In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
The Importance of Health In Islaam:
Mutual Rivalry In The Religious and Worldly Affairs
Imaam Ibn Qudaamah [rahimahullaah]
In most cases envy occurs between contemporaries, peers, brothers and cousins, because of the conflicting goals of everyone that leads 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. 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. [Ref 1]
Al-Allaamah Al-Mu’allimee [rahimahullaah] said:
Firstly: A person sees that by acknowledging the truth, it would necessitate that he has acknowledged that he was upon falsehood, because a person is nurtured upon a religion, creed, school of thought or views, which he acquired from his nurturer and teacher, considers it to be the truth and followed it for a long time. Then when it becomes clear to him that [such religion, creed, view, or school of thought] is false, it becomes difficult for him to acknowledge it, just like when his forefathers, ancestors or the one he follows are upon a path and then its falsity is clarified for him, because he sees that their deficiencies necessitate his own deficiencies, and an acknowledgement of their misguidance or errors necessitates his own deficiencies.
Secondly: It may be that clinging to falsehood gave him prestige, fame and a livelihood; so it becomes difficult for him to acknowledge that [what he is upon is] falsehood and thus all those benefits [i.e. the fame, prestige, livelihood etc] would disappear.
Thirdly: Pride: It may be that a person is upon ignorance or falsehood, then another person comes along and clarifies the proofs for him; so he sees that by acknowledging such proofs, it would necessitate that he is lacking [in understanding] and that it was that person who guided him. And due to this we find that it is not difficult for some of those attributed to knowledge to acknowledge their mistakes when it becomes manifests to them in their researches and studies, but it becomes difficult for them [to acknowledge] if it was others who clarified such mistakes for them.
Fourthly: Envy: [This may occur] when another person clarifies the truth for him, so he sees that by acknowledging such truth it would necessitate an acknowledgement of the clarifier’s virtue, knowledge and correctness due to that clarification, and thus that becomes [something] great in the eyes of the people and many people [begin] to follow him [i.e. the person who clarified the truth]. So you will find some of those attributed to knowledge being eager to prove the mistakes of other scholars even if that is done by way of falsehood, due to envy and seeking to diminish their status amongst the people. [Ref 2]
[Ref 1: An Excerpt from ‘Mukhtasar Minhaajil Qaasideen’ page: 199-201. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 2: At-Tankeel 2/180-181]