Home Friday Lecture Anger is the source of evils

Anger is the source of evils

His Eminence, Sayyed Ali Fadlullah, delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque,29 Rabi Al-Awal, 1440H/ December 7, 2018. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer. Following is an edited text of his sermons:

The firstsermon

In The Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Merciful.

Allah, The Most Exalted, says in His Glorious Book:‘hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous.Who spend [in the cause of Allah ] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people - and Allah loves the doers of good’. Allah, the Most Exalted, speaks the truth.

Anger is a human emotion

Anger is an emotion that Allah, The Most Exalted, provided man with. It is a natural expression of his interaction with what goes inside him or with his environment.

It is natural for man to be angry when he is physically or morally hurt or when he or those whom he cares about are oppressed, humiliated or frustrated or when his religion, values or those whom he cherishes are offended. It might even be unnatural if he does not get angry when he is exposed to such instances.

That is why we find that the Glorious Quean talks about the anger of the prophets such as Prophet Younis (a.s):‘And [mention] the man of the fish (dhan-nun), when he went off in anger’and Musa (a.s) :  ‘And when Moses returned to his people, angry and grieved’. In addition, there are many instances in which the Prophet and the Imamswere angry.Thus,anger, though disturbing,is a natural feeling.Yet, when it reaches a point that it  canno longer be controlled it becomes  a destroying  force and creates problems in the fields of work , human relations and life in general.

The importance of restraining anger

That is why God did not callman not to be angry, but to restrain this anger and control it so that it will not possess him and become the source of his reactions.

He incented man to restrain his anger when He promised him in return a garden as wide as the heavens and earth.

 This incentive was  repeated in several Holy Hadiths:“Whoever controls his anger at the time when he has the means to act upon it, Allah will fill his heart with contentment on the Day of Resurrection”.

Once, the Messenger of Allah (p.) passed by a group of people engaged in a contest of lifting a heavy stone. He asked them about it, and they answered that they wanted to know who the strongest among them is.The Messenger of Allah (p.) said: "Shall I tell you who the strongest is?! It is he who if pleased, will not let his pleasure lead him to sin, and if angered will not refrain from telling the truth, and if capable will not take except what he is entitled to."

The opposite of the mind

Allah, The Most Exalted, wants man to restrain his anger, because if he does not do that he and the entire community will suffer.

He wants man to act upon the suggestions of his mind and faith, judging things by  the proper means … Anger, in this sense, is the opposite of the mind and even its worst enemy, for when anger takes control , it prevents the mind from  performing its role  and  puts man under the hegemony of his nerves and bad temper.

Moreover,just as Allah, The Most Exalted, did not want man to lose his mind by alcohol, He did not want him to lose it by anger.

Anger is also the opposite of belief. When man is angry all the gates of evil and Satan are opened. The Hadiths say: ‘Anger is the key to all evils’and ‘Anger is a spark lit by Satan in the heart of the son of Adam [human]’.

The source of evil 

 To learn about the effects and consequences of  anger it is enough that one watches himself when he is angry, or takes a look at others who are either dead or in jail and the hospitals as a result of their anger, for anger is the cause of many crimes and illnesses. It is also the cause of many marital problems and cases of divorce. Anger too is the cause of differences amongfamilies and neighbors. It might also create wars between sects and nations.

 If anger is not controlled or restrained, it turns into a beast that kills and destroys or a fire that burns itself and what is around it …that is why we should find restraints for this anger… And Islam was concerned to find these constraints so that the badtempered andstrife instigators will not control this life.

Anger deterrents

We are in a dire need for these restraints, as we live in a reality that creates political and security tensions as well as economic ones due to poverty and unemployment, in addition to moral deviation and various frustrations.

We cannot separate ourselves or run away from this reality and its effects on our emotions. What we can do is to cool down and rationalize our tensions. It is not true what some say that they cannot control their anger, for Allah, The Most Exalted, would not have commanded us to do what we are not able of. Or else how do they explain that they control their temper in the presence of those they are afraidof.

To do this, the Hadith have provided us withcertain steps that if we follow, we would decrease the effect of anger and transform it from a negative energy into a positive one.

Firstly and before anything else, we should convince ourselves by the fact that anger does not solve the problem; it complicates it. TheProphet (p) used to advise his companions:‘Guard yourselves from the vehemence of anger, and prepare for it the restraint and forbearance that will help you fight against it’. And:‘Truly, anger spoils faith just as bitter aloes spoil honey’!

Secondly:to prevent ourselves from talking or taking any actions in accordance with the Hadith that says:“If any one of you becomes angry, let him keep silent”.For any action or saying when one is angry will not be wise.

Thirdly: if anyone gets angry while he is sitting let him stand up and let him sit if he was standing, for this according to the Prophet (p) willsend the ill-whispering of Satan away.

Fourthly: we should mention Allah, The Most Exalted, and seek His help when we are angry. The Hadith says that when you are angry say 'I seek Refuge with Allah from Satan' then all our anger will go away.

Anger for the sake of Allah

 In this respect, the most important thing is not to be angry for any personal issue, but only for Allah, The Most Exalted, and the right, and in the ways that conform to what Allah calls for.

