Rafed English

Jealousy (Hasad)

Hasad consists of a desire to see someone's advantage or blessing taken away from him. If one simply aspires to have the same advantage as someone else, this would be ghibtah (envy), and if one has the desire to see someone continue enjoying an advantage or a blessing, which he deserves, this would be nasihah. That which is a vice amongst all these states, is hasad, which makes man deserve chastisement both in this world and the next. The jealous person knows no peace, and is always burning in the fire of jealousy. Moreover his jealousy destroys the value of all of his good works, as mentioned in a prophetic tradition:

Jealousy consumes virtues as fire consumes wood.

However, both ghibtah and nasihah are virtues, which must be nourished by cleansing the soul from the vice of hasad. The fatal disease of hasad may proceed either from the Power of Passion or the Power of Anger, or both of them, depending on what motivates it. Thus, in order to cure it, we must concentrate our attention on these two Powers, and what we have already said about various diseases associated with these Powers also applies to the disease of jealousy.

What can best help the individual to cure himself of this disease is to contemplate the negative psychological and spiritual effects of jealousy, which affect only the jealous person himself, not him who is the object of jealousy. Moreover, the jealous individual should try to create within himself the virtue of nasihah (wishing the welfare of others), which is the opposite of jealousy. At the beginning, it may be necessary for him to impose upon himself the attitude necessitated by this virtue, notwithstanding his inner inclination to the contrary, until jealousy is overcome and nasthah becomes an established trait of his character.

Adapted from: "Jami' al-Sa'adat" by: "Muhammad Mahdi al-Naraqi"

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