Anger is a psychological state that results from inner agitation and desire for revenge. And when this agitation becomes more violent, it intensifies the fire of anger. A violent commotion engulfs ones brain on account of which the mind and the intellect lose control and become powerless. At that time, the inner state of a person resembles a cave where fire has broken out, filling it with flames and suffocating clouds of smoke that leap out of its mouth with intense heat and a fiery howl.
When that happens, it becomes extremely difficult to pacify such a person and to extinguish the fire of his wrath; whatever is thrown in it to cool it down becomes a part of it, adding to its intensity. It is for this reason that such a person becomes blind and deaf to guidance and good etiquettes. In such a condition, all such efforts as counsel, advice, and exhortation fail to appease the person. The more one tries to pacify it through humble requests and efforts, the more violent it becomes until the angry person physically harms someone or seeks revenge.
…Those who spend (freely) whether in prosperity or in adversity; who restrain their anger and pardon men; And Allah loves those who do good. (Qur’an 3:134)
Imam al‑Baqir (a) said: “..Indeed, this anger is a spark lit by Satan in the heart of the son of Adam..”
The Devastating Effects and Consequences of Anger
A person given to anger behaves unreasonably like a lunatic without rationally considering the outcome of his actions. He commits ugly and indecent acts and his tongue, limbs, and body go out of his control.
Anger may lead one to use abusive language against the prophets of God and His awliya‘. It may lead one to desecrate sanctities and utter slanders about venerable persons, murder a pious or innocent soul, wreck the lives of creatures of God, destroy a family, or reveal the secrets of others tearing up the veils that cover them. There is no limit to such cruel and oppressive acts that a person can commit at the time of outbreak of faith‑consuming fire of anger that can destroy many homes indeed an entire society.
As to the moral hazards, anger may cause malice towards creatures of God, leading sometimes even to the enmity not only of prophets and awliya‘, but also of the Holy Essence of God, the Nourisher. It may also give rise to other vices, such as hasad (envy), hidden enmity and uncontrolled and unjust revenge.
The similitude of anger in this world is the fire of Divine Wrath in the hereafter. In the same way that anger emanates from the heart, perhaps spiritual reality of this anger is the fire of Divine Wrath that also emanates from the inner depths of the heart and spread over the external being, and whose tormenting flames emerge from external organs such as the eyes, the ears, and the tongue.
Anger that becomes a permanent part of one’s nature, it is more catastrophic. It deadens ones heart, renders it merciless and affects the faculty of wisdom. The form that such a state shall acquire in the barzakh and on the Day of Resurrection will be a beastly form that has no match in this world; for the brutality of the person in this state cannot be compared with any of the ferocious beasts.
It is reported from Imam al‑Baqir (a): “It is recorded in the Torah regarding which God Almighty confided to Moses (a), saying: “O Moses, control your anger towards those over whom I have given you authority, so that I may spare you from My Wrath.” [Al‑Kulayni, al‑Kafi, vol. 2, p. 302, hadith # 7]
Imam Ali (a) said: “Protect yourself from anger for its beginning is insanity and its end is remorse.” [Al-Amidi, Gharar ul-Hikam wa darar ul-Kalim, hadith # 2635]
What can we do to calm down when we get angry?