By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Anger is a Weakness
The Quran (42:37) refers to truthful people as those who ‘forgive when they are angry’. This does not mean only forgiving others or forgetting one’s anger. Rather, it means rising above anger and then behaving as one should. It means thinking in a manner free from anger even when one is driven to be angry. It means responding to a situation without letting anger affect oneself.
Anger is a weakness, while not getting angry is a strength. If a person does not get angry, he can manage every situation. He can turn every situation in his favour. Anger destroys one’s intelligence. An angry person can neither properly understand the situation he is confronted with, nor can he respond to this situation in a proper manner. He is immediately drawn to violence, although violence is no solution at all to any problem. In contrast, a person who can keep his anger under control will search for a peaceful solution—and that alone is the answer to each and every problem.
The human mind is a treasure-trove of enormous capacities. If a person does not fall prey to anger, he can use these treasures that are contained deep inside his mind in his favour. But when a person gets angry, he loses his mental balance, and is no longer in a position to use these treasures in this way.
To not get angry is a great victory, while losing one’s temper is a great defeat.
To Remain Patiently Steadfast on the Truth
The Quran (103:3) tells us about people who save themselves from loss. Such people, it relates, ‘exhort one another to hold fast to the Truth’ and ‘exhort one another to steadfastness’.
Whenever someone is firmly on the path of Truth or invites others to this path, many others begin to oppose him. He has to face considerable opposition. At this juncture, he must remain patiently steadfast, withstand the difficulties he is faced with, and not enter into conflict with others.
Patience is another name for a non-aggressive response. A person who is steadfast on the path of Truth must not respond to violence with counter-violence. He must unilaterally abide by peaceful means. To do so is to be patiently steadfast.
Truth and violence cannot go together. If you want to be faithful to the Truth, you have to abandon violence. No matter on what pretext it is resorted to, violence is abhorrent, and all forms of violence are equally destructive. No seemingly wonderful excuse or pretext can save violence from this destructiveness.
To engage in violence in the name of the Truth is a negation of the Truth. Those who engage in violence in the name of the Truth clearly indicate that they are not really on the path of the Truth. A lover of the Truth can never be a lover of violence. Contrarily, a lover of violence most certainly is not a lover of Truth, even though he may believe himself to be its greatest champion.