“So whatever you have been given is but (a passing) enjoyment for this worldly life, but that which is with God (Paradise) is better and more lasting for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord. And those who avoid the greater sins, and illegal sexual intercourse, and when they are angry, they forgive.” (Quran 42:36 & 37)
The childhood I recall is one, with an abundance of laughter, love, toys every other week, all in all, AllhumdulilAllah. I did not suffer any traumatic event, I lived (and still do), comfortably, in a safe neighborhood. But like most people, the inevitable reality of this dunya, I had my share of troubles and grief. I debated a lot with myself, whether I should I write this post, should I publish, and I decided that the pros outweigh the cons.
Bismillahhir Rahmannir Raheem…
Intertwined with all the toys and pink dolls and lullabies and make believe games that filled my hours,before real life took over, there was also a lot of anger, frustration, and heartbreak. I will not go into details about my domestic life growing up, however the impact that the exposure to this level of anger had on me, is something I believe needs to be discussed.
I know it sounds silly, trivial and maybe even a little naive, anger? It’s a part of life, people get upset, move on, get over it, I’m sure many people are thinking this. Yes, it is a part of life, it’s human nature, and it is horrible.
The anger I’m talking about isn’t the, everyday little disagreements, the silly fights between husband and wife, the parent scolding the disobedient child, it’s the hateful kind, the kind that rips apart families, the kind the sticks to you and keeps you up at night sobbing, the frustrating, all encompassing, soul eating kind. Sounds dramatic? I know but it’s real.
I despise this feeling, anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I can’t even hold onto this feeling for too long, before you know it, I’ll be a crying, an emotional wreck. You know what, I’m grateful that I can’t keep this feeling in me, AllhumdulilAllah, I don’t know how to hold grudges because it’s an ugly feeling, it’s harmful not only to your mental and spiritual well being, it effects those around you and I can personally vouch for this statement.
I’m not saying, never be angry, be happy all the time, it’s not practical, it’s not possible, we are not robots, we are human and indeed Allah swt, created us weak, with a range of emotions. However, it is possible, to control your anger, to forgive, to not allow this monster to consume you and burn ties of kinship and friendship. Forgive and let go if not for them, for the sake of Allah swt, for his pleasure, for his love.
It is not worth staying angry and I know every situation is at variance, but in a very general setting it’s not worth it. No one in your life will make you a hundred percent happy, even your wife/husband, mother/father, sibling, child, will upset you, you will have disagreements, these worldly matters are not worth it to stop talking to those you love, it’s not worth having 2 hours or 1 week or 10 years of not talking, filling and hardening your heart with hate. What if you die with this anger still in you heart, what if you die and the last things you said to someone were spiteful, bitter, “in the moment” harsh things? This is not the way you want the state of your heart to be in when you meet you creator.
And it’s not easy, this task of restraining your words and in extreme cases, your fists, especially when you are being insulted, when you are being unacknowledged for your efforts, for your love, whatever it maybe, it can be extremely disconcerting. This is Jihad Al Nafs. The struggle against your desires, including anger. One can not adequately, envision the beauty of the reward for controlling their nafs in this dunya, it is the true definition of “happily ever after.”
I ask you to please, not allow this beast to overpower you, to let go of this dunya and let go of your pride, for the sake of Allah, in accordance with the sunnah, remind yourself that it’s not worth it, that just like all the memories of bliss and all the conflicts we face, it will subside, it is temporary. Remind those we love them, even when we are angry with them. Remember love for the sake of Allah swt over any moments of bitterness.
“The Prophet once asked his Companions, “Whom among you do you consider a strong man?” They replied, “The one who can defeat so-and-so in a wrestling contest.” He said, “That is not so; a strong man is the one who can control himself when he is angry”