Those Who Restrain Anger and Pardon People

Every time you get angry, you cause your heartbeats and blood pressure to rise and your blood vessels to contract. And if you suffer from arteriosclerosis as a result of plaque build-up, smoking, diabetes or blood pressure – whether you were aware or not, each episode of anger causes a decrease in the blood flow to the heart, which causes less oxygen to reach the muscle, and if an artery was affected bad enough to cause clotting on its inner side, anger might cause the artery to become clogged and the muscle dies, in what is called a heart attack.


This was the result of experiments and many studies that were conducted recently in the United States of America. Researchers in one study analyzed the electric activity in patients’ hearts using a Holter monitor, and found that anger caused less oxygen and blood to reach the heart, leading to higher rates in having a heart attack.


In another study made by Dr. Hittelman at the Dickens Hospital in Boston on 1623 heart patients, he found that undergoing one episode of anger within the past 2 hours doubled the rate of having a heart attack.


Another study at the University of Harvard published in November 1996 in the university’s periodical, researchers made a list of questions to help select emotional and bad-tempered people. The study included 1305 male participants who were examined for 7 years. The results showed that the rates of heart attacks in those with bad tempers were 3 times greater than those who feel less aggression. A lot of studies were made to answer the important question “Is it possible to teach people how to control anger?” Some of these studies were made by Dr. Friedman at the University of San Francisco, who found out that extensive lessons and training of patients on how to control anger and deal with agitating situations and circumstances led to a more than 50% decrease in the rates of heart attacks. The study was published in the American Heart Magazine in November 1996.


Researchers pointed out that one of the most important factors in keeping anger under control is asking ourselves “Is the reason I am angry even worth it?” Dr. Williams from Duke University advises that one asks himself the following question “Can I justify my anger logically?”


The West reached a scientific fact after a lot of studying and research: Restraining anger and controlling emotions is in itself a cure and can be beneficial, which is a fact that contradicts the previous belief in psychology that calls for expressing one’s emotions and letting them out to justify anger as a natural phenomenon and a good reaction.


The prophet (PBUH) taught us a lot more than that 14 centuries ago by illustration and through being a role model. One of his characteristics was patience; he never took revenge for himself and never got angry except when one of God’s prohibited things was infringed. He never sought revenge except for justice and religion. He also taught us that patience is acquired, as he said “Knowledge comes with learning and patience comes with being patient. Whoever seeks good receives it, and whoever averts from evil is saved from it.”


Islam deals with anger and treats it on three levels: the physical, mental and spiritual. Concerning the physical, the prophet of God says “Anger is a pebble that lights up in the heart, haven’t you seen the swelling of the veins and the redness in the eyes? If any of you experiences something similar and he was standing up, he should sit, and if he was sitting, he should lie down. If that didn’t work, let him perform ablution, for fire isn’t put off except with water.” This is a scientific inimitability, for when someone is standing sits down or lies down, that slows down the heartbeat and decreases the blood pressure. Cold water causes the different blood vessels in the body to relax, including the coronary arteries, which leads to fewer possibilities for a heart attack.


The second level communicates with the brain. Ibn Mas’ud said “The Prophet (PBUH) asked: Who is the strong man? “The one who isn’t defeated by men,” we answered. “No,” said the prophet, “it is not him but the one who contains himself when he is angry.”


The third level contacts the spirit and encourages it to be calm.


Abu Al-Darda’ said “I asked the prophet to tell me about one thing that will take me to heaven; he said “Don’t be angry.” He also said “He who restrains his anger while able to release it, God will fill his heart with content on judgment day.” Ibn Omar said “The prophet (PBUH) said “A man could not take a sip that is more rewarding than a sip of anger he restrains seeking God’s reward.”


A person who gets angry over little things other than what causes God’s wrath is missing out on many things… It takes away from his reward and “Thawab” while he is being careless with his brain and heart. It wastes the health of the body.


Ibn Omar said: I said to the prophet of God: Say something to me and make it short so I may understand it, he said “Don’t be angry.” I repeated and he said “Don’t be angry.” I repeated and he said “Don’t be angry.” The holy prophet was right.