Allah Almighty states in the Holy Quran:

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اصْبِرُوۡا وَصَابِرُوۡا ٪

  ‘O believers! be patient, and excel in patience with the enemies.

(Aale ‘Imran 3, Verse 200)

Hadeeth:

وَعَنْ أبِيْ هُرَيْرَةَ – رضي الله عنه – أنَّ رَسُوْلَ اللهِ – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قَالَ: «لَيْسَ الشَّدِيْدُ بِالصُّرَعَةِ، إنَّمَا الشَدِيْدُ الَّذِيْ يَمْلِكُ نَفْسَهُ عِنْدَ الْغَضَبِ»

مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيهِ.

Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah – may Allah be pleased with him – reported: The Messenger of Allah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – said, “ “The strong man is not one who is good at wrestling, but the strong man is he who controls himself in a fit of rage.”

(Bukhari, Muslim)

Commentary:

A Rare Case of Anger Management:

Abul Waleed Ma’an was also such a generous and kind person that people used to say that for anyone to make him angry would be nothing short of a miracle. He was also extremely intelligent and brave as we just saw.

One day, a Bedouin appeared and made the claim that he would succeed in making Ma’an bin Zaahidah angry. The people also mentioned to him that if he succeeded in this, they would give him one hundred red camels as a reward. The person then approached Ma’an who was sitting on one side of the court. In fact, he started to insult Ma’an in the following manner.

“Do you still remember the time when you used to wear clothes made from sheep skin and wear shoes made from camel skin?”

When he heard this, Ma’an replied, “That which you claim, I am fully aware of that and I will never forget it.”

The village then said, “Glory be to that Divine Being Who has given you a kingdom and has allowed you to sleep on a bed.”

Ma’an replied, “This is certainly the Divine Blessing of the Allah Almighty and certainly not through you.”

The villager then said, “I cannot survive one day without the grace of Ma’an bin Zaahidah and cannot ignore him without greeting him.”

Ma’an then said to him, “To make Salaam in Islam is an act of Sunnah. If you make Salaam then you will receive reward and if you do not make Salaam, then you will carry the sin yourself.”

The village then said, “In that country in which you live, I will leave that country even though I have to walk to the border on foot.”

Ma’an then replied, “If you stay, then I believe there will be goodness and if you decide to leave, then you will only take my good wishes and Du’a.”

The villager then said, “O son of a misfit female, please give me some provision for the road because I have made a firm decision to leave this country”.

Ma’an then ordered his servant to give the person one thousand Dinars so that even if he leaves this country, he will have something to survive on.

The villager then said, “Whatever you have given is very less and I had hope that you would give even more.”

Ma’an then ordered that another one thousand be given to the villager.

The villager continued, “I make Du’a that the Allah Almighty continues to keep you well and healthy because your kindness is like the waves which never ends.”

In all of these insults, Ma’an bin Zaahidah did not get angry and obviously even though the villager lost the bet to make him angry, yet he was richly rewarded. (Nawaadir Al Akhbar)

The Holy Quran Diminished the Anger of Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him:

 أَنَّ ابْنَ عَبَّاسٍ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ قَدِمَ عُيَيْنَةُ بْنُ حِصْنِ بْنِ حُذَيْفَةَ فَنَزَلَ عَلَى ابْنِ أَخِيهِ الْحُرِّ بْنِ قَيْسٍ، وَكَانَ مِنَ النَّفَرِ الَّذِينَ يُدْنِيهِمْ عُمَرُ، وَكَانَ الْقُرَّاءُ أَصْحَابَ مَجَالِسِ عُمَرَ وَمُشَاوَرَتِهِ كُهُولاً كَانُوا أَوْ شُبَّانًا‏.‏ فَقَالَ عُيَيْنَةُ لاِبْنِ أَخِيهِ يَا ابْنَ أَخِي، لَكَ وَجْهٌ عِنْدَ هَذَا الأَمِيرِ فَاسْتَأْذِنْ لِي عَلَيْهِ‏.‏ قَالَ سَأَسْتَأْذِنُ لَكَ عَلَيْهِ‏.‏ قَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ فَاسْتَأْذَنَ الْحُرُّ لِعُيَيْنَةَ فَأَذِنَ لَهُ عُمَرُ، فَلَمَّا دَخَلَ عَلَيْهِ قَالَ هِيْ يَا ابْنَ الْخَطَّابِ، فَوَاللَّهِ مَا تُعْطِينَا الْجَزْلَ، وَلاَ تَحْكُمُ بَيْنَنَا بِالْعَدْلِ‏.‏ فَغَضِبَ عُمَرُ حَتَّى هَمَّ بِهِ، فَقَالَ لَهُ الْحُرُّ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى قَالَ لِنَبِيِّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم

‏خُذِ الْعَفْوَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْعُرْفِ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْجَاهِلِينَ‏

 وَإِنَّ هَذَا مِنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ‏.‏ وَاللَّهِ مَا جَاوَزَهَا عُمَرُ حِينَ تَلاَهَا عَلَيْهِ، وَكَانَ وَقَّافًا عِنْدَ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ‏

Sayyiduna Ibn `Abbas – may Allah be pleased with them reported:

‘Uyaina bin Hisn bin Hudhaifa came and stayed with his nephew Al-Hurr bin Qais who was one of those whom Sayyiduna `Umar used to keep near him, as the Qurra’ (learned men knowing Qur’an by heart) were the people of Sayyiduna `Umar’s meetings and his advisors whether they were old or young. ‘Uyaina said to his nephew, “O son of my brother! You have an approach to this chief, so get for me the permission to see him.” Al-Hurr said, “I will get the permission for you to see him.” So Al-Hurr asked the permission for ‘Uyaina and Sayyiduna `Umar admitted him. When ‘Uyaina entered upon him, he said, “Beware! O the son of Al-Khattab! By Allah, you neither give us sufficient provision nor judge among us with justice.” Thereupon `Umar became so furious that he intended to harm him, but Al-Hurr said, “O Leader of the Believers! Allah said to His Prophet:

خُذِ الْعَفْوَ وَاۡمُرْ بِالْعُرْفِ وَ اَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْجٰہِلِیۡنَ ﴿۱۹۹﴾

  (O beloved Prophet)! Adopt forgiveness and bid to good and turn away from the Ignorant.

(Al-A’raf 7, Verse 199)

And this (i.e. ‘Uyaina) is one of the foolish.” By Allah, Sayyiduna `Umar did not overlook that Verse when Al-Hurr recited it before him; he observed (the orders of) Allah’s Book strictly.

(Sahih Bukhari Hadeeth No. 4642)

Adopting Patience and Forgiveness

There is no doubt that Hadrat Sayyiduna Syed Ahmed Kabeer – may Allah be pleased with him – is considered amongst the giants of the Awliya.

Once, during Ramadaan when it was extremely hot, a certain person invited him to his residence for supper. It was also his habit of accepting the invitation of the most common person on the street and never displayed pride or arrogance. At the same time, since accepting the invite of another Muslim is also a Sunnah, he advised the person that he had accepted the invite but before coming, he would like to read two Rak’ah of Salaah.

It was also his habit of always performing two Rak’ah of Salaah after Maghrib, but this person insisted that they leave immediately.

To please this poor Muslim, Hadrat Sayyiduna Sayyed Ahmed Kabeer – may Allah be pleased with him – left aside his two Rak’ah of Nafil and began to walk with the person. When they arrived at his house, the host mentioned to the great Saint that he should wait outside a little while so that he could prepare everything. The great Saint agreed to this.

However, the host became so involved inside his house that he had forgotten about Hadrat Sayyiduna Syed Ahmed Kabeer – may Allah be pleased with him – who was waiting outside. When the time came for the ‘Isha, the host then left his house and was shocked to see the great Saint at the front door. He was also extremely embarrassed and profusely apologised to the great Saint. And at the same time, he also swore an oath that he had completely forgotten. However, Hadrat Sayyiduna Syed Ahmed Kabeer – may Allah be pleased with him – replied, “My son! No harm has been done. Come let us go for Salaah together and after that we shall return to have Iftaar”. In fact, he displayed no anger whatsoever.

