GHUSSAH (ANGER)

Allah Ta’ala says:

“And those who swallow anger and those who forgive people, Allah loves the righteous.”

Rasulullah (saws) said: “Do not become wrathful.”

“A powerful man is not one who defeats (another) in physical combat. Verily, a powerful man is he who controls his nafs at the time of anger.”

In another narration it appears that a strong man is he who controls anger. It is essential to keep anger under control. One should never act spontaneously in accordance with the dictates of anger. On the contrary, anger should be made subservient to the instruction of the Shariah. It is natural to be aroused in the state of anger. Such natural propensity is not rebukeable. But, Allah Ta’ala has endowed man with volition (ikhtiyaar will-power). Anger has therefore to be controlled since it is within the scope of man’s volition to do so. Failure to exercise this volitional power is contrary to insaaniyat (humanity).

There are many reasons for the inclusion of anger in the natural attributes of man. Along with the quality of anger Allah Ta’ala has endowed man with the ability to control such anger to ensure that the latter is not misappropriated and unjustly employed.
Ghussah in itself comes into motion involuntarily. It is automatically activated. But, acting in accordance with its demand is voluntary, hence refraining from it is likewise voluntary. The remedy for a volitional act (the way of curbing it) is nothing other than the exercise of one’s volitional power to bring about restraint and control. This is within one’s ability even if one experiences a degree of difficulty in the exercise of such volition. Repeated exercise of the volition of restraint weakens the demand of anger. In consequence, refraining from anger becomes a relatively simple task.

The following narration appears in the hadith shareef:

“The qadhi should not decide between two parties while in anger.”

The judge or the ruler is not permitted to issue a verdict while in anger, but should postpone the trial or case for a later dare. The term, qaadhi in the context of this Hadith applies to every person having authority over people. The instructor, teacher and head of a family all fall within the purview of this Hadith. They should not be hasty in meting our punishment to their subordinates while in the state of anger.

Those in authority should remember that .Allah Ta’ala is the defender of the rights of those who have no defender. Allah Ta’ala will demand from the aggressor the rights of the oppressed. According to the Hadith Shareef, Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (saws) will claim from the tyrannical ruler the rights which he usurped even from his non-Muslim subjects. It is therefore imperative to exercise caution when punishing.

In cases of injustice executed in the state of anger, it is essential that the aggressor, after his anger has subsided, publicly apologise and humble himself in the presence of the one whom he has wronged. The aggressor should personally apologise in profusion and seek the pardon of the one whom he had wronged. This measure will restore the intelligence of the aggressor to equilibrium. He will thus be prevented from the perpetration of injustice at the behest of anger.

At all times refrain from haste. One has to strive greatly in opposing the dictates of anger. Whenever one succumbs, resort to istighfaar and obtain the pardon of the one whose rights have been violated. Recite:

َعُوْذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّ جِيْمِ

when overtaken by anger: sit down if you happen to be standing; if you happen to be sitting then lay down. Make wudhu with cold ware: or drink cold water. Divert your attention by immediately engaging in some other activity, especially reading which is very efficacious in curbing anger. If all this fail to eliminate the anger, withdraw from the presence of the one who is the target of your anger.

The Remedy
Remember that Allah Ta’ala has greater power and authority over you and that you are also disobedient to Him. Should he also adopt the attitude of Wrath with you, what will be your condition? Also reflect that nothing can happen without the Will of Allah Ta’ala. Ponder then:

Of what worth am I? I am an absolute non-entity. How can I then act in conflict with Allah Ta’ala