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What is the best way to deal with Anger and Waswasas?
In the name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalāmu ῾alaykum wa Rahmatullāhi Wabarakātuh
ANSWER TO THE FIRST QUERY: Anger is natural to man. There is no man without the instinct of anger. Allah has placed this quality in man for some reason. It is given to man for the purpose of protecting himself, his possessions, his family and his relatives. If he is bereft of the quality of anger then he will never be angry and never defend himself when attacked by an enemy or an animal. So, man is allowed to show anger to protect himself and, the Shariah has not placed any restriction on that. However, what is required s that man keeps it under control, which if he does so, he will save himself from many difficulties. Conversely, if man does not control his anger he is prone to commit innumerable sins. It is anger that gives rise to arrogance; it gives root to jealousy; an angry man bears malice and is also hostile. Hence, man needs to learn how to use this innate tool of anger for his advantage and protect himself from its abuse and nasty consequences.
A FEW ANTIDOTES
Hereunder follow a few prescriptions and antidotes to ‘diffuse’ one in the rage of anger. May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Divine ability to implement these when we are placed in such situations, Āmin.
- A) RECITE TA’WWUZ – When faced with a situation of anger and excitement, the first thing one should do is act on the directive that Allah Ta’ala has given in the Qurān:
وَإِمَّا يَنْزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ نَزْغٌ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ
“(O Rasulullah) If a provocation from Shaytan provokes you, then seek refuge in Allah.”
(Surah Fussilat – S.41, V.36)
That is, recite,
أَعُوْذُ باِللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيْمْ
“I seek refuge in Allah from the dejected devil.”
The devil has provoked you, but you have sought the refuge of Allah, so Allah will preserve you from its evil consequences.
- B) SIT DOWN OR LIE DOWN – The next thing to be done when angry is to follow the advice of Rasulullah r. It is an unusual but psychological procedure. Rasulullah u advised,
“If you feel the rage of anger in you then, if you are standing, sit down. If the feeling persists in that posture, then lie down.” (Abu Dāwud, Vol.2, Pg.316, Maktabah Ramāniyyah)
- C) THINK OF THE POWER OF ALLAH – Yet another method to counter anger is to say to oneself,
“Suppose Allah was to be angry at me in the same way I am angry at this man, then what will become of me?”
We are told in a hadith that Rasulullah r came across Abu Bakr t scolding his slave. He was blaming him harshly. According to a version, Rasilullah r said,
“Remember, Allah has more power and authority over you than you have over him. You use your authority to hurt him but Allah has more authority over you.”
- D) GET ALLAH’S HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT THE MOST – It is recorded in one of the previous Divine books that Allah Ta’ala has mentioned regarding an angry person,
“Remember me in the time of your anger and I (Allah) will consider you at time when I am in full fury.”
(Ihyā Ulumiddīn Vol.2, Pg.219; Dāru Misr Littibā’ah)
- E) KEEP SILENT – Sayyiduna Ibn Abbās t has reported Rasulullah r to have said,
“When you become angry, remain silent.”
(Ihyā Ulumiddīn Vol.2, Pg.219; Dāru Misr Littibā’ah)
By remaining silent, calm and sedate, one will be in complete control of one’s mind and senses thus allowing one to act in correct measure.
- F) REMEMBER THESE PHRASES – Next time, before getting angry or while one is in a fit of anger, one may well consider the following wise sayings-
“Anger Is A Very Valuable Thing So Don’t Lose It!”
“For Every Minute You Are Angry, You Lose 60 Seconds Of Happiness!”
May Allah Ta’ālā protect us from the snares of Shaytan and nafs, and may He allow us to attain His Divine pleasure through our anger, Āmīn.
