Question: I suffer from suddenly becoming excited and angry. Please tell me, when I am angry, which way should I follow: should I suppress my anger or should I cast it on the ones who have caused it by shouting at and abusing them? Can you suggest to me a third alternative? I do not like the second way, though I follow it, and as for the first way, I fear that pangs may cause me to have heart failure or an apoplexy, and I do not want to die or become paralyzed. Please, show me the right way!
The answer: Up until twenty years ago, psychologists thought that it was better for manís physical health for him to cast his anger on others instead of suppressing it and suffering from its destructive psychological and physical effects. But nowadays, this theory has become weak before the evidences of the scientists who believe that worry, psychological turmoil, spite, and internal contradictions between mind and desires cause physical diseases and especially heart failure whether man suppresses his anger or casts it onto others. However, scientists do not deny the fatal effect of the suppression of anger.
But Islam has a third way. It is by following these steps:
1. Change your position or place when you become angry and excited by sitting if you are standing, standing if you are sitting, or leaving the place for another open place and breathing as deeply as possible while raising and lowering the hands slowly!
2. Think of the greatness of Allah and His ability to punish criminals and of His patience and forgiveness if they repent and do good!
3. If you can drive out your anger from yourself through a shout or some tears shed in private, it would be better for you.
4. Look forward to the reward of Allah and think of the good end that Allah has promised the patient!
5. Impartially study the problem that has caused you to become angry, and even if the cause isnít yours, confess your mistake and turn back to your reason. This will comfort you because sincerity is the way to deliverance!
6. In your study of your anger and melancholy, ask yourself the following questions and reflect deeply on the answers:
Is the matter so important that it justifies all this suffering?
Does the problem disappear with anger, anxiety, or pain?
Is your personality more important or responding to anger and taking revenge?
Does the one whom you become angry at and abuse have no dignity that he would defend himself by quarreling or does he suppress himself and suffer from pain like yours? Is this the cure?
Dear Muslim young man, put these points before you now and walk in your new way; it is a happy way.