By Mallam Abba Abana
ALLAH told us in the Qur’an about the first son of Aadam who killed his brother because of envy, and it was the first blood letting crime on the face of the earth.
He envied his brother because ALLAH accepted his brother’s sacrifice but did not accept it from him.
ALLAH says in surat Al-Maaedah, (Verse 27, 28 & 30), what can be translated as, “Oh Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam), recite to them the story of the two sons of Aadam in truth; when each offered a sacrifice (to ALLAH), it was accepted from the one but not from the other. The latter said to the former: “I will surely kill you.” The former said: “Verily, ALLAH accepts only from those who are the pious. If you do stretch your hand against me to kill me, I shall never stretch my hand against you to kill you, for I fear ALLAH; the Lord of the world.”
Then ALLAH said, “So the Nafs (self) of the other (latter one) encouraged him and made fair-seeming to him the murder of his brother; he murdered him and became one of the losers.”
The medicine of envy: Imam Al-Ghazali, may ALLAH have mercy on him, said in his book (Al-Ihya’) after a number of pages on envy and its dangers, “Be aware that envy is one of the most dangerous diseases of the hearts, and there is no medicine for the diseases of the heart except with knowledge and deeds.
As to the knowledge that treats the disease of envy is to know without any doubt that envy is dangerous for you in this worldly life and in your deen, and there is no danger from it on the envied person in this life nor in his deen, on the contrary, the envied person will benefit from it because the more you envy someone, the more ALLAH blesses such a person and humiliates you.
Hasad, an Arabic word, comes from ḥa-sa-da which is ‘to dislike that someone should possess a blessing and/or happiness and to want that blessing and/or happiness to be removed from that individual and/or be transferred from him to oneself’. Its widely accepted substitute, in English, is ‘Envy’.
How do you overcome envy in Islam?
Whenever you see something in someone and you feel jealous, make du’a.
Make du’a that Allah purifies your heart.
Make du’a that Allah does not harm someone else due to your jealousy.
Du’a is the ultimate resource of the believer, and du’a is a door that is always open.
May ALLAH protect us from the evil of Envy.
Mallam Abba Abana writes from Abuja