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Jealousy – A SIN

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

Source : / 3 May 2013

Jealousy (Hasad) is a disease of the heart. It is, perhaps, one of the oldest problems of human beings. Some Islamic scholars say that this is the first sin that was committed. When Allah said to the angels to bow down to Adam, Iblis refused to bow because he was jealous of the honor that Allah gave to Adam. He said to Allah, “Do You see? This one whom you have honored above me, if You give me respite to the Day of Judgment, I shall surely bring his descendants under my sway, all but a few.” (Al-Isra’ 62)

Islam allows competition in goodness. Islam allows that people try to excel and do things better, but without getting involved in hatred and jealousy and without wishing bad things for others.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Do not be jealous of each other, do not boycott each other, do not hate each other, do not contrive against each other. Be all of you brothers to each other, O Servants of Allah.”

Dawud :: Book 14 : Hadith 2653

Hasad (jealousy and envy) is among the most destructive emotions or feeling which a man may have towards his fellow human being. It causes him to wish evil for others and to be happy when misfortune befalls them. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) warned against envy by comparing it to fire that completely burns the wood. He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

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

When Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) was asked who are the best of people? He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) replied: “the one with a clean heart and truthful tongue.” They asked: ‘We understand a truthful tongue, but what does a clean heart mean?’ he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) answered: “It is the heart of one that is pious, pure, and is free of sin, transgressions, hatred and Hasad.” [Ibn Majah]

Hasad is such a dangerous characteristic that Allah revealed verses of the Qur’an to be recited as a protection from the jealous:

“Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of the dawn… from the evil of envious when he envies.” [Soorah al-Falaq (113): 1]

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “There is jealousy which Allah loves and jealousy which Allah hates. That which Allah loves is jealousy regarding a matter of doubt, and that which Allah hates is jealousy regarding something which is not doubtful. There is pride which Allah hates and pride which Allah loves. That which Allah loves is a man’s pride when fighting and when giving sadaqah and that which Allah hates is pride shown by oppression. The narrator Musa said: “by boasting.”

Muslim :: Book 32 : Hadith 6205

Anas b. Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) as saying: “Neither nurse mutual hatred, nor jealousy, nor enmity, and become as fellow. brothers and servants of Allah. It is not lawful for a Muslim that he should keep his relations estranged with his brother beyond three days.”

Muslim :: Book 31 : Hadith 5971

‘A’isha (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “Never did I feel jealous of any woman as I was jealous of Khadija. She had died three years before he (the Holy Prophet) married me. I often heard him praise her, and his lord, the Exalted and Glorious, had commanded him to give her the glad tidings of a palace of jewels in Paradise: and whenever he slaughtered a sheep he presented (its meat) to her female companions.”

Bukhari :: Book 8 :: Volume 73 :: Hadith 92

Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him):

Allah’s Apostle (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, “Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the worst of false tales and do not look for the others’ faults, and do not do spying on one another, and do not practice Najsh, and do not be jealous of one another and do not hate one another, and do not desert (stop talking to) one another. And O, Allah’s worshipers! Be brothers!”

Muslim :: Book 32 : Hadith 6218

Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) as saying: “Don’t bear aversion against one another and don’t be jealous of one another and be servants of Allah.”

At-Tirmidhee narrated from al-Zubayr Ibn al-Awam (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) 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 (2434)]

Hasad can cause the person to indulge in disbelief because it causes the individual to feel that Allah has not been fair with him; he forgets all the mercy and blessings which Allah has bestowed upon him. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:“They are enemies for Allah’s bounties.” They asked: “Who are they?” He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Those who envy people for what Allah has given them of Bounty.” [at-Tabaranee]

Allah through His Absolute Wisdom has given some people more wealth, intelligence, beauty, strength, children, etc. than others. The believing Muslim should be content with what Allah has destined for him. Allah says:

“Allah favored some of you over others with wealth and properties… Do they deny the favors of Allah?”[Soorah an-Nahl (16): 71]


“Do they envy men for what Allah has given them of His Bounty?”[Soorah an-Nisa (4): 54]

The favors of Allah in the world are a test; the more the favors, the more the tests. Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Umar Ibn Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him)  wrote this letter to Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (may Allah be pleased with him), ‘Be content with your provision in this world, for the Most Merciful has honored some of His servants over others in terms of provision as a test of both. The one who has been given plenty is being tested to see if he will give thanks to Allah and fulfill the duties which are his by virtue of his wealth…” [Ibn Hatim]

Allah, the Exalted, has therefore forbidden us from desiring what other have,

“Do not wish for what we have favored some of you over others.” [Soorah an-Nisa (4): 32]

In order to discourage envy, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“Do not look to those above you. Look to those below you, as it will more likely remind you of Allah’s favors bestowed on you.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

On another occasion, he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “If one of you looks at someone wealthier and better built than him, he should also look at someone of lower standard than himself.” [Saheeh Muslim]

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“Shake hands, for this will dispel rancour, and exchange gifts and love one another, for this will dispel hatred.” [Narrated by Maalik in al-Muwatta (1413)]

Abu Hurayrah (razi Allahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“By Allah, in Whose Hand is my soul, you will never enter Paradise until you believe. And you will not believe unless you love one another. May I tell you something that if you do, you may love one another? Spread Salaam amongst yourselves.”

Ibn Abdul-Barr (may Allah be pleased with him) said:“This proves that Salaam can lift hatred and produce love.” [Saheeh Muslim]

A noteworthy hadith:

“It is better to sit alone than in company with the bad; and it is better still to sit with the good than alone. It is better to speak to a seeker of knowledge than to remain silent; but silence is better than idle words.” (Bukhari)



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