Assalamu alaykum waRahmtullah waBarakatuh dear brothers and sisters, we will continue talking about the soldiers of light VS the soldiers of darkness.
Mercy opposing Anger:
“The willingness to forgive and not to punish” is a definition frequently used for the word mercy, but what is mercy in Islam? With Islam, mercy was given a deeper meaning that created a vital aspect in the life of every Muslim, which he is rewarded by God for showing.
Allah's swt mercy, which is bestowed on all His creatures, is seen in everything we lay eyes on: in the sun that provides light and heat, and in the air and water that are essential for all the living.
An entire chapter in the Quran is named after God’s divine attribute Ar-Rahman (The Most Gracious). Also two of God’s attributes are derived from the word for mercy. They are Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim, which mean “The Most Gracious” and “The Most Merciful.” These two attributes are mentioned in the phrase recited at the beginning of 113 chapters of the Quran: “In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.” This phrase is a continuous reminder for the reader of God’s endless mercy and great bounties.
Allah swt assures us that whoever commits a sin will be forgiven if he repents and ceases this act, where He says:
"And when those come to you who believe in Our verses, say, "Peace be upon you. Your Lord has decreed upon Himself mercy: that any of you who does wrong out of ignorance and then repents after that and corrects himself - indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful." (The Holy Quran 6:54)
Prophet Muhammad (pbuhap) said that Allah (swt) said: “My mercy prevails over My wrath.”
Reward for kindness and compassion was also assured by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuhap): “The merciful are shown mercy by the All-Merciful. Show mercy to those on earth, and He Who is in heaven will show mercy unto you”
Concerning Prophet Muhammad (pbuhap)’s mercy, it is best to mention first what God Himself has said about him:
"And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds." (The Holy Quran 21:107)
…which assures that Islam is founded on mercy, and that God sent Prophet Muhammad (pbuhap) as mercy to all creatures with no exception.
Allah swt also says in the Quran:
“Now hath come to you an Apostle from amongst yourselves: it grieves him that ye should receive any injury or difficulty: ardently anxious is he over you: to the believers is he most kind and merciful” (The Holy Quran 9:128)
These verses were clearly manifested in the Prophet’s manners and dealings, for he bore many hardships for the sake of conveying God’s message. The Prophet (pbuhap) was also most gentle in guiding his people, and whenever they used to harm him he always asked God to pardon them for their ignorance and cruelty.
"The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with what is better then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend." (The Holy Quran 41:34)
Some of the heartless pre-Islamic traditions were the offering of one’s child as sacrifice for deities and the burial of girls alive. These acts against children were strictly prohibited by the Quran. “Kill not your children on a plea of want. We provide sustenance for you and for them. Come not near shameful deeds, whether open or secret. Take not life which Allah has made sacred.” (6:151)
As for the Prophet’s mercy towards children, he was once leading the prayer and his grandsons, Al-Hasan and Al-Husain, were still young boys playing and climbing over his back, so in the fear of hurting them if he should stand, the Prophet prolonged his prostration. Another time, the Prophet performed his prayer while carrying Umamah, his granddaughter.
This kindness of the Prophet (pbuhap) was not only bestowed on his own children but also extended to children playing on the street. As soon as seeing the Prophet, they would run to him, and he would receive them all with a warm smile and open arms.
Even during prayer the Prophet’s innate kindness was clear, as he once said:
“(It happens that) I start the prayer intending to prolong it, but on hearing the cries of a child, I shorten the prayer because I know that the cries of the child will incite its mother’s passions”
In many situations the Prophet taught us how children should be brought up in a kind and loving atmosphere, and that they should not be beaten, or hit across the face, to avoid their humiliation. When a man once saw the Prophet kissing his grandson, he was astonished at the Prophet’s leniency and said: “I have ten children but I have never kissed any one of them.” the Prophet replied: “He who does not show mercy, no mercy would be shown to him”
The Prophet (pbuhap) said: "The Most Merciful shows mercy to those who have mercy on others. Show mercy to those on earth, and the One above the heaven will show mercy to you."
Just a Stroke of the head:
When Allah swt mentioned orphans in the Quran He said what means: “Therefore, treat not the orphans with harshness” (The HolyQuran 93:9)
In accordance with this verse came the manners of the Prophet towards orphans, for he said: “I and the person who looks after an orphan and provides for him, will be in Paradise like this,” putting his index and middle fingers together.
In order to make the orphan feel appreciated and that if he has lost the affection of his parents there are still people who are willing to love and care for him, the Prophet encouraged kindness by saying that a person is rewarded by good deeds for each hair he strokes on an orphan’s head.
The protection of the orphan’s property was clearly confirmed by Allah (swt) and His Prophet. For instance, Allah (swt) said: “Those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, eat up a fire into their own bodies: they will soon be enduring a blazing fire!” (The HolyQuran 4:10)
A Prophetic saying also informs us that one of the seven most grievous sins is the devouring of the orphan’s property.
Imam Ali (a.s) said: ''He is the wisest and the most knowing man who advises people not to lose hope and faith in the Mercy of Allah and not to be too sure and over-confident of immunity from His Wrath and Punishment.''
A small excerpt of Imam Ali (a.s) in (A sermon with no Alif) he said: ''...He responds to the call of those who call on Him; He sustains His servant and surrounds him with His love; His niceties are hidden [from our comprehension]; His power is mighty; His mercy is wide; His penalty is painful; His mercy is a broad and a Garden of grandeur (Paradise); His punishment is Hell filled with horrors and chains...''
Imam Hussein (a.s) said: "The most merciful person is the one who forgives when he is able to revenge.''
