25 Ramadan 2018: No Anger

A man said to the Prophet (PBUH), “Counsel me,” so he (PBUH) said, “Do not become angry.” The man repeated [his request for counsel] several times, and [each time] he (PBUH) said, “Do not become angry. (in al-bukhari)

I have always been mesmerised by this piece of advice as I always wondered, how does one not become angry?

Anger is defined as (Merram-Webster) a strong feeling of displeasure, so how can we not become “strongly displeased” when there are many many situations in our lives that trigger this intense feeling?

I guess it is about breaking down this advice into the outer action of anger and the inner feeling of anger and the more we can control our inner feelings, the more we can control our outer actions when it comes to anger.

When I think back about when I have been the most angry, I can recall being angry when feeling resentful from not asserting my boundaries or feeling unheard when I try to express my needs and they are ignored or not acknowledged.

So going back to the prophet’s (pbuh) advice, the more we learn to assert our boundaries with excellence seeking a win-win and the more we practice patience by accepting that we cannot control others but we can seek salvation from god, then we can control and avoid anger.

May god help us work on ourselves not just in these blessed days, but all days until the next Ramadan and beyond.

 

Photo by Tomasz Sroka on unsplash.

 

 

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3 Ramadan 2018: Temper Temperance

A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough – Bruce Lee

It only took a couple of hours after yesterday’s post for me to be tested in a situation where someone was completely and absolutely … most likely unknowingly … rude. It was a strange experience, in the tight confines of an elevator, and it caught me by so much surprise, I could not but utter a few words under my breath, which I rarely ever do!

I was tested in a situation where I had no option but to travel, even if temporarily, with this complete stranger who had no idea that they had just triggered my natural fight or flight response. Soon enough however, I realised that those few words under my breath had not made any difference to the situation and I probably looked strange, if not equally rude, doing it. It was an unnecessary negative reaction in the holy month that neither led to a change in a situation nor, more importantly, did it bring me closer to god; on the contrary, and despite the simple situation, it went against the spirit of the holy month.

Quickly, and practically, god had provided me with an opportunity to realise that acceptance manifests itself even in our reactions to simple annoyances and in managing our tempers.

May god give us the wisdom and strength to manage our tempers in the rare big moments and the more regular small moments.

 

Photo by Fabian Møller on Unsplash