Disease of Envy
Extracted with slight modifications from “Diseases of the Hearts & their Cures” compiled by Ibraaheem bin ‘Abdullaah al-Haazimee © 1998 Al-Hidaayah Publishing & Distribution
Some people said while explaining its meaning: ‘Envy (hasad)
is a grievance that befalls one due to knowledge of the good condition of the
wealthy.’ So in accordance with this it is not possible that the person upon
whom the blessings have been bestowed be jealous of these blessings and is
accustomed to them.
A group of people said: ‘It is a desire to have the
blessings removed from the one who is envied even if the one who is jealous does
not attain the likes of these blessings.’ This is different from ghubta
(also meaning envy) because it refers to a desire to possess the blessings
bestowed upon the one who is envied but without the desire to see them removed
Strictly speaking, envy (hasad) is hatred and
disliking the good condition of the envied one. This of two types:
1) Unrestricted dislike of the blessings bestowed upon the
envied. This is the type of jealousy which incurs blame, so when one hates
something he is then hurt and grieved by the existence of what he hates, and
this becomes a sickness in his heart such that he takes pleasure in removal of
the blessings from the envied even if this does not result in any benefit to him
except for the single benefit of having the pain that was in his soul removed.
But this pain is not removed except as a result of his continuously watching the
envied so that the jealous person finds relief when the blessing is removed, but
then it becomes more severe as is the case of the one who is sick, for it is
possible that this blessing, or one similar to it, returns to the envied. This
is why this second group said: ‘It is a desire to have the blessings
removed,’ for indeed the one who dislikes the blessings bestowed upon other
than him desires to see them removed.
2) That he dislikes the superiority of that person over
him, and he desires to be like him or better, so this is jealousy and has been
called ghubta, and the Prophet () called it hasad in the hadeeth
reported by both al-Bukhaaree and Muslim from the hadeeth of Ibn
Mas‘ood and Ibn ‘Umar, radiyallaahu ‘anhumaa, that he () said: “There
is no envy (hasad) except in two cases: a person to whom Allaah has
granted wisdom, and he rules by this and teaches it to the people, and a person
to whom Allaah has granted wealth and property and along with this the power to
spend it in the cause of Truth.”
This being the wording of Ibn Mas‘ood. The wording of Ibn
‘Umar is, “A person to whom Allaah has given the Qur’aan and he recites
it night and day, and a person to whom Allaah has granted wealth and property
from which he gives in charity night and day.”
Al-Bukhaaree also reports this hadeeth from
Aboo Hurayrah and its wording is, “There is no desirable form of jealousy
except for two types: a person to whom Allaah has given the Qur’aan and he
recites it day and night, so when a person hears him he says, ‘If only I were
given the likes of what he has been given so that I may act upon it the way this
person is.’ And a person to whom Allaah has bestowed wealth and he spends in
the cause of Truth, so a person says, ‘If only I were given the likes of what he has been given, so that I
may act upon it the way this person is.’”
So the Prophet () forbade hasad, with the
exception of two cases which are referred to as al-ghubta, meaning that a
person love the condition of someone else and dislike that this person be
superior in this way (without his wishing that it be removed from that person).
So if it is asked: ‘Then why is this called envy when he
loves only that Allaah bestows these blessings upon him?’ It is said, ‘The
starting point of this love is his looking towards the favours Allaah has
bestowed upon someone else and his disliking that this person be favoured over
him. So if this other person were not present then he would not have desired
these blessings. So because the starting point of this love is this dislike that
someone else be made superior to him, then this is called envy due to the love
following the dislike. As for desiring that Allaah bestows favours upon him
without consideration of people’s material conditions then this is not envy at
This is why the generality of mankind have been tried with
this second type of envy that has also been called al-munaafasah
(competition) because two people compete in a single desired matter, both of
them trying to attain the same good. The reason for their trying to attain it is
that one of them dislikes that the other be blessed with this matter over him
just as any one of two competitors dislikes that other beat him.
Competition is not considered blameworthy in general,
rather it is considered to be praiseworthy when competing for righteousness, the
Indeed the pious will be in delight. On thrones, looking
on. You will recognize in their faces the brightness of delight. They will be
given to drink pure sealed wine. The last thereof (that wine) will be the smell
of Musk, and for this let those compete who want to compete.
