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Envy or Hasad is a Disease that Hits the Soul

Envy from Latin word is feelings which “happen when a person needs another’s higher quality, success, or position and either desire it or needs the other to lose it.”

Aristotle explained envy as pain or hurt at the vision of another’s good luck, stirred by “those who have that we want to have.” Bertrand Russell stated that envy was one of the usual strong reasons for unhappiness. Not only is the jealous person rendered unhappy by their envy, Russell argued, but that person may also want to inflict misfortune on others to decrease their condition. Psychologists differentiate “true” (malicious) envy from benign envy — malicious envy being offered as an obnoxious emotion that makes the envious person want to bring down the better-off even at their own cost, while benign envy includes confession of other’s being better -off, but make the person seek to be as good.

Envy: A blessing or a curse?

Envy is the taxation which all distinction has to pay

On the positive hand, it can be taken as a motivational strength which animates people to strive harder to reach more than they have at the instant.

On the negative hand, it is a dominant reason for unhappiness, undermining our morality to the extent of making our social life forlorn.

So what do the Islam say about envy?

…Or do they envy [other] people due to what Allah has given them of His bounty? (Qur'an, chapter 4, verse 54)

Abu `Abd Allah (al‑Imam al‑Sadiq) (a) said that God (s) declared that God Almighty addressed Musa ibn `Imran (a) as follows:

“O son of `Imran, never be envious of people concerning the favors I have conferred on them by my grace; do not glower at them, and do not succumb to your (envious) self. Indeed, the envious man is indignant at the bestowal of my favor and contests my apportioning of gifts among my creatures. Whoever is such, he neither belongs to me nor do I belong to him.” Al-Kulayni, Usul al‑Kafi, vol. 2, p. 307, Bab al-Hasad, hadith no. {6}

The Evil results of Hasad (envy)

Envy is one of the most dangerous disorders of the heart and it generates additional vices such as insincerity, calumny, slandering, abuse, and torturing, all of which are grave sins. This ugly condition makes the individual heart so tight and gloomy that its effects diffuse the realm of one’s inner and outer being. The fears and anxieties of the envious revolve around the envied person(s).

The hidden envy in his heart blinds him to the virtues of the envied. He also becomes sad over the blessings of God gave to the Envied. The spiritual light and the divine spark of faith make the heart greater than anything in the world and can’t go along with the darkness and narrowness caused in it by envy. The heart becomes depressed, the chest narrow and suffocated, and the face grim and frowning. 

The more this case grows in force, the more it decreases the illumination of faith, while this faith is the origin of his salvation in the Hereafter and the life and vigor of his heart. Finally, this disease decreases the hasid into a helpless wretch.

• The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: “Beware! Do not bear enmity with the blessings of Allah,”. When he was asked about the people who bear enmity with the blessings of Allah, he (s) replied: “Those are envious.” (Al-Mu`tazali, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, p. 315)

The recovery from this disease

If you suffer from this fatal disease, severely think about the severity of its side effects on your faith. Consider catching the next steps to clear it from your heart:

• Remember that your envy doesn’t hurt the one you envy, nor makes him lose any of his favors and advantages. You shall ever suffer in discomfort, pain, and anguish while the envied.is in a condition of happiness and joy. In the Hereafter as well your envy will benefit your envied, especial­ly if it results in backbiting as your good deeds will be assigned to the envied.

• oblige yourself to be soulful with the envied. The purpose of your kindness should be to cure yourself of envy.

Envy is a disorder of the soul that has caused psychological, moral, and social results.