ENVY (HASAD)–The Enemy Inside
Envy (also called invidiousness) is best defined as an emotion or jealousy that "occurs when a person lacks another's (perceived) superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it. Envy is, hating that good happens to others.
Islamically, hasad (destructive envy) means wishing that a blessing that Allah سبحانه و تعالى has bestowed on the envied person be taken away. Hasad (jealousy and envy) is among the most destructive emotions or feeling which a man may have towards his fellow human being. It causes him to wish evil for others and to be happy when misfortune befalls them.
Hasad is such a dangerous characteristic that Allah revealed verses of the Qur’an to be recited as a protection from the jealous, "Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of the dawn from the evil of envious when he envies." Qur’an.Surah al-Falaq 113: 1
At-Tirmidhee narrated from al-Zubayr Ibn al-Awam that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺsaid: "There has come to you the disease of the nations before you, jealousy and hatred. This is the 'shaver' (destroyer); I do not say that it shaves hair, but that it shaves (destroys) faitha (Hasan) Jamee at-Tirmidhee 2434
When one is hurt by someone for any reason, he is angered, and his anger produces malice and urge for revenge in the heart. The slave begins to desire harm for the other person, he enjoys when he sees him in hardships and he may further thinks that Allah سبحانه و تعالى has done it to him as an evil reward!
And if the person is blessed with a gift, he grieves and this is Hasad, which does not harm the envied person but it hurts and destroys the Hasid (one who has Hasad) himself.
When a person achieves a high status and position in the society or gains wealth, he hates to see someone other than him compete or go ahead of him or be praised over him. So, he envies the former person.
An example of this can be taken of the Jews and their Hasad towards Prophet Muhammad ﷺ for the Prophet-hood that Allahسسبحانه و تعالىentrusted him with. Their envy made them reject the divine message given to him, because he was an Arab and not from the Children of Israel. It was their Hasad which caused them to make statements as such, "It is these that Allah as favored among us?" [Qur’an.Surah Anam 6: 53] "And they say: 'Why is not this Qur’an sent down to some great man of the two towns?" [Qur’an.Surah Zukhruf 43: 31] and in Qur’an.Surah Muminoon 23: 34, "If you were to obey a human being life yourselves, then verily, you indeed would be losers."
This also shows one of the grave dangers of Hasad that Hasad hinders the person from following the truth and accepting advice from others just as the Hasad of the disbelievers prevented them from accepting Islam.
Some people, even though they may not be harmed or threatened by other people's success, grieve when they hear about some good happening to others, and enjoy in their adversities. Neither do they seek progress for themselves nor do they wish others to progress!! Such kind of defect is difficult to cure for the reason behind their evil attitude is the evil nature of the person which does not allow him to accept other people's success.
Discontentment comes from the slave's ignorance of his Lord. If he recognizes his Lord with the attributes of Perfection, All-Knowledgeable and All-Just to his slaves, he would not be discontent and as a result would not develop Hasad.
Imam Ibn Qayyim (R)ه said: "It (contentment) opens the door of peace and security for the slave." It makes his heart pure from hatred, evil and malice. The more contented the person is, the purer his heart is. However, this does not mean that the slave should not make efforts to improve his situation. A slave should work to gain success and progress but he should not envy those whom Allah سبحانه و تعالىhas granted more wealth or possession but he should be content with the decisions of Allahسبحانه و تعالى
Thirdly, the slave should turn towards the Qur’an which is a healing for the diseases of the heart. Allahسبحانه و تعالىsays: "O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Rabb and a healing for that in your chests." [Qur’an.Surah Yunus 10: 57]
Allahسبحانه و تعالىsaid in the Qur’an: "And those who came after them say: 'Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful." [Soorah al-Hashr (59): 10]
Give Sadaqah (charity)for it purifies the heart and sanctifies the soul. It is for this reason Allah سبحانه و تعالىsaid to His Prophet Muhammad ﷺ: "Take Sadaqah from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it." [Qur’an.Surah Tawbah 9: 103]