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Online Quran Academy - Islamic Mentors

Jealousy in Islam: Signs, Symptoms, and Solutions

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Introduction

In Islam, jealousy (Hasad) is seen as a harmful feeling that can hurt both the person who feels it and the one they are jealous of. It is like a seed planted in the heart that can grow into negative actions and thoughts, going against the teachings of faith and inner peace. When we let jealousy take over, it can damage our relationships and our own peace.

Hasad counts a lot in Islam because it goes against being thankful, being satisfied with what we have, and trusting in how Allah (SWT) gives blessings to His (SWT) creations. Islam tells us that Allah (SWT) offers people things like money, beauty, health, or skills based on His wisdom and kindness. So, when we feel jealous of what someone else has, it is as if we are not happy with Allah’s (SWT) decisions.

Understanding Jealousy in Islam

In Islam, jealousy, known as “Hasad” in Arabic, is considered a negative emotion that involves feeling unhappy about what others have. It is like wanting the good things that happen to someone else to happen to you instead of feeling bad when they don’t. This feeling can lead a person to wish bad things for others, which is not good for anyone.

A famous story in the Qur’an about Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) (RA) and his brothers illustrates how harmful hasad can be. Prophet Ya’qub (Jacob) (RA) loved Hazrat Yusuf (RA) a lot, and Hazrat Yusuf (RA) also had special dreams that showed he would be important one day. His brothers, feeling worried that they would lose their father’s love because of Hazrat Yusuf (RA), let their jealousy get the best of them and did something horrible to him. They threw Hazrat Yusuf (RA) into a well and lied to their father that a ferocious beast had attacked Hazrat Yusuf (RA) while they were all out tending to the sheep or goats (depending on the narration). To further their lie, they supposedly produced a bloodstained article of Hazrat Yusuf’s (RA) clothing, implying the animal had mauled him. All this is due to their feelings of Hasad against him.

However, the story also shows us the right way to deal with envy. It teaches us to be patient, forgive, and trust Allah’s (SWT) plan. It reminds us that even when people do wrong because of jealousy, there’s always a chance for things to get better if we stay hopeful and kind.


Islamic Perspective on Hasad

The concept of Hasad, or envy, is viewed negatively in Islamic teachings and is addressed in both the Quran and the Hadith.

One of the most cited verses about Hasad is from Surah Al-Falaq, where Muslims are taught to seek protection from the evil of the envier when he envies:

Surah Al-Falaq verse 5 about Jealousy in Islam.
“And from the evil of an envier when they envy.” [Surah Al-Falaq verse 5]

In another place, Surah Al-Baqarah describes the envy of the People of the Book towards Muslims out of their spite after the truth has become clear to them.

Surah Al-Baqarah verse 109
“Many among the People of the Book wish they could turn you believers back to disbelief because of their envy after the truth has been made clear to them. Pardon and bear with them until Allah Almighty delivers His decision. Surely Allah Almighty is Most Capable of everything.” [Surah Al-Baqarah verse 109]

This verse advises patience and forgiveness in the face of envy and highlights that envy can lead to wishing harm upon others, even when they know the truth.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) spoke about the destructive nature of envy in several hadiths. One notable Hadith is:

“Envy consumes good deeds just as Fire consumes wood, and charity extinguishes bad deeds just as water extinguishes Fire. Prayer is the light of the believer, and fasting is a shield against the Fire.”

[Sunan Ibn Majah 4210]

This Hadith highlights that envy not only harms others but also the spiritual state of the envious person, destroying their good deeds just as Fire consumes wood.


Types of Jealousy in Islam

Jealousy is a complex feeling that shows up differently, each with its own characteristics and effects. There are three main types of jealousy often discussed in Islam:

Harmful Jealousy (Hasad): This occurs when someone is envious of another person’s guardianship and desires for them to lose it. This behavior is considered negative and harmful because it cultivates feelings of resentment and bitterness toward others.

Protective Jealousy (Gheerah): This type is considered positive in Islam as it concerns protecting family and marriage relationships. It involves being responsible and caring and safeguarding loved ones from potential harm or negative influence. Gheerah is a sign of love and respect in relationships but must not lead to controlling behavior.

Good Jealousy (Positive Competition and Motivation): This type involves respecting others’ achievements and being motivated to do just as well without wishing harm to them. Islam encourages this kind of jealousy because it motivates people to improve themselves and engage in healthy competition, which can help everyone grow and develop.

Each type of jealousy affects how people interact and grow differently, showing a mix of feelings and moral thoughts.


Dua to Remove Jealousy from the Heart

In Islamic tradition, specific prayers and practices are intended to purify the heart and promote goodwill towards others. One such Dua is found in Surah Al-Hashr.

