Sunan of Anger: What a Muslim should do when angry

In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

The following are some prophetic traditions (sunnah) Muslims can apply when afflicted by anger:

  • Seeking refuge in Allah from Satan
  • Remaining silent
  • Performance of ablution and prayer
  • Sitting and lying down
  • Remembering the virtue of swallowing anger and forgiving people

Allah said:

وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ نَزْغٌ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

If an evil suggestion comes to you from Satan, then seek refuge in Allah. Verily, he is Hearing and Knowing.

Surat al-A’raf 7:200

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

 لَيْسَ الشَّدِيدُ بِالصُّرَعَةِ إِنَّمَا الشَّدِيدُ الَّذِي يَمْلِكُ نَفْسَهُ عِنْدَ الْغَضَبِ

The strong are not the wrestlers. Verily, the strong are only those who control themselves when they are angry.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5763, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

Abu Huraira reported: A man came to the Prophet and he said, “Advise me.” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

لَا تَغْضَبْ

Do not become angry.

The man repeated his request and the Prophet said:

لَا تَغْضَبْ

Do not become angry.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5765, Grade: Sahih

Abu Darda reported: I said, “O Messenger of Allah, tell me about a deed that will enter me into Paradise.” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

لا تَغْضَبْ وَلَكَ الْجَنَّةُ

Do not get angry and Paradise is yours.

Source: al-Mu’jam al-Awsaṭ 2411, Grade: Sahih

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ فَلْيَقُلْ خَيْرًا أَوْ لِيَصْمُتْ

Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak goodness or remain silent.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 47. Grade: Sahih

Sulaiman ibn Surad reported: Two people abused each other in the presence of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and the eyes of one of them became red like embers and the veins of his neck were swelling. The Prophet said:

إِنِّي لَأَعْرِفُ كَلِمَةً لَوْ قَالَهَا لَذَهَبَ عَنْهُ الَّذِي يَجِدُ أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ

Verily, I know a word he could say to calm himself: I seek refuge in Allah from the cursed Satan.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2610, Grade: Sahih

Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

وَإِذَا غَضِبَ أَحَدُكُمْ فَلْيَسْكُتْ

When one of you is angry, he should remain silent.

Source: Musnad Aḥmad 2137, Grade: Sahih

Umm Salamah reported: I said, “O Messenger of Allah, teach me a supplication with which I can pray for myself.” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

قُولِي اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي ذَنْبِي وَأَذْهِبْ غَيْظَ قَلْبِي وَأَجِرْنِي مِنْ مُضِلاتِ الْفِتَنِ

Say: O Allah, forgive my sins, remove the rage in my heart, and protect me from the trials of misguidance.

Source: al-Du’ā lil-Ṭabarānī 1340, Grade: Sahih

Abu Dharr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said to us:

إِذَا غَضِبَ أَحَدُكُمْ وَهُوَ قَائِمٌ فَلْيَجْلِسْ فَإِنْ ذَهَبَ عَنْهُ الْغَضَبُ وَإِلَّا فَلْيَضْطَجِعْ

If one of you is angry when he is standing, let him sit down so that the anger will leave him, otherwise let him lie down.

Source: Sunan Abī Dāwūd 4782, Grade: Sahih

Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِنَّ الْغَضَبَ جَمْرَةٌ فِي قَلْبِ ابْنِ آدَمَ أَمَا رَأَيْتُمْ إِلَى حُمْرَةِ عَيْنَيْهِ وَانْتِفَاخِ أَوْدَاجِهِ فَمَنْ أَحَسَّ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ ذَلِكَ فَلْيَلْصَقْ بِالْأَرْضِ

Verily, anger is a burning ember in the heart of the son of Adam, as you see it in the redness of his eyes and the bulging of his veins. Whoever feels anything like that should lie down on the ground.

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2191, Grade: Sahih

Ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

وَمَنْ كَفَّ غَضَبَهُ سَتَرَ اللَّهُ عَوْرَتَهُ وَمَنْ كَظَمَ غَيْظَهُ وَلَوْ شَاءَ أَنْ يُمْضِيَهُ أَمْضَاهُ مَلأَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ قَلْبَهُ أَمْنًا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ

Whoever swallows his anger, then Allah will conceal his faults. Whoever suppresses his rage, even though he could fulfill his anger if he wished, then Allah will secure his heart on the Day of Resurrection.

Source: al-Mu’jam al-Awsaṭ 6192, Grade: Sahih

In another narration, the Prophet said:

 مَا مِنْ جُرْعَةٍ أَعْظَمُ أَجْرًا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ جُرْعَةِ غَيْظٍ كَظَمَهَا عَبْدٌ ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِ اللَّهِ

There is nothing which is swallowed that has a greater reward with Allah than a servant who swallows his rage, seeking thereby the countenance of Allah.

Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 4189, Grade: Hasan

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said three times:

رَحِمَ اللَّهُ امْرَأً تَكَلَّمَ فَغَنِمَ أَوْ سَكَتَ فَسَلِمَ

May Allah have mercy on a person who spoke rightly and was rewarded, or who was silent and remained safe.

Source: Shu’b al-Imān 4579, Grade: Hasan

In another narration, the Prophet said:

مَنْ خَزَنَ لِسَانَهُ سَتَرَ اللَّهُ عَوْرَتَهُ وَمَنْ كَفَّ غَضَبَهُ كَفَّ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ عَذَابَهُ

Whoever restricts his tongue, then Allah will cover his faults. Whoever restrains his anger, then Allah will restrain his punishment.

Source: Shu’b al-Imān 7818, Grade: Hasan

Atiyyah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace be and blessings be upon him, said:

إِنَّ الْغَضَبَ مِنْ الشَّيْطَانِ وَإِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ خُلِقَ مِنْ النَّارِ وَإِنَّمَا تُطْفَأُ النَّارُ بِالْمَاءِ فَإِذَا غَضِبَ أَحَدُكُمْ فَلْيَتَوَضَّأْ

Verily, anger comes from Satan and Satan was created from fire, and fire is extinguished with water, so if you become angry then perform ablution with water.

Source: Sunan Abī Dāwūd 4784, Grade: Hasan

Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

وَمَا مِنْ جَرْعَةٍ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِنْ جَرْعَةِ غَيْظٍ يَكْظِمُهَا عَبْدٌ مَا كَظَمَهَا عَبْدٌ لِلَّهِ إِلَّا مَلَأَ اللَّهُ جَوْفَهُ إِيمَانًا

There is no dose of anything more beloved to Allah than a dose of rage a servant has swallowed. No servant suppresses his anger except that Allah will fill him with faith.

Source: Musnad Aḥmad 3008, Grade: Hasan

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ كَظْمَ غَيْظًا وَهُوَ يُقَدِّرُ عَلَى إِنْفَاذِهِ مَلَأَهُ اللَّهُ أَمْنًا وَإِيمَانًا

Whoever suppresses his rage while he is capable of unleashing it, then Allah will fill him with faith and assurance.

And the Prophet recited the verse:

وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

They are those who suppress their rage and forgive people, for Allah loves the doers of good. (3:134)

Source: Tafsīr al-Ṭabarī 3:134, Grade: Hasan

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.