Jealousy and Envy

Islam is a religion of purity and decency. It is a religion of good manners and education. It is a religion that promotes the purification and cleansing of the heart.

Every Muslim needs to actively be of a sound mind and ability to self-audit and guide themselves to the righteous path. We need to be people who think for themselves and not follow the crowd so to speak, especially in the current time and place in which we live.

The imam reminds us of a hadith of the Prophet SAWS in which the key to this is indicated. It is translated to say:

“The disease of the nations before you is creeping towards you: Envy and hatred, it is the Haliqah. I do not speak of what cuts the hair, but what severs the religion. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love each other. Shall I tell you about what will strengthen that for you? Spread the Salam among each other.”


Dear brothers and sisters, we are being told of a warning. A disease that is creeping towards us. A disease of envy and hatred. And the dire consequences of this is then stated later by informing us that it will sever our religion. We are then told of its consequences not only on us as a community but also on us as individuals. And then if that wasn’t warning enough, we are told of its effect on this life and the severe consequences on the next life.


However, as with all things in relation to our beautiful faith, this warning comes with a clear remedy. A treatment of this disease and that is the spread of love and peace between one another. This, we are told, is the cure to the envy and hatred that we are may have in our hearts.


Before we look into this further, it is worth noting that there is a distinction made between envy and jealousy. Sometimes, we use the words as synonyms for one another but the truth of the matter is that there is a key difference in the two words that we need to know of.


The definition of envy is simply looking at something someone else has and wishing for it to be removed or wishing for us to have it instead. Examples of this may be wealth, happy family home, health, even imaan in the other person.


This is a severe disease of the heart as this can manifest into wishing bad on others or the evil eye which we have discussed in previous reminders.


In comparison the definition of jealousy is wishing you had something that someone else has. Again the examples can be the same things such as wealth, family, heath but the key difference between the two may be that you do not wish bad for the other person nor want that person to no longer have it.


Dear brothers and sisters, it is human nature to compare and want. If we don’t have references in others then how will we know it is something that is desirable within us? In other words, jealousy can be a positive thing if it is understood and dealt with in the correct way.


For example, in our career we may wish we had the job of someone else. This is an example of being jealous but if we following this up by asking Allah SWT of a promotion, not wishing bad for the person we were jealous of and working hard to achieve that status, then this is a positive example.


We may wish to have the energy of our friend. Rather than wish he or she no longer has that energy, we supplicate to Allah SWT, a dua every night in which we wish even more health for our neighbour, telling them that they are an inspiration to us and we work hard to exercise and be fit like they are so that we can have the energy they have. This is a positive example of being jealous.


And the main one we are taught in Islam to compete with one another is in our level of worship to Allah SWT. So this may come about when we see someone doing an act of worship we wish we did. This is jealousy. But again, if we follow the thought with Mash’Allah first for that person and compliment that person, seek advice from that person in doing the same, doing dua to be like that person then this is an example of positivity from jealousy. This is a positive demonstration of love for that person and peace towards that person. Our heart remains pure and free of disease.


Dear brothers and sisters, the bigger lesson from this reminder is the need to correct one’s heart. If we are not reacting to similar examples in our lives to the ones given today then an MOT of the heart is overdue.


The imam reminded us of Sura An-Nisa, ayat 32 which is translated to say:


And do not wish for that by which Allah has made some of you exceed others. For men is a share of what they have earned, and for women is a share of what they have earned. And ask Allah of His bounty. Indeed Allah is ever, of all things, Knowing.

In this ayat,, Allah SWT is giving us a number of lessons and one reminder can never do justice to the ayat but to summarise one lesson, we are being told that in life we will always encounter something we wish we had in others.

But it’s our heart, and how we deal with this scenario that is the key. Allah SWT is telling us not to wish for that by which he has made the other exceed you. But in the same ayat we are being told to ask Allah SWT from His bounty. Therefore, if we ponder over this, how can the two statements co-exist?

They co-exist because the first is an example of envy, a warning not to want the thing the other person has. That’s envy because you are wanting that thing for yourself. You are wanting it removed from that person who has exceeded you. This breeds hatred and a heart in need of repair.

