Envy and how to have protection against it?
Have you faced anyone wishing the blessings Allah bestowed upon you to be taken away? Have you noticed that you face some troubles and problems when someone knows about a blessing you got or the brilliance of one of your children? Has anyone told you about buying a modern car: what a beautiful car! Then not much time has passed till you got an accident? If the answer is yes, you may be surrounded by the evil of envy which Allah ordered us to take refuge with him from. Allah says “And from the envy of the envier when he envies”(surat al-falq) We will talk about this important subject in detail if Allah wills…
Firstly: what is envy? what is its ruling? what does envy mean? The Islamic scholar(Ibn Hajr) said in Fatih al bary(1/166): the envy means wishing that a blessing that Allâh has bestowed on the envied person be taken away and some scholars particularise its meaning that he wishes this blessing for himself but the truth is that it is more general. The Islamic scholar(Al nawwi)said in the interpretation of Sahih Muslim book(2/464): the scholars said : Al hasad (the envy) is two divisions: real and not real(figurative), the real meaning is wishing the blessings of the envied person to be taken away and this is prohibited by the consent of all scholars but the figurative meaning (ghibtah)(descent envy)is wishing the same blessing but he doesn’t wish it to be taken away from the other person. If it is from these worldly affairs, it is allowed and if it is obedience to Allah, it is recommendable (mustahb).
One might ask (Is envy real?) and the answer is yes, and there are several types of envy that we will see later on.
Secondly: what are the types of Hasad(malicious envy)? (examples of envy)
What does envy look like?
Islamic scholars mentioned that Hasad(malicious envy) has different types according to its strengths and weakness.
The first type: the envier wants the blessing to be taken away from the envied person even if he will not get it as his major aim of envy is that the blessing of the envied person to be taken away from him by any means.and this is the most rejected type.
The second type: the envier wishes the blessing of the envied person to be taken away and then it returns to him. For example, when the envied person has a distinguished job, the envier wishes that this person loses it and then he gets it. This type is prohibited also but it has a lesser degree compared to the first type.
The third type: the envier wishes that the envied person does not get any blessing like he wants the envied person to remain in his state of poverty and ignorance.
The fourth type: the envier does not wish the blessings of the envied person to be taken away from him but he wishes the same for himself. But, if he does not get the same, he wishes these blessings to be taken away from him in order that they are equal and the envied person is not better than him.
The fifth type: the person wishes to have the same blessing of the other person. If he does not get it, he does not wish this blessing to be taken away from him. this type is called (ghbtah) (descent envy) and it is not prohibited. This is the meant hasad (descent envy) in the prophet’s hadith:” “Envy is permitted only in two cases: A man whom Allah gives wealth, and he disposes of it rightfully, and a man to whom Allah gives a knowledge which he applies and teaches it.”
Thirdly: what are the causes of envy? Or what causes envy psychology?
- animosity and hatred: this animosity lies in the heart and it may be due to an apparent worldly cause. Hostility may originate in someone’s heart to another person because he wronged or cheated him.so, he wishes for him to have trials and misfortunes and his blessings to be taken away from him in return to what he has introduced to him from transgression and mistreatment.
- love of life and of having a distinguished position in it: like someone seeking for a specific job and he competes with his rival for getting this position so, he wishes for his rival to have trials in order to get this position alone.
- hating the good for people: there are people getting used to hating the good for others. So, if they hear about someone that Allah gave him a blessing of health, money or a distinguished position, they are about to lose their mind and their rage increases as Allah(exalted be He) says: “or do they envy people for what Allah has given them of His bounty?”
- fear of people’s or opponent’s arrogance: the envier may not have envied from the start but envy starts when he feels that the other man will have much money and his position will increase and this man will become arrogant. So, he wishes for this man not to have a blessing to be equal and in the same position. Allah says: “But the eminent among those who disbelieved from his people(Noah people) said, this is not but a man like yourselves who wish to take precedence over you.”
Fourthly: the means of having protection against envy.
