Avoidance of jealousy and selfish greed

For believers, faith entails exemplary behavior. But this does not mean that they have come to the end of their testing because, like everyone else, Muslims also have a lower self.

 Allah reveals in the Qur’an that, in keeping with the purpose of the environment of testing, He inspires people to avoid the wicked tendencies of the ego. Jealousy and greed are characteristics of the baser self:

... But people are prone to selfish greed. If you do good and guard against evil, Allah is aware of what you do. (Surat an-Nisa’; 128)

Jealousy is a reprehensible feeling arising from envy, inferiority or bitterness that one does not possess a thing which others have, cannot achieve success or does not receive the appreciation and praise that others do. Man is prone to this feeling, and any blessing (either material or spiritual) that Allah grants to some of His servants may make it surface:

Or do they in fact envy other people for the bounty Allah has granted them? We gave the family of Abraham the Book and Wisdom, and We gave them an immense kingdom.” (Surat an-Nisa’; 54)

As an essential part of the test they face in this world, believers constantly struggle against this vice and try to purify themselves of it. When confronted with events that may cause feelings of jealousy, a Muslim should display the proper attitude and behavior instructed in the Qur’an, that is, to know that everything belongs to Allah alone, that everything occurs by His will, that Allah chooses whom He wills, that He grants whatever He wills, and that the decision rests with Him alone. Allah creates everything with a good and Divine purpose. Each blessing is given merely to test man in this world, and his real abode is that of the Hereafter. That is why believers always act in fear of Allah.

Jealousy, pride and arrogance result in ignorantly considering oneself equal to Allah (Allah is surely beyond that).Thus, they are classical attributes of satan, whose revolt against Allah was due to his arrogance and envy of the Prophet Adam (as).

This attribute is evident in the attitudes of unbelievers and hypocrites who follow in satan’s footsteps. The jealousy that unbelievers feel becomes so severe that, in time, it permeates all their opinions and actions, so they become representatives of satan. Allah advises believers to seek refuge in Him when faced with the evil of those who envy:

Say: ‘I seek refuge with the Lord of Daybreak...’ (Surat al-Falaq; 1)

‘And from the evil of an envier when he envies.’ (Surat al-Falaq; 5)

2011-09-30 23:42:28

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