Good Remains As Long As We Refrain From Envying One Another- [Types of Envy And Ultimate Goal of An Envious Person]

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

Damratah bin Thalabah [radiyallaahu anhu] said, “Allaah’s Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] said, ‘The people will not cease to be upon good as long as they do not envy one another”. .

Shaikh Zaid Bin Haadi [rahimahullaah] said: The hadeeth is clear in its prohibition against envy. And what is intended by the [word] envy is when one wishes that the blessing bestowed upon another person should cease, regardless whether the envier wants that blessing for himself or for another person, or wants that the blessing given to the one he envies should cease- whether the blessings is related to an affair of the religion or a worldly affair. Envy is forbidden and indeed the command to seek Allaah’s protection from the evil of an envier has been stated in the Qur’aan: [وَمِن شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ  – And from the evil of the envier when he envies]. Therefore, one should be careful of envy! Indeed the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] said, “Do not envy one another”. [1]

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] stated that there are three types of envy:

The First Type: This type is very little and does not lead the (envier) to harm (others)-either by way of (hatred in) his heart, (speech of the) tongue or (deeds of the) hand; rather the person has some envy in his heart but he only deals with his Muslim brother through what Allaah loves.

The Second Type: The envier desires that the blessing (bestowed on the one he envies) should cease. He hates that Allaah should give blessings to His slaves; rather he (desires) that the envied person should remain in that state (of deprivation)…

The Third Type is Al-Ghibtahl: It is when a person wishes to be like another person without desiring that the blessing possessed by that person should cease. The person who has this type of envy is not blamed; rather this is very similar to praiseworthy competition to excel another in good deeds. [2]

Mu’aawiyah Bin Abee Sufyaan [radiyallaahu-anhumaa] said: I am able to please all the people [i.e. with regards to what is lawful] except the one who is envious of a blessing [bestowed on others], for never will he be pleased until that blessing ceases. [3]

[1] At-taleeqaat Al-Maleehah Alaa Silsilah Al-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah. Page 270. Slightly paraphrased]


[2]: Source: Badaa’i al-Fawaa-id’ 2/237’ by Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah); slightly paraphrased and abridged]


[3]: [Source: Taareekh Baghdaad 59/200]


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