Getting angry without expressing it
Fatwa No: 364654

  • Fatwa Date:20-11-2017 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 2, 1439
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Question

Assalaamu alaikum. Is it disliked to get angry for worldly purposes, or can one get angry inside but it is disliked to express the anger? To me, the hadith which says, “Do not get angry,” means that we should not get angry for worldly reasons in the first place. However, anger for the sake of Allah is good, and with the parents, it is haram. Another question is: can one get angry inside regarding his parents but not show it on the outside? May Allah bless you and reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

Anger is an innate human instinct which nobody can escape. A person may become angry against his will and it happens beyond his control; accordingly, he shall not be held accountable for it because he cannot repel it. Verily, Allah does not charge a soul with what is beyond its ability. Moreover, anger may be commendable in certain situations and may yield benefits. Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “If a person does not get angry at all, he will not be able to repel what may incur his destruction; Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves.} [Quran 48:29] Forcefulness does not result except from anger; if it were not for anger, jihaad against the disbelievers would not have been possible. Moreover, Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {...and who restrain anger.} [Quran 3:134] He did not say '...and who lack anger'.” [Minhaaj Al-Qaasideen]

If a person got angry and his anger did not drive him to commit a violation of the Shariah, such as an act of transgression or the like, he is not dispraised for it. This is why the reported forbiddance against getting angry is intended to mean avoiding causing anger or allowing one's anger to drag him to committing evil. Al-Munaawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “In the hadeeth, ‘Do not get angry’ means, ‘Do not do what makes you angry, or do not act upon such anger; rather, strive against yourself to restrain it and refrain from yielding to it and acting upon it.” [Faydh Al-Qadeer] This is the intended meaning of the hadeeth.

Anger for the sake of Allah is required and praiseworthy. This was the example of the Prophet, sallallahu ʻalayhi wa sallam. ʻAa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, never took revenge from anyone because of his personal grievance, unless what Allah had made inviolable was violated. [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Moreover, Abu Masʻood Al-Ansaari, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that a man came to the Prophet, sallallahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, and said, “I join the morning prayer late because of so-and-so, who leads it and prolongs it.” (Abu Masʻood, may Allah be pleased with him, said), “I have never seen the Prophet, sallallahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, so angry while giving a speech as he was on that day...” [Muslim]

If a son is angry by the behavior of his parents or either of them, he bears no sin for it as long as he restrains his anger and does not translate it into words or actions, whether little or much. If he says to his parents “Uff” (showing the slightest form of frustration with them) or frowns at them, for instance, then such actions are considered undutifulness and unkindness towards the parents.

Badr Ad-Deen Al-ʻAyni  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “Shaykh Taqiyy Ad-Deen As-Subki  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, ‘The determining factor in deeming an act to be of undutifulness towards the parents is whether it incurs any kind of harm on them, regardless of its extent and whether they forbade their child from doing it or not, or constitutes disobeying their commands or doing what they forbade; provided that it does not constitute disobedience to the Creator in all cases...’

Allah knows best.

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