Dealing with anger and domestic violence

Anger is a feeling, usually caused by an objection. There are people who get angry more than others, however, this is a human phenomenon found almost in every man.

Man should hold anger and not act upon it, especially in those cases where he/she makes decisions based on emotions rather than common sense. In most cases when a person acts this way, ends up violating the rights of the others through their physical or emotional abuse.

With full conviction, I say that anger and violence are the result of a poor religious training of individuals and their restless pursuit on this temporal world than the Everlasting one. I will explain this in more details. Imam Tirmidhi, in his book Shamāil al-Nabiyy, states that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would not get angry about things of this world and its materialism, but when the truth (al-ḥaqq) was violated he would get angry until the truth prevailed.[1]

If you look at the reality of many people today, you will notice that their ego, self-interest and material possession dominates over everything. Some people do not get upset if they miss their daily prayers, or if they do not help the poor. However, when their wealth starts decreasing, some would not even be able to sleep at night because of the stress. Once again, the ego, self-interest and material possession has become the essence of the true nature of many people.

Let’s look back at the Prophetic tradition. In hadith collection of Imam Bukhari and other known collections, there is a report from Abū Hurayrah that a man came to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and said, “Advise me!” Prophet (pbuh) replied, “Do not be angry!” The person repeated the question several times, hoping for a different answer. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Do not be angry!”[2]

Violence

There are several types of violence: domestic violence, the political violence of a dictator to his own citizens, etc. During this lecture I will talk more about domestic violence, a problem that exists everywhere in the world.

Domestic violence is not implemented only by a race or a religious group. It is found in different society levels, colors, languages ​​and genders.

As mentioned at the beginning of this lecture, it is not only considered demonstration of violence when someone implies it physically, but when implied emotionally as well. Oppression (dhulm) is a part of violence. For this the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “Oppression (will be presented as) darkness on the Day of Judgment.”[3] This statement clearly reflects the negative effects of oppression or tyranny against other creatures, to which man will be hold accountable on the Day of Judgment. The demonstration of violence and non-tolerance in the family and society is unacceptable in Muslim’s behavior.

Although Western psychologists and scholars of social affairs say that violence is not implicit to a certain religious group, but when comparing other faiths, many people in the West believe that Islam is an intolerant and violent religion. These dogmas have created turmoil and various crimes not only in the West, but also in the Islamic countries. It is true that violence can be perceived in some low-Muslim societies, but Islam is free from violence. On the contrary, it emphasizes on the importance of tolerance and thoughtfulness when dealing with God’s creatures.

Recently I watched a show which was broadcasted on American television channel FOX 2 News. Among others present in this show, were two priests and one imam. One of the priests was Terry Jones, who two years ago burned a Quran at his church in Florida. Among the reasons for burning the Quran he presented the phenomenon of the stoning of the women. He made it look as this rule came out of the Quran, basing his judgment on some rare executions in the Muslim world. The imam replied that such a rule is not found in the Qur’an but in the Bible, adding also that although this phenomenon exists in the Bible, we cannot label all the Christians as people of violence.

In America, because of the substantial violence, the whole month of October is the month against domestic violence. In another television program which was broadcasted a few months ago on CNN, an interesting dialogue took place. Eesha Pandit, Executive Director of “Men stopping violence,” was invited to talk. Among some facts about violence against women, she noted that the U.S. women’s greater damage comes from domestic violence.

Let us reflect on the behavior of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who lived 1,400 years ago, at a time when girls were buried alive. Shortly before Prophet (pbuh) passed away, his daughter Fatima (r.a.) approached him and he whispered something in her ear and she wept. Then he whispered again, and she smiled. When asked about this action, she said that at the beginning the Prophet (pbuh) told me about his separation from the world, so I cried. He then told me that I was going to be the mistress of the women of Paradise, (according to some narrations, the first person accompanying him in Paradise) and therefore I smiled.[4] Now, if one thinks about this last conversation between the prophet and his daughter, would realize that they had not only a good apparent relation as father and daughter, but a spiritual bond greater than the first. So, Fatima was happy because she would be in the company of her father in the next world, which is a permanent and indicates a closer relation than the first.

In regards to Prophet’s care for children and mothers, the following hadith will explain his compassion for them, “While standing up for prayer I want to prolong it, but I hear the child crying and I haste in prayer, not wishing to make it challenging for his mother.”[5]

When it also comes to the relation of the Prophet (pbuh) with his wives, it is said that he never raised his hand against any woman, but rather loved and respected them. Thus once said, “Believers with the most perfect faith are those who have the best manners and the best of you are the ones who are the best to their wives.”[6]

When looking at the behavior of the prophet with those who served him, one can find the word of Anas (ra) where he states, “I served the Prophet (pbuh) for ten years and he never told me why did you do this or why you did not.”[7] Tolerance and courtesy were the roots of the personality of our honored prophet (pbuh). This is because God is generous and merciful to His creation and He is the one who taught the manners and morals to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Here’s how the messenger of God describes it, “My Lord has disciplined and so made my discipline most excellent.”[8]

