Friday, December 9, 2011

30 Reasons to Avoid Being Angry and Argumentative

How difficult is it to practice patience when being provoked? At the same time, how many times have we responded much too sensitively, although we were not the clear target of anyone’s malice?

How many hearts have been lost in an effort to win arguments? And yet, as human beings it is natural and even our right to disagree, and to think critically. One of the most difficult challenges of character for Muslims of every background is being able to practice hilm (forbearance) during times of anger and disagreement—that is to be able to disagree with a dignified and generous
spirit, and to think critically without being argumentative, stubborn, and condescending. It is because we as a community fall into this so much, and on so many levels, that I found this issue to be a relevant reminder to myself and others.

The activist argues about
strategy, the student argues about fiqh and other branches of knowledge, the community leader argues in the board room, and the Imam with those who disagree with his style or approach. Whether it be with our family, friends, community members or the Islamophobe—we often find ourselves in situations where anger and argumentation can creep in, sour the mood, and sully the spirit. Below is a collection of Quranic verses, Prophetic narrations, and sayings of righteous people mostly taken from Sa’eed Hawwa’s work “Selected Writings on Purifying the Soul." These statements remind us to prevent anger and argumentation from getting the better of us.

May Allah (s.w.t)help us to remember that when we deal with people, our transactions are actually with Him and not His creation. As such, may awareness of His presence (ihsan) bring goodness from our speech and characters during times of difficulty as well as ease. Ameen.


1.) [Surah Al-Furqan Ch:25 V:63] 

وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا

“And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say [words of] peace”

2.) [Surah Al-Furqan Ch:25 V:72]

وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَامًا

“And those who do not witness falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.”

3.) [Surah Luqman Ch:31 V:19-20]

 Oوَاقْصِدْ فِي مَشْيِكَ وَاغْضُضْ مِن صَوْتِكَ ۚ إِنَّ أَنكَرَ الْأَصْوَاتِ لَصَوْتُ الْحَمِيرِ

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يُجَادِلُ فِي اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَلَا هُدًى وَلَا كِتَابٍ مُّنِيرٍ

 “And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys… But of the people is he who disputes about Allah (s.w.t)without knowledge or guidance or an enlightening Book."

4.) [Al-Trimidhi]
 The Prophet Muhammad (May Peace & Blessings be upon Him) said: “He who gave up disputing while he is right, a palace of high rank in Paradise will be built for him. He who gave up disputing while he is a fabricator, a palace in the center of Paradise will be built for him

5.) [Al-Trimidhi]
“There are no people who went astray after having been guided except for indulging in disputation."

6. ) [Sahih Al-Muslim]
The Messenger of Allah (s.w.t)(May Peace & Blessings be upon Him) repeated three times, “Those who search deeply for confusing questions have perished."

7. ) [Al-Trimidhi]
 “Do not dispute with your brother, ridicule him, nor promise him and then break your promise."

8.) Bilal ibn Sa’d radiAllahu `anhu (ra) said:
“If you see a disputing, arrogant, and bigoted person, bear in mind that they are utterly lost."

9.) Luqman `alayhi assalam (as) said to his son:
“O son! Do not dispute with the knowledgeable lest they detest you."

10.)`Umar (ra) said: 
“Do not learn knowledge for three things and do not leave it for three things. Do not learn it to dispute over it, to show off with it, or to boast about it. Do not leave seeking it out of shyness, dislike for it, or contending with ignorance in its stead."

11.) [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
It was narrated that Abu Hanifa said to Dawud al-Taa’i, “Why do you prefer seclusion?" Dawud replied, “To struggle against myself to leave disputing." Abu Hanifah said, “Attend meetings, listen to what is said, and remain silent." Dawud said, “I have done so, but I have found nothing heavier than this."

12.) `A’ishah (ra) narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (May Peace & Blessings be upon Him) said:
“The most hated person with Allah (s.w.t) is the most quarrelsome person."

13.) Ibn Qutaybah said that his disputant said to him:
“What is the matter with you?"
 He replied to him:
“I will not dispute with you."
The disputant then said:
“Thus you have come to know that I am right."
Ibn Qutaybah responded:
“No, but I respect myself more than that."
At this the disputant retracted and said:
“And I will not claim a thing that is not my right."

14.) [Sahih Al-Muslim]
The Messenger of Allah (s.w.t) (May Peace & Blessings be upon Him) said: “The one initiating abuse incurs the sin of abusing as long as the other did not return it."

15.) [Al-Trimidhi]
“The believer does not curse."

16.) [Al-Trimidhi]
“The believer does not defame abuse, disparage, nor vilify."

17.) [Al-Trimidhi]
 “Do not invoke Allah’s curse, His anger, or Hellfire."

.) [Sahih Al-Muslim]
“Men accustomed to cursing will not be intercessors or witnesses on the Day of Resurrection."

19.) [Al-Tabarani and Ibn Abdul Barr]
Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (ra) narrated, “I asked the Messenger of Allah (s.w.t)(May Peace & Blessings be upon Him) about what saves me from Allah’s wrath, and he said, “Do not become angry." Ibn `Umar, Ibn Mas’ud, and Abu Darda’ (ra) relate similar conversations on their own behalf.

20.) [A-Baihaqi in Shu’ab Al-Imaan]
The Messenger of Allah (s.w.t) (May Peace & Blessings be upon Him) said, “He who is victorious over his passion at the time of anger is the strongest among you. He who forgives having the power to release (his anger and take revenge) is the most patient among you."

21.) [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated, “The Messenger of Allah (s.w.t)(May Peace & Blessings be upon Him) said, ‘The strong person is not he who has physical strength but the person is strong if he can control his anger."

22.) `Umar ibn Abdul Aziz wrote to one of his governors and said:
“Do not punish at the time of anger. If you are angry with any man, keep him in detention. When your anger is appeased punish him in proportion to his crime."

23.) ‘Ali ibn Zaid mentioned:
“A man of the Quraysh spoke harshly to the Caliph `Umar Ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz who remained silent for a long time and then said, “You wish that the devil rouses in me the pride of the Caliphate and I treat you so rudely that you can take revenge tomorrow (in the Afterlife) on me."

24.) [Ahmad, Ibn Abi Dunya, Al-Tabarani, and Al-Bayhaqi]
Ibn ‘Abbas (ra) narrated, the Messenger of Allah (s.w.t)(May Peace & Blessings be upon Him) said, “And when you get angry, keep silent."

[Al-Tirmidhi and Al-Bayhaqi]
 The Messenger of Allah (s.w.t) (May Peace & Blessings be upon Him) said, “Anger is a burning coal. It burns in the heart."

26.) [Sunan Abu Dawud]
“When anyone of you gets angry, let him perform ablution because anger arises from fire."

27.) [Ibn Majah]
“Nobody swallows a more bitter pill than that of anger—seeking the satisfaction of Allah."

28.) `Umar (ra) said: 
“He who fears Allah (s.w.t) cannot give an outlet to his anger (by sinning). He who fears Allah (s.w.t) cannot do what he likes."
29.) A nomad said to the Messenger of Allah (s.w.t) (May Peace & Blessings be upon Him):
“Advise me." And he (May Peace & Blessings be upon Him) said, “If a man defamed you with what he knows about you, do not defame him with what you know about him. For the sin is against him." The nomad said, “I never abused any person after that."

30.) Al-Hasan (ra) said:
“He that did not safeguard his tongue did not understand his religion."

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