Surah Al-Hashr Ayah 10
“Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful.” [Surah Al-Hashr Ayah 10]

Recommended Daily Practice:

  • Recite Durood-e-Shareef 3 times.
  • Recite Surah Ikhlas, Surah al-Falaq or Surah an-Naas three times.

For more information about dua, visit this blog post

Signs and Symptoms of Hasad

Here are the signs and symptoms of Hasad (Jealousy) in Islam:

  1. Feeling unhappy at another person’s success.
  2. Wishing for the removal of someone else’s blessings.
  3. Experiencing joy when others face misfortunes.
  4. Constant comparison with others.
  5. Negative gossip or slander about those envied.
  6. Inner discontent or restlessness when seeing others prosper.
  7. Justifying your negative feelings with faults of the envied person.
  8. Avoiding or ignoring the achievements of others.
  9. Hostility or cold behavior towards the person envied.
  10. The feeling of injustice over others’ good fortune.

When is Hasad Allowed in Islam?

Envy is generally not permissible in Islam, but there’s a form of it known as “Ghibah,” which is seen in a positive light. Islam permits ghibah over Hasad.

Ghibtah is when you look up to people for their stable life or their good actions. For example, if people have a good life, with health and wealth, it’s okay to wish for the same for yourself, saying,

“May Allah Almighty bless me as He has blessed them.”

It’s about wanting good for yourself without wishing bad for others.

Similarly, if you see people doing more good deeds, it’s fine to hope to do the same, asking Allah (SWT) to help you be as good.


How to Cure Jealousy in Islam?

Jealousy is a common negative emotion, but it can become damaging if not stopped properly. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get rid of jealousy:


Acknowledge Your Feelings

First, admit to yourself that you are experiencing jealousy. Understanding that it’s okay to feel this way sometimes can help reduce the guilt associated with these emotions.


Identify the Source

The second step to overcoming jealousy in Islam is to determine what triggers it. Is it a specific person, a certain situation, or a feeling of insecurity within yourself? Identifying the root cause can help you address the issue more effectively.


Communicate Your Feelings

If your jealousy involves another person, such as a partner or a friend, communicate your feelings calmly and honestly. Discussing your feelings can help to clear misunderstandings and strengthen your relationships.


Boost Your Self-Esteem

Often, jealousy stems from feelings of inadequacy or low self-esteem. Engage in activities that make you feel good about yourself. Focus on your strengths and achievements, and treat yourself with kindness and respect.


Develop Trust

Building trust in your relationships can help to cure jealousy. If you struggle with self-doubt, consider therapy or counseling to develop trust in yourself.


Practice Gratitude

Focusing on what you have rather than what you lack can reduce feelings of jealousy. Practicing gratitude can shift your mindset and help you appreciate your life and relationships more.


Set Personal Boundaries

Establish clear boundaries for yourself and others regarding acceptable behavior. This can create a sense of security and respect in your relationships, helping to prevent jealousy.


Seek Professional Help

If jealousy significantly affects your life and relationships, consider seeking help from a therapist or counselor. Professional guidance can provide you with effective tools to manage your emotions.

By following these steps, you can work towards avoiding jealousy and cultivating a healthier emotional life.


The Negative Effects of Hasad

Hasad can have profound negative effects on a Muslim:

  1. Disturbs Faith: Envy can cloud your judgment and make you forget Allah’s (SWT) role in granting blessings. You may feel unhappy with what Allah (SWT) has bestowed upon others.
  2. Breeds Other Sins: Envy can lead to a host of negative actions. When consumed by envy, you might backbite (ghibah), spread rumors, or even harm the person you envy.
  3. Inner Turmoil: Envy creates constant negativity and dissatisfaction within you. It prevents you from finding joy in your own blessings and the success of others.
  4. Strained Relationships: Envy can damage friendships and community bonds when it takes root. You might become isolated and suspicious, which strains relationships.

Conclusion

Jealousy (hasad) in Islam is crucial for maintaining spiritual well-being and fostering harmonious community relationships. Islamic teachings provide a framework for overcoming these negative feelings by encouraging a sense of brotherhood, gratitude, and happiness with your blessings. By following these teachings, individuals can cultivate a balanced and fulfilling life, personally and within their community.

Jealousy (hasad) can turn a good person into evil, as happened to Iblis/Shaitan. Praise be to Allah (SWT), the Lord of the Worlds, and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and all his Family and Companions.

To defeat Shaitan daily, visit this blog post: 15 Ways To Defeat Shaitan.

We can build stronger bonds and develop positively in society through humility and empathy. We invite you to reflect on these teachings and share your thoughts or experiences in the comments below. Together, let us strive for a more balanced and content life guided by Islam’s wisdom.

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