Monday, July 15, 2024 AD / Muharram 9, 1446 AH
Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani
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Question & Answer
 

I have a question for you, esteemed scholars. Considering the importance of “controlling anger,” mentioned in verse 134 of Surah Al Imran, please clarify how it should be practiced. Additionally, please explain in which situations anger should be expressed and not controlled. In this regard, what principles should one adhere to? Thank you in advance for your response.

Please pay attention to the following points:

1. Anger is a powerful and provocative natural emotion in the human being that if not controlled and managed by his intellect can be highly destructive and cause irreparable consequences. Therefore, in the Book of God and the Sunnah of His Prophet, there is a lot of emphasis on the necessity of controlling and managing anger. For example, in the Book of God it has been stated: ﴿الَّذِينَ يُنْفِقُونَ فِي السَّرَّاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ[1]; “Those who spend in prosperity and adversity, control their anger, and forgiver others, and God loves the doers of good,” and stated: ﴿وَالَّذِينَ يَجْتَنِبُونَ كَبَائِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَالْفَوَاحِشَ وَإِذَا مَا غَضِبُوا هُمْ يَغْفِرُونَ[2]; “And those who avoid major sins and indecencies and forgive when they become angry,” and it has been stated in a narration: «إِنَّ رَجُلًا قَالَ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ: أَوْصِنِي، وَلَا تُكْثِرْ فَأَنْسَى، فَقَالَ: لَا تَغْضَبْ، فَسَأَلَهُ مِرَارًا، كُلُّ ذَلِكَ يَقُولُ لَهُ: لَا تَغْضَبْ»[3]; “A man said to the Messenger of God, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family: ‘Advise me, but do not make it much, for I may forget it.’ So he said: ‘Do not get angry.’ The man then repeated his request several times, but each time he only said: ‘Do not get angry,’” and it has been stated in another narration that the man said: “When the Messenger of God, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family, said this, I pondered deeply, so I realized that anger leads to every evil.”[4] It has been stated in another narration that the Messenger of God, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family, said: «لَيْسَ الشَّدِيدُ بِالصُّرَعَةِ، إِنَّمَا الشَّدِيدُ الَّذِي يَمْلِكُ نَفْسَهُ عِنْدَ الْغَضَبِ»[5]; “A (true) champion is not one who excels in wrestling, but rather one who controls himself in moments of anger,” and in another narration that he said: «إِنَّ خَيْرَ الرِّجَالِ مَنْ كَانَ بَطِيءَ الْغَضَبِ، سَرِيعَ الْفَيْءِ، وَشِرَارَ الرِّجَالِ مَنْ كَانَ سَرِيعَ الْغَضَبِ، بَطِيءَ الْفَيْءِ»[6]; “The best of people is one who is slow to get angry and quick to calm down, and the worst of people is one who is quick to get angry and slow to calm down.” Based on this, it has been stated in a letter from Allamah Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani, may God Almighty protect him: “Do not get angry unless you restrain it; because anger is one of the gates of Hell.”[7]