The second is a positive reaction to jealousy as discussed earlier. And this is directly answered by Allah SWT in that we are told to ask Allah SWT of it. To be like the person we compared ourselves to. He tells us to ask Allah SWT of His bounty. This takes nothing away from the person that exceeds us but gives us a reason to return to our Lord in prayer.

Dear brothers and sisters, if we ponder over this ayat further, we can see that through jealousy we have been given a reason to ask of Allah SWT, to increase of level of worship. To ignore the human nature to compare is not the answer, this is part of who we are. However, it is how we deal with that characteristic is what will make us successful in this life and the next.

By wishing only the best for those who exceed us, by returning to our Lord in sincere dua and asking for something like what we have seen in others whilst wishing for their blessing to continue, we are fulfilling our obligations and we are reacting to our heart in a way that will rid it of the disease of envy and hatred for others and promote love for one another instead.

May Allah SWT enable us to be rid of envy. May Allah SWT enable us to deal positively to jealousy and may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in healing our hearts of any negativity towards others.

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Love of our Prophet (Peace be upon him)

It’s hard, living away from a man we love so much. It’s hard, not being able to see his blessed face ourselves, or smell the sweet smell that he was famous for emitting.

It is hard not having witnessed the epitome of human mercy. It is hard not being able to hear his blessed voice reciting the Quran. But most of all, it is hard not knowing – would he love me if he knew me? My brothers, take comfort in the fact that he loved you more than you can even imagine.

We know that the relationship between the messenger (peace be upon him) and the companions was a very unique relationship. They loved him greatly and it was easy to see that he loved them as well.

There are plentiful examples of the mercy he showed upon the people in his time. One of the examples is at Eid-ul-Adha, he would sacrifice on his behalf and upon the behalf of people who could not afford to sacrifice.

Also when he ascended to the heavens, he took the opportunity in his meeting with Allah SWT to reduce the burden of prayers from 50 daily to 5 daily all the while keeping the reward for us of the original 50 prayers.

Further examples of his mercy towards his people was when the suffering of the muslims was too much to bear in Mecca, the prophet, peace be upon him, instructed his companions to go to Abysinnia to escape the suffering.

The companions believed in the message that he brought from Allah SWT whilst many of his tribe mocked and ridiculed him. They were by his side in the tough times, willing to sacrifice their very own lives for him. One can often wish and crave that we were in their shoes, loving the prophet (peace be upon him) wholeheartedly and being loved by him.

Our Prophet (peace be upon him) love for his people is described by Allah SWT in Sura Toba, ayat 128:

Verily, there has come unto you a messenger from amongst yourselves. It grieves him when you suffer; he is concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.

Our beloved messenger, peace be upon him, a few days before the greatest calamity, his own death, was walking by his companions and spoke the following words which fill any Muslim’s heart with joy and comfort. He said to his companions:

I wish that I could meet my brothers

Upon first hearing this statement, it can be easy to assume that the beloved Prophet, peace be upon him, is talking about the previous prophets or messengers from the past. The companions with him were also confused and so they asked him:

Are we not your brothers?

To which our beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, replied:

You are my companions, my brothers are those who will believe in me, without having seen me.


My brothers, think about the above for a moment. He yearned to meet each and every one of us. His heart was filled with true love for us; the ones who believe in him yet have not seen him, and if there is one thing we know about the love of the Prophet, peace be upon him, it is that it was not superficial love.

There is no greater feeling in this world than to love and be loved back. Now imagine loving the best of all creation and knowing for a fact that he loved you right back.

One final example of this demonstration of love and probably the most valuable for you and I is a Sahih Bukhari hadith in which Abu Hurairah narrated:

The beloved messenger stated “Each and every messenger had one duaa or supplication accepted and I am saving mine for the Day of Judgement to use to help my people”


May Allah SWT generate that undiminishing love for our beloved Prophet, peace be upon him, in our hearts. May we be included in those whom he speaks about when he says ‘my brothers are those who will believe in me, without having seen me’. And may we be blessed with his blessed companionship in Jannah and never again have to be separated from our beloved sal Allahu alayhi wa salam.


Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen

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