Ramadan is a month of serenity and spiritual elevation. But when the body’s glucose level decreases too much from fasting, this could lead to irritability and aggression. Other factors may also contribute to the feeling of irritability, such as refraining from the habitual cigarette. Prophet Mohamed (peace be upon him) advised us to ‘keep our cool’ while fasting and prevent ourselves from being easily provoked or dragged into a fight. The practice of self-control is a pertinent part of fasting. From Prophet Mohamed’s (peace be upon him) traditions, “If one of you is fasting, he should avoid sexual relation with his wife and quarreling, and if somebody should fight or quarrel with him, he should say, ‘I am fasting’.”
The following are a few tips to reduce the level of edginess during Ramadan through obtaining higher levels of self-control:
- If you begin to feel angry or irritated say, “I seek refuge with Allah from Satan.”
- Do not try to resolve issues with anyone when you are fatigued or irritated. Try to always pick the best time to talk to people, preferably when they are not easily infuriated.
- Always think of the consequences of your irritability. Will it create unnecessary tensions in your relationships between your boss, colleagues, family or relatives? Be creative and invest your anger in channels other than arguing.
- Train yourself to forgive others throughout this Noble month. Do not underestimate the power of forgiveness and positive thinking.
- Do not express your anger immediately. Take time to think over the best way to deal with the problem. The next day when you meet the person that has angered you, express your discontent rationally.
- To reduce the pressures of the day, allocate a relaxation period. Use this time to pray and concentrate in prayer. As Allah says, [ And seek assistance through patience and prayer, and most surely it is a hard thing except for the humble ones] (Al-Baqarah 2:45)
- Exercise regularly; this relaxes the body and mind. Try to abstain from smoking or any other stimulants which increase the sense of irritability.
- Ablution is a good way to begin relaxing because it stimulates the biological rhythms of the body. Ablution consists of 26 washing movements to be carried out 5 times a day—a total of 130 daily washing movements. This can be performed as a form of reflexotherapy.
- Meditation is a good way to control your temper and relieve stress. Know more about how you can relieve stress through prayer: The “Yoga” of Islamic Prayer and Islamic Oases From Daily Stress.
- Immediately when you get angry, try to change your position. If you are sitting, stand, and vice versa. You might also want to let off some steam by drawing, writing, or anything else that relaxes you. Try to express yourself in a way that you will not regret later.
- Controlling your anger and refraining from venting that anger, even if you are in the right, is a rewarding quality, literally. Always remember the Qur’anic verse, [Those who spend (of that which Allah hath given them) in ease and in adversity, those who control their wrath and are forgiving toward mankind; Allah loveth the good;] (Aal `Imran 3: 134).
- Keep a track record of the times you lost your temper. You can then analyze what you did wrong and the common factor between all the incidents, which you can then avoid in the future.
At the end, remember the hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) “The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger.” (Al-Bukhari).