2. The anger that has been condemned in the Book of God and the Sunnah of His Prophet is anger at a legitimate work, a true statement, a worldly incident, an unintentional slip, or harm out of foolishness. However, anger at disbelief or sin is not condemned; because disbelief and sin make God angry, and anger that is in harmony with the anger of God is good; such as the anger of Musa, peace be upon him, at the Children of Israel when they worshipped the golden calf in his absence; as God Almighty has said: ﴿فَرَجَعَ مُوسَى إِلَى قَوْمِهِ غَضْبَانَ أَسِفًا ۚ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ أَلَمْ يَعِدْكُمْ رَبُّكُمْ وَعْدًا حَسَنًا ۚ أَفَطَالَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْعَهْدُ أَمْ أَرَدْتُمْ أَنْ يَحِلَّ عَلَيْكُمْ غَضَبٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ فَأَخْلَفْتُمْ مَوْعِدِي[8]; “So Musa returned to his people in anger and sorrow. He said: ‘O my people! Did your Lord not promise you a good promise?! Then was the time too long for you, or did you want wrath from your Lord to befall you, so you broke your promise to me?!’” and said: ﴿وَلَمَّا رَجَعَ مُوسَى إِلَى قَوْمِهِ غَضْبَانَ أَسِفًا قَالَ بِئْسَمَا خَلَفْتُمُونِي مِنْ بَعْدِي ۖ أَعَجِلْتُمْ أَمْرَ رَبِّكُمْ ۖ وَأَلْقَى الْأَلْوَاحَ وَأَخَذَ بِرَأْسِ أَخِيهِ يَجُرُّهُ إِلَيْهِ ۚ قَالَ ابْنَ أُمَّ إِنَّ الْقَوْمَ اسْتَضْعَفُونِي وَكَادُوا يَقْتُلُونَنِي فَلَا تُشْمِتْ بِيَ الْأَعْدَاءَ وَلَا تَجْعَلْنِي مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ[9]; “And when Musa returned to his people in anger and sorrow, he said: “What an evil that you did in my place! Did you hasten in your Lord’s command?!’ And He threw down the Tablets and seized his brother by the (hair of his) head, dragging him toward himself. (Harun) said: ‘O son of my mother! People considered me weak and were about to kill me. So do not make the enemies rejoice over me, and do not place me among the oppressors,’” or such as the anger of the Messenger of God, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family, about which it has been narrated: «كَانَ لَا تُغْضِبُهُ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا كَانَ لَهَا، فَإِذَا تُعُوطِيَ الْحَقَّ لَمْ يَعْرِفْهُ أَحَدٌ، وَلَمْ يَقُمْ لِغَضَبِهِ شَيْءٌ حَتَّى يَنْتَصِرَ لَهُ، وَلَا يَغْضَبُ لِنَفْسِهِ، وَلَا يَنْتَصِرُ لَهَا»[10]; “The world and what was related to it would not make him angry. However, whenever a right was violated, no one would recognize him, and there was nothing that could restrain his anger until he took it back. He would not become angry for himself, nor would he seek revenge.” Therefore, God has praised those who are angry with disbelievers and sinners and, for example, has said: ﴿مُّحَمَّدٌ رَّسُولُ اللَّهِ ۚ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ[11]; “Muhammad is the Messenger of God, and those who are with him are harsh toward disbelievers and merciful among themselves,” and said: ﴿أَذِلَّةٍ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَعِزَّةٍ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ[12]; “They are humble toward believers and stern toward disbelievers,” and said: ﴿يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قَاتِلُوا الَّذِينَ يَلُونَكُمْ مِنَ الْكُفَّارِ وَلْيَجِدُوا فِيكُمْ غِلْظَةً[13]; “O you who believed! Fight against those disbelievers who are near you, and they shall find severity in you.” It is not in vain that in Islamic narrations, the helpers of the Mahdi have been mentioned as «جَيْشُ الْغَضَبِ»; “the army of anger”; because they are angry for the sake of God[14].

3. The anger that is for the sake of God is good, provided that it does not lead to crossing the boundaries of justice; as God Almighty has said: ﴿يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ لِلَّهِ شُهَدَاءَ بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَى أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا ۚ اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى[15]; “O you who believed! Be maintainers for God and bearers of witness with justice, and do not let hatred of some people force you to not act justly. Act justly, for it is nearer to piety.” Accordingly, it has been narrated that the Messenger of God, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family, in moments of anger, would say nothing but what was true; as one of his companions has narrated: «قُلْتُ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، أَكْتُبُ مَا أَسْمَعُ مِنْكَ؟ قَالَ: نَعَمْ، قُلْتُ: فِي الْغَضَبِ وَالرِّضَا؟ قَالَ: نَعَمْ، فَإِنِّي لَا أَقُولُ فِيهِمَا إِلَّا حَقًّا»[16]; “I said: ‘O Messenger of God! Should I write down everything I hear from you?’ He said: ‘Yes.’ I said: ‘In states of anger and satisfaction?’ He said: ‘Yes; because I say nothing but what is true in both states.’” It is hereby understood that the belief of some Shia exaggerators regarding the permissibility of slandering people of innovation contradicts the Quran and the Sunnah; because slandering them is one of the clear examples of injustice and lying against them, which clearly conflict with the words of God and the manner of His Prophet.