So one is commanded to compete for these delights and not
to compete for the delight of this fleeting world. This is in total agreement to
the hadeeth of the Prophet (), for he forbade envy except of the
one who has been granted knowledge and he acts according to it and teaches it,
and the one who has been bestowed wealth and spends it (in the way of Allaah).
As for the one who has been granted knowledge but does not act upon this
knowledge, or the one who has been bestowed wealth but does not spend this is
obedience to Allaah, then such a person is not to be envied and neither is his
condition to be hoped for, for he is not in a state of good that is desirable,
rather he is being presented with punishment. He also allowed jealousy for the
one who has been given a responsibility and he fulfils it with knowledge and
justice, and fulfils the trusts of its owners, and judges amongst the people by
the Qur’aan and Sunnah.
The station of such a person is lofty but this only comes
after a great amount of effort (jihaad) – the same is true of the mujaahid.
But the souls do not envy the one who is in severe hardship and this is why the
Prophet () did not mention it even though the mujaahid, fighting in the
Way of Allaah, is superior to the one who is spending wealth. The opposite is
true for the teacher and spender for they have no enemy in the physical world,
but in the case that there were an enemy that they would have to perform jihaad
against, then their ranking is more superior (than their station without having
an enemy to fight). Similarly the Prophet () did not mention the one who prays,
fasts and performs the pilgrimage, because there is no tangible benefit attained
from the people for these actions by which the person can be exalted or
disgraced, as can be attained in teaching and spending.
Fundamentally, envy occurs when someone else attains power
and authority; otherwise the one who is performing actions is not normally
envied, even if this person be blessed with far more food, drink and wives than
others, as opposed to these two blessings of power and authority, for they cause
a great deal of envy. This is why you find envy directed at the People of
Knowledge, who have a following amongst the people that you will not find
directed to others who do not have such a following. Similarly for the one who
attracts a following due to his spending his wealth, for the people benefit this
person by nourishing his heart, and this person brings benefit to them by
nourishment of the bodies. Mankind is in need of that which will correct them in
both these matters, this is why Allaah, the one free from imperfection, has
propounded two parables,
Allaah puts forward the example: a slave under the
possession of another, he has no power of any sort, and (the other) a man on
whom We have bestowed a good provision from Us, and he spends thereof secretly
and openly. Could they be equal? (By no means, not). All the praises and thanks
be to Allaah. Nay! (But) most of them know not. And Allaah puts forward another
parable of two men, one of them dumb, who has no power over anything, and he is
a burden to his master, whichever way he directs him he brings no good. Is such
a man equal to one who commands justice, and is himself on the Straight Path?
These two parables were propounded by Allaah for His Own
Holy Self and for that which is worshipped besides Him, for indeed the idols are
not capable of performing any actions that would be of benefit, and neither of
saying anything that would be of benefit. So when a completely powerless slave
under the possession of someone is considered, and another to whom Allaah has
provided a goodly provision from which he spends in secret and in the open, can
this slave, incapable of doing good, and this person capable of doing good for
the people in secret and open, ever be equal? And He, free is as He from defect,
is able to bestow good upon His servants, and as He is continuously doing so. So
how can this incapable slave (i.e. the idol) who cannot do anything, be likened
to Allaah to the extent that he is worshipped alongside Him? So this is the
parable of one to whom Allaah has bestowed wealth from which he spends day and
The second parable: when two people are considered, one of
them is dumb, he does not understand nor speak, and is not capable of anything
and is in fact a burden upon his master, for whichever way he directs him he
brings no good and hence he is of absolutely no use. The other is a just scholar
– enjoining justice and acting justly, and is upon the Straight Path. This
person is then like the one upon whom Allaah has conferred wisdom and he acts
according to it and teaches it. And Allaah has propounded this parable for
Himself, for He is All-Knowing, All-Just, All-Powerful, commanding justice, He
is maintaining His creation is justice is upon the Straight Way as He, the
Allaah bears witness that there is none worthy of
worship but He, and the angels, and those having knowledge; (He is always)
maintaining His creation in Justice. There is none worthy of worship but He, the
All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
And He said upon the tongue of Hood,
Indeed my Lord is upon the Straight Path.
This is why the people used to exalt the home of al-‘Abbaas
‘Abdullaah used to teach the people and his brother used to feed them, and so
they used to exalt them due to this.
