How To Control Anger?

1 – Seeking refuge with Allaah from the accursed Shaytaan when feeling angry.
Al-Bukhaari (3282) and Muslim (2610) narrated that Sulaymaan ibn Surad said: I was sitting with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and two men were trading insults, One of them was red in the face and his veins were standing out. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

I know a word which, if he said it, what he is feeling would go away. If he said, ‘I seek refuge with Allaah from the Shaytaan,’ what he is feeling would go away.

2 – Changing one’s posture when feeling angry.
Abu Dawood (4782) narrated that Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to us:

If one of you gets angry when he is standing, let him sit down; if his anger disappears, all well and good, otherwise let him lie down.

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

3 – Bring to mind the reward for patience, forbearance, and restraining your anger,
for that is the characteristic of the pious who are promised Paradise,

as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

133. Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous,

134. Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men;- for Allah loves those who do good;

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:133-134]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

Whoever restrains his anger when he is able to act upon it, Allaah will fill his heart with pleasure on the Day of Resurrection.

Narrated by Ibn Abi’l-Dunya; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 2623.

Cures for Anger

When talking about cures for anger, it’s important to think about why we get angry in the first place.

A lot of the time, people get angry because they lose control of a situation. Anger is their attempt to regain control, but in actuality, does not help at all. It actually makes it worse because when a person is angry, he has shown weakness. He puts himself at a disadvantage both in dealing with people (in a debate, for example), and also in dealing with shaitan. He becomes a much weaker prey for shaitan.

This is why our beloved Prophet saws said,

The strong is not the one who is physically powerful, but indeed, the one who controls himself when angry.

If anger is a problem for you, it may be helpful for you to write down all the times that you can remember that you got angry…then look for a common factor that made you angry, or rather made you act on your anger.

Feeling anger is normal, and the act of being angry is not in and of itself necessarily sinful. It’s what you do with that anger that makes it a problem.

And while we’re on the subject, there’s an amazing lecture (As always mA) by brother Nouman about the characteristics of the people of Jannah, as taken from verses in Surah aal Imraan.

One of them is that they swallow their anger. Brother Nouman analyzes why the word ’swallow’ is used, and not ‘control’, etc.

When we are eating something, and let’s say someone is coming, and we don’t want them to know we were eating, so we quickly swallow the food.. will the person know we were eating? No, right? If there are no signs, like chewing, etc, the person will not even suspect that we were eating.

So in the same way, Allah SWT tells us that the people who shall enter Jannah swallow their anger, or make it completely go away…to the point where the people around them do not even suspect that the person is angry. Subhan Allah.

Usually, when someone is angry, and they’re trying to control themselves, you’ll see them shaking, or turning red, or holding themselves back. And then someone will go and ask them if they’re ok.

So the best thing to do is when you feel anger coming up from inside you, quickly swallow it and make it disappear. Of course, it won’t be that easy, but if you make it your habit, it will become easier and easier to do. And it’s important to note that Allah SWT tells us that the people of Jannah swallow their anger, not that they don’t have anger.

What to do when anger arrives

Seek refuge in Allah from the accursed shaitan.
However, this does not mean saying “Aaoodhobillah” quickly and without reflection will help. It is important to know and understand exactly what you’re doing.

You saying “Aaoodhobillahi minash`shaitanir rajeem” in the first place is a reflection that you understand that this anger is coming from shaitan, and you need Allah SWT’s help to rid yourself of shaitan. Ask Allah for protection with humility and with the understanding that only He SWT can help you.

Make wudu.
Anger comes from shaitan. Shaitan is made of fire. Water extinguishes fire, and thus wudu will help. Wudu will also help you take your mind off things for a minute, and calm down.

Abu Dawud in his Sunan noted that the Prophet (saws) stated:

Anger comes from Shaitan. Shaitan was created from fire, and fire is extinguished only with water. So when you become angry, you should perform Wudu.

Stay silent.
The Prophet saws said,

If any of you becomes angry, then let him stay quiet.

You opening your mouth at this moment is a bad idea. Your anger may cause you to violate one of the rights of the person who made you angry. Your anger in and of itself will probably not be held against you on the Day of Judgment. Your WORDS or actions said/done in anger probably will. Fear Allah and hope in His reward for swallowing your anger.

Change your physical setting.
If you are angry and standing, sit down.

If you are already sitting, lay down.
This is because it is our natural disposition to do the opposite.

If we are sitting and get angry, we naturally want to jump up and make a scene. If we are laying down, we naturally want to sit up. So fight that urge and do the opposite. Don’t give shaitan energy to feed off of.

Befriend those that are better than you in this regard.

If you’re always hanging out with people who are excited and impatient, and hot-tempered, chances are, you too will be this way. If you’re with calm, cool-headed people who do not let their anger overtake them, you will feel silly and embarrassed in front of them if you ever want to behave in a silly manner when angry. This will then turn into your habit and you will become like them.

Leave the setting one is in when he becomes angry. Know the effects of anger on one’s health.

Try googling it. You’ll find a wide range of diseases and illnesses that can be the result of anger problems. And realize that just like Allah SWT has rights we must fulfill, and our fellow beings have rights we must fulfill, we also have rights upon ourselves. We shouldn’t do damage to ourselves with our own hands.

Practice Sabr.
It is usually the lack of this essential trait that allows people to get angry and show their anger. The literal meaning of sabr is to restrain, hold back, or pin down. A prisoner is often called “sabran”, as he is held/pinned down.

…only those who are patient shall receive their rewards in full, without reckoning.” Az-Zumr:10

“Without reckoning”, or “bighayri hisaab”, can either mean “without limit” or “without questioning”.

If it means “without questioning”, one possible reason that Allah SWT may save them from being questioned is that they never questioned Allah SWT or qadr.

May Allah SWT help us all to swallow our anger and be among the people of the highest level of Jannah. Ameen!

Take it one day at a time.
Try to not get angry, or to swallow your anger, for just one day. Then increase it to two days. Then three. They say it takes 21 days to make something your habit (some say 4o days). So if you can do it for that long (and you CAN!! if it has any value to you), Insha Allah it will be so much easier after that because having a cool and calm personality will be your habit, a part of you! Insha Allah.