Dear believers! One of God’s names is The Peaceful (al-salām). In our relations to His creations that are not harmful to us, we must be people of peace and tolerance. In this way we can benefit from the peace of God, needed for every human. For this, Isa, the messenger of God prayed from his cradle,

And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive”[9]

Damages

Unnecessary anger and violence result in negative consequences and failures in life. Think of the moment when you acted based on feelings of anger. Always at the end you had to regret it. You thought that it would have been better if you were patient first and then acted according to the common sense. Think about those who commit serious crimes, for example: a killer. After the crime, the killer repents (unless insane) and wishes that he/she never did that, but it is impossible to bring back the murdered man back to life. Imam Ali (ra) is narrated to have said, “The beginning of anger is madness and the end is remorse.”[10]

Unnecessary anger and violence disrupt morale and human character. In the books of hadith and the commentary of Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim written by imam Nawawiy, is quoted the valuable saying of the renowned scholar of Morocco, Abdullāh Ibn Abī Zayd (d. h. 385-996), “Morale and good behavior is summarized in four prophetic statements, and one of them is the statement where Prophet (pbuh) addressed the man with the words: “Do not be angry!”[11]

In an ancient Islamic book is also found, “O David! Beware of excessive anger, because excessive anger destroys the heart of the wise. “[12]

Handling Anger

According to the prophetic teachings, in moments of anger one should sit down, take ablution by cooling of the fire that comes from the devil and also saying A’ūdhu bil-lāh min al-Shaytān al-Rajīm, which means, I seek God’s protection from the accursed Satan.

A major cause of anger which leads to violence is arrogance, an old evil characteristic which makes one think that he/she is always right and others are wrong. This is from the fact that the conceited man refuses to take the opinion or advice of someone else and as a result, not only becomes contentious and argumentative, but also polarized in sayings and thoughts.

In addition to those above, it is important to maintain a balanced temper, which in this case indicates self-control. A quality of the devout believers is the ability to constantly control their desires. God states in the Quran,

Who spend [in the cause of Allah ] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good”[13]

Take a close look and see how the verse ends with the words: Wallāhu yuḥibb al-muḥsinīn, Allah loves the good-doers. The word muḥsinīn can also be understood as those who improve themselves. If one contemplates on this verse, may come to the following conclusion: The nafs and devil pull the human toward immorality and animalistic behavior and as a result the person won’t be able to fulfill the essential rights of the others, nor control his/her own anger, unless he/she engages in a constant positive self-progress.

O Allah! Make us from such people who restrain themselves from anger, violence and injustice!

(Dealing with anger and domestic violence

Friday Sermon delivered by Imam Didmar Faja )


[1] Muhammad ibn Isa al-Tirmidhi: Shamail el-Nebijj, Dar al-Garb al-Islami, Bayrut, 2000, hadith 225, pg. 133.

[2] Muhammad al-Bukhari: Sahih al-Bukhari bi sharh al-Kirmani, , Dar Ihja Turath al-Arabi, edit. 2, Bayrut, 1981, v. 21, hadith 5740, pg.233-4.

[3] Bukhari: Sahih al-Bukhari bi sharh al-Kirmani, v. 11, hadith 2284, pg. 20.

[4] Muslim ibn al-Haxh-xhaxh: Sahih Muslim, Dar al-Tibah, Riyad, 2006, v. 2, hadith 2451, pg. 1146.

[5] Bukhari: Sahih al-Bukhari, v. 5, hadith 678, pg. 85-6.

[6] Abu Isa al-Tirmidhi, Al-Jamiu al-Sahih, Maktabah wa Matba-ah Mustafa Albabi al-Halabiy, Edit.2, Cairo, 1978, v. 3, hadith 1162, pg. 457.

[7] Tirmidhi: Shamail al-Nabiyy, hadith 345, pg. 192.

[8] Muhammad bin Ali al-Shawkani: Al-Fawaid al-Majmu-ah, Al-Maktab al-Islamiy, edit. 3, Bayrut, 1987, pg.287.

(El-Shawkani considers the chain of some narrators of this hadith not to be stable, however others consider the meaning to be sound, regardless of the instability of the chain).

[9] Q. (19:33).

[10] Muhammad ibn Muflih al-Makdisiyy: Al-Adab al-Shar’iyyah, Muassasah al-Risalah, edition 3, Bayrut, 1999, v. 1, pg. 205.

[11] Abi Abdullah al-Razi: Mashaykhah Abi Abdullah al-Razi, Dar al-Hixhrah, Riyad, 1994, pg. 196.

[12] Muhammad ibn Sahl al-Shamiriyy: Masavi’ al-akhlaq wa mazmumiha, Maktabah al-Savadi’ al-Tawzi’, Jiddah, 1992, pg. 151.w

[13] Q. (3:137).

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*