In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful13 harmful effects of Jealousy (حسد)
By Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-’Uthaymeen may Allah have mercy on him
The Shaykh mentions this point of benefit in his explanation of “Hilyatu Taalibil ‘ilm” under the chapter “Precautions: The things that nullify this Hilyah” on page 341. He was explaining the statement of Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd:
“O brother- may Allah save us from tripping up- if you have read the highlights from Hilyatu Taalibil ‘ilm and its etiquette, and have fallen into some of the nullifying affairs, then understand that the greatest things that destroy the organization of its alignment (in the same manner the alignment of beads on a necklace would be corrupted) are the following…”
In this article we will mention Shaykh ibn al-‘Uthyameen’s commentary on number 7: Jealousy.
Jealousy is from the mannerisms of the Yahood, and it is from the most wretched of mannerisms.
Jealousy is to wish for a blessing of Allah to be removed from another. For example, for a man to wish poverty upon someone who Allah bestowed wealth to, or to wish for one who has been given knowledge to become forgetful and ignorant, or to wish that one isn’t given children and for the spouse to be infertile, and whatever else resembles this.
Shaykhul Islaam (Ibn Taymiyyah), may Allah have mercy on him, said:
“Jealousy is to hate the blessing of Allah given to someone else” [Sicknesses of the Heart and its Cures: page 17, al-Istiqaamah: 2/245, and Majmu’ al-Fataawa: 10/111]
Meaning: He doesn’t wish for the blessing to cease, but rather, he hates that Allah bestowed this blessing on another.
As for one wishing that Allah provides for him a similar blessing, then this isn’t from jealousy. Rather this is from Ghibtah that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, eluded to with his statement,
لا حسد إلا فى اثنتين
“Envy is permitted only in two cases…” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Jealousy has many disadvantages which leads to 13 harms:
First: It is from the major sins which is not expiated by way of Salah, fasting, charity, or any other deed. Rather it requires the individual to make tawbah (repentance).
Second: There is a severe punishment. It has been narrated from the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, that he said:
إياكم والحسد، فإن الحسد يأكل الحسنات كما تأكل النار الحطب، أو قال: العشب
“Beware of envy because envy consumes (destroys) the virtues just as the fire consumes the firewood,” or he said “grass.” [Abu Dawud]
Third: It is from the mannerisms of the Yahood, and who likes to be described with an attribute from the attributes of the Yahood?!
Fourth: It negates the brotherhood of faith because the envier wishes for the blessing of Allah to cease, and the believer loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
Fifth: Negation of being pleased with the Qadaa (Divine Execution) and Qadar (Divine Will) of Allah. If he was pleased with the Qadaa and Qadar he would of said that this is from the Qadaa of Allah and it is good.
Sixth: The envier, and Allah’s refuge is sought, whenever he sees a blessing Allah bestowed upon someone he increases in sorrow and grief. And jealousy is a fire which burns its companion.
Seventh: The envier follows the footsteps of Shaytaan. Allah said,
يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَتَّبِعُواْ خُطُوَٲتِ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِۚ
“O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Shaytaan…” [Surah an-Nur: 21]
Eighth: Jealousy inherits enemies and hatred between the people.
Ninth: Jealousy leads to injustice/oppression. Adam’s son assaulted and killed his brother because of jealousy.
Tenth: The envier has disdain for the blessing of Allah, so he doesn’t recognize any blessings of Allah upon him. For this you find those virtuous individuals whom Allah bestowed upon blessings do not have this sickness (because they recognize these blessings). Jealousy is only found in one who doesn’t see any of Allah’s blessings upon himself.
Eleventh: It decreases Imaan (faith).
Twelfth: His heart is busied from (the remembrance of) Allah and his heart becomes hard because of this.
Thirteenth: He conceals the blessings of Allah and covers up good qualities of others. You find one of them, when someone they envy is mentioned with something good, they say, “This is correct. This is good. Maa shaa Allah, he is beneficial to the people.” But then after that he mentions some faults to keep him down.
Perhaps if jealousy occurs between people of Dunya they may be excused. However it is not excused if jealousy occurs between students of knowledge. Rather we say as Allah said,
أَمۡ يَحۡسُدُونَ ٱلنَّاسَ عَلَىٰ مَآ ءَاتَٮٰهُمُ ٱللَّهُ مِن فَضۡلِهِۦۖ فَقَدۡ ءَاتَيۡنَآ ءَالَ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلۡحِكۡمَةَ
“Or do they envy men (Muhammad and his followers) for what Allah has given them of His Bounty? Then We had already given the family of Ibrahim the Book and Al-Hikmah (wisdom, and here it means the Sunnah)…” [Surah an-Nisaa: 54]
وَلَا تَتَمَنَّوۡاْ مَا فَضَّلَ ٱللَّهُ بِهِۦ بَعۡضَكُمۡ عَلَىٰ بَعۡضٍ۬ۚ لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصِيبٌ۬ مِّمَّا ٱڪۡتَسَبُواْۖ وَلِلنِّسَآءِ نَصِيبٌ۬ مِّمَّا ٱكۡتَسَبۡنَۚ وَسۡـَٔلُواْ ٱللَّهَ مِن فَضۡلِهِ
“And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you to excel others. For men there is reward for what they have earned, (and likewise) for women there is reward for what they have earned, and ask Allah of His Bounty…” [Surah an-Nisaa: 32]
Therefore, when there is good and it has been given to one other than yourself, ask Allah from His bounty to let it reach you and other than yourself.
Translated by: Abu Awzaa’ee AbdusSalaam
الفقير الى الله