ (Sunan Abu Dawood)
  3. Remain silent (Musnad Ahmad)
  4. Sit down and, if still angry, lie down (Sunan Abu Dawood)
  5. Making du’a and recitation of the Qur’an, specifically Surah 2, Verse 153

Another step is being proactive in preventing ourselves from becoming angry. A companion asked the Prophet (pbuh) for advice and the Prophet (pbuh) repeatedly stated to the companion “do not be angry.” (Sahih al-Bukhari) In the context of when this question was being asked, the Prophet (pbuh) was teaching us to deal with uncomfortable situations immediately, rather than allowing feelings of discomfort or anger to fester and fester to the point of boiling over. When we reach this point we will be in a reactive state and may say things or do things in anger which will be harmful and hurtful to others – the same that we hate for our own selves. When someone causes us discomfort, consider having a private conversation with that person to address the issue(s) of discomfort in a respectful and proactive manner. Be straightforward and, for example, say, “When you do…I feel…so, I need you to…”

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