Do Not Envy people for what Allaah has given them of His Bounty
Taken From: My Advice To The Women , By the Shaykhah: Umm ‘Abdillaah al-Waadi’iyyah
With the introduction and review of the Esteemed Shaykh: Aboo ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Muqbil ibn Haadee al-Waadi’ee
Musaddad told us that Yahya told us upon the authority of Shu’bah from Qataadah from Anas (radiAllahu anhu) that the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“None of you [truly] believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” (288)
Hence, in this prophetic narration you find that the one who does not desire good for his Muslim brothers, similar to the good that he desires for himself, is deficient in his belief.
Al-Haafidh said, The intent behind the negation here is (a negation of) the completeness of faith, and negating the name of something conveys a negation of the completeness of it and this is understood from their speech as in the statement, “So and so is not human.” The word Khayr (good) is a comprehensive word that includes all of the acts of obedience and permissible actions related to both the worldly life and the Hereafter while excluding the prohibited things. This is because the word Khayr (good) does not include those actions. (289) [End of cited speech]
It is also understood from this prophetic narration that a Muslim should hate evil for his brother, just as he hates evil for himself.
Upon the authority of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas who narrated that the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“So whoever desires to remove himself from the Fire and enter the Paradise, such that death overcomes him while he is a believer in Allaah and the Last Day, then let him treat the people in a manner in which he wishes to be treated.” (290)
So desiring good for the Muslims is from the reasons that cause a person to be removed from the Fire, as this prophetic narration indicates.
Desiring good for the Muslims is something that does not occur except from a person with a sound heart that is free of contamination like envy, contempt, and pride. For this reason, desiring good for the Muslims has become rare in this time, due to the lack of purity in the hearts, which is present in many of the people, except those whom Allaah has shown His Mercy.
The one who does not desire good for the Muslims is described with despicable attributes.
From them is:
1- Envy (Hasad):
Envy (Hasad) is to desire the removal of good from others.
Envy is from the attributes of the Jews and it is from their characteristics.
Allaah the Exalted says:
“Or do they envy people for what Allaah has given them of His Bounty? We have indeed already given the family of Ibraaheem (Abraham) the Book and the wisdom, and conferred upon them a great kingdom.”[Soorah an-Nisaa’ 4:54]
Allaah the Exalted says:
“Many of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that if they could turn you back to disbelief after you have believed, out of envy from themselves, (even) after the truth has become clear to them.”
[Soorah al-Baqarah 2:109]
Therefore, the Jews and Christians do not desire that good comes to any one of the Muslims. Thus, they desire from us that we abandon our religion while they know what we are upon leads to everlasting happiness and we have been prohibited from imitating them.
Envy (Hasad) is from the characteristics of the hypocrites:
The Exalted says:
“If some good should touch you, it distresses them, but if some evil should befall you, they rejoice at it. And if you remail patient and fear Allaah, their plot will not harm you at all. Indeed, Allaah encompasses all that they do.” [Soorah Aali ‘Imraan 3:120]
Envy (Hasad) can sever even the strongest of bonds.
The sons of Ya’qoob (Jacob alayhis salaam) envied their brother Yoosuf (Joseph) because their father used to love him moreso than he did them, just as Allaah described in their story that He has presented in Soorah Yoosuf.
The Exalted says:
“When they said, Truly, Yoosuf (Joseph) and his brother (Benjamin) are more beloved to our father than we, while we are a group consisting of many. Certainly, our father is in clear error. Kill Yoosuf (Joseph) or cast him out to (another) land, so that the favour of your father may then be attainable for you, and after that you will be a righteous people.” [Soorah Yoosuf 12:8-9]
Thus, they planned to kill him becasue of their envy for him because of his being more beloved to their father than they were.
Similarly, Satan envied our father Aadam (alayhis salaam) because of what Allaah had given him from [His] bounties and he became arrogant as Allaah the Exalted said:
“And when your Lord said to the angels, ‘I will create a human being out of clay from an altered black smooth mud. So, when I have fashioned him and breathed into him the soul which I created for him, then fall down to him in prostration.’ So, the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together. Except Iblees (Satan), he refused to be with those who prostrated. (Allaah) said, “O Iblees (Satan)! Why is it that you are not with those who prostrate?’ He said, ‘Never would I prostrate myself to a human whom You created out of clay from an altered black smooth mud.’ (Allaah) said, ‘Then, get out of here, for indeed, you are an outcast. And certainly upon you is the Curse until the Day of Recompense.'” [Soorah al-Hijr 15:28-35]
Similarly, the story of the two sons of Aadam, one of them envied his brother because Allaah accepted his brother’s sacrifice while his own sacrifice was not accepted. This envy led him to kill his brother
The Exalted says:
“And recite to them the story of the two sons of Aadam in truth; when they both offered a sacrifice (to Allaah), it was accepted from the one of them but was not accepted from the other. The latter said to the former, ‘I will surely kill you.’ The former said, ‘Certainly, Allaah accepts only from the righteous. If you raise your hand against me to kill me, I shall not raise my hand against you to kill you, for I fear Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. Indeed, I intend to let you acquire my sin as well as your sin and then you will be one of the people of the Fire. And that is the recompense of the wrongdoers.’ So his soul permitted for him the murder of his brother; he murdered him and became one of the losers. Then Allaah sent a crow who scratched at the ground to show him how to hide the disgrace of his brother. He said, ‘Woe to me! Have I failed to be like this crow and hide the disgrace of my brother?’ Then he became one of the regretful. [Soorah al-Maa’idah 5:27-31]
So then, the consequences of envy (Hasad) are harmful and can cause separation between two friends and between a man and his brother.
