Or Do They Envy Men For What Allah
Has Given Them Of His Bounty?
“Or do they envy men for what Allah has given them ofHis Bounty?”
(Quran 4: 54)
Jealousy is a disease that wreaks havoc not only on the mind, but also on the body. It is said that there is no repose for the jealous one and that he is an enemy wearing the garb of a friend. In doing justice to the disease ofjealousy, one can say that it is a fair one, for it begins with its bearer, killing him first.
I forbid both you and myself from jealousy, because before we can show mercy to others we must first show it to ourselves. By being jealous of others, we are feeding misery with our flesh and blood and we are giving our sound sleep to others.
The jealous person lights a fire and then jumps into it. Jealousy begets grief, pain, and suffering, thus destroying what was once a calm and virtuous life.
The curse of the jealous one is that he contests fate and contends that his Creator is unjust.
How like a disease is jealousy, yet unlike other diseases — the one afflicted by it receives no reward in the Hereafter. The jealous person shall remain in fury until the day he dies, or until the good fortune of others departs from them. Everyone can be reconciled except the jealous one, because reconciliation with him requires that the blessings of Allah are removed from you or that you give up your talents and good qualities. If you were to do this, then perhaps he would become happy despite himself. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil of the jealous one, a person who becomes like a black poisonous snake, finding no repose until it releases its venom into an innocent body.
So stay far away from jealousy and seek refuge in Allah from the jealous person, because he is constantly watching you.
Accept Life As It Is:
The pleasures of life are short-lived, and more often than not, they are followed by sorrow. Life means responsibility, a journey wherein change is constant and difficulties are relentless in their onslaught.
You will not find a father, a wife, or a friend who is free from problems. Allah has willed for this world to be filled with two opposites: good and evil, righteousness and corruption, happiness and misery. Thus goodness, uprightness, and happiness are for Paradise; evil, corruption, and misery are for the Fire. The Prophet (pbuh) said:
“This world is cursed along with all that is in it, except for these: the remembrance of Allah, what follows it (i.e. good deeds and whatever Allah loves), the scholar, and the student.”
So live according to your reality without always envisioning the ideal life, one that is free from worry and toil. Accept life as it is and adapt accordingly to all circumstances. You will not find in this world such things as the flawless companion or the perfect situation, because flawlessness and perfection are qualities that are foreign to this life. It is necessary for us to make amends: to take what is easy and leave what is difficult; and very frequently, to overlook the faults and mistakes of others.
Find Consolation By Remembering The Afflicted:
Look around you, to the right and to the left. Do you not see the afflicted and the unfortunate? In every house there is mourning and upon every cheek run tears.
How many tribulations and how many people persevere with patience? You are not alone in your troubles, which are few compared to those of others. How many sick people remain bedridden for years while suffering from unspeakable pain?
How many have not seen the light of the sun for years due to their imprisonment, having knowledge of nothing but the four corners of their cell?
How many men and women have lost their dear children in the prime of youth? How many people are troubled or tormented?
Find consolation with those that are worse off than you; know that this life is like a prison for the believer, an abode of grief and sadness. In the morning castles are bustling with inhabitants; then in an instant, disaster occurs, and they are empty and desolate. Life can be peaceful, the body in good health, wealth abundant, and children healthy; and yet in only a matter of days, poverty, death, separation, and sickness can all take their place.
“And you dwelt in the dwellings of men who wronged themselves, and
it was clear to you how We had dealt with them. And We put forth
[many] parables for you” (Quran 14: 45)
You must adapt like the experienced camel, which manages, when necessary, to kneel upon a rock. You must also compare your difficulties with the difficulties of those around you, and with those that have come before you: you should realize that you are in good shape relative to them, and that you have merely been pricked by tiny difficulties. So praise Allah for His kindness, be thankful for what He has left for you, seek recompense from Him for what He has taken, and seek consolation with those that are afflicted.
You have a perfect example in the Prophet (pbuh). The entrails of a camel were placed upon his head; his feet bled; his face was fractured; he was besieged in a mountain pass until he was forced to eat tree leaves; he was driven out of Makkah; his front tooth was broken in battle; his innocent wife was accused of wrongdoing; seventy of his Companions were killed; he was bereaved of his son and of most of his daughters; he would tie a stone around his stomach to lessen the pangs of hunger; and he was accused of being a poet, a magician, a soothsayer, a madman, and a liar — all at the same time. Yet Allah protected him throughout these severe trials and tribulations. Prophet Zakariyah (Zacharia) was killed, Prophet Yahya (John) was slaughtered, Prophet Moosa (Moses) was afflicted with great trials, Prophet Ibraheem (Abraham) was thrown in the fire, (may peace be upon them all), and the Imams of righteousness followed them upon this path. Umar was assassinated, as was ‘Uthmaan and ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with them all). Many scholars of the past have been flogged, imprisoned, or tortured.
“Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such [trials] as
came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with
severe poverty, ailments and were shaken.” (Qur’an 2: 214)