Possessiveness1 الغَيرةُ

The Praise of Possessiveness

مدحُ الغَيرةِ

1ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): إنّ الغَيرَةَ مِن الإيمانِ.

1– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Verily possessiveness is part of faith.’[al-Faqih, v. 3, p. 444, no. 4541]

2ـ رسولُ اللهِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): كانَ إبراهيمُ أبي غَيوراً وأنا أغيَرُ مِنهُ، وأرغَمَ اللّه‏ُ أنفَ مَن لا يَغارُ مِن المؤمنينَ.

2– The Prophet (S) said, ‘My father Abraham [i.e. the prophet] was very possessive [i.e. guarding of his own self-worth] and I am even more possessive than him. Allah abases the one who has no sense of self-worth from among the believers.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 103, p. 248, no. 33]

3ـ رسولُ اللهِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): إنّ اللّه‏َ تعالى يَغارُ وإنّ المؤمنَ يَغارُ، وغَيرَةُ اللّه‏ِ أن يَأتِيَ المؤمنُ ما حَرَّمَ اللّه‏ُ علَيهِ.

3– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Verily Allah, most High, is possessive, and verily the believer is possessive. Allah is possessive over a believer when he approaches that which Allah has prohibited him from.’[Kanz al-’Ummal, no. 7072]

4ـ رسولُ اللّه‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): إنَّ الجَنَّةَ لَتُوجَدُ ريحُها مِن مَسيرَةِ خَمسِمائةِ عامٍ، ولايَجِدُها عاقٌّ ولا دَيُّوثٌ . قيلَ: يا رسولَ اللّه‏ِ، وما الدَّيُّوثُ ؟ قالَ: الذي تَزنِي امرأتُهُ وهُو يَعلَمُ بها.

4– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Verily the fragrance of Paradise can be smelt from a distance of five hundred years, but neither the one who is insolent towards his parents not the cuckold will ever smell it.’ When asked, ‘O Prophet of Allah, what is a cuckold?’ he replied, ‘It is one whose wife commits adultery with his knowledge of it.’[al-Faqih, v. 3, p. 444, no. 4542]

5ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): قَدرُ الرجُلِ على قَدرِ هِمَّتِهِ ... وشَجاعَتُهُ على قَدرِ أنَفَتِهِ، وعِفَّتُهُ على قَدرِ غَيرَتِهِ .

5– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The worth of a man is in proportion to his ambition … his courage is in proportion to his self-esteem, and his chastity is in proportion to his possessiveness [i.e. over his own wife].’[Nahjul Balaghah, Saying 47]

6ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): ما زَنى غَيورٌ قطُّ.

6- Imam Ali (a.s.) said, 'A man who is possessive [over his own wife] will never commit adultery.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Saying 305]

7ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إنَّ اللّه‏َ يَغارُ للمؤمِنِ، فَلْيَغَرْ مَن لايَغارُ ؛ فإنّهُ مَنكوسُ القَلبِ .

7– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Verily Allah is possessive over the believer, so let him who is not possessive become possessive [through a sense of self-worth], for verily he has a degenerative heart.’[al-Mahasin, v. 1, p. 204, 455]

8ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إنّ اللّه‏َ تباركَ وتعالى غَيورٌ يُحِبُّ كُلَّ غَيورٍ، ولِغَيرَتِهِ حَرَّمَ الفواحِشَ ظاهِرَها وباطِنَها.

8– Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘Verily Allah, Blessed and most High, is very possessive and loves every possessive one, and as a result of His possessiveness [over His servants], he has prohibited indecent acts, both those done in public as well as those done in secret.’[al-Kafi, v. 5, p. 535, no. 1]

Censure of Being Jealous or Overpossessive Over One Another in the Wrong Situation

ذمُّ التَّغايُرِ في غيرِ مَوضِعِ الغَيرةِ

9ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): مِن الغَيرَةِ مايُحِبُّ اللّه‏ُ، ومِنها ما يَكرَهُ اللّه‏ُ، فأمّا مايُحِبُّ فالغَيرَةُ فِي الرِّيبةِ، وأمّا ما يَكرَهُ فالغَيرَةُ في غيرِ الرِّيبةِ.

9– The Messenger of Allah (a.s.) said, ‘There is possessiveness that Allah likes, and possessiveness that Allah dislikes. That which He likes is the possessiveness during doubt or misgiving [about one’s wife], and the [over]possessiveness He dislikes is in a situation where there is no [reason to] doubt.’[Kanz al-’Ummal, no. 7067]

10ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) ـ في وصيَّتِهِ لابنِهِ الحسنِ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) ـ: إيّاكَ والتَّغايُرَ في غيرِ مَوضِعِ الغَيرَةِ، فإنَّ ذلكَ يَدعُو الصَّحيحَةَ مِنهُنَّ إلَى السَّقَمِ، ولكن أحكِمْ أمرَهُنَّ فإن رَأيتَ عَيباً فَعَجِّلِ النَّكيرَ علَى‏الكبيرِوالصغيرِ.

10– Imam Ali (a.s.) said in his will to his son, al-Hasan (a.s.), ‘Beware of being overpossessive [of your wife] in a situation that does not necessitate it, for verily that will lead a wife of sound character from among them to become weak. Rather judge them carefully so that when you see a fault, you hasten your reproach of it, both major and minor [faults].’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 77, p. 214, no. 1]

11ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): غَيرَةُ المرأةِ كُفرٌ، وغَيرَةُ الرجُلِ إيمانٌ.

11– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘A woman’s overpossessiveness is [tantamount to] infidelity, whereas a man’s overpossessiveness is [part of his] faith.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Saying 124]

12ـ الإمامُ الباقرُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): غَيرَةُ النِّساءِ الحَسَدُ، والحَسَدُ هو أصلُ الكُفرِ، إنّ النِّساءَ إذا غِرْنَ غَضِبنَ، وإذا غَضِبنَ كَفَرنَ إلاّ المُسلِماتِ مِنهُنَّ .

12– Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said, ‘Women’s overpossessiveness is jealousy, and jealousy is the root of infidelity. Verily when women are overpossessive, they become enraged, and when they are enraged, they disbelieve, except the Muslim women from among them.’[al-Kafi, v. 5, p. 505, no. 4]

13ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): لا غَيرَةَ في الحَلالِ .

13– Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘There is no jealous possessiveness [warranted] in what is lawful …’[al-Kafi, v. 5, p. 537, no. 1]

  • 1. ghira: This word, that has been translated as possessiveness, denotes a possessiveness stemming from a sense of self-honour and self-worth, where a man who has the quality of ghira would be a possessive or jealous husband, seen as a positive trait because of its stemming from self-honour. When ghira is ascribed to Allah, it denotes His being deserving of and demanding exclusive worship, loyalty and adherence. In other texts, ghira has been translated equally as jealousy, zeal, and fervour. In this text therefore, it will be translated according to its connotations in individual traditions (ed.)