Sometimes someone becomes angry when a hardship or affliction befalls him. How does Islam look at this situation?
People, during circumstances of affliction or difficulties, are at four levels:
First Level â€“ Angry
Such people become angry. This can be in different ways. For instance, the anger is by the heart as if he is angry at his Lord. So, he gets angry with what Allah has decreed for him, and this (level) is not permissible.
Itâ€™s possible that it could even lead to disbelief. Allah says:â€And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were, upon the very edge (i.e. in doubt); if good befalls him, heâ€™s content therewith, but if a trial befalls him, he turns back on his face (i.e. reverts back to disbelief after embracing Islam). He loses both this world and the Hereafter.â€ (Surat al-Hajj: 11)
The second way of expressing their anger is with their tongue. They pray and supplicate for the destruction of ruin or by similar statements. This is also impermissible. The third type of anger is that of the limbs like slapping the cheeks, ripping the clothes, pulling out hair (some Arab cul-tural reactions of Jahiliyyah), and similar actions. And none of this is allowed; itâ€™s in contradiction to having patience which is required.
Second Level – Patient
Itâ€™s just like a poet said, â€œPatience, like its name, is bitter in taste, yet its outcomes are sweeter than honey.â€ Such a person sees this thing (the affliction, problem) as weighing down heavily on him. But he bears it although he dislikes that it happened. His faith bears it patiently and prevents him from being angry. So, the times of affliction and times without are not the same to him. This (level) is obligatory because Allah commanded the people to be patient, saying: â€œAnd be patient. Certainly, Allah is with the patient ones.â€ (Surah al-Anfal: 46)
Third Level â€“Pleased
In such a way, the person is pleased with the affliction. Itâ€™s the same to him whether it happened or not; itâ€™s not difficult upon him and he doesnâ€™t bear it as if it is something weighing heavily on him. This (level) is preferred but not an obligation according to the most correct opinions. The difference between this level and the one before it is apparent because the affliction happening or not happening (in this third level) is the same due to the fact that the person at this level is actually content and pleased. As for the level before it, the affliction is hard upon him, yet he still remains patient over it.
Fourth Level â€“ Thankful
Actually being grateful is the highest level. This is the state when a person thanks Allah for the affliction that has befallen him. He knows that such a difficulty is a means of expiation for his sins and perhaps a cause for an increase in his good deeds. Rasulullah Sallallahu â€˜alayhi wa sallam, â€œThereâ€™s no affliction that strikes a Muslim except that Allah expiates with it (his sins), even with a thorn that may poke him.â€ (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
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By: M Salih Al-â€˜Utsaimin