2- The envious resent of the decree of Allaah:
Therefore, he sees himself as though he has been cheated and for this reason, he cannot feel contentment or tranquility, but rather he feels depressed and sad.
It is upon mankind to look to those whom are below them, for indeed this is closer to recognizing the blessings (of Allaah) and being thankful for them; while looking towards those who are above them, leads to remorse and sadness and the belittling of one’s self.
And Zuhayr ibn Harb told me that Zubayr told us. (291)
In addition, Aboo Kurayb told us that Aboo Mu’aawiyyah told us.
Aboo Bakr ibn Abee Shaybah (with his wording) told us that Aboo Mu’aawiyyah and Wakee’ told us upon the authority of Al-‘A’mash from Aboo Saalih from Aboo Hurayrah who said that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Look to those who are below you, and do not look to those whom are above you, because it is more appropriate that you do not belittle the blessings of Allaah.” (292)
No matter what mankind acquires in the worldly life, none of it matters in the least when compared to the safeguarding of his religion.
3- From the examples of the envious person’s resentments of the decree of Allaah is if the envious person had the ability to remove a blessing that was given to a person whom Allaah had favored with His blessings, he would most definitely do so. Either by making him poor after he had been rich, or by making him lowly after he had been honorable or ignorant when he had been knowledgeable or childless after once having many children or ugly after having been handsome or sickly after having been healthy and other than that.
Moreover, Allaah the Mighty and Majestic censures the one who withholds resentment towards His decree and His wisdom. He, the Glorified says:
“Do they distribute the Mercy of your Lord? It is We who appropriate their livlihood in this world, and We have raised some of them above others in degrees, so that they may make use of one another for service. But the Mercy of your Lord is better that whatever they accumulate.” [Soorah az-Zukhruf 43:32]
The Poet said:
Should it not be said to the one who was envious of me, “Do you not know whose rights you have violated?”
He has violated the rights of Allaah with his action because he was not contented with what he was given. So becasue of this, Allaah increased me (in good) and refused your supplications because of your insolence.”
It is very important that the envious people be neglected as mentioned by the poet:
“Remain patient upon the envy of the jealous, for indeed patience will deter them. Indeed the fire will devour itself if it does not find anything else to burn.”
Certainly, Allaah has commanded His Prophet to seek refuge from the envious one when He says:
“Say, I seek refuge in the Lord of the daybreak. From the evil of that, which He has created. And from the evil of the darkness when it settles. And from the evil of those who blow on the knots. And from the evil of the envier when he envies.” [Soorah al-Falaq 113:1-5]
In addition, Jibreel (Gabriel) recited a Ruqyaa (293) on the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) for everything that might harm him and this included the envious person.
Muhammad ibn Abee ‘Umar al-Makkee told us that ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ad-Daraawardee told us upon the authority of Yazeed (who is Ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Usaamah ibn al-Haad) from Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem from Aboo Salamah ibn ‘Abdur-Rahmaan from ‘Aa’ishah – the wife of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that she said, “If the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to complain of something, Jibreel (Gabriel) used to recite to him the following Ruqyaa:
‘In the Nmae of Allaah, may He heal you, and from every ailment, may He cure you, and from the evil of the envier when he envies; and from the influence of the eye.'” (294)
The Levels of Envy
1- From them is the one who exerts effort to remove the blessings of the person who is envied by way of transgression upon him with statements and actions. Then from these people are those who exert themselves in an effort to acquire what has been removed from the person against who was transgressed.
2- From them is the one who restricts his efforts to removing the blessings of the person who he envies without acquiring anything from him. This is the more evil and despicable of the two. This blameworthy envy is prohibited.
3- Another group from amongst the people, if they happen to envy another person, they do not act in accordance ith their envy. These people do not transgress against the person who is envied by way of their statements nor their actions.
4- Another group of people, if they find within themselves envy, they strive hard to remove it with kindness to the one whom they have envied by initiating goodness towards him and by supplicating for him, and spreading news of his good qualities. They do all of this in an effort to remove what they found in themselves of envy until this envy eventually changes because of their desire to be a better Muslim. This is from the highest degrees of belief and the possessor of this is a complete believer who loves for his brother what he loves for himself. (295)
288- Saheeh al-Bukhaaree [13/1]
289- in Al-Fath [57/1]
290- In Saheeh Muslim
291- Translator’s note: As it has been mentioned previously, this symbol indicates that the text of this prophetic narration contains two different chains of narrators which are linked by the ‘Arabic letter Haa. The letter Haa within this context indicates the point where the first and the second chains meet.
292- Saheeh Muslim [2275/4]
293- Translator’s note: the Ruqyaa is the recitation of specific verses from the Qur’aan as well as the mention of particular authentic supplications that have been established from the practice of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) as a means of protection against magic and sickness.
294- Saheeh Muslim [2275/4]
295- For further reference see Jaami’ al-Uloom (page 306-327) and this has been selectively transmitted.