مَتَى أَشْفِي غَيْظِي إِذَا غَضِبْتُ؟ أَحِينَ أَعْجِزُ عَنِ الاْنْتِقَامِ فَيُقَالُ لِي: لَوْ صَبَرْتَ؟ أَمْ حِينَ أَقْدِرُ عَلَيْهِ فَيُقَالُ لي: لَوْ عَفَوْتَ۔

If I am angry when shall I vent my anger - when I am unable to take revenge and it be said to me, "better you endure" or when I have power to take revenge and it be said to me, "better forgive"?.



If I am angry when shall I vent my anger - when I am unable to take...

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #194)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, and blessings be upon Muhammad () and his pure Ahl al-Bayt, as well as his noble companions.

The provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) raises a crucial question regarding the appropriate response to anger. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) asks,

If I am angry, when should I express my anger? Should I do so when I am incapable of seeking revenge and it is suggested to me to endure? Or should I do so when I have the power to take revenge and it is suggested to me to forgive?

To fully grasp the depth of this Hadith, let us delve into the meanings of some important words. The word (ghaithi) "غَيْظِي" refers to anger or wrath, while (ghadibtu) "غَضِبْتُ" means to become angry. The word (intiqam) "اْنْتِقَامِ" denotes seeking revenge, and (afawta) "عَفَوْتَ" signifies forgiveness.

In order to understand the wisdom behind Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) question, we must turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) teaches us in Surah Al-Imran, verse 134:

Those who spend [in Allah's cause] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people - and Allah loves the doers of good.

This verse emphasizes the importance of restraining anger and pardoning others, even in situations where seeking revenge may be within one's power. It is a characteristic of the righteous to control their anger and forgive others, as this is pleasing to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) is highlighting the dilemma one faces when deciding between seeking revenge and forgiving.

Another verse that sheds light on this matter is found in Surah Ash-Shura, verse 37:

And those who avoid the major sins and immoralities, and when they are angry, they forgive.

This verse further emphasizes the virtue of forgiveness, even in moments of anger. It is a sign of righteousness to forgive others, regardless of the circumstances.

Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) is presenting a thought-provoking scenario. When one is unable to seek revenge, they are advised to endure and exercise patience. On the other hand, when one possesses the power to take revenge, they are encouraged to forgive. This highlights the importance of controlling one's anger and choosing forgiveness over vengeance.

Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) is teaching us that forgiveness is not a sign of weakness, but rather a manifestation of strength and wisdom. It requires great strength to suppress one's anger and forgive, especially when the power to seek revenge is within reach. By choosing forgiveness, one rises above their anger and demonstrates their ability to control their emotions.

Moreover, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) is reminding us that seeking revenge may not always lead to a desirable outcome. It can perpetuate a cycle of violence and hatred, causing further harm and destruction. On the other hand, forgiveness has the power to heal wounds, foster reconciliation, and promote peace.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a profound reminder for Muslims to reflect on their response to anger. It teaches us the importance of controlling our emotions and choosing forgiveness over revenge. By doing so, we embody the noble qualities of patience, wisdom, and compassion. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the strength to restrain our anger and the ability to forgive others, for He is the Most Merciful and Forgiving.

. : . (Readers are advised to verify the sources mentioned above, and to independently research for an accurate understanding of Hadith. Remember, personal research and seeking guidance from scholars are essential in gaining a better insight. Please, do contact us if you find any wrong citations or explanations.)

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