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MBH QnA Corner
Your Questions - April, 2016

Whenever I am teaching my son and if he makes many mistakes, I become mad and hit him very hard. Later I do regret it too. I didn't like my mother when used to hit me from childhood till 19 years and I feel I am just like her and hate it. I have an abusive marriage too and my husband doesn't show care or help, he prefers his sleep and other things over our kid and family. 

I am living a life of single parent. I hate to hit my kid and want something that can help. I consulted a psychiatrist but he gave me tranquilizers that I don't want to take because it makes me dizzy all the time and doesn't work very well. 

May Allaah bless me with patience and control my anger but I just can't help it. Please reply.

Answered by: Shk Zafar ul Hasan
Translated by: Nisaar Nadiadwala

Alhamdulillah, Wassalatu Wassalam Ala Rasulillah.

The sister puts a question that the reason for her anger has been her mother's anger attitude towards her during her childhood. She was a victim of her mother's fury, which was also associated with violence.

Firstly, let us set the attitude straight. Many a times, our parents hit us to correct us and not because they hate us. It is a part of growing up that most children get some or the other punishment from parents. Consider this: Many of your Islamic habits, like praying on time and other good deeds, are a result of your mother's training. So, one must conclude that the mother's punishment does not dilute her affection. This is the positive attitude which we must adopt, specially towards our parents, even if they are strict. 

Secondly, if such thoughts attack you, quickly overlook your mother's human weaknesses, forgive her and pray for her forgiveness, as due to situations and circumstances, she might have stepped out of the boundaries and gone extreme in hitting you. Besides this, stop recalling such incidents in your mind. Many a times, such thoughts that are dug out of memory can be harmful to one's own health too. It is better that you focus on your present and future instead of mourning the past. Allah Himself commands: Walaa ta'asa'oo" - For a Believer, it is better that he does not worry or regret about what has happened in the past by thinking too much about it. 

Thirdly, It could be that your mother may be undergoing some depression, anxiety and hardships from her husband or in-laws or other relatives, which might have been hammered upon you in the form of anger. 

Besides this, one should also know that Islam does permits disciplining children. As a popular Sahih Hadith quotes the Prophet, peace be upon him, "Teach your children to pray when they are seven years old, and smack them (lightly) if they do not pray when they are 10 years old, and separate them in their beds.” Thus, the purpose of punishment is not to harm them but to discipline them in matters of good. The other Hadith suggests, "Carry your stick with you", indicating towards making a child concerned about his father's strictness without beating him. 

It is also essential for the parents to be affectionate and loving towards their children because there are instances that many children have become rebellious just because of their own parents' harshness and abusive nature towards them. Many homes are victims of stress and depression and children are deprived of proper teachings and motivation. Many parents pour their anger and frustration upon their children who later adopt the same characteristics while dealing with their own children. 

That is why, if you study the biography of the Prophet, peace be upon him, you will realize how valuable his teachings are. Although he allowed children, who reach 10 years of age, to be smacked (lightly) if they discard prayers, yet he was extremely affectionate towards them. Besides learning the acts of worship, calculating zakat and performing Hajj, we must also learn character building from our beloved Prophet, peace be upon him. We must learn from him how soft and gentle he was towards children. 

 The Prophet, peace be upon him, had a maternal granddaughter, Umamah bint Zaynub. She used to rush to the him whenever he was around her. She used to follow him even when he went to pray in the masjid and stayed with him. Even after the iqamah was pronounced, he used to lift the baby and place her on his shoulders before beginning the prayers with taqbeer. Then he used to continue his prayers that way till he went to ruku. At that time, he used to gently place the little child on the floor. After completing the first rakah, he used to lift the child again and place her back on his shoulders. This is how he completed his four rakah (units) of prayers and this is a grand display of gentleness towards children, which is unparalleled in the history of mankind.  

Once, when he was praying, his grandson Hasan was sitting on the praying mat. The Prophet, peace be upon him, got up from sujood and picked him up during qiyam. Then, when he went to sujood, the child climbed up on his shoulders and he remained in sujood for a long time till the child got down. People inquired, "O messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). Such a long prostration?" He replied, "My grandson climbed upon my shoulder, so I allowed him to play till he got down."

Consider this narration too: Once the Prophet, peace be upon him, was sitting with his companions in the masjid. A child came and his father picked him up with affection and kissed him. Then another child came and went to his father who also lifted him up and kissed him. Thus, many children came there and they were shown a lot of love and affection in the gathering by their fathers. A man, Akraa bin Habis, was sitting there and observing the display of affection by fathers towards their children. He wondered aloud, "How can people sitting in the masjid pick their dirty children up, with dust on their clothes and nose running, and show love and affection by kissing them!" The Prophet, peace be upon him, asked him, "How many children do you have?" He replied, "Ten! But I have never kissed any of my children". Upon this, the Prophet said, "What can I do if Allah has removed gentleness and affectionate words towards your children from your heart?"

In another narration, a man was sitting in the masjid and his daughter came running. He made her sit on the floor. Soon his son came running towards him; this time the man placed the child on his lap. The Prophet, peace be upon him, noticed this and remarked, "You did not do justice between the son and the daughter". 

Conclusion: 

I appeal to my young sister who is still stressed up due to her past memories of being beaten up by her mother and doing the same with her own daughter now. Take it as a past and human weakness of your mother and do not respond evil with evil. Rather, be affectionate and responsible towards your husband and children.

Anger is from Shaytan!

Once, in a gathering of the Prophet, peace be upon him, a man got very angry and started screaming loudly. A companion got up to cool him but he pushed him aside, another companion got up and tried to pacify him but he too met with the same response. He was so furious that he was unable to be controlled by anyone. The Prophet, peace be upon him, was seeing this and said, "You have tried your best to cool him. I have a few words, if he recites them, he will calm down. A'oodhubilllahi minash shaytanirrajeem (I seek refuge with Allah from Shaytan, the accursed). It is Shaytan who incites your anger to spoil your affairs and disrupt peace in the society". The moment the man recited those words, he cooled down and joined the gathering in a very cheerful manner. 

Apply these Quranic Supplications for suppressing your anger.

Therefore, don't forget that Shaytan incites anger in you to spoil your matters and relations with people. Allah reminds his Prophet in Surah Mo'minoon: Waqul aaudhubirabbika min hamzatisshayateen wa aaudubika Rabbi ayyahziroon.

This is how shaytan provokes you and then flees leaving you in mess, hitting two birds with one stone. He spoils your relations and depresses you as well. Therefore, Islam encourages you to swallow your anger. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him,  said, "The strongest person is not one who overpowers others, but one who overpowers his own anger". 

It is advisable to recite the three Quls (Surah Ikhlas, Surah Falaq and Surah Naas) regularly:

1. Three times each after Fajr and Magrib prayers.

2. Once each after Zohar, Asar and Isha Prayers.

3. Before sleeping at nigh