By Yakubu Musa
I often write a eulogy of Prophet’s Muhammad– peace be upon Him– on a day like this. This year will mark a departure. I am writing to pontificate on a reminder. In doing so, I’ll go with the most trending topic involving Muslim families, especially Nigeria.
We were recently shocked by the story of a jealous wife who allegedly stabbed her beloved husband to death. The story went viral on social media, with tongues set wagging everywhere. Both the pundits and the disciples chipped in with what they thought was the real cause of that heinous crime.
Yet only a few looked at the angle of anger management as the possible reason we are ending up with tragedies like that. Many commentators preferred the easy option of finding a scapegoat in drugs, Hausa Films (Media Effects Theories), and the general moral decadence in the society. I am not absolving anyone on the list.
But take a look at this beautiful saying of our beloved Prophet, Muhammad, PBUH, again, and the catastrophe of Maryam Sanda and many of us indulging in domestic violence and road rage, is diagnosed in a simple prescription.
“A man said to the Prophet, ‘Give me advice.’ The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, ‘Do not get angry.’ The man asked repeatedly and the Prophet answered each time, ‘Do not get angry,” reported Aba Hurairah
The above-quoted hadith is one of the most famous sayings of the Prophet. I can still remember that it was taught not only at Islamic schools those days, it was even part of Islamic Religious Knowledge lessons in our junior secondary schools then.
Then where are we producing these “children of anger from”?
Something is indeed amiss somewhere. My two cent is that just as we are yet to appreciate the full connotation of various teachings of the Quran, we take also fail to go beyond the superficialities on the takeaways from those hadiths.
For instance, this particular hadith is not saying one cannot get angry. It is advising us to control the anger. Emotional control is one of the best things that you learn in any course of emotional intelligence.
In another hadith, the Prophet says: “The powerful man is not the one who can wrestle, but the powerful man is the one who can control himself at the time of anger.” Controlling anger can be an indicator of the strength of one’s personality.
The fourth chaliph, Aliyu Ibn Abi Talib, Karramallahu Wajhahu, was said to have risked being killed in the battlefield when Ibn Abd Wood, after hitting the canvass, following a strike from Ali, spat on him (Ali). Ali was so angry but had to wait for the anger to subside before he continued with the duel. His reason was that he was not fighting a personal combat. That’s the ultimate example of emotional control.
If Ali could control his anger at a time when adrenaline was so high and the dangers of losing his life were unmistakable, why is it difficult for us to control our rage on matters that are even trivial? A Muslim has stabbed a Muslim because of that a football club thousands miles away in Europe has suffered an inconsequential defeat at the hands of another.
Whenever I ponder on the tremendous knowledge compressed in Imam Nawawi’s collection (40 Hadith of Al Nawawi) I keep telling myself that every course that I need to attend for personal effectiveness is there.
Al Nawawi’s collection is still in circulation. The only snag is the near absence of living by the dictate of its significant lessons by us.
Ibn Abbas was said to have shed tears when he recalled that the Muslims had made a costly error of not receiving what would have been the final admonishing of our Beloved Prophet, PBUH. I also cry that the calamity of the present Muslim is in the fact that they cannot even adhere to the teachings of merely 20 out of 40 great hadiths in Alnawawi collections.