Mu‘aawiyah, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, saw the people asking Ibn ‘Umar about the rites of Hajj and Ibn ‘Umar would give them the verdicts, to which Mu‘aawiyah said, ‘By Allaah this is nobility’ or something similar.
The Competition between Aboo Bakr as-Siddeeq
So here is ‘Umar bin al-Khattaab, radiyallaahu ‘anhu,
competing with Aboo Bakr, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, with respect to spending
in charity as is established in the Saheeh (of al-Bukhaaree) from ‘Umar bin
al-Khattaab, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, that he said: “The Messenger of
Allaah () commanded us to give in charity, and this coincided with my
possessing some wealth. So I said (to myself): ‘If there is a day that I can
better Aboo Bakr than it is this one.’ So I went with half of my wealth and
the Messenger of Allaah () asked me, ‘What have you left for your
family?’ I replied, ‘The same amount.’ Then Aboo Bakr came with
everything that he possessed and the Messenger of Allaah () asked him, ‘What
have you left for your family?’ He replied, ‘I have left Allaah and His
Messenger for them.’ So I said, ‘I will never be able to better you in
So what ‘Umar did here was competition and the permitted
type of jealousy (ghubta), but the state of as-Siddeeq was better than
his, and thus he would generally be the victor in such competition due to his
indifference to the condition of others.
Likewise is the case with Prophet Moosa as is mentioned in
the hadeeth of Mi‘raaj that he competed and felt jealousy
towards the Prophet () to the point that he, “Cried due to the extent to
which the Prophet () has surpassed him. So it was said to him, ‘Why are
you crying?’ He replied, ‘I am crying because there is a servant who
shall be sent after me, and more of his nation shall enter Paradise than
mine.” [Reported by both al-Bukhaaree and Muslim].
This hadeeth is also reported in other than
the Saheeh with a different wording, “We passed
a person while he was saying in a loud voice, ‘You have blessed him and
honoured him (over me).’ So we were raised to him and gave him our salaam, he
replied to our salaam and said, ‘Who is this with you O Jibraa’eel?’ He
said, ‘This is Ahmad.’ He said, ‘Welcome O Illiterate Prophet who has
conveyed the Message of his Lord and sincerely advised his nation.’ Then we
moved on and I said, ‘Who was this O Jibraa’eel?’ He replied, ‘That was
Moosa bin ‘Imraan.’ I said, ‘And who was he censuring?’ He replied,
‘He was censuring your Lord with regards to you.’ I said, ‘He was raising
his voice to His Lord?’ He replied, ‘Indeed Allaah knew his
So in this ‘Umar resembled Moosa, and the condition of
our Prophet () was superior to that of Moosa for he did not possess any of this
Similar to this from amongst the Sahaabah were Aboo
‘Ubaydah bin Jarraah and those like him who were free from these types of
concerns and due to this they were of a more exalted rank than those who would
compete and display jealousy (ghubta) even though it was permitted. This
is why Aboo ‘Ubaydah deserved to be called, ‘The trusted one of this Ummah.’
For if the one trusted does not have any rivalry and desire in his self for the
things that he is entrusted with, then he is the most deserving of having the
trust placed in him. The one who is known to possess no rivalry in greater
matters in entrusted with the smaller matters, and the one is known to have no
reason to steal from the wealth is entrusted with the wealth. As for the one who
finds in himself treachery that resembles that of a wolf entrusted with sheep,
then he is not able to discharge the trust placed in him due to his having in
his heart a desire for what he is entrusted with.
It is reported in the Musnad of Ahmad from
Anas, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, that he said, “We were sitting in the
presence of the Messenger of Allaah () one day and he said, ‘A person is
about to arrive from this mountain path who is from the people of Paradise.’
So a person from the Ansaar arrived, his beard dripping with the
water of wudoo and holding his sandals in his left hand, and he gave us
the salaam. The next day the Prophet () said words of similar import and the
same person appeared in the same condition. On the third day the Prophet ()
again said words of similar import and again this person appeared in the same
condition, so when the Prophet () left, ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Amr al-Aas followed
this person and said, ‘indeed I have abused my father and I swore that I would
not go to him for three days so if you would let me stay with you until those
three days expire, I would do so.’ He replied, ‘Yes.’”
