What is Envy and What are the Disadvantages of Envy?

Fudail Bin Iyad, one of the scholars of Islam, says: A believer emulates, a munafiq (hypocrite) envies. That phrase includes a very nice criterion and also a grievous threat. Man could want to have the same material or spiritual grants that another man obtained. It is not envy but emulation. While showing envy it is desired that the grants should absolutely be seized from that envied man. That is to say, the main objective of a man who envies his affluent neighbor is not to be affluent but his neighbor to be poor. It is a disgraceful and mean property of hypocrites.

However, it is definitely not right to regard people who show envy as hypocrites

The definition of hypocrite is clear: A hypocrite is someone who seems to believe although he does not indeed believe. It is not possible to call a believer who shows envy hypocrite according to this definition. Then, we should comprehend that expression as: Do not envy, because it is such a malicious quality that only fits to hypocrites.

By being infected with disease of envy, a person who becomes unhappy because of the gain of others but not his loss, shows the supreme example of ignorance in business.

Hazrat Badiuzzaman advices a cure for recovering from envy: Let the envious reflect on the ultimate fate of those things that arouse his enmity. Then he will understand that the beauty, strength, rank, and wealth possessed by his rival are transient and temporary. (Letters)

The underlying reason of the illness of envy is the ignorance of supposing the envied person and his worldly properties as infinite. From the rational point of view, everyone knows that the reality is not as what they suppose to be but when feelings gain control, the poor reason cannot help thinking so.

In a century, people who envy and who are envied will not exist, so ranks, authorities, wealth and governments which are subject to envy will be possessed by others; and then they will be busy with those objectives for a while and eventually they will be taken by others without really belonging to any of them.

There is also an aspect of envy which criticizes the Divine Determining.

Or do they envy mankind for what Allah has given them of his bounty? (an-Nisa), 54)

In the noble verse mentioned above there is a wise notification as Allah has given them of his bounty By attributing this notification, scholars of interpretation stated that it was permissible to envy wealth not gained through illegal ways and added the following: To wish that a defrauder would lose his property is not envy but diligence and justice.

According to this last interpretation, it is not envying to wish that a man who becomes affluent by stealing would lose his property. Envy is to be unable to stand licit affluence, a rank or a virtue that Allah has given them of his bountyAs for wishing that those would be seized from a believer means criticizing Divine Determining and opposing mercy.

Let us imagine a man who tried his utmost worked in the licit bounds and started to wait for Allahs mercy and favor after performing active and verbal supplications to obtain a certain blessing. The duty of a believer when he sees the Divine favor bestowed that man is to be happy as if it was bestowed on him. Belief in Divine Determining and Islamic fraternity requires that attitude.

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