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Thursday, August 18, 2011

5 Steps to Control Your Anger

No matter how hard we try, each Ramadan we can easily ruin our good deeds and succumb to trivial arguments. In the article below you’ll learn how you can restrain yourself from getting into an argument this Ramadan, whether the man on the subway pushes past you or your family just drive you crazy during the day!

Fasting is your combat tool and the ultimate productivity technique to enhance our character, strengthen our sense of patience and generate a new found spiritual high. Allah (SWT) does not need you to leave your food and drink if you do not strive to leave harmful character traits.

Outlined below are 5 steps you can take to cool down before shaitan tries to trick you and make you miss out on multiple rewards.

1. Be calm and collected

Remember the hadith in Sahih Bukhari of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in which he said: “Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, ‘I am fasting.” Training your soul is the key focus of the blessed month of Ramadan. Being patient in times of conflict will show greater perseverance and bring rewards so long as you remain calm and collected. [On this note, check out recent ProductiveRamadan Animation]

2. Seek refuge in Allah

Second step to control your temper, is to recite ‘audhoobillah’. Seek refuge in Allah (Subahanahu Wa Ta’ala) from shaitaan by reciting “Audhoobillahi min al-shaytaani al-rajeem” many times – it has a calming effect as you reflect on the situation. Many people have also found that the recital of Ayatul Kursi can beat shaitan’s attempts to put your guard down. You might say “I thought Shaytaan is locked up during Ramadan”, that’s true but that does not mean you are free from the evil influences of the jinn (see source below). They are weaker in Ramadan than in any other time of year so make it your utmost goal to be able to defeat the whispers of shaytan.

Allah (Subahanahu Wa Ta’la) says: “And if there comes to you from Satan an evil suggestion, then seek refuge in Allah. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing.” (Qur’an, 41:36)

3. Be ready to overlook faults

When our temper reaches a limit, we feel anger in our hearts and this strains relationships. Be ready to forgive the person who has wronged you as it is one of the noblest deeds we can do in Islam. Remember we all make mistakes, and the sooner you accept that, you will forgive in your momentary lapse.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The best of the two persons is the one who begins with salaam.” (Related by Nawawi in his book Al-Adkar)

4. Be on guard at all times

Step 4 is key to a successful Ramadan and is indeed to emulate the advice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) by using fasting as our shield. Always be conscious that Allah is All-Aware of our actions. Just as a soldier is on guard from the enemy you must also fight the battle with your mind, your body, and your tongue. Say twice: ‘I am fasting’ to yourself and to the one who provokes you.

5. Get up and leave

The last step might be more forceful if the man on the subway just doesn’t want to get out of your way! (It happens all too often in London :) If you still feel ready to explode into an argument, then get up and leave your surroundings or the person provoking you. We can become angry and hot-tempered, saying things we often look back and regret. Take that moment to leave the room immediately. You’ll return with a new outlook inshaAllah and refreshed approach which will make you less prone to arguing.

If you are standing up then be advised to sit down. Or if you’re sitting down – and still fuming then lie down. Research shows that our blood pressure reduces significantly when we sit or lie down. A teacher once also advised me that a cool glass of water can extinguish that hot-temper, but maybe after iftaar…

I hope these steps will help you next time you feel angry. Slot it into your Habitator if you’re feeling that tad bit impatient often. Nothing is easy unless Allah makes it easy for us, but strive hard for Allah (Subahanahu Wa Ta’la) will not change our condition until we change what is in ourselves.


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