ARVIND KHETIA, a Hindu and an engineer: Anger exists for many reasons. Individual and cumulative anger arises from social and economic injustice and lack of freedom. Some anger may be justified when it is expressed with good intentions, but anger should never turn into rage or violence.
In the Bhagavad Gita, anger is defined as one of the three cardinal sins, the others being greed and lust. All evils arise from these sins.
A pertinent question is asked in the Gita, “Impelled by what power does a person commit sinful deeds despite one’s desire not to be sinful?” Sri Krishna replies, “It is selfish desire and anger, arising from the restless mind. Know this as the enemy in human life, and cause of all sin.”
Selfish desire may be for fame, or for excessive material prosperity, or for sensual fulfillment. The problem arises when one’s energy remains consumed in satisfying excessive, endless and unrestrained desires, resulting in greed and lust. This gives rise to many societal and environmental problems.
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When these unrestrained desires cannot be satisfied, this can lead to frustration and anger. Sri Krishna explains in the Gita that, “From anger comes delusion, and one forgets the lessons learned from the scriptures. Consequently, the mind loses its power of discrimination between right and wrong desire, and life’s real purpose is lost.”
Life’s real purpose, according to the Hindu scriptures, is to cultivate spiritual wisdom by controlling one’s senses, being content and compassionate, seeing oneness amongst all beings, and realizing the divinity within.
MOHAMED KOHIA, a Muslim and a Rockhurst University professor: A man approached the Prophet Muhammad and asked him for advice. He said, “Do not get angry.”
The man repeated his request for advice, and each time, the Prophet replied with this one phrase that sums up all good attitudes and behavior, “Do not get angry.” He continued: “A strong man is not one who defeats (another) in physical combat. Verily, a strong man is he who controls his self at the time of anger.”
God created human beings and gave them different emotions like love, hate, fear, anger, etc. Everyone feels these emotions according to different circumstances. Each emotion offers some profit if used correctly, but equally, there is the grave danger of provoking harm if used incorrectly.
Harm will be inflicted not only on others but also will backfire on the inflicter. Indeed, Allah loves those who control their anger, and he forgives those who do not seek revenge or punishment.
“And those who swallow anger and those who forgive people, Allah loves the righteous.” (Qur’an 3:134.)
Certainly, Allah, the exalted, is all-forgiving. He tolerates us, and he also loves us to forgive, tolerate and not be vindictive to one another. The Prophet said: “Whoever curbs his anger, while being able to act, Allah will fill his heart with certainty of faith.”
When you get angry, say: I seek refuge in God from the evil. The Prophet ordered us to say thus.
When his wife Ayesha got angry, he told her: “O dear Ayesha, say: O God, you are the Lord of my Prophet Muhammad, forgive my sins and remove the anger from my heart and save me from misguidance.”
Voices of Faith is edited by The Kansas City Star. To ask a question or respond, email firstname.lastname@example.org.