Anas continued saying, “So ‘Abdullaah told us that he
spend three nights with this person yet he did not see him stand for the night
prayer at all. All he did was when he turned sides on his be he would mention
Allaah and make takbeer and would do this until he stood for the Fajr
prayer. ‘Abdullaah said, ‘Except that I never heard him speak except
good’. So when the three days wee over I was eager to make little of his
actions. I said, ‘O servant of Allaah there was no hatred or disassociation
between my father and me but I heard the Messenger of Allaah () saying on three
occasions, “A person is about to arrive who is from the people of Paradise,”
and you arrived on those three occasions, so I wished to stay with you so that I
may look at your actions and emulate them. But I have not seen you perform a
great deal of actions, so what is it that has reached you to make the Messenger
of Allaah () say what he said?’ He replied, ‘It is nothing more than what
you have seen, except that I do not find in myself any disloyalty of any of the
Muslims, and neither do I find any jealousy for the wealth that Allaah has
bestowed upon them.’ Abdullaah said, ‘This is that which has reached you and
is something that we cannot endure.’”
So in the saying of ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Amr to him, ‘This is something that has reached you and something that we cannot endure’ lies an indication of his lack of jealousy and his being secure from all types of jealousy. This is why Allaah praised the Ansaar with His saying,
And have no jealousy in their breasts for that which they
have been given (the muhaajiroon), and give them preference over
themselves even though they were in need of that.
Meaning that which has been given to their brothers from
the Muhaajiroon. The scholars of tafseer have stated: “They do
not find in their breasts jealousy and hatred for what has been given to the Muhaajiroon”.
Then some of them said, “What has been given to them from the war booty.”
And others said: “What has been given to them of precedence and blessings”
– so they find no need of that which has been given the Muhaajiroon of
wealth and rank even though jealousy arises over these sorts of things.
Between the Aws and the Khazraj there existed competition
in matters of religion, such that if one tribe were to do something for which
they were regarded favourably by Allaah and His Messenger then the other tribe
would desire to do the same. So this is competition in that which would bring
them closer to Allaah. Allaah says,
Then for this let those who compete, compete!
As for the jealousy that is totally blameworthy then Allaah
has said with regards to the Jews,
Many of the People of the Book wish that if they could
turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their
own selves even after the truth has become clear to them.
‘They wish’ meaning that they hope to make you
apostasies from your religion out of jealousy. So jealousy was the deciding
factor behind their wish even after the Truth has been made clear to them. This
is because when they saw you attain what you attained of blessings – in fact
they saw you attain that which they themselves had never attained – they
became jealous of you. Similarly this is mentioned in another verse,
Or do they envy men for what Allaah has given them of
His bounty? Then We have already given the family of Abraham the Book and
Wisdom, and conferred upon them a great kingdom. Of them were (some) who
believed in him (Muhammad) and of them were some who averted their faces from
him, and enough is Hell for burning (them)…
Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Daybreak. From
the evil of what He has created. And from the evil of the darkening (night) as
it comes with its darkness. And from the evil of the witchcrafts when they blow
in the knots. And from the evil of the envier when he envies.
A group of scholars of tafseer mentioned that this soorah
was revealed due to the jealousy of the jews harboured towards the Messenger of
Allaah () to the extent that they performed magic on him. The magic was done by
the Jew, Labeed bin al-A‘sam.
So the one who is jealous, hating the favours bestowed by
Allaah upon someone else is an oppressor, going beyond bounds due to this. As
for the one who dislikes that someone else be blessed and wishes to be blessed
in the same way, then this is forbidden for him except in that which will bring
him closer to Allaah. So if he were to wish for something that has been given to
someone else which would help bring him closer to Allaah then there is no
problem in this. However, his wishing for it in his heart, without looking to
the condition of someone else is better and more excellent.
Then if this person were to act, dictated by this jealousy,
he would be an oppressor going beyond bounds, deserving of punishment unless he
repents. So the one who is affected by the one who is jealous is oppressed and
should be enjoined to patience and taqwaa. He should be patient of the
harm afflicted upon him by the one who is jealous, and he should forgive and
overlook, just as Allaah said,
Many of the People of the Book wish that if they could
turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their
own selves even after the truth has become clear to them. But forgive and
overlook until Allaah brings about His Command.
