Anger is a mental condition that provokes the excitement of man in words and deeds. Because of the dangers and sins --such like mocking, gibe, obscenity, beating, killing, and the like evildoings that are resulted from anger, it has been considered as the door to every evil:

Imam as-Sadiq narrated on the authority of his father that a Bedouin came to the Prophet (S) and said: “I live in the desert; hence, I want you to instruct me the comprehensive of speech.” The Prophet said: “I instruct you not to be angry.” As the Bedouin repeated the same request three times, the Prophet (S) repeated the answer three times. The Bedouin commented: “I will not ask you for anything anymore. Certainly, the Messenger of God has instructed me the best1.”

Amirul-Mu'minin (a) said: “Keep off anger because it is one large army from the Shaitan’s armies.”

“Anger is a stroke of madness, for the angry, later on, feels sorry. If he does not, his madness then is inclusive2.”

Imam al-Baqir (a) said: “A man often becomes so angry that he is never pleased until this causes him to be in Hell3.”

Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: “Anger is the key to every evil4.”

Incentives of Anger

• The incentive of anger could be a physical disorder, such as illness or neuropathy that cause hypersensitiveness.

• It could be a psychological defect that is arisen from mental stress, excessive selfishness, or feeling of insult or inferiority.

• It could be ethical, such as habituation of quarrelsomeness and quick anxiety.

Damages of Anger

Anger causes gross damages that harm individuals and communities, physically and mentally, materially and morally. A single state of anger often injured the emotions, charged the spirits with hatred, and split the handles of mutual amicability. Moreover, it often threw people in jails, exposed them to perditions, aroused wars, and shed blood of thousands of innocent people. What is more is the mental crises and tragedies most of which end with sudden death.

After all, anger changes man into a furious volcano whose flames are rage and evils. Thus, you see the tongue of the angry speak vulgar language and words of disgracing, and see his hands set for beating or even killing. This is in case the angry controls his rival completely. If not, the calamities of anger reflect on the angry; therefore, you see him tear his dress, slap his head, and, in some cases, practice insane deeds, such as reviling at beasts and beating on the solid things.

Anger between Praise and Censure

Anger is a significant instinct that excites in man the spirit of zeal and disdain and stirs up the spirits of sacrifice for the sake of the noble aims, such as defending the belief and protecting the souls, fortunes, and dignities. When a man misses such an instinct, he becomes the subject of humility. It is said: “He who does not feel angry when infuriated is surely donkey.”

As a conclusion, the abominable anger is the excessive that takes away from moderation and challenges the regulations of the intellect and the Sharia. The moderate anger, on the other side, is an honored virtue strengthening man and restoring the morale.

Treatment of Anger

• If the incentive of anger is a physical disorder or a nervous depression, such like the states of the sick, the old, and the emaciated, the treatment should be clinical means, strengthening of the public health, and availability of the physical and mental rest, such as following a certain regime of nutrition, commitment to cleanness, and practice of suitable physical exercises and muscular relaxation. Finally, such individuals should keep off any matter that exhausts the mentality or the body, such as mental stress, sleeplessness, submission to depression, and other incentives of agitation.

• Anger does not occur arbitrarily. There are definite reasons that agitate it, such as excessive selfishness, disputation, mocking, gibing, and injurious joking. In such cases, the treatment should be to avoid such reasons as much as possible.

• To remember the disadvantages, dangers, and sins of anger, and to keep in mind that anger harms the angry more than the others this may help in its treatment. It may happen that a trivial matter arouses an uncontrollable state of anger. A psychoanalyst says: “Leave the idea of retaliating on your enemies, because this causes you harm more than that which you intend for your enemies. When we bear malice against our enemies, we grant them the opportunity to overcome us. In fact, our enemies would dance delightedly if they knew the scope of worry that they cause to us. The malice that we bear against them does not harm them. As a matter of fact, it harms us and changes our days and nights into hell.” Hence, it is necessary to keep in mind the advantages of clemency:

“If you replace evil habits by virtuous ones, you will certainly find that your enemies will become your intimate friends. Only those who exercise patience and who have been granted a great share of Allah's favor can find such an opportunity.” (41:34-5)”

• The influence and criminal motives of anger expose to the wrath and punishment of God. Imam as-Sadiq (a) said:

“Allah revealed to one of His prophets: Son of Adam5! Remember Me in your states of anger so that I will remember you in My wrath and will not crush you with those whom I will crush. Consider Me as your supporter, for My support to you is better than your own support6.”

• It is better to postpone the temporary inducements of anger until its vehemence fades away. This may achieve relaxation and regain reason. It, however, can be achieved only by means of self-control and temperance.

Amirul-Mu'minin (a) said: “If you are not clement, you should try to be it. He who imitates a people shall be one of them7.”

• The following practices help in the treatment for anger: seeking God’s guard against the Devil, sitting or laying down when standing or sitting, practicing the ablution or washing the face with cold water, and touching the hand of the relative who is the object of anger.

  • 1. Quoted from al-Kafi.
  • 2. Quoted from Nahj ul-Balagha.
  • 3. Quoted from Nahj ul-Balagha.
  • 4. Quoted from al-Kafi.
  • 5. Son of Adam is a famous expression that refers to man.
  • 6. Quoted from al-Kafi.
  • 7. Quoted from Nahj ul-Balagha.