WASWASA (EVIL WHISPERS & DOUBTS)
ANSWER TO THE SECOND QUERY: From the outset we should understand that Allah Ta’ala has given Shaytan the power of whispering into the heart of a person. It is for this reason that we implore Allah’s protection against such whisperings in Surah Nās,
“I seek protection… from the mischief of the whisperer (of evil), who withdraws (after his whisper). He who whispers into the heart of mankind…”
(Surah Nās – S. 114, V. 4-6)
Whilst the evil whispers of Shaytan cannot be heard, its message can be perceived and comprehended by the heart. A golden rule to remember is that, as long as one does not subscribe to these whisperings, (into ones heart), there is no need to become worried and perturbed about them; the whisperings should merely be ignored. In the same note, whilst these whisperings pose a test to mans will-power of restraint, Allah Ta’ālā has provided man with antidotes to secure ourselves from the evil of these injected whispers taking effect.
A FEW ANTIDOTES
- A) OCCUPY YOURSELF – Among the numerous divine prescriptions of shielding oneself from waswasas (whisperings), one such technique is to busy oneself in some task when one gets them. One cannot get rid of them by simply desiring them to go away, hence one should occupy himself in some activity. Along with that, one should constantly recite the undermentioned supplication recommended by Rasulullah r for removing these whisperings. The supplication (dua) is as follows:
اَللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ وَسَاوِسَ قَلْبِىْ خَشْيَتَكَ وَ ذِكْرَكَ وَ اجْعَلْ هِمَّتِىْ وَ هَوَايَ فِيْمَا تُحِبُّ وَ تَرْضَى
“O Allah! Make Your fear and remembrance the obsession of my mind and divert my will and courage to the performance of deeds that please You.”
(Al Hizbul A’zam)
It is the disposition of man that his mind is always occupied and never without thoughts. His hands may be doing something but his mind is thinking of something else and continuously receives diverse thoughts. Therefore, we must implore Allah Ta’ālā via this Dua that the idle thoughts we receive be replaced by Allah’s remembrance and fear.
- B) DOUBTING ALLAH AND ISLAM – Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas t has stated that if the Shaytan casts an evil scruple in anyone’s heart, and thus causes skepticism about Allah Ta’ala and as to which is the religion of truth, he should in a soft tone recite the following verse:
هُوَ الْأَوَّلُ وَالْآَخِرُ وَالظَّاهِرُ وَالْبَاطِنُ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
“He is the First and the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden and He is All-Knowing about everything.”
(Surah Al Hadīd, S.57, V.3)
(Ma’āriful Qurān, English, Vol.8, Pg.305; Maktaba-e-Dārul-Uloom Karāchi.14 )
- C) DIFFERENCES AMONGST THE SAHABAH t – Someone asked Rabi Ibnul Khaitham about the shahādah (martyrdom) of Sayyidunā Husein t. He sighed and recited the verse:
قُلِ اللَّهُمَّ فَاطِرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ عَالِمَ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ أَنْتَ تَحْكُمُ بَيْنَ عِبَادِكَ فِي مَا كَانُوا فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ
“O Allah! Creator of the heavens and the earth, Knower of the unseen and the seen, You will judge between Your servants in that which they used to differ.”
(Surah Zumar – S.39, V.46)
And thereafter said, “Whenever you have a doubt about the mutual differences of the noble Sahabah t, do recite this verse.”
Additionally, Tafsir Ruhul Ma’ani reports this statement and then says,
“This incident serves to teach us the best etiquette with regard to this issue, and this is something one should always bear in mind.”
(Ma’āriful Qurān, Vol.7, Pg.570)
- D) SAFETY AGAINST THE CLUTCHES OF SHAYTAN – In the undermentioned verse, Allah Ta’ālā commands His Nabi r and the the Ummah to seek protection from the evil insinuation and instigation of the Shaytan, to commit sin, to confuse one and to enrage his temper where he loses control over himself.
وَقُلْ رَبِّ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ هَمَزَاتِ الشَّيَاطِينِ . وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ رَبِّ أَنْ يَحْضُرُونِ
“Say O Muhammad r, ‘O Allah! I seek your protection from the whisperings of the Shaytān, and, O my Rabb, I seek Your protection that they (the Shaytāns) approach me (because they always approach with evil).’”
