Wednesday, May 30

Bad Characteristics: Envy

The Muslim does not envy, since envy is not part of the Muslim characteristic, it will not befit the Muslim as long as he has a love of good for others and behaves unselfishly. This is because envy is a contradiction to the love of good for others and selflessness.

The Muslim hates envy and the one who practices it. This is because it is a manner in which Allah's distribution of favors among His creatures is objected to. Allah the Exalted and Glorious says:

"Is it they who would portion out the Mercy of your Lord? It is We, Who portion out between them their livelihood in this world. And We raised some of them above others in ranks, so that some may employ others in their work." (43:32)

There are two types of envy, the first is when one person hopes that another person will lose his blessings, and that they will be acquired by him. These blessings may be in his wealth, his knowledge, his status, his power or otherwise. The second type of envy is when he hopes the person loses his blessings, and he does not desire them for himself.

However, wishing to have the like of what someone else has, or to be like somebody else without any harm coming to their blessings is not a form of envy. Allah's Messenger (SAW) said:

"There should be no envy except of two: a man whom Allah gives wealth enabling him to spend in the truth, and a man to whom Allah gives wisdom and he judges with it and teaches Others." (Al-Bukhari)

The meaning of wisdom in this Hadith is the Noble Qur'an and the Prophetic Sunnah. So it is not allowed for anyone to envy anyone else with true envy. Allah the Exalted and Glorious says:

"Or do they envy men for what Allah has given them of His bounty?" (4:54)

Allah the Exalted and Glorious says:

"Out of envy from themselves ." (2:109)

Allah the Exalted and Glorious says:

"From the mischief of the envious one when he practices envy." (113:5)

Allah has categorically condemned the vile quality of envy and strictly prohibited it. Allah's Messenger (SAW) said:

"Do not harbor a grudge against one another, nor envy one another, nor show enmity; and do not show your backs to one another; be a brotherhood of servants of Allah. It is not lawful for a Muslim to shun his brother beyond three days." (Agreed upon)

Allah's Messenger (SAW) said:

"Beware of envy because envy consumes the virtues just as the fire consumes the firewood." or he said (grass.) (Abu Dawud)

If a Muslim senses envy within himself, he should attempt to remove it to protect himself and he should feel a sense of rejection for it so that it does not motivate him or influence his behavior. For if he were to speak or act according to it then it will ruin him. If he is amazed by something, he says:

Ma shaa' Allaah, laa quwwata illaa billaah. "What Allah wills, there is no strength except of Allah." Then it will have no effect on him and he will be safe.

Extracted from “Minhaj al Muslim” by Shaykh Abû Bakr Jâbir al-Jaza'iry published by Dar us Salam

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