Indeed Yoosuf, ‘alayhis salaam, was tried by the jealousy
of his brothers:
When they said: Truly, Yoosuf and his brother are loved
more by our father than we.
So they were envied due to their father favouring them over
the rest of the brothers, which why Ya‘qoob said to Yoosuf,
O my son! Relate not your vision to your brothers, lest
they arrange a plot against you. Indeed! Satan is an open enemy to man!
They went on to oppress him by discussing his murder and
throwing him in the well, and his being sold as a slave by the ones who took him
to the land of the disbelievers, and his subsequently being owned by these
disbelieving people. Then after being oppressed, Yoosuf was tried by the one who
invited him to an indecent deed and attempted to seduce him, and she sought aid
from anyone who would help her in this but he was preserved from this. Instead
he chose to be imprisoned rather than perform this indecent deed, preferring the
punishment of this world rather than the Displeasure of Allaah (in the
Hereafter). Hence he was oppressed by the one who desired him due to her base
desires and her corrupt objective. So this love with which she desired him arose
as a result of her succumbing to the vain desires of her heart, and its
happiness or sadness lay in his accepting or rejecting the temptation. He was
also oppressed by those who hated him with a hatred that led to his being thrown
in the well, then his becoming captive and owned without his choice, therefore
these people removed him from the absolute freedom that he enjoyed to becoming
forced into slavery to the false worshippers. This forced him to seek refuge in
the prison out of his own free will, thereby making his trial greater.
His patience on this occasion arose out of his own volition
coupled with his fear of Allaah, thus differing from his patience at their
oppression, which was having patience at the onset of calamities, and if one
were to be patient at the likes of these then he would take to the way of mere
This second type of patience, arising from one’s free
will, is the more excellent of the two. This is why Allaah said,
Indeed he who fears Allaah, and is patient, then surely
Allaah makes not the reward of the doers of good to be lost.
Likewise when the believer is harmed due to his faith; and
disbelief, transgression and disobedience is sought from him – and if he were
not to accept this then he would be harmed and punished – then he should
choose this harm and punishment over renegading from his religion – even if it
results in imprisonment or banishment from his land – just as was done by the Muhaajiroon
in their choosing to leave their settlements rather than leave their religion
for which they were harmed and punished. The Prophet () was harmed in a number
of different ways but he was patient through-out this with a patience that arose
out of his own volition, and indeed he was harmed in this way only that he may
do what he did out of his own choice. So this patience of his was greater than
the patience of Yoosuf, for only an indecent action was sought from Yoosuf, and
he was only punished by imprisonment when he did not comply. But disbelief was
sought from the Prophet () and his Companions, and when they did not do this
– then they were punished by being slaughtered and other such harms – the
least of which was imprisonment, for the polytheists imprisoned him and Banee
Haashim for a time in a mountain pass. Then when Aboo Taalib died they became
more severe against him, and when the Ansaar gave him the pledge
of the allegiance and when the polytheists came to know of this they tried to
prevent him from leaving (for Madeenah) and tried to detain him and his
Companions. Then all of them emigrated secretly except for ‘Umar bin al-Khattaab
and those like him.
So what befell the believers came about as a result of
their choosing obedience to Allaah and His Messenger and it was not from the
afflictions that occur without the servant’s choice of the type that Yoosuf
was tried with, and neither of the type of his being separated from his father.
So this patience endured by the believers was the nobler of the two types of
patience, and its possessors are greater with respect to ranking. Thus, even
though the one who is tried without his will shall be rewarded for his patience
and his contentment with the decree of Allaah, and his sins will be expiated. As
for the person who is tried and harmed for choosing obedience to Allaah, then he
will be rewarded for the actual trial and it shall be written as a righteous
action for him. Allaah, the Most High, said,
That is because they suffer neither thirst nor fatigue,
nor hunger in the Cause of Allaah, nor do they take any step to raise the anger
of disbelievers nor inflict any injury upon an enemy but it is written to their
credit as a righteous deed. Indeed Allaah wastes not the reward of the doers of
Thus contrasting with the case of the one who is tried
without his choice, such as being sick, or death, or a thief stealing from him
– this person shall be rewarded for his patience only, not for the actual
trial itself and what results from it. As for those who are harmed due to their
faith in Allaah and obedience to Him and His Messenger, and as a result of this
they are in pain, or are sick, or are imprisoned, or are forced to leave their
land, or their property and family is taken from them, or are beaten and abused,
or their position and wealth is diminished, then in this they are upon the way
of the Prophets and those that followed them such as the Muhaajiroon. So
these people shall be rewarded for what has harmed them, and a righteous action
shall be written for them due to it just as the mujaahid shall be
rewarded for the hunger, thirst and fatigue that afflicts him, and for enraging
the disbelievers even if these effects are not something he has physically set
out to do, but they are resultant from his action (of performing jihaad)
that he has chosen to do. The people have differed over this: can it be said
that these resultant effects are actions of the actor of the reason for these
effects, or are they Actions of Allaah, or is there no actor of the reason and
the (Actor of the) totality of the reasons, and this is why a righteous action
is written for him.