(Surah Mu’minun – S. 23, V. 98)
(Al Jāmiu Li Ahkāmil Qurān – Qurtubī, Vol.12, Pg.154; Dārul Hadīth, Egypt)
May Allah Ta’ālā allow us to recite these supplications constantly, and may He occupy our minds with His fear and remembrance, Āmīn.
And Allāh Ta῾āla Knows Best
Ml. Zeyad Danka,
Student Dārul Iftā
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Dārul Iftā, Madrasah In῾āmiyyah
Do you want to cure your anger problem?
This is a beautiful du’a for those of us who get angry quickly:
اللّهُمَ اغْفِرْ لِيْ ذَنْبِيْ ، وَأَذْهِبْ غَيْظَ قَلْبِيْ، وَأَجِرْنِيْ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ
Allahummaghfirli dhanbi, wa adh-hib ghayza qalbi, wa ajirni min al-shaytan.
O Allah, forgive my sins, remove the rage in my heart and protect me from the Shaytan. (Ibn al-Sunni, 622)
This story about “Istighfaar” is from the life of Imam Ahmed Bin Hanbal RH,who is considered as a renowned scholar of Islam and a famous theologian. Imam Ahmed RH is also considered to be the founder of the Hanbali school of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and is one of the most celebrated Sunni theologians, often referred to as the “Sheikh ul-Islam” or the “Imam of Ahl al-Sunnah.”
During his old age, while Imam Ahmed RH was travelling he stopped by a town. After the prayers, he wanted to stay for the night in the masjid yard because he didn’t know anyone in the town. Owing to his humility, he hadn’t introduced himself to anyone thinking that if he did, he would be welcomed by many people.
Failing to recognize Ahmed bin Hanbal RH, the caretaker of the mosque refused to let him stay in the mosque. As Imam Ahmed was quite old, the caretaker had to drag him out of the mosque. On seeing this, a baker from a nearby place felt pity for this man (Imam Ahmed) and offered to be the host to him for the night.
During his stay with the baker, Imam Ahmed RH observed that the baker would constantly recite Istighfar (seek forgiveness from Allah). Imam Ahmed RH asked the baker if the constant practice of saying Istighfar had any effect on him. The baker responded by telling Imam Ahmed RH that Allah had accepted all of his duas (supplications), except one. When he asked him what dua was it that hadn’t been accepted, the baker replied that he had been asking Allah to provide him the privilege to meet the famous scholar Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal RH.
On this, Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal RH said that Allah had not only listened to his dua but had dragged him onto his (the baker’s) doorsteps.
[Summarized from Al Jumuah magazine, vol 19, issue 7]
This story is a reminder of the power of saying Istighfaar (seeking forgiveness) frequently. Let’s remember that the prophet used to say Istighfaar frequently during the day.
Tafseer Al-Qurtubi states:
A man complained to Imam Hasan alBasri RH about a drought, and he said to him: “Pray to Allah for forgiveness.”
Another man complained to him of poverty and he said to him: “Pray to Allah to forgive you.”
Another man said to him: “Pray to Allah to bless me with a child.” He said: “Pray to Allah for forgiveness.”
Another complained to him that his garden was dry. He said to him: “Pray to Allah for forgiveness.”
He was asked about it and he said: “This is not my personal opinion, for Allah says in Surah Nooh (interpretation of the meaning): ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord, verily, He is Oft Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance. And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.” Tafseer Al-Qurtubi (18/301-302)
One of the narrators of a Hadith was asked about the manner in which forgiveness is to be sought, to which he answered: “
The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) used to say: ‘Astaghfirullah! Astaghfirullah! (I beseech Allah for forgiveness, I beseech Allah for forgiveness)’.” [Sahih Muslim].