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Resisting Envy

One of the most offensive vices and faults is envy. It is a feeling of ill will and dislike for some favour given to someone and wishing it to be removed from him. Any action, which comes from this evil motive, has been disapproved and forbidden in religion. Another feeling which is almost similar to this, i.e. emulation, which is accompanied by no dislike, should not be counted a vice. The morality contrary to envy is benevolence.

Allah the Most High said: “Do they envy the people for what Allah has given them of His grace?”

He also said: “And do not covet that by which Allah has made some of you excel others; men shall have the benefit of what they earn and women shall have the benefit of what they earn; and ask Allah of His grace; surely Allah knows all things.”

Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) the Commander of the Faithful said: “Envy is the master of deficiencies.”

He (a.s.) also said: “Envy is the head of vices.”

He (a.s.) also said; “The envious will never be in the forefront.”

He (a.s.) also said: “The envious are ill, even if they are bodily sound.”

He (a.s.) also said: “The fruit of envy is troubles in this world and in the next.”

He (a.s.) also said: “Beware of having envy; for it is the worst of characters and the ugliest of natures.”

Explaining the second ayat mentioned above, Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.) said: “It means that nobody should wish that some favour and luxury bestowed on a certain person were given to him; but one can ask God to be endowed with the like of it.”

He (a.s.) also said: “The disasters of faith are envy, conceit and pride.”

He (a.s.) also said: “Envy negates faith as quickly as the fire negates the dry grass.”

He (a.s.) also said: “Believers are emulous, but not envious; and hypocrites are envious, but not emulous.”

He (a.s.) also said; “Avoid the punishment of Allah and do not envy each other.”

Imam Musa al-Kazim (a.s.) said: “The best thing for bringing man near to Allah, besides knowing Him, is praying, doing good to parents, and quilting envy, conceit and pride.”

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