Hadith 16. Anger

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him): A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, “Advise me” He [the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Do not become angry” The man repeated [his request] several times and he [the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Do not become angry”.

Reported in Bukhari


Brief Commentary

  • We can see the eagerness of the companions to improve as they are asking for advice from the people of knowledge
  • We see how the prophet (peace be upon him) used to answer people regarding what is most suitable to them, as there are many other ahadith in which the prophet (peace be upon him) was asked the exact same question but he gave different answers, due to the different characteristics of the people asking him
  • This hadith explains the source of evil and shows how Islam pays great attention to the principle of freeing oneself from bad traits and adorning oneself with good traits, which is called in arabic التخلية والتحلية
  • Each one of us is born with certain characteristics, but it is only the wise ones from us that look at the characteristics that they have been created with and seek to develop them further and nurture them to what pleases Allah.
  • We can interpret “Do not get angry to mean”:
    • Avoid indulging in conversations or situations which will get us angry
    • Adorn oneself with other characteristics that help to stop anger e.g. patience, generosity, kindness, shyness, forgiveness, etc
    • Do not do the things that anger necessitates e.g. shout, abuse, physical harm
  • All of the above interpretations are correct and not contradictory and we should try to achieve all of them
  • If someone’s heart is set on the hereafter, they will not get angry over petty issues
  • Anas served the prophet (peace be upon him) for ten years, and never did the prophet (peace be upon him) get angry or tell him for something he did, why did you do so? Or for something he didn’t, why didn’t you do so?
  • How to suppress anger:
    • Remember that shaytan gets happy so say أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم
    • Make wudhu
    • The prophet (peace be upon him) said, “If one of you gets angry while he is standing, then he should sit down, and if he is still angry, then he should lie down” (Reported in Abu Dawud and Ahmad)
  • Some anger is praiseworthy, so if someone never gets angry, then they have a weakness in their heart
  • Seeing evil, or seeing Allah’s rights/laws abused should get someone angry. The companions used to say that they could see the anger on the face of the prophet (peace be upon him) when Allah’s laws are violated
  • It is not wrong to hate, as we should hate for Allah’s sake, and hate what He hates, but nothing else
  • Suppressing anger should also be done at home, which unfortunately many people are heedless of and never implement


Benefits and Action points to take from this hadith:

  • It is good to seek advice from the people of knowledge
  • Anger doesn’t solve any problems and doesn’t make things any easier
  • Prohibition of one thing means prohibition of anything that leads to it, hence one of the interpretations of the hadith is to leave the things that may lead us to get angry
  • Try to fulfil all of the interpretations of the phrase “Do not get angry”
  • Nurture your characteristics to what pleases Allah
  • If you do get angry, then try to do the things mentioned under “How to suppress anger”

17 thoughts on “Hadith 16. Anger

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