(Qalaa’idul Jawaahir fi Zikr Al Ghous Al Rifaa’i)

On another occasion, a person invited Hadrat Sayyiduna Syed Ahmed Kabeer – may Allah be pleased with him – and when he arrived at this person’s house, the person told him to go away. Hadrat Sayyiduna Syed Ahmed Kabeer – may Allah be pleased with him – silently left the house. The person called him back. Again, with extreme happiness, he accepted this invite. However, on the second occasion, this person did the same thing. Hadrat Sayyiduna Syed Ahmed Kabeer – may Allah be pleased with him – again silently left the house. The person did this for the third time and on the third occasion, the person invited him inside. When Hadrat Sayyiduna Syed Ahmed Kabeer – may Allah be pleased with him – entered the house, this person told him, “I swear by Allah that I have never seen someone as patient as you and someone who is able to display such humility.” When he heard this, he mentioned that this was nothing unusual.

(Qalaa’idul Jawaahir)

Imam Ja’fer Sadiq’s Sabr against Anger:

One day, the slave of Imam Ja’fer Sadiq – may Allah be pleased with him – accidentally spilled water on his clothes.  He looked at him with a sharp glance, so the slave said, “O my master, ‘And those who restrain anger’,” and he said “I swallowed my anger.”

He then said, “and who pardon people” and he said, “I forgave you”.

The slave then said, “And virtuous people are dear to Allah.” So the Imam said, “Go, I free you for the sake of Allah Almighty.  I also give you a thousand gold coins from my account.”

(Bahr al-Dumoo’ p. 202)

Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas’ Humble Nature:

A man swore Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas – may Allah be pleased with him.  When he became quiet, Sayyiduna Ibn ‘Abbas – may Allah be pleased with him – said to Sayyiduna ‘Ikramah – may Allah be pleased with him, “O ‘Ikramah, see to this man if he is in need of anything.”  When he heard this, his head went down in shame.

(Ihya Uloom al-Deen Vol. 3, p. 220)

When One becomes a Person of Opinion:

Sayyiduna Ameer Mu’awiyah – may Allah be pleased with him – said:

One does not become a man of opinion until his humility overcomes his ignorance and his patience overcomes his desires, and the only possible way one can attain such station is through knowledge.

(Ihya ‘Uloom al-Deen Vol. 3, p. 220)

The Outcome of Tolerance:

Sayyiduna ‘Ali – may Allah be pleased with him – said:

The first outcome one derives from tolerance is that people look up to him and shun whoever opposes that person.

(Ihya Uloom al-Deen Vol. 3, p. 220)

He Will Race to Paradise:

The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – has stated:

When Allah Almighty will gather people on the Day of Judgment, a caller will call, “Where are the people of virtues?”  Some people will stand up and begin to walk swiftly towards Paradise.

The angels will ask, “We are looking at you racing to Paradise, what is the reasons for that?” 

They will say, “We excel others.” 

The angels will then ask, “What excellence do you possess?”

They will respond, “Whenever we were oppressed, we endured.  When we were illtreated, we forgave.  When we were dealt with ignorance, we dealt with tolerance.”

They will then be told, “Enter the Paradise.  How beautiful is the reward of those who work for it.”

(Ihya Uloom al-Deen Vol. 3, p. 220)

Never Avenged for Personal Gain:

When Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – intended to punish an alcoholic, he began to badmouth him.  He released him.  People asked, “O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, why did you leave him when he swore you?”

He replied, “Because he provoked me this way, and now, if I were to punish him, it would be for personal grudge, and I do not want to punish any Muslim brother due to my personal grievances.”

(Ihya Uloom al-Deen Vol. 3, p. 223)

Lesson:

  • This Hadith teaches us to keep ourselves in control in order to overcome the rage.
  • Real worrier is he who overcomes his anger.
  • Great personalities do not avenge for personal grievances.