Part1: An Essential Contemplation From Imaam Ibn Qudaamah– [What Should We Do To Free Ourselves From The Mutual Rivalry of Those Who Envy Each Other?]
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Imaam Ibn Qudaamah [rahimahullaah] said: In most cases envy occurs between contemporaries, peers, brothers and cousins, because of the conflicting goals [or aims] of everyone which lead to discord and enmity. And due to this, you will find a scholar envying another scholar, but he will not envy a worshipper; a worshipper envying another worshipper, but he will not envy a scholar; a trader envying another trader and a cobbler envying another cobbler etc… because they have conflicting goals [or aims]. The basis of this affair is due to love of the worldly things, for indeed the worldly things are restricted for those who compete for it; but as for the afterlife, there is no restriction within it, for indeed the one who loves knowledge and awareness of Allaah, knowledge and awareness regarding Allaah’s angels, Allaah’s Prophets and Allaah’s Mighty Dominion over the heavens and the earth, he will not envy others after being acquainted with these affairs, because they [i.e. those who are acquainted with these affairs] are not restricted by one another; rather one particular individual scholar is known by thousands of scholars and they rejoice due to the understanding he has.
This is why there is no envy between the scholars of the religion, because their aim is to acquire knowledge and awareness of Allaah [Glorified be He and free is He from all imperfection], which is a vast affair. Their [i.e. the upright scholars] goal is to acquire a high status in the sight of Allaah and that which Allaah has kept in the afterlife is unlimited, because Allaah’s loftiest blessing is the pleasure of meeting Him, which can neither be prevented nor restricted, nor can some competitors in the affair make it restricted for others; rather harmony increases as the competitors increase; but if wealth and status becomes the goal the scholars, they will envy one another.
The difference between knowledge and wealth is that wealth does not remain in the hands of one person; but as for knowledge, it settles in the heart of a scholar and in the heart of the one taught by the scholar, whilst still remaining in the heart of the scholar. Therefore, whoever contemplates on the Greatness of Allaah and His Mighty Dominion [i.e. by pondering upon what Allaah has created and the revelation He has sent down], it will become the greatest pleasure for him than every other blessing, because neither can he be prevented nor restricted in that. And he will not harbour any envy in his heart towards anyone, because if others were acquainted with what he is acquainted with, it will still not reduce his pleasure in the affair.
Source: An Excerpt from ‘Mukhtasar Minhaaj Al-Qaasideen’ pages 199-200. slightly paraphrased