She’s always flying off the handle!
She’s so hot headed!
Boy does she have a short temper!
Whatever you choose to call it—not being able to control yourself when you’re angry can hamper your success in many realms of your life including marriage, parenting, employment, friendship and most importantly–your religion.
There are numerous recommendations from Quran and Sunnah that encourage us to control our anger and be patient.
Here are a few:
“Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.” (Az Zumar, 39:10)
Abu Hurairah reported: Messenger of Allah said, “The strong man is not one who is good at wrestling, but the strong man is one who controls himself in a fit of rage.”1
If you are struggling with controlling your temper, here are several empowering tips to get you started on the road to a more tame and controlled temperament.
- Acknowledge that you have a problem
Well of course I realize that, you might be saying to yourself. But I mean really own up to your anger problem. Tell yourself, “No, it isn’t right for me to rampage through the house when my husband ignores my complaints.”
“No, it isn’t Ok for me to start shouting obnoxious names to my kids when they start bickering and fighting with one another.”
You may have a tendency to justify your actions on occasion. You might tell yourself that if it weren’t for this or that, you wouldn’t have lost your temper. Change this thought pattern. Don’t give yourself an excuse for your behavior. If you become weak and resort to acting out your anger, acknowledge that you regressed and make effort to do better next time, insha’Allah.
- Realize that change doesn’t occur overnight.
Achieving patience will take consistent effort over time. It is likely that you have found that your unruly behavior has been effective at times in getting you what you desire. After all, who wants to deal with a person who sounds like they’ve gone mad—it’s easier to give in and comply.
We are all affected by those around us. If you were raised in a family in which anger was used as a tool to get others to comply, it’s not odd that you have chosen to use this practice as a coping mechanism as well. But don’t lose hope. Insha’Allah, you can achieve the noble characteristic of patience and control your angry feelings. With each step of the way, remember success is built upon failure. Each time you revert back into your unproductive manner of behavior, view it as a experience to learn from rather than an additional failure.
There are some things that come easy to you and other things you have to struggle to achieve. If being patient during trials is something you have a problem with, seek help in the One who has power over all things. Allah loves for His servants to ask Him for help. In fact, He gets angry when you don’t ask. People are just the opposite. They get tired of you asking. So go to the One who can truly grant you success—Your Lord.
And when you ask, take note of what the Prophet has said.
The supplication of a slave continues to be granted as long as he does not supplicate for a sinful thing or for something that would cut off the ties of kinship and he does not grow impatient.” It was said: “O Messenger of Allah! What does growing impatient mean?” He (saw) said, “It is one’s saying: `I supplicated again and again but I do not think that my prayer will be answered.’ Then he becomes frustrated (in such circumstances) and gives up supplication altogether. 2
- Know the value of being patient.
Why do people sacrifice to get a good education, obtain a quality job, or marry a good spouse? They see the benefit in attaining these accomplishments. Knowing the value of being patient can help motivate you to strive your hardest to become more patient. Here are some inspiring points from Quran and hadith that remind us of the rewards of being patient:
And be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are patient. (Al Anfal 8:46)
Who among us is not in need of having Allah on our side?
Abu Yahya Suhaib bin Sinan reported that: The Messenger of Allah said, “How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah, and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently, and that is better for him”. (Muslim)
What a priceless blessing to be counted among the true believers.
Whosoever would be patient, Allah will give him patience, and no one is granted a gift better and more comprehensive than patience”. 3
If you try to be patient and succeed, Allah will give you patience. Masha’Allah, you will be rewarded with the very gift you are searching for.
Allah Almighty says,
“…those who control their anger and pardon other people. Allah loves the do good-doers,” (Al Imran, 3:134)
What a wonderful reward to be loved by Allah, Glory be to Him the Most High!
- Realize that Allah is aware of your difficulty.
Often times, your anger is a result of a hardship you are experiencing. Maybe your kids have been nagging you about going somewhere all day and you’re at your wits end with their complaining. Or maybe your husband has been snappy ever since he arrived home from work. Maybe it’s the pounding headache that won’t seem to go away.
When you are feeling angry, hurt, or frustrated, often times you want others to know how you are feeling, in particular those whom you consider to be the cause of your frustration. When others seemingly disregard your observable feelings of exasperation, this is when that angry feeling can really begin to flare up. During these initial moments, remember the following hadith. Let it be a means of consolation for you rather than your resorting to irate outbursts.
Abu Sa`id and Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said: “Never a believer is stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn but Allah will expiate his sins on account of his patience.” 4
Others may not know of or even consider the difficulty you are experiencing. Take comfort in knowing that Allah The Most Gracious Most Merciful is always aware. And He is most capable of removing your discomfort or compensating you for it.
Controlling your anger can be one of the most difficult goals you aspire to achieve in life. But it is well worth the effort. You want to be among the most righteous; you want to be a true believer; you want Allah to be on your side, so strive your utmost to control your anger and reach for patience so you will be amply rewarded.