4. Unwarranted anger stems from some moral vices such as arrogance, fanaticism, and excessive concern with the world. Therefore, rectifying them can lead to its prevention; as it has been narrated: «إِنَّ يَحْيَى بْنَ زَكَرِيَّا لَقِيَ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ، فَقَالَ: أَخْبِرْنِي بِمَا يُقَرِّبُ مِنْ رِضَا اللَّهِ، وَمَا يُبْعِدُ مِنْ سَخَطِ اللَّهِ، فَقَالَ: لَا تَغْضَبْ، قَالَ: الْغَضَبُ مَا يُبْدِئُهُ، وَمَا يُعِيدُهُ؟ قَالَ: التَّعَزُّزُ، وَالْحَمِيَّةُ، وَالْكِبْرِيَاءُ، وَالْعَظَمَةُ»[17]; “Yahya ibn Zakariyya met Isa ibn Maryam. Then he said to him: ‘Inform me of something that brings one closer to the satisfaction of God and keeps one away from His anger.’ So he said: ‘Do not get angry.’ He said: ‘What causes anger to arise, and to what it returns?’ He said: ‘Selfishness, fanaticism, arrogance, and self-importance.’” Furthermore, the best deterrent against unwarranted anger is the remembrance of God; because the remembrance of God enhances the human being’s capacity, humbles him before the truth, and prevents excessive concern with the world and the behavior and words of its inhabitants, thus eliminating the ground for unwarranted anger in him, to the extent that it can be said unwarranted anger arises only in a state of heedlessness of the remembrance of God, and accordingly, it subsides with the remembrance of God and seeking refuge with Him from the evil of Satan; as it has been narrated: «اسْتَبَّ رَجُلَانِ عِنْدَ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَغَضِبَ أَحَدُهُمَا غَضَبًا شَدِيدًا وَاحْمَرَّ وَجْهُهُ، فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ: إِنِّي لَأَعْلَمُ كَلِمَةً لَوْ قَالَهَا لَذَهَبَ عَنْهُ مَا يَجِدُ: أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ»[18]; “Two men exchanged insults in the presence of the Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family. Then one of them became consumed by anger, and his face turned red. So the Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family, said: ‘I know a word that if he says it, his state will subside: I seek refuge with God from Satan the expelled.’” Furthermore, sitting down, leaning back, performing wudu, and remaining silent during unwarranted anger can also help dissipate it; as it has been narrated from the Messenger of God, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family, that he said: «إِنَّ الْغَضَبَ جَمْرَةٌ تُوقَدُ فِي قَلْبِ ابْنِ آدَمَ، أَلَمْ تَرَوْا إِلَى انْتِفَاخِ أَوْدَاجِهِ وَإِلَى احْمِرَارِ عَيْنَيْهِ، فَإِذَا وَجَدَ أَحَدُكُمْ ذَلِكَ، فَإِنْ كَانَ قَائِمًا فَلْيَقْعُدْ، وَإِنْ كَانَ قَاعِدًا فَلْيَتَّكِ»[19]; “Anger is a fire that ignites in the heart of the child of Adam. Do you not see how his neck veins swell and his eyes turn red?! So whenever one of you suffers it, if he is standing, he shall sit down, and if he is sitting, he shall lean back,” and said: «إِذَا غَضِبْتَ فَاسْكُتْ»[20]; “Whenever you become angry, remain silent,” and said: «إِنَّ الْغَضَبَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ، وَإِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ خُلِقَ مِنَ النَّارِ، وَإِنَّمَا تُطْفَأُ النَّارُ بِالْمَاءِ، فَإِذَا غَضِبَ أَحَدُكُمْ فَلْيَتَوَضَّأْ»[21]; “Anger is from Satan, Satan has been created from fire, and fire is extinguished with water. So whenever one of you becomes angry, he shall perform wudu.”

May God grant all believers success in not becoming angry with anyone or anything except for the sake of God and His religion, and whenever they become angry, may they control their anger before they say something untrue or do something wrong in it.

