Prophet Muhammad said: “A strong person is not the one who overcomes people with his powers, but the one who controls himself when in anger.” [Recorded by Bukhari].
Everyday we meet people who drive us crazy. Some of them do that intentionally, and others are just stupid. Frequently do we think of a way to get back at them, and retrieve some of our rights which they have wasted, or avenge ourselves from their ill treatment, etc. Actually, if we show true patience, and try to control anger, the output is going to be greater than all the schemes and plans we think of in our trial to avenge ourselves. In other words, “Patience and self-control are the keys to relief.”
When I was young, one of my most beloved female teachers narrated to my class a story of a female student who had graduated from our school a few years earlier. This girl was not miss sunshine, but she was extremely smart and clever. She was the top of her class, and she received honoring certificates for her astounding performance every year. And as the case is with nerds, this girl was always harassed by the male losers in her class; they used to make fun of her appearance, and pick on her all the time. When our teacher asked her why she doesn’t go complaining to the headmaster like any other favored student would have done, the girl said, “They could be bullies and idiots, and I swear that sometimes I want to smack them on their heads with the heaviest book in my bag, but nevertheless, they are my brothers; I spend more time with them at school than I spend with my own family at home, how can I raise any complaints against them? I will tolerate their misconduct, but I won’t go complaining.”
This teacher– because she was a sincere lady– spoke with those boys in private later on, and told them of what their colleague said. From that day till graduation, no one at school dared harass that girl again, or even look at her in a manner she doesn’t like. They were all afraid from the wrath of those guys that once before bullied on her. Through her patience and self-control, she succeeded in earning their respect.
Prophet Muhammad said: “The Muslim who interacts with people, and tolerates their ill-treatment, is better than him who abstains from mingling with people, and cannot endure their ignominious attitude.” [Recorded by Tirmidhī].
But patience, and self-control must not be confused with surrendering to oppression. The patience that leads to humiliation, evil doing, and wasting people’s rights or freedom of choice, is not part of self-control, it’s injustice. Sometimes you must make a stand and do not waver; you must be ready to do whatever it takes to make victorious what’s right without transgressing the limits of righteousness and piety.
About this Prophet Muhammad said: “Whoever sees any evil being done, let him stop it with his hands; if he can’t, then with his tongue (i.e. by speaking against it); if he still can’t, then with his heart (i.e. by hating to see it, and hoping that someone stronger would stop it), and this is the weakest among you in faith.” [Recorded by Muslim].
Pondering over the previous tradition, you can notice that it is also speaking about self-control and patience, but in a different way. It is urging people to control their fear from those who do evil, and to show patience in resisting their acts until the harm is lifted; this was defined to form a huge part of one’s faith. Hence, the same words apply here as well, “Patience and self-control are the keys to relief.”
Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Be patient; surely, Allah does not let the reward of the righteous be wasted.”
[The Qur’an (11:115)].
“We will certainly give those who are patient their reward according to the best of their actions.”
[The Qur’an (16:96)].
Written By: Ehab Shawky
In Response To: Control