The purpose behind this discussion is that jealousy is one
of the sicknesses of the soul, and it is an illness that afflicts the generality
of mankind and only a few are secure from it. This is why it is said: “The
body is never free from jealousy, but debasement brings it out, and nobility
hides it.” It was said to al-Hasan al-Basree, “Can a believer
be envied?” He replied, “What has made you forget Yoosuf and his brothers,
have you no father?” But you should keep (this envy should it occur) blinded
in your heart, for you cannot be harmed by that which you did not act upon in
speech or action.”
So the one who finds that he harbours jealousy in his soul
towards someone else, then it is upon him to treat it with patience and taqwaa
of Allaah, and dislike it being in his soul. Many religious people do not
take a stance against the one who is envied and neither do they help the one who
would oppress him, but neither do they establish what is obligatory with respect
to his rights. Rather when someone censures the one who is envied they do not
agree with or aid him in the censure but neither do they mention his
praiseworthy qualities. Likewise if someone were to praise him they remain
silent. So these people are responsible for their leaving what is commanded with
respect to the rights of the envied, and they have exceeded the proper bounds in
this even though they may not have taken a stance against him. The reward of
these people is that their rights in turn will be neglected and on some
occasions they will not be treated fairly, and neither will they be helped
against the one who oppresses them, just as they did not aid the envied who was
oppressed. As for the one who actually takes a stance against the envied, either
with words or actions then he will be punished for this, and the one who fears
Allaah and is patient and does not become one of the oppressors – Allaah will
benefit him for his taqwaa.
This is what occurred with Zaynab bint Jahsh, radiyallaahu
‘anha, for she used to be one who would vie with ‘Aa’ishah from the
wives of the Prophet (). The jealousy displayed by some women to others is
great, and is especially true of those who are married to one husband. The woman
will go to great extents to get her allotted time from him for sometimes some of
her allotted time will be missed due to his sharing with other wives. This
jealousy commonly occurs amongst those that share authority or property
in the case when some of them take a share from it and others are left
with none. It also occurs between those that debate, due to their hatred that
their opponent gets the better of them, such as the jealousy of the brothers of
Yoosuf, or the jealousy of the two sons of Aadam one to the other for in this
case the brother was envied by the other due to Allaah accepting his sacrifice
and not the other’s, this leading to his murder. Also, the jealousy displayed
towards the Muslims by the Jews. It was said, “The first sins by which
Allaah was disobeyed were three: covetousness, arrogance and jealousy.
Covetousness was displayed by Adam, arroagance by Iblees, and jealousy from
Qaabeel when he killed Haabeel.”
In the hadeeth there occurs: “There are
three sins from which no one can be saved: jealousy, suspicion and omens. Shall
I tell you of what would remove you from this: when you envy then do not hate,
when you are suspicious then do not actualize your suspicions, and when you see
omens then ignore them.” Reported by Ibn Abee ad-Dunyaa from the hadeeth
of Aboo Hurayrah.
In the Sunan from the Prophet (), “You have
been afflicted with the illness of the nations that came before you – jealousy
and hatred. They are the shearers, I do not mean shearers of the hair, rather
they are shearers of the religion.”
So he called jealousy an illness just as he called
miserliness an illness in his saying, “And what illness is worse than
And in another hadeeth, “I seek refuge
with You from the evil morals and manners, vain desires and illnesses.”
