Friday, May 07, 2010

Words of wisdom for the week

One of my favourite hadiths about the Prophet has been particularly on my mind in recent months, and it has taught me much. Firstly it is one thing to read words of wisdom, nod our heads in agreement and move on, but it is quite another for us to apply it in the heat of the moment. Still, I think I have managed to do just that, and with surprising results.

Abu Hureira, one of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad, told of a very interesting thing that happened one day. A man came to Muhammad and asked him, "Advise me...". The Prophet replied, "Don't get angry, don't get angry, don't get angry" - Bukhari

وعن أبي هريرة -رضي الله عنه- قال: إن رجلا قال للنبي -صلى الله عليه وسلم-: أوصني. قال: لا تغضب. فردد مرارا قال: لا تغضب رواه البخاري

We all get angry, some of us more than others, and when we do we say things that hurt the other person. The truth is, I think the reason angry people try to hurt the other is to make them feel the same pain. Of course it isn't often seen that way, but that's what it is. It took me a long time to understand this process, but when I did it became easier to rewrite it mentally so that even if a person has wronged me (in my opinion) I stay calm, forgive, and leave my door wide open. All problems can be overcome when people calm down, forgive each other and purify their hearts. I strongly recommend listening to the Prophet, this guy knows things.


Anonymous said...

Assalaamu aleikum,

Does Arabic have anything corresponding to the distinction in English between anger and hate? I get the sense the languages may not map on to each other very well in this area. For example, I believe there are somethings we are supposed to "hate" for the sake of God. But I don't get the sense this is hate in the way we mean it in English, which is an even more irrational emotion than anger. Indeed, anger seems like it can be a rational and constructive emotion, inspiring us to act when we see injustice, for example. I'm not second-guessing the Prophet -- salallahu alayhi wa salaam -- just wondering if you could clarify your understanding of these terms in Arabic. My Arabic studies aren't nearly far enough along to understand such subtleties.

Maysaloon said...

Wa Aleikum al Salaam wa Rahmatullah wa barakatuh,

Of course it does, there is غضب which means anger, and then there is حقد which is a stronger meaning of hate. I don't know what we "should" hate for Allah, we should hate sin for example, or the devil but that isn't specifically spelt out anywhere, I guess it's just common sense. Anger can and is a constructive emotion though. In fact there are hadith which I cannot recall the details of that say how a Muslim should be angry when the haram is crossed or, as you mention, in the face of injustice. I hope my explanation helps!

Wa salaam.

Amira said...

That's totally it Wassim...but it makes me feel sad that I (or anyone) would wish to inflict the same pain on others- especially on those we love. Truly we must try and control this anger

MJ said...

this could probably go in somewhere.. :)