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Envy (Hasad) devours faith as fire consumes wood
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Envy (Hasad) devours faith as fire consumes wood

Envy is one of the deadliest diseases of the heart and it produces additional vices such as hypocrisy, backbiting, slandering, abuse, taunting, and torturing, all of which are grave sins

Post by AALIM MALIK MUSHTAQ on Monday, January 2, 2023

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Malicious envy, also known as Hasad, is when one person wants another person to be deprived of some good fortune, ability, or virtue that they themselves have (the mahsud). To counteract this spiritual sickness, Islamic ethical teachings explain the origins of hasad, its destructive motivations, and the ways in which it manifests in people's lives on a spiritual, moral, and societal level.


Many of us are increasingly experiencing envy because we live in a culture that encourages us to constantly compare ourselves to others, despite the fact that this is not a recognized feeling in religion, philosophy, or psychology. Facebook compels us to peek into the private lives of others and wonder how we measure up. Magazines and discussion programs encourage us to pry into the lives of superstars, which makes us question our own existence. Are we thin enough, pretty enough, successful enough, etc? Even if we try and protect our home environment from being invaded by such images, we are bombarded with them each time we go to the grocery store and see magazine covers promoting the lifestyles of the rich and famous personalities. This is worrisome to say the least.


Envy is one of the deadliest diseases of the heart and it produces additional vices such as hypocrisy, backbiting, slandering, abuse, taunting, and torturing, all of which are grave sins. This hideous condition makes the human heart so narrow and gloomy that its effects pervade the realm of one's inner and outer being. The fears and grief of the Hasid revolve around the persons of whom he is envious.


The hasad that one harbours makes him unable to see the good in the envied and upset about the blessing of Allah conferred on mahsud. Darkness and narrowness created by hasad are incompatible with the spiritual light and divine spark of faith that make the human heart larger than everything in the world. Anguish and sadness fill the heart, the chest constricts, and a scowl lines the face. The more this state gains in strength, the more it diminishes the brightness of faith, while this faith is the source of his salvation in the Hereafter. Eventually this disease reduces the Hasid into a helpless wretch.


Hasad may also be caused by immoral or harmful characteristics that are misinterpreted as positive qualities. Almost majority of the reasons of hasad stem from a sense of inadequacy and despondency. When a person views others to be more flawless than himself, he is overcomed by a sense of inadequacy, which, with the aid of external forces and internal proclivities, develops jealousy in his heart.



We should Consider taking following steps to purge Hasad from the heart:

Stop the comparisons

Facebook stalking and self-comparison are both bad habits; if you find yourself engaging in either, STOP IT! Create a soothing affirmation such as, "I am grateful for what I have." When you thank Allah for what He has given you, your mind shifts from dwelling on what it lacks to appreciating what it does have. Establish daily rituals of appreciation. Rejoice in the good fortune of others, knowing that it will in no way diminish your own pleasure. Your life's trajectory is entirely up to you, and that includes all of the credit or blame that comes with it.  You don't have to step on others to obtain what you want.


Learn from the envied: Don’t hate, appreciate and emulate

Learn from those you admire. You don't need all they have, but you may be able to learn from them. If you admire a friend's success or pleasure, you might inquire about their "secret." This might strengthen your relationship rather than widening the chasm of bitterness and jealousy. You can emulate some of the positive traits and apply them to your life.


Thankfully, envy may be cured with faith and honest, consistent work. A believing individual sees the world through rose-colored glasses, looks with anticipation to the future, and is content with God's distribution of His blessings.


(Author can be reached on: aalim_05phd19@nitsri.ac.in)

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