Jealousy and Envy

Jealousy and envy
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As believers we must be very careful to avoid feelings of envy and jealousy. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) 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.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Jealous feelings make us forget the blessings that Allah has granted us. It leads us to not focus on what Allah has given us but rather on what others have. We must remind ourselves that gratefulness is a very important part of Islam. We read in the Holy Qur’an:

“And [remember] when your Lord [Allah] proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour].” (Qur’an 14:7)

Also, if we do not have something in our lives and we become envious of others who do, we must remember that this is not the right mindset to have as a Muslim. We believe that everything that happens is only by Allah’s Decree. We read in the Holy Qur’an:

“Blessed is He [Allah] in whose hand is dominion, and He is over all things competent.” (Qur’an 67:1)

We should remind ourselves that only Allah knows what is best for us. We may feel that we know what is good for us, but of course our Lord is All-Knowing. We read in the Holy Qur’an:

“Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.” (Qur’an 76:30)

It is part of our religion to place our trust in our Lord. Being jealous of others does not show that we have put our complete trust in Allah, as it means that we still want that which our Lord has not given us. Allah knows best what is good for us and it is part of being a sincere believer to trust Allah and depend on Him entirely. We read in the Holy Qur’an:

“Say, “Never will we be struck except by what Allah has decreed for us; He is our protector.” And upon Allah let the believers rely.” (Qur’an 9:51)

We must be careful to avoid feelings of jealousy as much as we can, as it puts our account of good deeds at risk. Imagine if we had been working so hard to earn good deeds through praying and reciting the Qur’an, but we have put these good deeds at risk because we did not avoid feelings of envy? We must reflect and strive to avoid that which is displeasing to our Lord. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in a hadith:

“Indeed envy eats up good deeds just as fire consumes firewood.” (Ahmad)

We should also keep in mind that as Muslims we must wish good for others and treat them the way we would want to be treated. We should wish others well, just as we would want them to wish us well. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

“I swear by the One in whose Hands is my soul! none of you will believe until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” (Bukhari and Muslim)