Archive for November 2008
Abû Hurayrah relates that a man said to the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Counsel me.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Do not get angry.” The man repeated his request many times, but the Prophet (peace be upon him) kept saying: “Do not get angry.” [ Sahîh al-Bukhârî ]
The importance of this hadith:
The secret behind this hadīth’s importance lies in the fact that the Prophet (peace be upon him) limited his counsel to this person in one short instruction: “Do not get angry.” Al-Nawawî informs us that Abû Muhammad `Abd Allah b. Abî Zayd said: “Everything that constitutes good manners can be derived from four hadith…” and mentioned among them the Prophet’s statement “…to the one to whom he limited his counsel with: ‘Do not get angry’.”
This statement, given in this context, is rich in meaning. First, by limiting his counsel to this one short instruction, the Prophet (peace be upon us) indicates the importance of controlling one’s anger, and that doing so has far-reaching implications for a person’s welfare both in the worldly life and in the Hereafter.
Ibn Hajar, in his commentary on this hadith, observes:
The man stated his question repeatedly, hoping to solicit an answer that was more beneficial, or more explanatory, or more general; however he did not give him anything more than that.” [ Fath al-Bârî ]
Secondly, the categorical nature of this brief statement gives the prohibition sweeping implications – since it can be understood to indicate many things, for instance, that we should prevent ourselves from getting angry in the first place, and that we should forbid ourselves from acting according to the dictates of our anger in the event that we become angry.