Evils of Jealousy and its Cure
The word hasad (jealousy) stems from the word hasdal which literally means tick, a blood sucking insect. Just as a tick sucks the blood of human by sticking to his body, jealousy also sucks the blood of jealous person by sticking to his heart. (Lisan al-Arab)
Definition of jealousy
Imam al-Raghi al-Isfahani defines jealousy as follows:
Wishing the decline of a blessing for someone who has been bestowed with it is jealousy. (Al-Mufradat)
Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn Mohammad ibn Habib al-Basri al-Mawardi describes jealousy meaning as:
The reality of jealousy is that one feels the evil emotion of unhappiness over the qualities, attributes, and Allah’s blessings on noble personalities and engage in their hostility. Jealousy can be with anyone but there are more chances of its occurrence when there is more interaction with someone or have a close relation, similar profession, or a rank. Many people also engage in jealousy with someone due to their superiority in wealth, influence, or exaltation. Jealousy is a worse ailment. It gives air to malice and animosity and society becomes a victim of dispersion.
Hasad in the light of Quran
Forbidding from hasad, Allah says in the Holy Quran:
بِئۡسَمَا اشۡتَرَوۡا بِہٖۤ اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ اَنۡ یَّکۡفُرُوۡا بِمَاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰہُ بَغۡیًا اَنۡ یُّنَزِّلَ اللّٰہُ مِنۡ فَضۡلِہٖ عَلٰی مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ مِنۡ عِبَادِہٖ ۚ فَبَآءُوۡ بِغَضَبٍ عَلٰی غَضَبٍ ؕ وَ لِلۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ عَذَابٌ مُّہِیۡنٌ (البقرہ ۔90)
Meaning: How evil a bargain they made in exchange for their lives: that they deny the Book revealed by Allah merely begrudging that Allah bestows (His Revelation) out of His bounty upon any of His servants He wills. So they earned manifold wrath of Allah, and there is a humiliating torment for the disbelievers. (Al-Baqarah 90)
The verse refers to the jealousy of Jewish. They remained deprived of faith merely due to jealousy as they wished that the dignity of end of Prophethood be bestowed to someone among the tribe of Israil. However when they witnessed that the clan of Prophet Ishmael was granted the Prophethood, they became deniers due to jealousy. And hence were overtaken by anger.
Allah says in the Quran:
وَ لَا تَقۡفُ مَا لَیۡسَ لَکَ بِہٖ عِلۡمٌ ؕ اِنَّ السَّمۡعَ وَ الۡبَصَرَ وَ الۡفُؤَادَ کُلُّ اُولٰٓئِکَ کَانَ عَنۡہُ مَسۡـُٔوۡلًا ( بَنِيْ إِسْرَآءِيْل . 36)
Meaning: And (O man,) do not follow that of which you have no (authentic) knowledge. Indeed the ear, the eye, and the heart—each of them will be questioned. (Bani Israil 36)
In the exegesis of this verse, Allama Sayyid Mahmud Alusi Baghdadi writes in Tafsir Ruh al-Ma`ani:
This verse indicates that even the actions of inward will be questioned. For example the firm decision of committing a sin or engaging in the diseases of soul like jealousy, malice, self-appreciation and other immoral acts. The scholars have clarified that the thought of committing a sin will not be questioned until one makes a firm plan to act upon it. (Tafsir Ruh al-Ma`ani)
Hadiths on jealousy
- Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Protect yourself from jealousy as it burns good deeds just as fire burns wood.” (Abu Dawud)
- Anas ibn Malik narrates that Prophet Mohammad said, “Do not bear aversion against one another. Do not be jealous of each other, and do not hate one another. Be the servants of Allah and adopt brotherhood. No Muslim should remain angry with his brother for more than three days.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
- When the guide of the world, Prophet Mohammad was asked who is best of people? He replied, “A Muslim with a clean heart and truthful tongue.” They asked, “O Prophet of Allah! We understand a truthful tongue, but what does a clean heart mean?” He answered, “It is the heart of the one who is pious, pure, and is free of sin, transgressions, hatred and hasad.” (Ibn Majah)
- Abu Huraira relates that the Holy Prophet said, “Faith and jealousy cannot be combined in one’s inward.” (Nisai)
- Zubayr ibn Al-Awam relates that Prophet Mohammad said, “There has come to you malice and jealousy of the nations before you. It is the ‘shaver’ (destroyer). I do not say that it shaves hair, but that it shaves (destroys) faith.” (Tirmidhi)
Sufi quotes on jealousy
Al-Ghawth al-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani says about jealousy:
- O the believer of faith! why do I see you jealous of your neighbor’s food, marriage, house, riches and luxuries and Allah’s blessings on him?
