Causes of Envy

Envy generally appears as a result of enmity, pride, self-admiration, love of leadership, and impurity of the soul. However, enmity is the most serious one among these causes, because it leads to malevolence and this in turn causes man to be thirst for revenge and drives him to gloat over any calamity that may afflict his enemy and, of course, grieve if he receives any blessings.

As for the relationship between pride and envy, it is that when a person obtains some wealth or high standing, someone may fear that he may consequently be greater than him and starts to show off before him; and this is something that he would not be able to stand. The disbelievers  envied the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallaam) for similar reasons; Allaah, the Almighty says,

{Also, they say:  Why is not his Qu’ran sent down to some leading man in either of the two (chief) cities?} (Az-Zukhruf:31)

Allaah, Most High, also tells what they said about the believers,

{…is it then that Allaah hath favored from amongst us?…} (Al-An’am:53)

And, in another verse, He says,

{…Ye are only men like ourselves…} (Yasin:15)


{If you were to obey a human being like yourselves, then verily! You indeed would be losers.} (Al-Muminun:34)

Thus the believers did not like that the Message should be given to a mere human being just like themselves, so they envied Allaah’s Messengers.

As for love of leadership and glory, its likeness is that a man dislikes having a match in anything that he perfectly masters, especially when he is fond of being praised and believes that he is the only one of his kind. So, when he hears about any equivalent of him even in the remotest part of the world, he is upset and wishes that this equivalent may be destroyed or that he may lose the blessings in which he shares him.

As for the impurity of the soul, it stimulates the person who is inflicted with it to rejoice at the calamities afflicting people and grieve if they are granted any favors. It is quite difficult to remedy this impurity of the soul, because it has no accidental cause that may be eliminated as a means of remedy, but its cause is impurity of nature, which is not easy to change.

Perhaps, it is obvious from the presentation that love of worldly life and its pleasure is the main driving power that produces and motivates the causes of envy.


[Excerpts from: Mukhtasar Minhaj Al-Qasidin “Towards the Hereafter”|By: Ibn Qudamah Al-Maqdisi]

About Umm Abdulazeez

"I am a Muslim who is upon the Qur'aan and the Sunnah and upon the methodology of the Salaf As-Saalih (Pious Predecessors). And that can be said in short by saying, 'I am a Salafee' " [Shaykh Al-Albaanee رحمه الله] ________ Sufyaan Ath-Thawree (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed knowledge should only be learned for the purpose of fearing Allaah. Indeed, knowledge has been given virtue over other than it because with it Allaah is feared.” [Jaam'i Bayaan al-'Ilm wa Fadlihi by Imaam Ibn Abdil-Barr (rahimahullaah)]
This entry was posted in Character, Dunya|Worldly Affairs, Envy, Ibn Qudama Al-Maqdisi [Abdullaah bin Muhammad bin Qudaamah bin Miqdaam (541-620ah)], Jealousy. Bookmark the permalink.

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