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Lesson Forty-Six; Obstacles to Obedience (part III B ctd.)
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How to eject anger from our hearts

Anger is not an asset; it is a disease that will harm us if left unattended. No door must be opened for it, and if it happens to sneak into our hearts through cracks in our defences, it should be expelled immediately. This is how:


1. We must treat all that happens to us as a trial from God and act accordingly

Allah (S.W.A) warns, guides, and at the same time, gives us hope for dealing with our anger. He speaks:

“And the messengers whom we sent before you were all (men) who ate food and walked through the streets: we have made some of you as a trial for others: will you have patience? For Allah is one who sees (all things) (25:20)

Be sure we shall test you with something of fear, and hunger, some loss in goods or lives, or the (fruits of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere (2:155)

Who say, when afflicted with a calamity: ‘To Allah we belong and to him is our return’ (2:156) –

They are those on whom (descend) blessings from their Lord, and mercy, and they are the ones who receive guidance (2:157)”

The Baganda people say:

“What is already foreseen causes less damage”

Things that happen to us, good or bad, are a test from Allah (S.W.A) to strengthen our charachters. We must view them from that perspective and react appropriately in order to maximize our marks on the test. Blaming others or ourselves for our problems causes anger. Anger is a very wrong choice of reaction, so we should never pick it. Prayer and patience have a much better ranking in contrast. Second, we must remember that if we are experiencing problems, there are other people who have the same or worse problems than our own. This may counsel us to feel a little bit blessed and hence grateful, as opposed to feeling condemned, resentful and angry.


2. We should look for opportunities in our problems

We must turn whatever happens to us into a learning experience. Annoyances can be great lessons to us. The Baganda people say:

”One who chases you, forces you to discover ways you would not otherwise have thought about before”

People who compliment us make us feel good and maintain standards. However, those who criticize our weaknesses are the ones who push us to new heights of improvement, development and growth. It is better to keep on growing than to remain good but stagnant. Those who point out our weaknesses force us to do something about it and overcome them. This though cannot happen if we frown at all criticism. Not all criticism is bad. There are two types of criticism: positive constructive and negative destructive.  Make use of the positive constructive criticism.   


Positive Constructive criticism

Positive constructive criticism points out weaknesses within us as individuals. The criticizer in this category always intends to improve us; to make us better people. Examples in this category include parents, friends, teachers, and sometimes, our enemies. Do not discard all what enemies say. Pick out what is useful and use it, and forgive and ignore what is useless. Positive criticism is a great tutor.


Negative Criticism


This is the bad one and very dangerous. It is spread almost always for the purposes of control. It is aimed at causing anger that weakens the human soul. Negative criticism embarrasses and disgraces the victim. Negative criticism always comes in general statements. For example,

”This group of people is weak;


“This group of people has little brains, so they can not learn mathematics;


“This group of people is …”


We must always remember that what is true for one may not be true for all, and that what is true for most may not be true for the individual. If an individual or individuals in the group have the weaknesses pointed out in the criticism, they should fix them. Otherwise, the rest of the group must forgive the insult, ignore it completely and never think that what is true to some member s of the group is necessarily true for them all.


To Be Continued...