Al-Ghazali says the following about hasad:
- Jealousy is a greater sin because it is as if jealous (hasid) is objecting or criticizing Allah for granting someone with certain blessing. Now imagine how big of a sin it would be to object on Allah. (Ihya al-Uloom)
- Due to jealousy the inward of jealous becomes blind to the point that he loses ability to understand the commands of Allah. (Minhaj al-Abideen)
Sultan Bahoo says:
- Allah does not bless such inward with His attention which is filled with the sensual desires of inciting innerself, darkness of satanic distractions and the filth of worldly love. The inward which is deprived of the kind attention of Allah becomes dark, depraved, and full of jealousy, greed, and arrogance. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- The seeker’s inward and soul should be so much absorbed in the love and remembrance of Allah and exploring the secret of Divine secrets in his existence that he forgets the desires of inciting innerself, Satan, world, sensual appetites, greed, vanity and jealousy. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
The first ever jealous
After the creation of Adam, Satan became the first ever to engage in jealousy. He became jealous of Prophet Adam on being entrusted with Divine Trust. Satan is the chief of envious. While in the children of Adam the first jealous is Cain who killed his brother Abel due to jealousy. The Holy Quran narrates the incident as:
وَ اتۡلُ عَلَیۡہِمۡ نَبَاَ ابۡنَیۡ اٰدَمَ بِالۡحَقِّ ۘ اِذۡ قَرَّبَا قُرۡبَانًا فَتُقُبِّلَ مِنۡ اَحَدِہِمَا وَ لَمۡ یُتَقَبَّلۡ مِنَ الۡاٰخَرِ ؕ قَالَ لَاَقۡتُلَنَّکَ ؕ قَالَ اِنَّمَا یَتَقَبَّلُ اللّٰہُ مِنَ الۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ . ( الْمَآئِدَة . 27)
Meaning: (O the most esteemed Messenger!) Relate to these people the account of the two sons of Adam (Abel and Cain) which is absolutely true. When both of them made offering (one each to Allah), the offering from one of them (Abel) was accepted, whilst that from the other (Cain) was not accepted. Thereupon, he (Cain) said (to Abel out of jealousy and vengeance), “I will surely kill you.” He (Abel) said (in reply), “Indeed, Allah accepts (offering) only from the people of piety.” (Al-Māidah 27)
It is clear from the verse that hasad is a psychological sickness. It was this hasad due to which Cain killed his brother Abel despite having a blood relation.
Degrees of jealousy (Hasad)
There are three levels or types of jealousy:
The first level of jealousy is that the jealous seeks the decline of other’s blessing. Then whether that blessing is given to him or not. Such kind of hasad against Muslim is a bigger sin. However if a wealthy infidel or a transgressor is spreading infidelity or brutality due to his wealth, then wishing decline of his wealth and rule is lawful.
The second level of jealousy is that the jealous wants to possess the blessings of others. For example, the desire to gain possession of property or wealth of another person or occupying his riches. This kind of jealousy against a Muslim is also unlawful.
The third level of jealousy is that the jealous himself is incapable of acquiring a blessing therefore he wishes it to be taken away from others as well so that they may not get ahead of him. Islam forbids from this type of jealousy as well.
Jealousy is an immortal act
Jealousy is the disease of soul. Calling it an evil act, Allah says in the Holy Quran:
وَ مِنْ شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ اِذَا حَسَد. ( الفلق ۔5)
Meaning: And (O Prophet beseech I seek refuge with Allah) from the mischief of every envious person when he envies. (Al-Falaq 5)
In this verse Allah commands to seek refuge with Allah from the envious.
The exegetists have regarded jealousy as a worst sin and even more dangerous than that of magic because in sura al-Falaq Allah Himself has specifically mentioned it along with other evils.
In today’s Muslim society this evil is propagating quickly, and many individuals are falling in it. Hasad or jealousy is such a dangerous disease where jealous does not hesitate to even commend a despicable act of killing. Furthermore jealousy plants the seed of malice, hostility, and hatred due to which society becomes turmoiled.
Cure of jealousy
We described all factors of jealousy briefly in the light of Quran, Hadiths and from the point of view of Sufis as well. Jealousy is a spiritual and psychological disease whose self-cure is impossible. Thus for its remedy, the spiritual sight, and the company of a perfect and accomplished spiritual guide is essential who would grant salvation from it by sanctifying the inciting innerself. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is the Universal Divine Man and perfect and accomplished spiritual guide of the present age. His Khanqah is in Village Rangil Pur Sharif, Multan Road, Lahore. Countless men and women have gained beneficence from his court and it is continuing to develop every day. The seekers of truth come to him and return after quenching the thirst of their desire by pledging oath of allegiance on his hands. One can certainly gain beneficence and a truthful heart from his celestial court.
دل کوعشق و ایماں کی تجلی سے اگر بھرنا ہو
اسے سلطان العاشقین کے حوالے کردو!
بھلائی پاؤ گے، ہر اک شر سے حفاظت ہو گی
کاسہ فکر اسی مرد کامل کے زیر قدم دھر دو!
Explanation: If one longs to gain Divine love and perfect faith, he must entrust himself to the perfect and accomplished spiritual guide Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen. By submitting himself in the court of this perfect Fakir, he will not only gain beneficence but also salvation from all evils.
- What is jealousy?
The emotion of unhappiness on the qualities, attributes, or Allah’s blessings on another person is called jealousy or hasad.
- How to overcome jealousy?
Jealousy or hasad is a spiritual and psychological disease whose self-cure is impossible. In order to gain remedy, the spiritual sight, and the company of a perfect and accomplished spiritual guide is essential who would grant salvation from it by sanctifying the inciting innerself.
This article was originally published in the November 2020 issue of Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore (the monthly Urdu magazine of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr) as حسد کی تباہ کاریاں
It is written by Mohammad Yousaf Akbar Sarwari Qadri and is now translated in English by Sofia Sultan Sarwari Qadri. Translator has used American English vocabulary in the translation of this article. If you wish to read the original article, please visit: