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How to overcome envy in islam?

How to overcome envy in islam

Envy in Islam

Envy or hasad is known in Islam as a diseas that infect people who don’t thank Allah for what they have got and always look at what others have instead of seeing the blessings that allah gave them.

As Muslims we should always thank Allah for what we have and never look at what others have or compare ourselves to them

You never know the truth behind what you see, someone could have wealth, family and everything you dream of, or that’s what you think. However the truth behind the closed doors is that the person you envy has a disease that he wishes to be cured of no matter what the cost is.

Don’t envy someone because you have never been in his shoes, you don’t know what is truly going on in his life, you only know what you see.

Envy doesn’t only hurt the other person, on the contrary, the envious person will always be unhappy with what he has and might go through severe depression. It is an incurable disease that no doctor can cure.

 

What is envy?

Envy is an emotional disease, it is the emotion of wanting to have what other people have. The whole world knows envy as one of the deadly sins. While in Islam we know it as hasad. When someone gets envious he will start to wish harm for others.

Shaykh Salman Al-Aodah said:

 “Envy refers to the desire that a person feels for the destruction or removal of a blessing that another person has – a destruction which the bearer of this feeling would himself carry out if he had the power to.

This is quite different to wanting such blessings for oneself while not wishing for them to be removed from others, for that is, indeed, a positive and commendable desire that leads to competition.

Competition is not considered blameworthy in general, rather it is considered to be praiseworthy if it is in pursuit of righteousness.”

Some people think that envy is not harmful, but envy could cause murder in its worst cases or hurt someone else. Someone could go spreading rumors about the person he is jealous of just to destroy his life.

 

Envy and ways to prevent it

Hasad comes when someone doesn’t see the good things that Allah gave him, so here are what you should do:

How do you stop Hasads?

  • Always be grateful to Allah for everything you have, you can walk, breathe, eat, see, hear, and much more. All these are blessings from Allah that are more than we can count. Knowing that will stop us from looking at what others have. When you feel envy, remind yourself of all the things you have in your life.
  • Always have faith in Allah, Allah created us and gave us what we have for a good reason, and we humans could never understand God’s wisdom.
  •  We need to always remind ourselves that life is a big test; all of us are being tested by Allah, to test our faith and trust in him. Even the wealthy person that you envy is going through a test that you know nothing about. Perhaps he is depressed, or ill, you will never know.
  • The last thing to do is to ask Allah to purify your heart from jealousy.

What did Prophet Muhammad say about envy?

Envy and hasad make people wish something bad happens to others or wish that they lose the blessing others have that they are so jealous of. Envious people feel happy only when they see others getting hurt and losing what they have.

The prophet peace and blessing be upon him said that envy is like fire that burns everything in its reach.

Allah prophet said:

“Beware of jealousy, for verily it destroys good deeds the way fire destroys wood.” [Abu Dawood]

When someone asked the prophet about the best of people his answer was:

“the one with a clean heart and truthful tongue.” They asked: ‘We understand a truthful tongue, but what does a clean heart mean?’ His answer was: ‘It is the heart of one that is pious, pure, and is free of sin, transgressions, hatred and Hasad.” [Ibn Majah]

Envy was also mentioned in the holy Quran, and Allah told us to recite the following verse to protect us against it:

 “Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of the dawn..(till).. From the evil of envious when he envies.” [Surah al-Falaq (113)]

According to Al-Zubayr Ibn al-Awam, the Prophet said: “There has come to you the disease of the nations before you, jealousy and hatred. This is the ‘shaver’ (destroyer); I do not say that it shaves hair, but that it shaves (destroys) faith” [(Hasan) Jamee at-Tirmidhee]

How do Muslims deal with envy? 

Envy comes from questioning Allah’s decision, saying we didn’t Allah give me this, I deserve it more. It’s a disease that infects the heart and makes it impure.

Allah says in the Quran:

{Do they envy people for what Allah has given them of His bounty?} (4:54)

Envy leads to committing major sins like questioning Allah’s decision, and spreading rumors. The prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said:

“Do not envy one another; do not hate one another; do not turn your back on one another (in discontent); (but) be slaves of Allah as brothers.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

There are many books taking about envy like book of manners, Muhammad revelation, and dawah books; you will find them in Islamic bookstore.

Here are how muslims deal and overcome envy:

  •         Always be grateful to Allah for everything you have, you can walk, breathe, eat, see, hear, and much more. All these are blessings from Allah that are more than we can count. Knowing that will stop us from looking at what others have. When you feel envy, remind yourself of all the things you have in your life.
  •         Always have faith in Allah, Allah created us and gave us what we have for a good reason, and we humans could never understand God’s wisdom.
  •         We need to always remind ourselves that life is a big test; all of us are being tested by Allah, to test our faith and trust in him. Even the wealthy person that you envy is going through a test that you know nothing about. Perhaps he is depressed, or ill, you will never know.
  •         Ask Allah to purify your heart from jealousy.
  •         Ask Allah to protect you, no one can protect us from envy but Allah. Allah said in the Quran:  “…seek refuge with Allah from the mischief of the envious one as he practices envy.” (Al Falaq:3)
  •         Don’t get angry as anger leads to foolish behaviors, and envy also comes from anger.
  •         Suppress your ego, as ego comes from thinking that you are better than others, though leading to the feeling that we deserve to have what is better than others, leading to jealousy.
  •         Remind yourself that envy erases your good deeds, the prophet said: “Avoid being jealous. Know that jealousy wipes out thawabs just like fire wipes woods out; it sweeps them away.” [AdSense-B]

How to overcome envy in Islam

And also according to Ibn Majah, the prophet said:

“Jealousy eats up thawabs just like fire eats up wood. And charity (sadaqa) sweeps faults away just like water extinguishes fire.”

Also the prophet said:

“An unbeliever and one who has killed him cannot come together in Hell; the fire of Hell and dust in a servant’s stomach which was swallowed on the way of Allah cannot come together; belief and jealousy cannot come together in a servant’s heart, either.”

  •         Always have faith in Allah and don’t doubt his decision, as jealousy and envy comes from doubting Allah’s decision.
  •         Remember, envy hurts the envious more than it hurts others. Envious people are always feeling unhappy and erasing the good deeds.

Caliph Muawiyah said twice about these:

“Avoid jealousy because it causes more damage to you than to one whom you are jealous of.”

He also said,

 “I can please everyone, except for the jealous one because he wants people to lose their boons. (As long as I have got what he is jealous of, I cannot please him no matter what I give to him.)”

  •         Envy will not give you what you wish others to lose, and you will not achieve your dream. Jealousy traps the person in an endless circle of wanting more.
  •         Remember the Warning of the Prophet:

 “When you think of bad luck, do not quit the thing you like. When you are suspicious of something/someone, do not investigate. When you are jealous, do not act accordingly.” Because according to the Prophet, “There are three things; nobody has ever managed to get over them: Bad luck, negative suspicion and jealousy.”

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