The Ways of Prophetic Reformation in the Hadeeth: “Do not be jealous…”
Sheikh Saalih aal Taalib
August 1, 2003 ~ Jumadal Akhirah 3, 1434
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All praise be to Allah. All praise be to Allah; the Originator of creatures; Abundant in gifts. To Him belongs abundant praise and generous greetings. He created His creation and made their souls bare containers, and He sent to them His messenger with beautiful qualities and good character. He guided towards that which is upright, and he called to that which is most submitting in the most wise (way), and he warned of the Greater Standing, in which the hidden aspects of the bosoms and the contents of the interior will be made apparent. And I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone. He has no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, the best of humans whose footsteps have walked the earth and whose mouth has spoken the truth, and whose blood has flown in his veins. May Allah send salutations on him and on all his family and companions and those who follow them in goodness until the Day of Resurrection.
O Muslims, fear Allah the Exalted as He ought to be feared, and hold onto Islam with the firm hold. “O you who have believed, fear Allah and believe in His Messenger; He will [then] give you a double portion of His mercy and make for you a light by which you will walk and forgive you; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Surah Hadeed: 28]
And know that the best speech is the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad ﷺ, and the worst of actions are the innovated ones, and every innovation is a bid’ah, and every bid’ah is a misguidance, and every misguided one is in Hell, may Allah save us and you from it.
Nation of Islam. There has never come a law or order, ancient or recent, more encompassing and more perfect than the law of Islam which cures material and spiritual matters, and which came with the reformation of religious and worldly affairs, in profound moderation and precise character. That is because the Legislator – Glorified is He – is the Creator of humans and the Knower of their affairs and what reforms them. And this recent civilization despite accomplishing that which it has accomplished regarding the material side, it has neglected the spiritual angle of humans, and has been unable to build an exemplary society and a noble individual. In fact, recent times have established that the most learned of people in material civilization are the most low and despicable of people in the civilization of character, in fact of humanity, and that is only due to their lacking faith.
O Muslims: This civilization has also surely forgotten that humans are not objects, nor whips in tools no matter how abundant the material means and its excess, or (how much) the skills and services develop surely humans will remain humans. They have ambitions, desires, disputes and aspirations. They love and hate, befriend and act hostile, become jealous and compete. The souls have been created with a love of good for itself, and to gain benefit for itself, just as they have been created with a love for owning, dominating and seizing what they desire.
But surely Islam, with its inclusiveness, perfection, majesty and beauty, refined these natures and elevated these souls with rules and laws making them on the level of perfection. And the divine directives and prophetic guidances came with everything that refined the souls and character, and guided towards that which is the most upright, most beautiful, most perfect and the best. And Allah the Exalted commanded us to join family ties; be kind to parents; be sympathetic towards the destitute; assist the needy; repel oppression; defend against harm and remove it; be generous; remove harm; enjoin good; spread peace and promote love between the Muslims, just as He prohibited us from deception; betrayal; jealousy; backbiting; slandering; evil character and anarchy against other persons and their wealth, honour, religion or ideology.
And in one sentence, surely Islam came with everything that protects the unity of the society and cares for the rights of its individuals. Surely Islam calls for the establishment of a united society; pure of selfishness and love of the self, so that they may be a virtuous nation; with sound hearts and souls, refined emotions, purity of hearts just like the first generation; soundness of methodology and biography; purity in heart and privacy. And for you – may Allah protect you – are a few words, from the concise words of the prophet ﷺ which is suitable to be the methodology of the Ummah, even though it may be limited letters.
Muslim and others narrated that Abu Hurayrah (Radiallahu Anhu) said: The messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Don’t nurse jealousy and don’t bid him out for raising the price and don’t nurse aversion or enmity and don’t enter into a transaction when others have entered into that transaction and be as fellow-brothers and servants of Allah. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him. The piety is here, (and while saying so) he pointed towards his chest thrice. It is a serious evil for a Muslim that he should look down upon his brother Muslim. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith: his blood, his wealth and his honour.”
