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CONTROL YOUR ANGER

Iqbal Ebrahim
UNDERSTANDING ISLAM

We all know what anger is, and at one time or another we’ve all felt it and no one can deny it that we’ve been there at one time or another. Getting angry is just one of our natural human emotion instincts it is also very powerful and can vary in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage. Anger also knows no boundaries as it affects everybody, young and old, no matter what religion, race, colour, creed or tribe.

The Quran also gives guidance on how we should approach and deal with our anger. Allah describes the believers as: ‘…those who avoid the major sins and immoralities, and when they are angry, they forgive’ (Quran 42:37).In Islam controlling our anger is a sign of righteousness. 

A righteous person is promised Paradise and one of the characteristics of righteousness is being able to control anger. ‘And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the pious. Those who spend (in God’s Cause) in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger, and who pardon the people; verily, God loves the good-doers.’ (Quran 3:133-134)

Some of the advises and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh): ‘A strong man is not the one who uses his strength to overcome others, but rather the one who controls himself while in the fit of anger’. Also, ‘Whoever believes in Allah and the Last day let him either speak good or keep silent’. And, ‘When one of you becomes angry while standing, he should sit down. If the anger leaves him, well and good; otherwise he should lie down.’  

Similarly the Bible echoes: ‘A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words turn up anger’ (Proverbs 15:1) and “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty……. ‘ (Proverbs 16:32)

Anger is a normal human emotion, which at times can help relieve an over – stressed mind. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems—problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life. Whilst anger may be a natural emotion, it is also powerful and can vary in intensity from mild irritation to fury and rage, and unfortunately we are at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful emotion.

Anger can open the doors to all kinds of evil and disrespect. We know that whenever someone loses their temper, their anger begins to control them so much so one becomes subservient to ones anger without realizing it and we tend to lose our self-respect. The use of vulgar language, reviling, insulting, cursing, rudeness, and bad words usually are uttered when someone is overcome by anger. 

When we are angry the tongue goes into overdrive mode working overtime; we are capable of using unsavoury and bitter words that can cause more damage than even a sharp knife could. Our tongue can be like a shovel; piling up words of fury onto others, like dirt. But when angry we must learn to take control of it, or it takes control of us. ‘The believers have been guided to the purest of speeches, they have been guided to the Path of Him Who is worthy of all Praise.’ (Quran 22:24)

Anger and rage can even lead to breaking the bonds of goodwill and even destroy family relationships and friendships.  People have broken ties because of heated words, exchanged in that state. Anger can even move beyond just using insulting words and cause one person to physically harm another. The husband may hit his wife out of anger or the other way around. People have killed each other because of their anger and rage. You can hit someone or kill someone because of your anger leading to disastrous consequences.

Sadly this happens frequently. We have to learn tolerance, self-discipline and control of our emotions and of our speech. It is ok and also it’s human to feel angry. But learn to channel that anger properly. This means that we should talk in a mild manner with kindness and respect shown towards others.

Islam teaches us that if someone angers you or swears at you, step back. Take deep breaths. Walk away, if you have to and be strong in character.  When you feel better, respond in a better way, as the Quran says: ‘Repel evil with what is better. Then he who was your worst enemy will become your best friend!’ (Quran 41: 34) And: "Overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness." (Quran 15:85)

We have to learn how to suppress our anger and to forgive people and not harbour enmity, disdain and hatred towards others. This includes refraining from making disparaging remarks and nasty comments about others: "who (the righteous) give to charity during the good times, as well as the bad times. They are suppressors of anger, and pardoners of the people. GOD loves the charitable." (3:134) ) "Fear Allah and make your utterance straight forward: That He may make your conduct whole and sound." (Quran 33:70-71)

We all have had disagreements with our families, friends, neighbours and those around us, but why is it so wrong to harbour animosity? Why does Islam emphasize freeing the heart from hatred and enmity? Even more dangerous is that harbouring hatred will eat away at our faith. Hatred consumes the heart, so much that we forget Allah's justice and mercy. Our gratitude to Allah is repelled by resentment of others.