Ossama binZaid, one of the Messenger’s companions once killed a man after he professed the two testimonies. The Messenger of Allah(p) was informed of this. He said to Osama:'You killed him even though he claimed he was Muslim!'Osama said: 'O Messenger of Allah, he said it only to protect himself'. The Messenger (p) said:'Why did you not split his heart open?So that we see whether he was truthful or not'.The Messenger (p.) repeated this again and again until Osama wished that he had not been a Muslim before that day.

Dear loved ones: Anger is the source of a lot of the tension we suffer from in our homes,neighborhoods and countries. It is what prevents us from making any progress in all fields and leads us to engage in strives and wars … We are impulsive and quick to react and there are those who know how to benefit from this. Let us not give them this chance by controlling our temper and prevent them from driving us to political and sectarian strives. If we do that we will enable the mind to lead us and  we will know where we are going and on what basis, and  we will  ultimately win the rewards of both worlds

The second sermon

 Worshippers of Allah, The Most Exalted:

I advise you and myself with what Allah, The Most Exalted, advised us when He said: ‘And We have instructed those who were given the Scripture before you and yourselves to fear AllahAllah, The Most Exalted,speaks the truth.

To be pious and fear Allah, The Most Exalted,our love to Allah, The Most Exalted, should be above any other love and our obedience to Him   above any other and seeking His satisfaction above seeking that of any other… We should be as the Hadith says aboutthe pious:‘What they say is Allah’s words and what they do is the commands of Allah. Their love is exclusive for their Lord and they detest the earthly life because of their obedience to their lord. They beheld Allah and their hearts beheld loving Him…’When we reach this level, we will win the rewards of both worlds, for Allah, The Most Exalted, has promised those who fear him with His support:‘And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him a way out and will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah - then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent’.

Threatening security in Lebanon

We begin by Lebanon that was able, last week, to overcome a security crisis, although its political repercussions are not over yet. For what took place has increased the political tension and widened the rift between political parties that were already divided, increasing the fears about the motives and the goals that lied behind this crisis.

In any case , we had hoped ,irrespective of the reasons of what happened and  how much it conformed with the legal formalities that should precede such  a move, that this stepshould have been thoroughly studiedbeforehand and more concerned with preserving the security forces and the judiciary, for such a decision  should take into account , not only the security and judicial dimensions, but also the political one.

We are not like the other counties in which judicial and security decisions are takenordinarily. Moreover, we are not living in a normal political state. We are in the midst of an acute political state of tension in which the political integrates with the security and the judicial aspects. To prove this, it is enough to look at the alignments that followed these regretful incidents.

That is why, and out of concern to preserve the credibility of the security forces and the judiciary, andso thatwe wouldknow who is responsible for the blood shedding and eliminate any fears it might have created, we call to hasten and conduct an objective and transparent investigation that explains all what had happened and closes this file.

At the same time , we emphasize the need to be committed  to a calm political discourse that does not stimulate the instincts and lead to a strife that we had warned from before the incident and  we once again warn from afterwards so as it  will  not reoccur, for the country  cannot cope with more tension.

We need to adopt the logic of Imam Ali (a.s.) that says:I hate for you to be slanderers. But if you describe their (mis) deeds and indicate their state of affairs that is a better statement and a stronger argument against them.

The Zionist intimidation

In the midst of all what is going on, the enemy intruded , claiming that it discovered a tunnel on the Lebanese- “Israeli “ borders putting forward an excuse that it has no right to resort to   by claiming that the Resistance is  violating UN Security Councilresolution 1701 since it daily violates it by land, sea and air.

Faced by this development, we call on the Lebanese not to be influenced by the Zionist attempts to create a rift between them, by talking yet again about the Resistance and re-discussing the need for it, after the Lebanese have decided not to talk aboutit, as they have recognized that the Resistanceis  anecessity to deter the enemy.

The Lebanese have to thwart this plot, and they can do so , when they become aware that the enemy is not capable to wage any aggression , especially that its agreement to settle things down in Gaza proves how much it is scared of committing new aggressions.

Although we believe that the Lebanese are aware of this fact, this does not mean that they should not be ready for everything. The enemy,  especially its current leadership, tends to flee   forward towards war, whenever it faces an internal crisis or whenever it  concludes that the political circumstances are in its favor, that is when it benefits of American and international support, while the Arab and Muslim worlds are divided …The Enemy’s talk about the arms factories in Lebanon and new missile technologies that the Resistance now possesses   show how much it is worried,as well  as  its readiness to  engage in an adventure at one time or another.

All these challenges, in addition to the economic and financial collapse, while there are no indications of the formation of the government….All this makes us call upon all political parties to be concerned with the lives of the Lebanese and their futureand those   of their children and  rise to the level of the challenges that threatenthe homeland and the living conditions  of its citizens , for this is worth all sacrifices

End the war in Yemen

Finally, in view of the current negotiations on the Yemeni war in Sweden, we hope that it will lead to an immediate end of thisabsurd war that has exhausted the Yemini people, and made them   a prey for killing, hunger and illnesses. All parties should have been convinced that this war will not yield any result and that there is no solution except   through dialogue, so that this meeting will not be a temporary stop that has been forced by internal and external pressures.


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