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Friday, December 26, 2008

JEALOUSY / ENVY

Anyone who envies someone who has something superior to his, that is, the one who thinks the superior things of others should belong to him is called jealous. This state of mind is the worst habit of humanity. A jealous man is a restless man throughout his life. Such a person never sees the ones worse off than him, rather they only look at those who are higher, the wealthy persons and their belongings, and envies them. A jealous person is one who is not content with the things given to him by Allahu ta’ala.

If someone is not content with the things given by Allahu ta’ala, then Allahu ta’ala will not be content with him. Discontent with Allahu ta’ala is the greatest tragedy. Consequently, such a person will be frustrated in both worlds. So if anyone feels jealous and envious he should try to gradually release himself from such feelings. This is entirely possible. A person may correct himself at any stage of development. Anyone who overcomes jealousy will be in a state of peace and rest. This is not a matter of being rich or poor. This is a matter of being rich or poor within the heart.

There are a lot of poor people who continuously thank Allahu ta’ala. Even if they only earn a piece of bread, they never think about the rich. On the other hand, there are many a rich person who suffers from not being able to add millions more to their wealth, which is already in amounts of several million. A jealous person never considers himself well off when with someone better dressed or who possesses a better living standard. In other words, he envies another person’s tallness, beauty, diligence, and success. Worse than this, he enjoys the other person’s troubles. This type of state of mind is the hottest degree of jealousy. Allahu ta’ala’s help may cease to come to such a person, and he may remain deprived of His help. But good and benevolent individuals are under the auspices of Allahu ta’ala.

There is an excellent hadith-i sharif [1] by our exalted Prophet ‘sall-Allahu alaihi wa sallam’ that states: “If any Muslim doesn’t like for others to have what he would like to have, or if he would like something unfortunate to happen to someone although he wouldn't like it to befall himself, then his belief is not perfect.” In other words, our Prophet ‘sall-Allahu ’alaihi wa sallam’ doesn’t like those who are egocentric. He likes the ones who care about other Muslims. Let’s imagine the entire world obeying the orders of our Prophet ‘sall-Allahu ’alaihi wa sallam’. Would there remain any chaos or mess in the world?

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GLOSSARY
[1] hadith (sharif): a saying of the Prophet (‘alaihi ‘s-salam).

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