One of Satan's methods of leading us astray is to whittle away at our faith and spirit by instilling enmity and hatred through our anger in our hearts. He uses this weapon to weaken the community and make it vulnerable to both physical and spiritual attacks. The Quran warns us: ‘Say to My servants that they should (only) say those things that are best: for Satan doth sow dissensions among them: for Satan is to man an avowed enemy.’ (Quran 17:53).

With so much anger in this world why don’t we turn the tables on Satan by changing our attitudes and turning to our Lord and Saviour for guidance in order to make the world a better place?  ‘.…….. for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord.  And those who avoid the greater sins……… and when they are angry, they forgive.’ (Quran 42:36 – 37)

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The Daring Dozen at Bari

8th December 2020
JEFF---Batswana-smoke-unit

Seventy-seven years ago, on the evening of December 2, 1943, the Germans launched a surprise air raid on allied shipping in the Italian port of Bari, which was then the key supply centre for the British 8th army’s advance in Italy.

The attack was spearheaded by 105 Junkers JU88 bombers under the overall command of the infamous Air Marshal Wolfram von Richthofen (who had initially achieved international notoriety during the Spanish Civil War for his aerial bombardment of Guernica). In a little over an hour the German aircraft succeeded in sinking 28 transport and cargo ships, while further inflicting massive damage to the harbour’s facilities, resulting in the port being effectively put out of action for two months.

Over two thousand ground personnel were killed during the raid, with the release of a secret supply of mustard gas aboard one of the destroyed ships contributing to the death toll, as well as subsequent military and civilian casualties. The extent of the later is a controversy due to the fact that the American and British governments subsequently covered up the presence of the gas for decades.

At least five Batswana were killed and seven critically wounded during the raid, with one of the wounded being miraculously rescued floating unconscious out to sea with a head wound. He had been given up for dead when he returned to his unit fourteen days later. The fatalities and casualties all occurred when the enemy hit an ammunition ship adjacent to where 24 Batswana members of the African Pioneer Corps (APC) 1979 Smoke Company where posted.

Thereafter, the dozen surviving members of the unit distinguished themselves for their efficiency in putting up and maintaining smokescreens in their sector, which was credited with saving additional shipping. For his personal heroism in rallying his men following the initial explosions Company Corporal Chitu Bakombi was awarded the British Empire Medal, while his superior officer, Lieutenant N.F. Moor was later given an M.B.E.

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A Strong Marriage Bond Needs Two

8th December 2020

Remember: bricks and cement are used to build a house, but mutual love, respect and companionship are used to build a HOME. And amongst His signs is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you may find contentment (Sukoon) with them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you; in this behold, there are signs (messages) indeed for people who reflect and think (Quran 30:21).

This verse talks about contentment; this implies companionship, of their being together, sharing together, supporting one another and creating a home of peace. This verse also talks about love between them; this love is both physical and emotional. For love to exist it must be built on the foundation of a mutually supportive relationship guided by respect and tenderness. As the Quran says; ‘they are like garments for you, and you are garments for them (Quran 2:187)’. That means spouses should provide each other with comfort, intimacy and protection just as clothing protects, warms and dignifies the body.

In Islam marriage is considered an ‘ibaadah’, (an act of pleasing Allah) because it is about a commitment made to each other, that is built on mutual love, interdependence, integrity, trust, respect, companionship and harmony towards each other. It is about building of a home on an Islamic foundation in which peace and tranquillity reigns wherein your offspring are raised in an atmosphere conducive to a moral and upright upbringing so that when we all stand before Him (Allah) on that Promised Day, He will be pleased with them all.

Most marriages start out with great hopes and rosy dreams; spouses are truly committed to making their marriages work. However, as the pressures of life mount, many marriages change over time and it is quite common for some of them to run into problems and start to flounder as the reality of living with a spouse that does not meet with one’s pre-conceived ‘expectations’. However, with hard work and dedication, couples can keep their marriages strong and enjoyable. How is it done? What does it take to create a long-lasting, satisfying marriage?

Below are some of the points that have been taken from a marriage guidance article I read recently and adapted for this purposes.

POSITIVITY
Spouses should have far more positive than negative interactions. If there is too much negativity — criticizing, demanding, name-calling, holding grudges, etc. — the relationship will suffer. However, if there is never any negativity, it probably means that frustrations and grievances are not getting ‘air time’ and unresolved tension is accumulating inside one or both partners waiting to ‘explode’ one day.

“Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames.” (49:11)

We all have our individual faults though we may not see them nor want to admit to them but we will easily identify them in others. The key is balance between the two extremes and being supportive of one another. To foster positivity in a marriage that help make them stable and happy, being affectionate, truly listening to each other, taking joy in each other’s achievements and being playful are just a few examples of positive interactions.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best character and the best of you are those who are best to their wives”

UNDERSTANDING

Another characteristic of happy marriages is empathy; understanding your spouses’ perspective by putting oneself in his or her shoes. By showing that understanding and identifying with your spouse is important for relationship satisfaction. Spouses are more likely to feel good about their marriage and if their partner expresses empathy towards them. Husbands and wives are more content in their relationships when they feel that their partners understand their thoughts and feelings.

Successful married couples grow with each other; it simply isn’t wise to put any person in charge of your happiness. You must be happy with yourself before anyone else can be.  You are responsible for your actions, your attitudes and your happiness. Your spouse just enhances those things in your life. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.”

COMMITMENT

Successful marriages involve both spouses’ commitment to the relationship. The married couple should learn the art of compromise and this usually takes years. The largest parts of compromise are openness to the other’s point of view and good communication when differences arise.

When two people are truly dedicated to making their marriage work, despite the unavoidable challenges and obstacles that come, they are much more likely to have a relationship that lasts. Husbands and wives who only focus on themselves and their own desires are not as likely to find joy and satisfaction in their relationships.

ACCEPTANCE

Another basic need in a relationship is each partner wants to feel valued and respected. When people feel that their spouses truly accept them for who they are, they are usually more secure and confident in their relationships. Often, there is conflict in marriage because partners cannot accept the individual preferences of their spouses and try to demand change from one another. When one person tries to force change from another, he or she is usually met with resistance.

However, change is much more likely to occur when spouses respect differences and accept each other unconditionally. Basic acceptance is vital to a happy marriage. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them.”
“Overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness.” (Quran 15:85)

COMPASSION, MUTUAL LOVE AND RESPECT

Other important components of successful marriages are love, compassion and respect for each other. The fact is, as time passes and life becomes increasingly complicated, the marriage is often stressed and suffers as a result. A happy and successful marriage is based on equality. When one or the other dominates strongly, intimacy is replaced by fear of displeasing.

It is all too easy for spouses to lose touch with each other and neglect the love and romance that once came so easily. It is vital that husbands and wives continue to cultivate love and respect for each other throughout their lives. If they do, it is highly likely that their relationships will remain happy and satisfying. Move beyond the fantasy and unrealistic expectations and realize that marriage is about making a conscious choice to love and care for your spouse-even when you do not feel like it.

Seldom can one love someone for whom we have no respect. This also means that we have to learn to overlook and forgive the mistakes of one’s partner. In other words write the good about your partner in stone and the bad in dust, so that when the wind comes it blows away the bad and only the good remains.

Paramount of all, marriage must be based on the teachings of the Noble Qur’an and the teachings and guidance of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). To grow spiritually in your marriage requires that you learn to be less selfish and more loving, even during times of conflict. A marriage needs love, support, tolerance, honesty, respect, humility, realistic expectations and a sense of humour to be successful.

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Chronic Joblessness: How to Help Curtail it

30th November 2020
Motswana woman

The past week or two has been a mixed grill of briefs in so far as the national employment picture is concerned. BDC just injected a further P64 million in Kromberg & Schubert, the automotive cable manufacturer and exporter, to help keep it afloat in the face of the COVID-19-engendered global economic apocalypse. The financial lifeline, which follows an earlier P36 million way back in 2017, hopefully guarantees the jobs of 2500, maybe for another year or two.

It was also reported that a bulb manufacturing company, which is two years old and is youth-led, is making waves in Selibe Phikwe. Called Bulb Word, it is the only bulb manufacturing operation in Botswana and employs 60 people. The figure is not insignificant in a town that had 5000 jobs offloaded in one fell swoop when BCL closed shop in 2016 under seemingly contrived circumstances, so that as I write, two or three buyers have submitted bids to acquire and exhume it from its stage-managed grave.

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