Mentioning illnesses alongside with manners and vain desires. Manners are those
things that the soul becomes accustomed to such that they become its nature and
disposition. Allaah said in this regard,
And indeed you are upon an exalted standard of
Ibn ‘Abbaas, Ibn ‘Uyaynah and Ahmad ibn Hanbal, radiyallaahu
‘anhum, said in commentary to this: “Meaning ‘upon a great
religion.’” And in a variant wording of Ibn ‘Abbaas: ‘The religion of
Islaam’. This was similarly stated by ‘Aa’ishah, radiyallaahu ‘anha,
“His manners were the Qur’aan,” and Hasan al-Basree, “The
manners of the Qur’aan is ‘the exalted standard of character.’”
As for ‘vain desires’ then they are temporary anomalous
conditions, and ‘illness’ is sickness – this is an affliction that harms
the heart and corrupts it. In the first hadeeth jealousy was
mentioned along with hatred. This is because the envier, first of all dislikes
the bounty bestowed by Allaah upon the one who is envied, and then begins hating
this person. This is because the hatred of the thing being bestowed leads to
hatred of the one upon whom it is bestowed, for when the blessings of Allaah are
bestowed upon an individual, he would love that they go away, and they would not
go away except by the one who is envied going away, therefore he hates him and
loves that he not be there.
Jealousy necessarily leads to desire and hatred just as
Allaah informed us those that came before us that they differed,
After their came to them knowledge out of mutual hatred
So their differing did not arise due to the lack of
knowledge, rather they knew the Truth, but it was due to some of them hating
others, just as the envier hates the envied.
In Saheehs of al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, Anas bin
Maalik, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, reports that the Prophet () said, “Do
not envy each other, do not hate each other, do not oppose each other, and do
not cut relations, rather be servants of Allaah as brothers. It is not
permissible for a Muslim to disassociate from his brother for more than three
days such that they meet and one ignores the other, and the best of them is the
one who initiates the salaam.”
He () said, in the hadeeth that is agreed to
be authentic, reported by Anas also, “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul,
none of you believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for
Allaah, the Most High, said,
There is certainly among you he who would linger behind
(from fighting in the Way of Allaah). If a misfortune befalls you, he says:
‘Indeed Allaah has favoured me in that I was not present among them.’ But if
a bounty comes to you from Allaah, he would surely say – as if there had never
been any ties of affection between you and him – ‘Oh! I wish I had been with
them; then I would have achieved a great success.’
So these people who lingered behind did not love for their
brother Muslims what they loved for themselves, rather if the Muslims were
afflicted with a calamity, they were overjoyed that it only afflicted them, and
if they met with blessings they were not happy for them, rather they wished that
they too had a portion of this blessing. So they would not become happy except
if they received something of this world or some evil of this world was diverted
from them. This was due to them not loving Allaah and His Messenger and the Home
of the Hereafter, for if this had been the case they would have loved their
brothers, and loved what they had received of His blessings and they would have
been hurt by the calamity that had afflicted them.
As for the one who is not made happy by what has made the
Muslims happy, and is not grieved by what has made the Muslims grieve then he is
not of them. In the Saheehs of al-Bukhaaree and Muslim from ‘Aamic ash-Sha‘bee
who said: “I heard an-Nu‘maan bin Basheer delivering a sermon and saying: I
heard the Messenger of Allaah () saying, ‘The similitude of the believers
with respect to their mutual love, mutual mercy and mutual kindness in like that
of one body. When a part of it suffers, the whole body suffers with fever and
In the Saheehs of al-Bukhaaree and Muslim from the hadeeth
of Aboo Moosa al-Ash‘aree, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, who said: “The
Messenger of Allaah () said, ‘The Muslim to another Muslim is like a
building, one part of it strengthens another’ and he interlaced his
Greed is a sickness as is miserliness, and jealousy is
worse than miserliness as occurs in the hadeeth reported by Aboo
the Prophet () that he said, “Jealousy eats away at good deeds, just as
fire eats away at firewood, and giving charity extinguishes sins just as water
This is because the miser only stops himself from having
good but the envier dislikes the favours of Allaah bestowed upon His servants.
It is possible that a person give to those lesser than him who would help him
achieve his objectives and yet display jealousy to those of the same level as
him just as it is possible for him to be miserly without displaying envy to
others. Greed is the basis for this as Allaah said,
And whosoever is saved from his greed, such are they who
In the Saheehs of al-Bukhaaree and Muslim
the Prophet () said, “Beware of greed for it destroyed those that came
before you: it commanded them to be miserly and they were, it commanded them to
be oppressive and they were and it commanded them to break the ties of kinship
and they did.”
