One of the basic features of the ignorant society is jealousy. One, having no belief in the Hereafter, embraces this world ambitiously. He desires to take advantage of all the opportunities this world offers and to satisfy the infinite passions he has. This ambition is felt so intensely that he always wants to be the best in every aspect of life. Such a target inevitably makes him perceive the people surrounding him as potential rivals. This standpoint, the main basis of jealousy, shapes almost the whole life of a person from his birth. He learns the competition rules by heart and puts them into practice with no difficulty. At some point in his life, this passion reaches such extremes that he can’t accept others being superior to him or simply can’t stand others being successful.
Ignorant people with such an outlook devote all their energies to excelling in their professional lives or in any other aspect of social life. They should be married to the most beautiful woman or to the most handsome man. The most gorgeous house, the most luxurious furniture, the best car, the most successful children, the best quality clothes should always belong to them. They should be the ones travelling to the most beautiful places in the world. This outlook ultimately leads to a vital competition for ignorant people. Out of jealousy, they don’t want others to prosper. This surely demonstrates a flawed mentality, since the beauty, wealth or relatively better living standards of others is not an impediment to one’s own improvement.
The flawed rationale of the ignorant society is not only limited to these examples. Being jealous is accepted as being a greatly appreciated characteristic in public. Those who claim not to be jealous are believed to be somewhat abnormal and extraordinary. According to what the convictions of ignorance demand, relationships should be driven by jealousy. If an ignorant individual, for instance, has someone he really loves, he feels he must not allow anybody else to approach him, to feel attachment to him or to become a good friend of his; he should remain that person’s one and only friend. However, an individual may be loved by more than one person. The love of one by no means affects the love of another. On the contrary, if that particular individual has a remarkable personality, it is natural that many people would like to love him.
Never feeling content with what they have, those who suffer from jealousy cannot attain real happiness. The existence of better things around them always make them feel restless and depressed. This is a rational explanation of the harm which can be done by jealousy.
Rather than adhering to such a difficult and troublesome system, it is much more convenient to comply with what is revealed by Allah and purge the mind of jealousy, envy and greed and keep away from temptation. The soul of man is prone to jealousy, yet it is quite possible and, in fact, easy to rid oneself of this feeling through wisdom and conscience. This fact is explained in the Qur’an as follows:
Greed is ever present in the minds (of men). But if you do good and keep from evil, Allah is ever informed of what you do. (Surah Al-Nisa: 128)
Allah commands man to purify his soul of jealousy and replace it with a totally different attitude, giving priority to the wishes and needs of other people rather than one’s own soul.
This is indeed a self-sacrificing attitude. In a number of verses in the Qur’an, the actions of a spirit completely purified of jealousy are indicated:
They give food, despite their love for it, to the poor and orphans and captives. (Surah Al-Insan: 8)
Those who, despite their love for it, give away their wealth to their relatives and to orphans and the very poor, and to travellers and beggars and to set slaves free. (Surah Al-Baqarah: 177)
Muslims give everything — even the things to which they attach much importance — to others, and while doing so, they are never diverted by any kind of ambition or jealousy. Following the moral principles of the Qur’an will certainly remove all the grief from one’s heart and will enable one to attain the good pleasure of Allah.2009-12-14 23:44:13