Glory be to Allah! How many great meanings and huge directives these few words unite, and the first of them is the prohibition of jealousy which is wishing for the bounty to be removed from others, and it is prohibited and despised in the Book and Sunnah, and it is the first sin by which Allah was disobeyed when the devil (Iblees) was jealous against Adam, and he continued with it until he removed him from Paradise, so with jealousy Iblees was cursed and made an accursed satan. Jealousy is the quality of the jews and polytheists, when they were hostile to the messenger of Allah ﷺ and disbelieved in his message while they knew it was the truth, (due to) jealousy from themselves. “Many of the People of the Scripture wish they could turn you back to disbelief after you have believed, out of envy from themselves [even] after the truth has become clear to them.” [Surah Baqarah: 109]
The jealous person objects to the pre-destination of Allah and His Decree when he is not pleased with what Allah has apportioned for him and for others, and this is the proof of the ugliness of the soul and its evil nature. “Or have they a share of dominion? Then [if that were so], they would not give the people [even as much as] the speck on a date seed. Or do they envy people for what Allah has given them of His bounty? But we had already given the family of Abraham the Scripture and wisdom and conferred upon them a great kingdom.” [Surah Nisaa: 53-54]
The jealous person in his jealousy is in unending worry; in an unrewarded calamity and unpraised dispraise. His Lord is angry with him and closes all doors of ability on him.
O Muslims, verily jealousy is contained in the nature of humans, and no doubt that the one who sees good wishes that for himself, but surely the blame is in oppression with jealousy i.e. hating the bounty to reach the envied one or desiring its removal. And the sin is magnified when that is coupled with backbiting, slandering, defamation and striving to remove this bounty.
O Muslims, jealousy eats the good deeds just like fire eats wood, just as it eats the heart as well, and in the wise prose: the punishment of the jealous one is from his self.
And of people are those who when he sees a bounty, he thanks Allah – the Exalted – with his heart; remembers Him with his tongue & follows the Sunnah; and supplicates for blessings; and asks Allah the Generous from His Bounty, so he refines his self with this; reforms his heart and nature and relaxes his mind, so Allah – the Exalted – rewards him and grants him.
And of people are those who satan betrays until they are described with his quality, so he burns his self and dies of his anger. No reward is attained and no majesty is strengthened.
To the afflicted with the disease of jealousy: why all this? Have you forgotten that you are a Muslim, believing that Allah – the Exalted – apportions sustenance among His creation. And some of them possess abundance, and others whose sustenance is narrowed on them; He raised some of them above others in degrees (of rank) that they may make use of one another for service. But the mercy of your Lord is better than whatever they accumulate.
This is the way of Allah regarding His creation. And whoever wishes for safety in his religion; serenity in his heart and pleasure of his Lord should watch his self; purify his heart and be content with what Allah apportioned and should ask Allah – the Exalted – from His bounty, for He – Glorified is He – grants and withholds; lowers and raises. He honours who He wills and disgraces who He wills. His treasures are filled and His gifts are abundant.
Brothers in Islam, just as the prophet ﷺ forbade jealousy, he also forbade all that arouses bitter feelings in the hearts and harms others, so he forbade ‘najash’ by his saying: “And do not do ‘najash’” and ‘najash’ is increasing the goods intentionally and raising its price not for the purpose of selling, because in this there is deception and betrayal of the purchasers, but the meaning of ‘najash’ is more comprehensive than that, for its basis is pursuing something with plotting, trickery and cheating, so its meaning is: Do not cheat and do not violate one another with plotting and trickery, because there is harm and deception to the Muslims in this, and in the Hadeeth (narrated) by Ibn Mas’ood (Radiallahu Anhu) that the prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever cheats is not of us, and the deceitful and fraudulent are in Hellfire.” [Narrated by Tabarani with an authentic chain]
Then the prophet ﷺ forbade mutual hatred and hostility, especially regarding the desires of the self; for verily Allah – the Exalted – made the Muslims loving brothers, and made love the proof of faith, for in Saheeh Muslim (it is narrated) that the prophet ﷺ said: “By Him in Whose hand is my soul, you will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another; should I not indicate to you an act which if done will make you love one another? Spread (the greeting of) peace amongst yourselves.”
