Guidance from the Leaders of Religion
Hawzah News Agency- The most effective cure for the disorder known as anger is adherence to the teachings of the Prophets and Imams. The conclusions and studies conducted by physicians, psychologists and philosophers are not totally useless, but they are not comprehensive in removing this disorder.
The leaders of religion have brought our attention, through their wise words, to the dangerous consequences of anger, and the fantastic advantages of suppressing it. Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) said:
“Avoid anger for it brings about reprehension.”
Dr. Mardin has elaborated on this point by saying:
“An angry man (whatever the reason for his anger) realizes the meaningless of his anger after he calms down, and in most cases he feels that he should apologize to those he has insulted. If you accustom yourselves to admitting the uselessness of anger when it occurs, you will reduce the degree of its unwanted consequences.”
Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:
“Anger is annihilation of the heart of the wise, he who cannot control his anger cannot control his mind.”
Anger and the frustration which occurs as a result of it have dangerous effects on one’s health. According to health specialists anger can cause sudden death if it reaches certain levels of intensity.
Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) said:
“He who does not restrain his anger, speeds his death.”
Dr. Mardin says:
“Do those with weak hearts realize that some frustration can cost them their lives? They may not know it, but should realize that many healthy individuals are victims of instances of intense anger which caused them to die of heart attacks. Anger also causes loss of appetite, indigestion, and disturbs both the muscle and the nervous systems for hours or even days. Anger adversely affects all bodily and spiritual functions of the body. Even the nursing mother’s anger can cause dangerous poisoning of her milk.”
Dr. Mann says:
“Scientific investigation regarding the philosophical effect on anxiety revealed changes in all the body members; the heart, veins, stomach, brain, and internal glands all change their natural course of functioning during moments of anger. Adrenalin plays the role of burning fuel in moments of anger instead of other hormones.”
Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) said:
“Avoid anger, for its beginning is ludicrous, and its end is sorrow.
He also said:
“Anger is a raging fire, he who suppresses it extinguishes the fire, and he who sets it free is the first to burn in it.”
The Commander of the Faithful, Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) recommended patience as a tool for resisting anger and avoiding its harmful consequences. He said:
“Guard against the severity of anger, and equip yourselves with patience so as to counter it.”
And: “Self-control at the moments of anger safeguards you from moments of perdition.”
It is even possible for a person to commit murder during moments of anger: Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said:
“What is more evil than anger? Surely man can be angered and in turn kill a soul which is prohibited by Allah.”
According to John Markoist:
“Some individuals (with certain psychological problems) minds encounter crime scenes as fast as cinema films. A characteristic of such patients is that in one instant they are thinking about committing a crime and the next they have committed it without hesitation. They are, in other words, instant killers.”
The Messenger of Allah (S) commanded the following at moments of anger:
“...Therefore, if one of you finds some of this (anger) in himself, if he is standing he should sit, and if he was sitting he should lay down. If he is still angry, he should perform ablution with cold water or bath, for fire can only be extinguished with water.”
Dr. Victor Pashi says:
“If a child gets frustrated without you harshly reprehending him, you can suppress his anger by washing him with cold water or wrapping him in a wet or damp cloth.”
Dr. C. Robbin has also said:
“Cleanliness of the body has great effect on behavior. Bathing with warm water every morning and evening cleans and relaxes the body and removes boredom and the loss of appetite. It also suppresses any anger which might have been caused by the daily routine. Thus, we may stress the importance of it for the body and for the mind.”
As we have previously stated, the leaders of religion have set great examples for us in the following story which was narrated by Ibn Ashoub in his book.
Mubarad and Ibn Aisha narrated that a man from Syria saw Imam Hasan (a.s.) riding a horse and started insulting him. Imam Hasan (a.s.) did not reply to the man. When the Syrian stopped, Imam Hasan (a.s.) proceeded towards him and after cheerfully greeting him said:
“Old man, I believe you are a stranger. Maybe you have confused me with another person.
If you ask forgiveness, it is granted to you. If you ask for a means of transportation, we shall provide it for you. If you are hungry, we shall feed you. If you are in need of clothes, we shall cloth you. If you are deprived, we shall grant you. If you are being sought, we shall give you refuge. If you have any need, we shall fulfill it for you. And if you wish to proceed with your caravan be our guest until you leave, it would be more useful to you, for we hold a good position, great dignity and vast belongings.”
When the man heard the words of al-Hasan he cried and said:
“I testify that you are Allah’s heir on His earth. Allah surely knows to whom He assigns His
Message. You and your Father were the most resented of Allah’s creatures to me, but now you are the most beloved of Allah’s creatures to me.
The man then directed his caravan and became their guest of the town until he departed while believing in their love.
Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari, Youth and Morals, Published by Createspace Independent Pub, 2014.