- Relying upon Allah and saying (Sufficient for us is Allah, and He is the best disposer of affairs): Allah(exalted be He) says: “whoever relies upon Allah-then He is sufficient for him.” The Islamic scholar (Ibn al-qayim) said:” Reliance upon Allah is from the strongest causes by which he can withstand the people’s transgression, annoyance, and arrogance.”
- Fearing Allah (Exalted be he): Allah says: “And if you are patient and fear Allah, their plot will not harm you at all.”
- Taking refuge with Allah from the evil of every envier. And this by reading the two Muwwidhat (Surats of taking refuge with Allah). In sunnan an-Nasa’I and sunnan at-Tirmidhi, the prophet(PBUH) said:” Say: “Say: He is Allah, the One” and Al-Mu`awwidhatain when you reach the evening, and when you reach the morning, three times, they will suffice you against everything.”. Imam (Ibn-Al qayim)said in the interpretation of surat (Al-falaq)”this surah(chapter of Qur’an) is one of the strongest remedies of envy as it includes the reliance upon Allah and taking refuge with him from the envier of the blessing.”
- Not telling the envier about the blessing Allah has bestowed upon you: so, Jacob said to Josef( may the blessings of Allah be upon them): “O my son, do not relate your vision to your brothers or they will contrive against you a plan. Indeed Satan, to man, is a manifest enemy”
- the good treatment with the envier? Ibn Al-qayim said:” fighting the enmity or the hostility of the envier by having good conduct with him is one of the most difficult things to the soul and no one is guided to it without having a great portion of good from Allah. Thus the more he has envy and arrogance, the better your conduct is with him.”..Allah(exalted be He)says: “And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel by that which is better, and thereupon the one between you and him is enmity as though he was a devoted friend. But none is granted it except those who are patient, and none is granted except one having a great portion of good .” For example, if there is a man Allah expands for him his wealth and gives him a lot of children; boys and girls and he have a poor neighbor and his children are needy. So, if this needy neighbor sees his wealthy neighbor entering his house with many types of foods and drinks and the best clothes and he does not give him anything, he will be automatically become jealous and envious of this wealthy man ,especially when he sees his children looking at this wealthy neighbor’s children and what they have. but, if this wealthy man is charitable to his neighbor, at most he will thank his doing and ask Allah to expand this man’s wealth. thus the evil of this envier is repelled by being charitable to him. Ibn Al Qayim-may Allah mercy on him- said:”have good conduct and be charitable as much as possible as this has a marvelous effect on repelling the trials and the evil of the envier.”
- Ar-Ruqiah Ashara’ih (some supplications and verses of Qur’an that protect you from the evil of envy). In Sahih Muslim, Jibril (Gabriel) came to the Prophet(PBUH) and said: “O Muhammad! Do you feel sick?” He said, “Yes.” Jibril supplicated thus (i.e., he performed Ruqyah): “Bismillahi arqika, min kulli shay’in yu’dhika, min Sharri kulli nafsin aw ‘ayni hasidi, Allahu yashfika, bismillah arqika. [With the Name of Allah. I recite over you (to cleanse you) from all that troubles you, and from every harmful mischief and from the evil of the eyes of an envier. Allah will cure you; and with the Name of Allah, I recite over you.”).
Before and after all this, Muslims should know that nothing, whether good or evil strikes him except by the will of Allah and he, is the only one who can save him from every trial and calamity so, he should ask him for forgiveness and take refuge with him from every evil. Allah (exalted be He)says: “and if Allah should touch you with adversity, there is no remover of it except him. And if he touches you with good- then he is over all things competent.” And the prophet(PBUH) said to Ibn Abbas:” And remember that if all the people gather to benefit you, they will not be able to benefit you except that which Allah had foreordained (for you); and if all of them gather to do harm to you, they will not be able to afflict you with anything other than that which Allah had pre-destined against you. The pens had been lifted and the ink had dried up.”
And praise be to Allah the lord of the worlds and may his blessings and peace be upon his prophet Muhammad.