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Imam Khomeini through his theological works explained that among the fundamental remedies of anger, one is to exterminate the factors responsible for its provocation.
Imam has undertaken very useful discussions in his famous book "an expositon on Forty Hadith" in this regard as following:
They are many, and here we can mention only a few of them. One of them is self-love, which in ‘turn begets the love of wealth, glory, and honor and the desire to impose one’s will and expand one’s domain of power.
These factors are inherently responsible for exciting the fire of anger, as the individual infatuated with these things tends to hold them in high regard and they occupy a high place in his heart.
He, improperly, gets angry and excited if any one of these aspired goals is not achieved or when his desire faces any obstacle and loses control over himself.
Greed, avarice, and such other vices that take root in his heart as a result of self-love and the love of glory, snatch the reins of reason from his hands, leaving the self to commit deeds that deviate from the path of Divine Law and reason.
But if his love and interest in these things is not intense-and he gives lesser importance to these matters, his inner calm and contentment, obtained by giving up the love of wealth, honor and the like, will not allow his self to act against the demands of justice.
Then, he will not find it difficult to maintain his patience in hardships, and will not lose grip of self-restraint. He would not get angry unnecessarily and abnormally. If the love of the world is eradicated from his heart and this vice is completely wiped out, then all other vices also take leave and vanish from it, vacating the realm of the soul to be taken over by moral virtues.
Another factor that arouses anger is that sometimes anger and its evil manifestations, which are in fact great moral defects and indecencies, are imagined to be merits and accomplishments on account of ignorance and lack of understanding. Some fools reckon those vices as marks of bravery and courage and brag about themselves on account of them.
They confuse the virtue of valor, which is a superb attribute of the believer’s character and a commendable quality, with this pernicious vice.
However, it should be noted that courage or valor is a different thing, and its source, its causes, effects and characteristics differ totally from those of that injurious vice. Courage originates in the strength of one’s spirit, serenity of mind, moderateness, faith, and lack of concern for the vanities of life and indifference to its vicissitudes; whereas anger is the product of spiritual weakness and degeneration, insufficiency of faith, immoderation of character and soul, love of the world and concern for mundane things and the fear of losing the pleasures of life.
Hence this vice is found more frequently in women than in men, more in sick individuals than in healthy people, more in children than in grown ups, more in the elderly than in young people. Valor and courage is its opposite. Those suffering from moral infirmities are more liable to get angry sooner than those who are morally sound.
Thus, we often see such people get angry sooner and becoming fiercer if any encroachment is made upon their property than the others.
This was about the origins and motives of anger and courage. However, they are also different as to their effects.
The irascible person, when under the spell of anger and its excitement, behaves unreasonably like a lunatic or like an animal which acts without rationally considering the consequences of its actions, and commits ugly and indecent acts. His tongue, limbs, and other parts of the body go out of his control.
His eyes, lips and mouth are distorted in such an ugly manner that he will be ashamed of his ugly features if he is shown a mirror at the time.
Some persons who are afflicted with this vice not only do not refrain from venting their anger on innocent animals, but do not spare even inanimate things. They curse air, water, earth, snow, rain and other elements of nature if anything happens against their wish. Sometimes they vent their fury on a book, pen, glass or jug, tearing it up or breaking it into pieces.
But the behavior of a courageous person is different in all these matters. His acts are based on reason and tranquility of soul. He gets angry on the proper occasion and is patient and restrained when required to be so. He is not provoked or incensed by each and every annoyance.
He becomes angry on the proper occasion to the proper extent and takes his vengeance with reason and discretion. He knows well as to against whom to take his revenge, on what occasion, to what degree and in what manner, and as to whom he should forgive and what to overlook and ignore.
In the state of anger, he does not lose control of his reason, and he never makes use of indecent language nor acts indiscreetly. All his acts are based on rational considerations and are in accordance with the norms of justice and Divine Law. He always acts in such a manner so as not to regret later on, Imam further explained.
Thus an aware human being should not confuse this quality, which is one of the attributes of prophets, awliya’ and true believers and is considered a spiritual accomplishment and achievement, with the vice which is one of the attributes of Satan, a diabolical incitement, a spiritual abomination and a flaw of the heart.
Yet, the veils of ignorance and folly and the curtains of self-love and attachment to the world cover man’s hearing and blind his vision, rendering him helpless and bringing about his destruction.
Certain other causes of anger have also been pointed out, such as ‘ujb, bragging (iftikhar), pride (kibr), disputatiousness (mira’), obstinacy (lajaj), jesting and the like; but to go into their details will prolong this discussion and might be cumbersome. Possibly most or all of them, directly or indirectly, originate in the two sources already discussed. And praise be to God.