controlling anger or Kazm al-Ghayz (Arabic: کظم الغیظ) which means "controlling anger" is among moral virtues. In verse 134 of Qur'an 3, controlling anger is mentioned among the qualities of righteous ones and in hadiths, rescuing from the punishment of God and achieving God's contentment are mentioned among the fruits of controlling anger. Scholars of ethics have discussed about it under the title of anger and wrath and have proposed different techniques for controlling anger.
Seventh Imam of Shi'a (a) was called al-Kazim because of suppressing his anger.
"Ghayz" refers to the most intense anger and the heat of boiling up one's blood. "Kazm" means "holding the breath". "Kazm Al-Ghayz" is an ethical term which means "to control the anger and avoid showing it". The person who always controls his anger is called "Kazim". This virtue is also close to other moral virtues such as hilm (forbearance) and forgiveness ('afw). Also, in some hadiths, hilm (forbearance) is interpreted as "kazm al-ghayz" and controlling oneself.
The Qur'an and Hadiths
In verse 134 of Qur'an 3, controlling anger (kazm al-ghayz) is mentioned among the qualities of righteous people:
- "Those who spend in ease and adversity, and suppress their anger, and excuse [the faults of] the people, and Allah loves the virtuous ". (Qur'an 3:134)
In hadiths, controlling anger is emphasized by Infallible Ones (a) as a moral virtue. In al-Kafi, book of faith and disbelief, al-Kulayni mentioned 13 hadiths under the title of kazm al-ghayz (controlling anger). It is also mentioned in Makarim al-akhlaq supplication from Sahifat al-Sajjadiyya. Also, in hadiths about dignity and honor, rescuing from the punishment of God and achieving God's contentment are mentioned among the fruits of controlling anger.
It is narrated from the Prophet (s) that: "Whoever controls his anger, God will keep him away from punishment."
Techniques for Controlling Anger
In ethical references, controlling anger is discussed in the section regarding moral vices, under the attribute of "anger". Scholars of ethics have proposed different techniques for controlling anger. In al-Muhajjat al-bayda, Fayd Kashani has mentioned some scientific and practical techniques for controlling anger. For scientific techniques, he has mentioned reflecting upon hadiths discussing the merits of controlling anger, forbearance and forgiveness, rewards mentioned in these hadiths for controlling anger, remembering the power and wrath of God, thinking about the ugliness of face and criticizing the sense of revenge.
Also, Fayd Kashani mentioned asking God for forgiveness and changing the position among practical techniques of controlling anger. He said that if asking God for forgiveness does not work, and the angry person is standing, he should sit down, and if he is sitting, he should lean back or lies down on the ground. In some hadiths, anger is likened to fire and it is said that it will not be extinguished except by water, so when someone is angry, he should perform wudu. In some other hadiths, it is narrated from the Prophet (s) that whoever becomes angry, he should put his face on the ground. Warram b. Abi Firas said that the Prophet (s) meant that the person should prostrate so that his self is lowered and his anger is suppressed.
Imam al-Kazim (a)
Imam al-Kazim (a) was titled as "al-Kazim", because, he (a) controlled his anger. There are different reports in sources that Imam al-Kazim (a) controlled his anger in front of enemies and those who treated him badly. For example, once a man who was a descendant of 'Umar b. Khattab insulted Imam Ali (a) at the presence of Imam al-Kazim (a). Companions of Imam al-Kazim (a) wanted to attack him, but Imam (a) prevented them. Later, he (a) went to the farm of that man. When he saw Imam (a), began shouting fearing that Imam (a) would trample his products. Imam (a) approached him and asked him kindly, "How much he spent for planting that farm? The man said, "100 Dinars." Then, Imam (a) asked, "How much will you gain from it?" The man answered, "I do not know the unseen." Imam (a) asked, "How do you think you would gain from it?" The man answered, "200 Dinars." Imam (a) gave him 300 Dinars and said, "Here you get 300 Dinars and you still have your product as well". Then, he (a) went toward the mosque. That man went to the mosque and arrived sooner than Imam (a). When he saw Imam (a), stood up and recited the following verse loudly, "Allah knows best where to place His apostleship!" (Qur'an 6:124)
- The material for this article is mainly taken from کظم غیظ in Farsi WikiShia.