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Venting out anger on an inanimate object like a punching bag

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Fatwa.ca


Is it okay to take out one’s anger on something inanimate, like a punching bag?


Bismillahi Taʿālā

Assalāmu ʿalaykum waraḥmatullāhī wabrakātuh,

As a part of Islām’s complete guideline there are methods taught to us by Rasūlullāh ﷺ to curb and tackle excessive anger. These are stipulated from the immense wisdom and shafqah of Allah Taʿālā. Rasūlullāh ﷺ mentioned that a strong person is not the one who wrestles well, rather it is in fact the one who can control himself at the time of anger. (Ṣaḥiḥ al-Bukhārī)

Rasūlullāh ﷺ likewise has given specific guidelines of what to do at the time of anger as well. He mentions, “When one of you gets angry while he is standing, then he should sit down. If this subsides his anger (then that is good), otherwise he should lay down” (Sunan Abu Dawūd)

Rasūlullāh ﷺ advised that a person who finds himself inflicted with anger should recite taʿawwuẓ (Aʿūẓu billāhi minash shayṭā nirr rajīm). (Sunan Abu Dawūd)

An angry person should also likewise make wuḍūʾ (Sunan Abu Dawūd)

A keen review of these aḥādīth shows that the undesirability of misplaced anger warrants different means of repelling it. Hence it is not contrary to sunnah to choose methods which will achieve this goal, albeit they may not be mentioned directly in aḥādīth. It is in light of this, it is permissible to use a punching bag to relieve one’s anger.

However, a psychological review should be kept in mind so that this relief of anger must remain with controlled inanimate objects like a punching bag etc.

If the habit develops and a person starts to vent anger through other physical means which may be harmful for surroundings, then correct psychiatric aid is in order. At the same time, one should always keep the masnūn/maʾthūr (those mentioned in narrations) methods of venting anger via wuḍūʾ, laying down, silence should also be used.

And Allāh Taʿālā Knows best,

Wassalamu ʿalaykum,

Mufti Faisal al-Mahmudi

صحيح البخاري – دار طوق النجاة (8/ 28) [رقم 6114]
عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: «ليس الشديد بالصرعة، إنما الشديد الذي يملك نفسه عند الغضب»

سنن أبي داود – دار الرسالة العالمية (7/ 162) [رقم 4782]
عن أبي ذر: أن رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم – قال لنا: “إذا غضب أحدكم وهو قائم فليجلس، فإن ذهب عنه الغضب، وإلا فليضطجع

سنن أبي داود – دار الرسالة العالمية (7/ 161) [رقم 4781]
عن سليمان بن صرد، قال: استب رجلان عند النبي-صلى الله عليه وسلم-، فجعل أحدهما تحمر عيناه، وتنتفخ أوداجه، فقال رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم-: “إني لأعرف كلمة، لو قالها هذا لذهب عنه الذي يجد: أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم”، فقال الرجل: هل ترى بي من جنون

سنن أبي داود – دار الرسالة العالمية (7/ 163) [رقم 4784]
 قال رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم-:” إن الغضب من الشيطان، وإن الشيطان خلق من النار، وإنما تطفا النار بالماء، فإذا غضب أحدكم فليتوضأ

This answer was collected from Fatwa.ca, which is a fatwa portal operated by Mufti Faisal al Mahmudi from Canada. 

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