Therefore, Islam prohibited everything that causes conflict and causes enmity and hatred, so it prohibited intoxicants, gambling, backbiting, slandering, entering into a transaction against another’s transaction and sending a marriage proposal against another’s marriage proposal, just as it prohibited oppression, lying and humiliating others, and Allah – the Exalted – favoured His servants by His saying: “And remember the favour of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, brothers.” [Surah Ale Imraan: 103] As He – Glorified is He – encouraged towards reformation between (one another) and said: “So fear Allah and amend that which is between you” [Surah Anfaal: 1], and He – Glorified is He – said: “No good is there in much of their private conversation, except for those who enjoin charity or that which is right or conciliation between people. And whoever does that seeking means to the approval of Allah – then We are going to give him a great reward.” [Surah Nisaa: 114]
O Muslims: Hatred, disdain, jealousy and malice is a lethal disease in the heart and a fatal ailment which if spreads in the Ummah, will corrupt it, and will change the dealings of the society to hardness and stubbornness, severing that which Allah ordered to be joined and spreading corruption on earth, and surely detested politics flares it up or dictatorship and oppression or ambition and greed or jealousy grown in the shade of the absence of faith, and it is contrary to the brotherhood that the religion brought; and it is in conformity to the desires of the accursed satan.
Jaabir bin ‘Abdullah (Radiallahu Anhum) narrated that the messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Shaytan has despaired of being worshiped by those who engage in prayer in the Arabian Peninsula, but (has not lost) hope in creating dissension among them.” [Narrated by Muslim]
Servants of Allah: Soundness of the hearts is calmness for the souls; ease in life and relaxation of the mind; and a path to Paradise, and surely the prophet ﷺ bore witness three times for a man from the Ansaar that he was from the people of Paradise. Then when Abdullah bin Amr asked him, he said: It is nothing other than what you have seen except that I have no place in myself for ill-intentions or jealousy towards any Muslim and what Allah has given them. Abdullah said: This is what has made you deserving of the praise.
And therefore this was one of the qualities of the pious believers, those who succeeded the Muhajireen and Ansaar as comes in the Book of our Lord: “And [there is a share for] those who came after them, saying, “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 Hashr: 10]. So how can he be a believer; he who carries enmity and hatred in his heart for his Muslim brothers?! Let alone their scholars, pious, preachers and reformers. Or how can he be a believer; he who worships with the hatred of the selected (individuals) of the Ummah, and hatred of the companions of the messenger ﷺ or the noble predecessors?!
Servants of Allah, then the noble prophet ﷺ said: “And be as fellow-brothers and servants of Allah.” Yes, the Ummah will not be an honorable, strong Ummah until it holds onto the links of religion and realizes the meaning of the Islamic brotherhood which will not be realized by the slogans of ignorance, nor factional friendships or transitory interests. Rather, the lofty principles of Islam will realize it; Islam which made the Muslims brothers despite the difference in their nations, tribes and statuses, and united their hearts, and they were honored with that, and their souls soared above the universal principles, and their courage rose over the earth’s divisions, so the scales became heavenly and lofty and loyalty was for religion and love and victory for those who submitted to the Lord of the worlds. Stinginess left and affection overpowered, and every Muslim loved for his brother what he loved for himself and treated him according to that. With Islamic brotherhood, a Muslim participates with his Muslim brothers throughout the earth in their joys and luxuries, and shares their pains and hopes. With brotherhood, the word is unified, the ranks are united and cohesion is strengthened, so the strength and honor of the Ummah is portrayed.
And the command of the prophet ﷺ to brotherhood is a command with its means and requirements from fulfilling all the rights of the Muslims and preventing harm to them. And from the beauty of Islam is replying the greeting of peace; praying for the one who sneezes; visiting the sick; responding to the invitation; equality; protecting the unseen; gifts; assisting the needy; and your smiling in the face of your brother is charity; and prevention of the forbidden, like back-biting, slandering and bad thoughts.
I seek protection in Allah from the accursed satan. “The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy.” [Surah Hujuraat: 10]
May Allah bless me and you in the Book and Sunnah, and benefit me and you in what is in them of verses and wisdom. I say these words of mine, and I seek forgiveness of Allah – the Exalted – for me and you and for the rest of the Muslims from every sin and error. So seek His forgiveness and repent to Him. Verily He is Oft-Forgiving, most Merciful.
All praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds; The Beneficent; the most Merciful; Master of the Day of Judgement. And I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, He has no partner. For Him is the Kingdom. The Clear Truth. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, the guide, the trustworthy. May Allah send salutations on him and on all his family and companions.
And this noble prophetic directive continues in this great comprehensive hadeeth forbidding evil character, which causes disunity between the Muslims and refutes the meaning of brotherhood, so the prophet ﷺ forbade oppression, lying and humiliating others, for oppression is darkness on the day of Judgement. Allah – the Exalted – prohibited oppression on Himself and made it prohibited between his servants. He promised response to the supplication of the oppressed and threatened the oppressor with punishment. And how much of amazement people see in the death of the oppressors! And in the consequence of their affairs, a lesson! And whether the oppression is from countries, governments, leaders or between the masses, let every one who Allah has made responsible for an affair of the weak fear Allah, whether of a servant, worker, orphan or he has a ruling, for verily the Mighty – Glorified is He – grants respite to the oppressor until when He seizes him; he cannot escape Him.
Verily injustice, oppression, stealing rights and ruining honors is a cause of misery and a stimulant of seditions, and when oppressing and mutual oppression spreads in the society, it is the beginning of falling and disappearing, or that the tyrants of the nations rule over them, making them taste the bitterness of servitude and humiliation which is more severe than the bitterness of extinction and disappearance.
Servants of Allah, and in the great hadeeth of the prophet, there is a prohibition of lying, by which whoever is described with is vile, and to Allah and people he is low and small; a quality hated by the Beneficent and rejected by faith. “They only invent falsehood who do not believe in the verses of Allah” [Surah Nahl: 105]
As for the true believer, he is noble of nature, protected in being, noted for love and respect. “O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.” [Surah Tawbah: 119], and honesty guides to righteousness and Paradise, and raises its companion to the status of the truthful with the prophets and pious.
As for humiliating the Muslims, it is inferiority of the self and pride in the heart, and in Saheeh Muslim: “Pride means rejecting the truth and looking down on other people” i.e humiliating them, and it is a quality of shaytan and a prevention of guidance. “I will turn away from My signs those who are arrogant upon the earth without right; and if they should see every sign, they will not believe in it.” [Surah A’raaf: 146], and there is no dispraised trait except that pride advances it.
So fear Allah, servants of Allah, and be humble to the creation of Allah, for Allah knows best who fears Him, and perhaps a weak; oppressed; dishevelled; dusty (person); with rags; pushed away from doors, if he were to supplicate to Allah, Allah would accept (his supplication), so do not belittle a Muslim even if he is deficient (in fulfilling Islamic laws). And in Saheeh Muslim: “It is a serious evil for a Muslim that he should look down upon his brother Muslim.” “O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them.” [Surah Hujuraat: 11], so the measurement is by Allah, and honor is with piety and religiousness. “Indeed, the most honorable of you in the sight of Allah is the most pious of you.” [Surah Hujuraat: 13], and piety is not a claim or a production and boasting.
And the prophet ﷺ pointed to his chest three times, saying: “Piety is here,” and when piety is found in the heart, its effect is apparent in deeds and limbs.
Then the hadeeth is concluded with a great law of the laws of Islam: “All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith: his blood, his wealth and his honour.” And this expression is sufficient conveyance. Verily the honour of a Muslim by Allah is great, and the punishment for violation against it is dangerous, so no matter whether he errs or is deficient intentionally or openly, his blood, honour and wealth is not permissible (to violate), for all that is innocent except according to the Book of Allah, and neglect in that or individual judgement in it with no knowledge is a door of evil, sedition, hardship and calamity. May Allah save us and you.
Servants of Allah, Verily the best of your days is the day of Friday, so send abundant salutations and peace in it on the best of creation and purest of humans, Muhammad bin Abdullah. O Allah send salutations, peace, blessings and increase on Your servant and messenger Muhammad and on all his family and companions and be pleased, O Allah, with all the four successors: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali and with all the rest of the companions of Your prophet and with those who follow them in goodness until the Day of Judgement.
O Allah grant us good in this world and good in the Hereafter and save us from the punishment of the Hellfire…