“Be like the flower that gives fragrance even to the hand that crushes it". -Imam Ali (a.s)
“Those who spend (in Allah’s cause) in prosperity and in adversity, who repress their anger, and who pardon men, verily, Allah loves the al-Muhsinun (the good-doers).” (The Holy Quran 3:134)
There are different ways for handling anger, depending on the person and situation. If a person gets angry, then he or she should exercise muhasabah (holding the self-accountable) for the mistakes committed, what led to them, and how to overcome them in the future. Examining the self and holding ourselves accountable is important training and a source of discipline and self-improvement. In various hadiths, the Prophet (pbuhap) teaches us different ways to help with anger:
Seeking refuge in Allah: The Prophet (pbuhap) said: "I know a word, the saying of which will cause him to relax, if he does say it. If he says: 'I seek Refuge with Allah from Satan' then all his anger will go away." When we seek refuge in Allah (swt),
we should say the words with understanding and reflection, not simply recite the words.
Changing your posture: The Prophet of Allah (pbuhap) said: "When one of you becomes angry while standing, he should sit down. If the anger leaves him, well and good; otherwise he should lie down."
Also Imam Al-Baqir (a.s) said: “Verily, anger is a spark ignited by the Devil in the human heart. Indeed, when anyone of you gets angry, his eyes become red, the veins of his neck become swollen and Satan enters them. Therefore, whosoever among you is concerned about himself on account of it, he should lie down for a while so that the filth of Satan may be removed from him at the time.”
Another way to help with anger is to keep quiet: The Prophet (pbuhap) said: “If one of you becomes angry then he should stay silent.” This is an important practice because when we are angry our actions and speech may be disproportionate and unjust and we may say some thing’s that we don’t mean and will regret later.
Wudu can also be a shield against anger. The Prophet (pbuhap) said: “Anger comes from the devil, the devil was created from fire, and fire is extinguished only with water. So when one of you becomes angry, he should make wudu.”
"A moment of patience in a moment of anger prevents thousand moments of regret.” -Imam Ali (a.s)
Imam Al-Sadiq (a.s) said that The Holy Prophet (pbuhap) said: “Anger spoils faith in the same way as vinegar spoils honey.”
Sometimes anger can be good. The Prophet never got angry except when the commandments of Allah were violated. However, if we do feel anger for the sake of Allah, we should make sure that we are not actually getting angry for our own ego or interests. We should express the anger in the right way; just because the anger is for the right cause does not give anyone reason to behave badly.
For example we can see in this following story how Imam Ali (a.s) controlled his anger:
In the battle of Khandaq, the Muslims dug a ditch around themselves for their defense, so that the enemy could not get across.
A man from the enemy side called Amr bin Abdawud who was known for his strength, courage and art of fighting managed to get across the ditch. All the Muslims were terrified to fight him and only Imam Ali (a.s) came forward to fight this man. There was a fierce fight until at last Imam Ali (a.s) threw Amr bin Abdawud down onto the ground and mounted his chest ready to kill him. Just as Imam Ali (a.s) was about to kill this enemy of Islam, he spit on the face of Imam Ali (a.s). Everybody was certain that because of this insult, Amr bin Abdawud would meet his death even faster still, but to their amazement, Imam Ali (a.s) moved from Amr bin Abdawud’s chest and walked away.
Amr bin Abdawud attacked Imam Ali (a.s) again and after a short while, Imam Ali (a.s) again overpowered Amr bin Abdawud and killed him. After the battle of Khandaq was over people asked Imam Ali (a.s) the reason why he had spared Amr bin Abdawud’s life when he had first overpowered him. To which Imam Ali (a.s) replied that if he had killed him then it would have not been only for the sake of Allah (swt) but also for the satisfaction of his anger and so he let him free. So Imam Ali (a.s) controlled his anger and killed Amr bin Abdawud purely for the sake of Allah (swt).
In a hadith The Prophet (pbuhap) said: ''The strong man is not the one who can throw another down. The strong man is the one who can keep hold of himself when he is angry.''
Jesus (a.s) the son of Mary, was asked by his disciples as to which of the things is the hardest to bear. “The Fury of the Most High God is the hardest thing to bear,” he replied. They questioned him, “How can we save ourselves from it?” He (a.s) replyed, “By not getting angry,”
The prophet (pbuhap) said "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."
Also one of the Prophet’s companions said, “Anger is the key to all evil.”
(The Holy BiblyJames 1:19): "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires."
"These are the ones whose good character and beautiful attributes and deeds Allaah has mentioned, and whom people admire and want to emulate. One of their characteristics is that (interpretation of the meaning) ". . . when they are angry, they forgive." (The Holy Quran 42:47)
''Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.''- Buddha
A Dua from the Prophet (pbuhap):
"O Allah, by Your knowledge of the Unseen and Your power over Your creation, keep me alive for as long as You know life is good for me, and cause me to die when You know death is good for me. O Allah, I ask You to make me fear You in secret and in public, and I ask You to make me speak the truth in times of contentment and of anger. I ask You not to let me be extravagant in poverty or in prosperity. I ask You for continuous blessings, and for contentment that does not end. I ask You to let me accept Your decree, and for a good life after death. I ask You for the joy of seeing Your face and for the longing to meet You, without going through diseases and misguiding fitnah (trials). O Allaah, adorn us with the adornment of faith and make us among those who are guided. Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds."
"And My mercy encompasses every thing." (The Holy Quran 7:156)
Allaahumma salle ala Muhammad wa Ale Muhammad al Aemma wal Mahdyeen wa salem tasleeman Katheera