‘Abdur-Rahmaan bin ‘Awf used to frequently say in his
supplication while make Tawaaf, “O Allaah! Save my soul from greed.”
So a person said to him, “Why is this your most frequent supplication?” He
replied, “When I safeguard myself from greed, I safeguard myself from greed,
miserliness and from severing the ties of kinship.” And jealousy necessarily
leads to oppression.
Saheeh al-Bukhaaree [Eng. Trans. 1/62 no. 73], Saheeh
Muslim [Eng. Trans. 2/389 no. 1779].
Saheeh al-Bukhaaree [Eng. Trans. 6/500 no. 543], Saheeh
Muslim [Eng. Trans. 2/388 no. 1777].
Saheeh al-Bukhaaree [Eng. Trans. 6/501 no. 544].
Soorah al-Mutaffifeen (83):22-26.
Soorah an-Nahl (16):75-76.
Soorah Aal ‘Imraan (3):18.
Soorah Hood (11):56
Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim
Its isnaad is saheeh.
Soorah al-Hashr (59):9.
Soorah al-Mutaffifeen (83):26.
Soorah al-Baqarah (2):109.
Soorah an-Nisaa’ (4):54-55.
Soorah al-Falaq (113):1-5.
As is reported by al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and Ahmad. Refer to the tafseer
of Ibn Katheer (4/584).
Soorah al-Baqarah (2):109
Soorah Yoosuf (12):8.
Soorah Yoosuf (12):5.
Soorah Yoosuf (12):90.
Soorah at-Tawbah (9):120.
Or those that share knowledge, this is why the scholars of hadeeth
do not accept the reports of scholars criticizing their contemporaries.
Da‘eef, reported by Abu ash-Shaykh and at-Tabaraanee
from Hasan al-Basree as a mursal report.
Reported by Ahmad (1412, 1430) and at-Tirmidhee (2512). Its chain of
narration contains unknown narrators, but the hadeeth has
witnesses reported by Aboo ad-Dardaa and Aboo Hurayrah that strengthen it.
Rather to Mujma az-Zawaa’id (10/8) whose authors also refer this hadeeth
to al-Bazzaar. Al-Mundhiree said that is isnaad is good.
Reported by at-Tirmidhee, at-Tabaraanee an al-Haakim who said that it was
saheeh and it as he said.
Reported by Ahmad, Haakim and others. It is saheeh.
Refer to: Saheeh al-Jaami‘ [no. 7104] and the
notes of Shu‘ayb al-Arna‘oot upon Sharh Muskil al-Aathaar of
at-Tahaawee [14/151-154]. [Translator’s Note]
Soorah Qalam (68):4.
Soorah Aal ‘Imraan (3):19.
Saheeh al-Bukhaaree [Eng. Trans. 8/58 no. 91], Saheeh
Muslim [Eng. Trans. 4/1360 no. 6205, 6210].
Saheeh al-Bukhaaree [Eng. Trans. 1/19 no. 12], Saheeh
Muslim [Eng. Trans. 1/31 no. 72, 73].
Soorah an-Nisaa’ (4):72-73.
Saheeh al-Bukhaaree [Eng. Trans. 8/26 no. 40], Saheeh
Muslim [Eng. Trans. 4/1368 no. 6258].
Saheeh al-Bukhaaree [Eng. Trans. 8/34 no. 55], Saheeh
Muslim [Eng. Trans. 4/1368 no. 6257].
This is an error from Ibn Taymiyyah, for the hadeeth in this
complete form with this wording is reported by Ibn Maajah (4210). As for Aboo
Daawood then he reports only the first sentence and in the isnaad of this
hadeeth there is an unknown narrator.
Soorah al-Hashr (59):9.
This is also an error from Ibn Taymiyyah for this hadeeth has not
been reported by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, rather it has been reported by Aboo
Daawood and al-Haakim (1/11) and its isnaad is saheeh.
Sunan Aboo Daawood [Eng. Trans. 2/445 no. 1694].
As far as I know from what is preserved is that it was Sa‘d bin Abee Waqqaas.