Everybody gets angry, isn’t it? Like it is a very natural feeling, but what matters most is how you control that rage, whether mild or intense. Indeed, anger is a psychological state that require a ‘’flight or fight’’ response and you don’t have enough time to decide whether you should walk away from the scene of provocation or react negatively. Negative reaction often leads to uncontrollable rage and can destroy one’s relationship, health, property and even one’s means of livelihood.

More often than not, we hear the ’’Islam is a way of life’’ line and I don’t think that there’s a truer line. I mean, Islam regulates every aspect of human endeavour and the Qur’an and Hadith remain our primary sources of guidance. Of course, there are evidences from the Book of Allah and the sayings of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) on the benefits of restraining anger. This is not to say that you should not feel angry, it is absolutely human to do so. However, Islam admonishes us to not allow anger get the better part of us and make us act in an unacceptable way.

Maryam Sanda’s case is still fresh in our minds. Earlier this week, she broke the headlines on our screens when the High Court of Abuja convicted and sentenced her to death by hanging for killing her husband, Bilyaminu Bello. Mixed reactions have continued to trail the judge’s pronouncement, but all the dissenting views seem to agree on one thing; Maryam Sanda acted as a result of blind rage. The discussion about whether or not the punishment was appropriate should be left for another day.

Now, what does Allah promise those who control their anger?

And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord; and a Garden, the extensiveness of which is (as) the heaven and the earth, it is prepared for the pious

Those who spend in God’s cause in prosperity and in adversity, who restrain (their) anger and who pardon the people; verily, Allah loves the good-doers. (Qur’an 3: 133-134).

The above verses depict that controlling one’s anger is means of attaining righteousness and, of course, every righteous person is promised Jannah (paradise). You know what? The promise of Allah is always true. Wouldn’t you rather earn paradise by controlling that burning rage? Think about it.

Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud reported (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (S.A.W) once asked his companions “Whom among you do you consider as a wrestler amongst you?’’ and we said ‘’it is he who wrestles with others’’. He said ‘’ No, it is not so; but it is the one who has self-control at the time of his anger’’ [Sahih Muslim, 106-(2608)].  I hope you remember and find solace in this Hadith, the next time somebody tells you that controlling your anger is a sign of weakness.

According to the narration of Anas bn Malik (May Allah be pleased with him), ‘’I was walking with the Messenger of Allah (SAW) and he was wearing a Najraanee cloak with a rough collar. A Bedouin came and seized roughly by the edge of his cloak, and I saw the marks left on his neck by the collar. Then the Bedouin ordered him to give him some of the wealth of Allah that he had. The Prophet (SAW) turned to him and smiled, then ordered that he should be given something. ‘’

I know you are like ‘’wow, but he had every right to be angry’’. Such is the nature of Allah’s Messenger whom He has described as the perfect example for Muslims. The Prophet was a man who, even in dire circumstances, controlled his anger, never raised his hand and spoke mildly. He was also able to inspire some of his enemies to embrace Islam. Good manners are really one’s beauty.

We should not let our emotions dictate our actions. You could be in Maryam Sanda’s shoes tomorrow, but how would you react?