Saturday, 11 January 2014

Taming the Fire....

“Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.” ― Aristotle

Recently, the Wise Old Man commented to me that I am a much calmer person nowadays. It seemed to him that I have managed to keep my fiery weakness under control. Hhhmmm….have I really?

            I suppose the Wise Old Man is VERY familiar with my famous temper as I was under his tutelage for a good number of years. He was accustomed to my temper flaring especially when provoked at work. The Wise Old Man said that when I got angry, I would speak rapidly fast and my voice would become shrill. Sometime, he was afraid that if my voice became too high pitch, I would burst into flames like the phoenix, only, I would not be re-born! Thank God that didn’t happen! On the flip side, my temper sometimes did come in handy during the times that I wanted to intimidate my opponent or the witness in the witness box.
            But truthfully, losing one’s anger comes with a price. It would often sap all of the energy that I had and also I tend to say things I would later regret. Honestly, it was words that was spoken in anger that had me cringe every time whenever I reflect on my life. I know that I have hurt many people with my ‘acid tongue’ during my momentarily lapse of sanity.

“Narated By Abu Huraira : A man said to the Prophet , “Advise me! “The Prophet said, “Do not become angry and furious.” The man asked (the same) again and again, and the Prophet said in each case, “Do not become angry and furious.”
Sahih Bukhari , Book 073, Hadith 137

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The strong-man is not one who wrestles well but the strong man is one who controls himself when he is in a fit of rage.
Sahih Muslim Book 032, 6313

Looking back, I am ashamed and contrite over the things that I have said in anger that had hurt the feelings of others. The thing is, there is nothing that I can do to ‘un-do’ things. Sometimes, because of anger, one can lose a friendship that took years to build or destroy a marriage that took tears and sweat to nurture. Also, because of anger, it can destroy one’s reputation in a blink.

            So if I can’t turn back time what I can do to make things right? Well…first and foremost is….CONTROL MY TEMPER! Secondly, apologize to those whom I have hurt.

Narated By Atiyyah as-Sa’di : AbuWa’il al-Qass said: We entered upon Urwah ibn Muhammad ibn as-Sa’di. A man spoke to him and made him angry. So he stood and performed ablution; he then returned and performed ablution, and said: My father told me on the authority of my grandfather Atiyyah who reported the Apostle of Allah (pbuh) as saying: Anger comes from the devil, the devil was created of fire, and fire is extinguished only with water; so when one of you becomes angry, he should perform ablution.
Abu Dawud Book 036, Hadith Number 4766

It’s never easy to be the one to say ‘sorry’ because our ego gets in the way but just remember that God will not forgive sins committed against others until the forgiveness is given by the ‘victim’.

And the Prophet (Sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said that:

"The doors of the Garden are open on Monday and Thursday. Every Muslim slave who does not associate anything with Allah is forgiven except for the man who has enmity between him and his brother

            I won’t say that I’m such a saint nowadays as you can still catch a wisp of smoke coming out of my nostrils every now and then but at least, those days are far in between. Now, when my temper is pricked, I try to walk it off so, if you see me pacing about, it’s better that you keep your distance.

Narated By AbuDharr : The Apostle of Allah (pbuh) said to us: When one of you becomes angry while standing, he should sit down. If the anger leaves him, well and good; otherwise he should lie down.
Abu Dawud Book 036, Hadith Number 4764

My voice has not turned shrill for a very long time and that is a huge achievement for me. I do have my moments when my friends would term it as ‘possessed by the devil’ or the Malays would say “kena sampuk setan” but it is a much milder version of what it used to be…..Don’t believe me?  Try me! Errrmm….on second thought….better not!

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