An-Nisa · Juz 5 · Qur'an Tafseer

The Definition and Rules of Envy

Al-Nawawi, the Commentator of Muslim defines Hasad as a desire to see the other person’s blessing somehow disappear, and this is haraam (forbidden).

The Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam has said,

“Do not hate and do not envy and do not turn backs on each other. Instead, become servants of Allah, as brothers. And it is not lawful for a Muslim that he abandons his brother for more than three days.” [Muslim, v.2]

In another hadith, he said,

“Beware of envy, for envy eats up good deeds as the fire eats up wood.” [Abu Dawood, cited by Mishkat]

Zubayr radhiAllahu anhu narrates the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said,

“Stealthily creeping into you is the disease of earlier people – envy; and hatred, which is a shaver. I do not say that it shaves hair, but it does shave the religion off.” [Ahmad and Tirmidhi, cited by Mishkat]

Envy whether it be on account of someone’s worldly, or spiritual excellence, is haraam on both counts, as the words

أَمْ لَهُمْ نَصِيبٌ مِّنَ الْمُلْكِ

 Or have they a share in the kingdom

seem to point out towards worldly excellence, while the words

الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ

 the Book and the wisdom

are indicative of spiritual excellence.

[Taken from Maaruf-ul-Qur’an by Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani]


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