↑[1] . Al Imran/ 134
↑[2] . Ash-Shura/ 37
↑[3] . Muwatta’ Malik (narrated by Yahya), vol. 2, p. 905; al-Jami‘ by ibn Wahab, p. 511; al-Amthal by Qasim ibn Salam, p. 151; al-Tabaqat al-Kubra by ibn Sa‘d, vol. 7, p. 56; Musannaf of ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 5, p. 216; Musnad of Ahmad, vol. 14, p. 357, vol. 33, p. 468; al-Zuhd by Hanad ibn al-Sari, vol. 2, p. 607; Sahih of al-Bukhari, vol. 8, p. 28; Sunan of al-Tirmidhi, vol. 4, p. 371; Musnad of Abu Ya‘la, vol. 10, p. 51; Masawi’ al-Akhlaq by al-Khara’iti, p. 149
↑[4] . Al-Jami‘ by Ma‘mar ibn Rashid, vol. 11, p. 187; Musnad of Ahmad, vol. 38, p. 236; Masawi’ al-Akhlaq by al-Khara’iti, p. 150; Ma‘rifah al-Sahabah by Abu Nu‘aym al-Asbahani, vol. 6, p. 3124; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi, vol. 10, p. 180
↑[5] . Al-Jami‘ by Ma‘mar ibn Rashid, vol. 11, p. 188; Muwatta’ Malik (narrated by Yahya), vol. 2, p. 906; Musannaf of ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 5, p. 216; Musnad of Ahmad, vol. 12, p. 153; Sahih of al-Bukhari, vol. 8, p. 28; Sahih of Muslim, vol. 8, p. 30; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Nasa’i, vol. 9, p. 152; Adab al-Nufus by Al-Ajurri, p. 253; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi, vol. 10, p. 397
↑[6] . Al-Jami‘ by Ma‘mar ibn Rashid, vol. 11, p. 346; Musnad of Abi Dawud al-Tayalisi, vol. 3, p. 614; Musnad of Ahmad, vol. 17, p. 228; al-Muntakhab Min Musnad Abd ibn Humayd, vol. 2, p. 66; Sunan of al-Tirmidhi, vol. 4, p. 483; Musnad of Abu Ya‘la, vol. 2, p. 352; Masawi’ al-Akhlaq by al-Khara’iti, p. 148
↑[8] . Ta Ha/ 86
↑[9] . Al-A‘raf/ 150
↑[10] . Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra by ibn Sa‘d, vol. 1, p. 422; al-Akhbar al-Muwaffaqiyyat by Zubayr ibn Bakkar, p. 134; al-Ma‘rifah Wa al-Tarikh by al-Fasawi, vol. 3, p. 285; al-Shama’il al-Muhammadiyyah by al-Tirmidhi, p. 184; Sifat al-Nabi by ibn Shu‘ayb, p. 12; al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah Wa Akhbar al-Khulafa’ by ibn Hibban, vol. 1, p. 411; al-Ahadith al-Tiwal by al-Tabarani, p. 245; Akhlaq al-Nabi by Abu al-Shaikh al-Asbahani, vol. 2, p. 9; Dala’il al-Nubuwwah by Abu Nu‘aym al-Asbahani, p. 627; Dala’il al-Nubuwwah by al-Bayhaqi, vol. 1, p. 288
↑[11] . Al-Fath/ 29
↑[12] . Al-Ma’idah/ 54
↑[13] . At-Tawbah/ 123
↑[14] . See al-Ghaybah by al-Nu‘mani, p. 325.
↑[15] . Al-Ma’idah/ 8
↑[16] . Musannaf of ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 5, p. 313; Musnad of Ahmad, vol. 11, p. 593; Musnad of al-Darimi, vol. 1, p. 429; Sunan of Abi Dawud, vol. 3, p. 318; Musnad of al-Bazzar, vol. 6, p. 437; Sahih of ibn Khuzaymah, vol. 4, p. 26
↑[17] . Al-Zuhd Wa al-Raqa’iq by ibn al-Mubarak, appendix 12; al-Jami‘ by ibn Wahab, p. 577; al-Manhiyyat by al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi, p. 129
↑[18] . Musnad of Abi Dawud al-Tayalisi, vol. 1, p. 463; Musannaf of ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 5, p. 216; Musnad of Ahmad, vol. 36, p. 405; al-Zuhd by Hanad ibn al-Sari, vol. 2, p. 609; Sahih of al-Bukhari, vol. 4, p. 124; Sahih of Muslim, vol. 8, p. 30; Sunan of Abi Dawud, vol. 4, p. 249; Sunan of al-Tirmidhi, vol. 5, p. 504; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Nasa’i, vol. 9, p. 150
↑[19] . Al-Jami‘ by Ma‘mar ibn Rashid, vol. 11, p. 188; al-Jami‘ by ibn Wahab, p. 575; Musnad of Ahmad, vol. 18, p. 132; Sunan of Abi Dawud, vol. 4, p. 249; Sahih of ibn Hibban, vol. 2, p. 323; al-Mu‘jam al-Awsat by al-Tabarani, vol. 4, p. 140
↑[20] . Musannaf of ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 5, p. 216; Musnad of Ishaq ibn Rahwayh (Musnad of ibn Abbas), hadith 760; Musnad of Ahmad, vol. 4, p. 338; al-Zuhd by Hanad ibn al-Sari, vol. 2, p. 610; al-Adab al-Mufrad by al-Bukhari, p. 447; Masawi’ al-Akhlaq by al-Khara’iti, p. 150
↑[21] . Musnad of Ahmad, vol. 29, p. 505; Sunan of Abi Dawud, vol. 4, p. 249; al-Ahad Wa al-Mathani by ibn Abi Asim, vol. 2, p. 464; Masawi’ al-Akhlaq by al-Khara’iti, p. 161
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