When wronged by someone, it is our natural human instinct to react with anger, resentment and vengeance. I doubt that few of us would be able to deny this. If we are ill-treated, a surge of umbrage wells up within our souls ready to release itself like a volcanic eruption. Human nature. If someone injures you deliberately for no reason, no matter how physically strong or weak you are, you will most likely have a desire to fight back. If a friend betrays you, you may want to cut off all contact with them for the rest of your life. Or the silent treatment after someone has upset or annoyed you. Or people shouting abuse back at someone. Despite most of us not wanting to believe it, in most cases these are our initial thought processes.
And unfortunately, the world remains a witness to an indignant and wounded population stuck in a medley of vicious circles. What really inspire me are the ones who keep their cool after receiving the blows. Sometimes I wish they would fight back, craving some sort of justice for the innocent soul. But no. They simply draw a smile in the face of persecution.
“The strong one is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong one is the one who controls himself while in anger.” – Bukhari
Putting some thought into this, the obvious sprang into view for me. The above Hadith has been more than familiar to me since a young age. But only now do I realise the reasoning of the statement. It really does require strength to control our anger. Or even the pain we feel. Our emotions and our human instincts are immensely powerful and when aroused, can cloud all senses and perceptions. When control is lost over such intense feelings, sometimes we fall into regrettable actions. To be able to lift up your head within the darkness of your hurt and pain and be able to see through that mist – that is strength. It is easy to lash out at someone. But to do the former requires strength.
“Those who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves the good-doers.” – Qur’an 3:134
The best weapon to fight back is not with anger, resentment or vengeance; but rather with forgiveness and a smile. Life is too short, and if erring humanity is not given a chance to remember the good that exists inside them, can we then live with a clear conscience and complain about vicious circles?
“The person who perfectly maintains the ties of kinship is not the one who does it due to having it recompensed by his relatives (for being kind and good to them); rather, the one who truly maintains the bonds of kinship is the one who persists in doing so, despite his relatives severing the ties of kinship with him.” – Bukhari