Jealousy Disfigures your Personality
All praise is due to Allah and may His choicest salutations continue to descend upon our Master and Leader Muhammad Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam.
“And do not yearn for the bounties which Allah has bestowed more abundantly on some of you than on other.” (4:32)
Man has the potential to great moral heights or to succumb to his wicked and corrupt dictates. Allah has blessed man with intellect so that he is able to distinguish between right and wrong, between vice and virtue. Intellect and freewill sets him apart from the rest of Allah’s creation. Man’s ability to act rightly is coexistent with his ability to act wrongly. Man’s challenge is to suppress his negative emotions and immoral tendencies and instead be guided by his positive ‘self’. “Successful indeed is one who causes (his soul) to grow in purity and truly lost is he who corrupts it.” (91:9)
The most cancerous of all human failings is jealousy. Jealousy is defined as a negative emotion that focuses on other peoples’ accomplishments, strengths and possessions and your inability to bear, recognize or acknowledge their attainments. It is your inability to acknowledge the strengths of other people for fear of losing your own. Jealousy flows from fear…fear of the unknown, fear of losing power, fear of losing control, of loosing privileges, of loosing influence in a relationship. Jealousy is closely related to your sense of insecurity and lack of self esteem.
Nabi Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam has compared jealousy to fire that reduces firm, strong and solid wood to lifeless ashes. He said: “Beware of jealousy, for verily it destroys good deeds the way fire destroys wood.” (Abu Dawud)
Jealousy is a fire that rages within your heart and mind which consumes your personality and character. It clouds your thinking, makes you blind to reason, drives you to become insensitive and rude. Jealousy can manifest itself as anger, fear, hurt, betrayal, anxiety, agitation, sadness, feeling powerless and inadequate. Nabi Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam has warned: “There comes to you the disease of nations before you, jealousy and hatred. They are (razor-sharp) shavers. I do not say that they shave off the hair, but they shaves off (destroy) faith.” (Tirmidhi)
This hadith states that: Jealousy needs to be viewed as a fatal disease…a sickness that needs treatment.
It is very much part of our human make up and has destroyed entire nations before our time. The first murder known to man was on account of jealousy. The brothers of Yusuf alayhis salaam were also driven by jealousy when they staged his murder.
Jealousy transforms your personality and character just as the loss of hair changes your physical appearance.
Jealousy may lead to disbelief since if it questions the wisdom of Allah in preferring some above others.
How to Deal with Jealousy
Affirm your belief in Taqdeer: Allah has apportioned His blessings to people according to His wisdom. That which has come your way was meant for you and that which has missed you was never meant for you.
Seek help thorough dua: The Qur’an teaches us to seek protection from: “the mischief of the envious one as he practices envy” (113: 5) Nabi Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam would beseech Allah thus: “O Allah! Guide my heart and remove ill will from my breast.” The phrase “remove ill will from my breast” implies purify my heart from hatred, jealousy and all other sicknesses of the heart.
Seek refuge from the influence of the devil: If any thoughts of jealousy cross your mind, seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Shaytaan and perform a good deed immediately. “Verily, good deeds erase evil deeds.” (11:114)
Shake hands and exchange gifts: If you feel that you are jealous of a specific person, buy him a gift and shake hands with him. Nabi Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam has said: “Shake hands, for this will dispel rancour, and exchange gifts it will generate love among you.” (Maalik)
Count your blessings: Gratitude is when we are able to count our own blessings; jealousy is when we count other peoples blessings! Gratitude makes us feel better whist jealousy makes us feel bitter.
To cure jealousy you need to see it for what it is, a dissatisfaction with yourself and a lack of appreciation for what Allah has blessed you with. May Allah protect us from this self-destructive vice.