Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
Is defending a person who is being verbally attacked a valid reason for getting angry (i.e. raising one’s voice) if the person who is committing the wrong will not listen to one who defends in a calm way?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us. Please forgive me for the delay.
There is a difference between positive anger and negative anger. Positive anger can give you the courage to stand up for what’s right. Negative anger can lead to you losing your cool and making decisions you later regret.
When two individuals are in conflict, physiological flooding is likely to occur. If both parties are flooded, then it is highly unlikely for either party to come to a peaceful resolution.
In other words, if someone is already shouting at you, then shouting even louder at him will not help him listen.
Unfortunately, some people only response to threats and other forms of emotional violence. The ends do not justify the means. Responding to violence with violence is not our way.
Aisha (may Allah be pleased be her) said, “The Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) never hit anything with his hand – not a woman, nor a servant [ie. to clarify that not just another man is meant, rather no living creature, not even an animal] – except in his fighting in Allah’s way [ie. just war that was fought for protection]. And he never, ever took revenge on a person who had done something personally wrong to him, unless something of what Allah made inviolable was violated [ie. like the abuse of slave], in which case he reacted solely for the sake of Allah, Might and Majestic.” [Muslim]
Reflect upon the Prophetic model of conflict resolution. He modelled calm in the face of tremendous pain. He never lashed out at his wives, children, or anyone who worked for him. He felt anger, and showed us how to deal with it – with restraint, and by choosing the path that is pleasing to Allah.
I recommend that you explore different communication and conflict resolution strategies. Please read these articles:
I also suggest speaking to a culturally-sensitive counsellor who can teach you better conflict resolution skills. Learning how to communicate and manage conflict is a skill, like any other, and it takes guidance and practice.
I do not know the details of your situation, but it sounds like you are interacting with a very challenging individual. Trust that Allah is the Turner of hearts. The true test of good character lies with difficult interactions, and not the easy ones. Look upon this as a learning opportunity, and a way for you to grow in your journey towards Allah.
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersGuidance Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.