Praise be to Allah.
Love for your brother what you love for yourself
What every Muslim is obliged to do, as you mentioned, is to love for his brother what he loves for himself of good things, and to hate for his brother what he hates for himself of bad things. This does not mean that he cannot like for himself what he likes for others. If he sees that his brother has something that he does not, and he wishes that he had it too, this is ghibtah (envy that is free from malice); if he wishes that the blessing would be taken away from them, this is called hasad (destructive jealousy).
The Muslim needs to strive against his own self (jihad al-nafs) so that his heart will be free of jealousy towards his Muslim brothers. If he sincerely loves his brothers, most of these problems from which he is suffering will disappear. When the Muslim realizes how great his virtue and status will be when he loves his brothers and loves good things for them, and when he knows how great his reward will be if he treats them well, this will motivate him to treat them well in all ways, and to strive to benefit his brothers instead of being preoccupied with jealous thoughts of what they have and he doesn’t. (Shaykh Muhammad al-Duwaysh)
You have to think long and hard about the words of Allah (interpretation of the meaning):
“That is the Grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He wills.” [al-Maidah 5:54]
“It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in this world, and We raised some of them above others in ranks, so that some may employ others in their work.” [al-Zukhruf 43:32]
Dangers of the evil eye
Hasad (destructive jealousy ) causes a great deal of harm in this world and in the Hereafter. Al-Tirmidhi narrated from al-Zubayr ibn al-'Awwam that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“There has come to you the disease of the nations before you, jealousy and hatred. This is the ‘shaver’ (destroyer); I do not say that it shaves hair, but that it shaves (destroys) faith. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, you will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not tell you of that which will strengthen love between you? Spread (the greeting of) salam amongst yourselves.” (A hasan hadith. Jami’ al-Tirmidhi, 2434).
Concerning the meaning of the phrase “it shaves (destroys) faith”, al-Tibi said: “i.e., hatred takes away faith like a razor takes away hair.” (Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi bi Sharh Jami’ al-Tirmidhi).
How to get rid of jealousy in Islam
It seems, my brother, that you know the ruling and are aware of the consequences, and that you want to rid yourself of this blameworthy characteristic. Here are some solutions for you.
- Make du`a (supplication) to Allah and ask Him to rid you of this problem. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to say in his du`a, “Wa’hdi qalbi wa’slul sakhimata sadri (guide my heart and remove ill will from my breast).” The phrase “guide my heart” means to the straight path, and “remove ill will from my breast” means take away all insincerity, rancour and hatred.
- Ponder the meanings of the Quran and read it frequently, especially the verses which speak of hasad (destructive jealousy), because reading the Quran brings one a great deal of hasanat (reward for good deeds). Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds.” [Hud 11:114]
- Read the sirah (biography) of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), see how he kept away from hasad and how he loved good for others, even for his enemies. Among the useful books on sirah is Nur al-Yaqin fi Sirat Sayyid al-Mursalin.
[Translator’s note: a well-known book of sirah which is available in English is “Al-Rahiq al-Makhtum (the Sealed Nectar) – Biography of the Noble Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), by Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri]
- Read the biographies and stories of the Companions in books such as Suwar min Hayat al-Sahabah by ‘Abd al-Rahman Rafat al-Basha)
- If any such thoughts (of hasad, etc.) cross your mind, then seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan, and keep yourself busy with something that will make you forget these insinuating whispers and thoughts.
- If the Shaytan manages to instil hasad in your heart, then beware lest you say or do anything which will show that hasad. Every person has his or her share of hasad.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:
“Nobody is free from hasad, but the noble person hides it whilst the base person shows it.” (Amrad al-Qulub). A person will not be brought to account for whatever crosses his mind, but he will be brought to account for what he says and does. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah will forgive my ummah for their mistakes, what they forget and what they are forced to do.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 2033)
- If you feel that you are jealous of a specific person, then buy him a gift and shake hands with him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Shake hands, for this will dispel rancour, and exchange gifts and love one another, for this will dispel hatred.” (Narrated by Malik in al-Muwatta, 1413).
Hasad is the result of hatred, whose opposite is love, the way of which is giving gifts and spreading (the greeting of) salam, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not tell you of that which will strengthen love between you? Spread (the greeting of) salam amongst yourselves.” (Narrated by Muslim, 81)
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said in his book Amrad al-Qulub (diseases of the heart):
“Whoever finds in himself any hasad towards another has to try to neutralize it by means of taqwa (piety, consciousness of Allah) and sabr (patience). So he should hate that (the feeling of hasad) in himself… But the one who does wrong to his brother by word or deed will be punished for that. The one who fears Allah and is patient, however, is not included among the wrongdoers, and Allah will benefit him by his taqwa.”
And Allah knows best.