Anger/ Wrath - not to be confused with the divine wrath or the wrath that Allah makes appear on the features of His Messenger as a sign of disapproval of the actions of believers and also that of the unbelievers - is a factor through which the Devil brings men to commit sins such as insult, breaking relationships, physical aggression, or even to commit the irreparable, i.e. murder. So we have to be able to control our anger so that we do not commit such serious sins.
Allah says about the “Muttaqi”, i.e. those who repress their anger, in Chapter 3 (Al-Imran), Verse 135: “[...] those who restrain (their) anger and forgive the people [...]”.
Therefore, the Muttaqi - those to whom Allah will offer paradise - are those who control their anger, who despite their strength and courage manage to forgive those who have wronged them.
To control our anger is to preserve Islam. The repressing of our anger allows us to practice Islam in the best way. As long as a person manages to control his anger, his faith will be preserved. However, if the person gets carried away by anger, it will bring him nothing but regrets. “Why did I say / do that?” he will ask himself.
The Holy Prophet's Precepts
It is reported by Abu Hurayrah (ra) that a man had said to the prophet (pbuh): “Counsel me”. The prophet (pbuh) replied, “Do not get angry.” He repeated (the question) several times, and the prophet (pbuh) answered him: “Do not get angry.” (Bukhari)
“Strong” people do not hit others. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “The strong man is not the one who triumphs over the opponent in a fight/ battle, but is the one who controls himself when he has a big anger.” (Bukhari)
The Messenger of Allah said, “Whosoever represses his anger when he can give free rein to it, Allah will call him on the Day of Resurrection before all creatures and invite him to choose one of the Houris who shall please him.” (Abu Dawud).
It is important that when one is overcome by anger, one does not allow injustice. Although we are angry, we must always be righteous. Suppressing one's anger is considered a great action before Allah. So Allah has set a great reward for this deed.
It is reported by Abu Darda (ra) that he asked the Prophet (pbuh): “O Messenger of God, tell me an action that will bring me into paradise.” He said, “Do not get angry and (in return) you shall obtain Paradise.” (At-Tabarani).
How to control one's anger?
When an individual gets angry, he must restrain it by the following means:
1. Seek the protection of Allah against the Devil by saying: “A'udhu billahi minash shaytwaanir rajiim”.
2. Remain silent.
3. If he is standing, he should sit or lie down.
The prophet (pbuh) said that if an angry person says, “I seek refuge with God against the Devil", his anger will subside. (Bukhari, Muslim).
The prophet said: “When one of you gets angry and is standing, he should sit down; if the anger does not leave him, let him then lie down.” (Abu Dawud).
The prophet said, “When one of you gets angry, keep quiet.” (Ahmad).
4. Make ablution (Wudu) to calm the anger.
Certainly there is Hadith that teaches us to do ablution to calm our anger. The Hadith indicates that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said that anger comes from the devil, and the devil was created from fire, and the fire is extinguished by water; so when one of you gets angry then let him do ablution. (Abu Dawud, Ahmad).
So, all these Hadiths I mentioned on the subject of anger is very important because the Muslim is called to control his anger in all circumstances. Sometimes, by weakness, someone may get angry, but if he restrains himself in time and seeks refuge with Allah against Satan the accursed one, then surely Allah will come to his aid.
Do Not Attract Divine Anger; Seek Forgiveness
Now when we talk about divine wrath, it is a very exceptional subject. As we know, Allah - God the Almighty - is not influenced in any way by the devil. On the contrary, it is the devil who is afraid of Allah. Divine wrath is a mark of great punishment for the person who attracts Allah's anger because that anger can ruin his life on this earth and in the hereafter. The Devil himself is subject to divine wrath and will be eternally punished in the fire of hell for his act of disobedience to God.
If at the time of a Messenger, Allah makes His anger manifest through His chosen one as a threat of severe retribution to the person concerned, then that person must immediately seek Allah's forgiveness and reform, for divine wrath can indeed crush the ignorant (Jahil), unfaithful (Kafir) or hypocritical person (Munafiq), and may also be a strong and distinctive signal inviting or forcing a sincere believer to conform to the divine precepts. If God is angry with that person, i.e. the believer, it is to remove him from the wrong path and bring him to reform himself in order to be able to taste His satisfaction and pleasure.
May Allah guide you all to control your anger and save you from His anger and that of His chosen Messenger, and may you live your life in accordance with Islam in all sincerity. Insha-Allah, Ameen.
---Friday Sermon of 12 January 2018 (24 Rabi’ul Aakhir 1439 AH) delivered by Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.