’My Heart is on Fire’

I am the just disease, I lead to more diseases, I declare a war to the heart, and my name is Hasad!

The Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) has explicitly mentioned, ”Allah does not look at your appearance or your possessions; but He looks at your Heart and your deeds.” [1. Muslim]. Hence, it is not our appearance that requires our utmost attention, care, and polish, rather it is our heart. We will be judged based on the actions of our hearts and not that only of our limbs. And true is the statement that the actions of the hearts are more reward worthy than any other actions. Let’s have a look at why this is so.

The heart is the king of our body. The limbs behind which we spend hours to beautify are simply the soldiers. Whatever the heart commands, the obedient limbs abide by. The purification of this heart is what Allah says is the reason for our victory, as He mentions: “He will indeed be successful who purifies it…” [2. Surah Shams: 9] And our Lord out of His Mercy also reminds us of what will benefit us on the great day, “The day when wealth and children will not benefit anyone except he who will come to ALLAH with a Qalbin Saleem (sound, pure, and clean heart).” Thus the importance of the purification of our hearts is a topic that is incumbently essential for us to realize and more so is it important for us to bring the diseases that corrupt it under strong scrutiny in order for us to meet our Lord with a Qalb Saleem!

Today, we put the spotlight on such a disease. A disease that causes the heart to catch fire and burn it to death, if not cured. It is the disease of envy, the disease of Hasad.

Envy or jealousy has been an ancient disease. It started at the time when our father, Adam 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was created. When Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) ordered the angels to prostrate to Adam, Shaitaan, who despite the fact was a jinn, was with the angels due to his great worship of Allah denied to prostrate. His denial was not out of a just claim or protest, but it was simply out of this disease that he nurtured, the disease of envy. Since then this disease has been rampant in human race. Some lost in the battle and some managed to win by the fadl of Allah. This piece of writing is for those who wish be triumphant against this malicious disease of Hasad (Envy).

Hasad (Envy) can be described as the feeling of hatred when seeing someone better off or superior to you in terms of bounty. It can also be said the feeling of wishing harm to befall someone and for them to lose that bounty. So for instance, if the girl next to you is more beautiful than you and you hate it, this is Hasad. Moreover, if this same girl turns out to be more intelligent than you and you wish she would fail in her exam, this is hasad as well!

Perception deception – the dangers of Hasad

Hasad is usually caused by what I call a perception deception. You may perceive that Hafsa is happy just because she is a regular customer for Christian Dior and she has the iPad 2. On the other hand, you may not know but it may be that Hafsa uses Christian Dior to conceal the dark circles that came from her sleepless nights and that in reality her iPad 2 means simply nothing to her. Therefore, your being envious is quite a waste of energy.

On the other hand, the perception deception can also be in reference to how you perceive Allah ‘azza wa jall. If you are not clear and convicted on the fact of matter that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is above all imperfections and that all His Decrees are Perfect and Just you end up envious. As Muslims we believe that Allah gives bounty of this dunya to whomsoever He wills and it is all a part of His test. In no way do the luxuries of this world indicate Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) love for a person. For indeed the noblest to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is the one with most piety and righteousness. The one who is envious is actually trying to implicitly blame Allah that He has been unjust in bestowing bounties, far away is our Lord from any such imperfections.

Perception deception also includes how people perceive Qadr. When the envious one wishes so badly for the other person to lose the bounty, how foolishly he forgets that he has no ability to change the Qadr. The bounty will be with the person as long as Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) wills it to be. The envious person additionally forgets the fact that he is nurturing an act that’s displeasing to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) then this may cause his own misery by making it a reason for Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to deprive him of some of his own blessings!

Is it in me, is it not?

How do you understand that Hasad is present in your heart or not? Here are some simple and easy-to-identify steps:

[dropcap2]A[/dropcap2]When Faatima rushes to you and tells you about her latest scholarship, your heart sinks! This means when anyone shares a bounty of theirs with you, you feel a sense of discomfort in your heart. Red alert: Your heart has hasad!

[dropcap2]B[/dropcap2]When your mother comes home from the party and describes what a delicious dish your friend Humaira has made, you simply ignore it. This means, when anyone praises someone else in front of you, you feel uncomfortable. Red alert: Hasad detected!

[dropcap2]C[/dropcap2]“Your work is ok, but could be better”. When this is what you constantly say to others without showing any appreciation to the amount of hard work and effort they spend behind it, you must then beware. Red alert: Hasad is on its way!

[dropcap2]D[/dropcap2]When Maryam’s trip for ‘Umrah gets cancelled, you feel a sense of rejoice in your heart. Oh my! This is bad news for you! Your heart has traces of Hasad.

Simple fire extinguishing solutions for the envious heart!

Hasad may enter anyone’s heart no matter who that person is. But it is only blameworthy when you take action on it or speak accordingly. As the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Allah has overlooked your thoughts, until you act upon it or speak about it.”

Thus, whenever you sense any trace of hasad in your heart, try the following to extinguish it from your heart and you will succeed by the fadl of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)!

[dropcap2]A[/dropcap2]Du’a for yourself – Ask Allah to grant you sweetness of faith. The heart which possesses sweetness of faith does not have a place for envy as it realizes that Eemaan is the greatest treasure and we do not need to be possessors of every luxury in order to have Eemaan. Ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to grant you a Nafsul Mutmainnah. The nafs that is pleased with its Lord and in turn its Lord is pleased with it. A nafs that is happy to see others prosper, appreciates others, gives due appreciation to others, works as he seeks only Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) pleasure, and is not bound by the limitations of the dunya.

[dropcap2]B[/dropcap2]Du’a for the person who makes you envious! – Ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to increase the person in more bounties and ask Him to grant him all goodness of the dunya and akhirah. In this way you not get rid of envy, but you also reach the best level, the level where a Muslim wants for his brother what he wants for himself.

[dropcap2]C[/dropcap2]Force yourself to appreciate others – By appreciating others’ virtues and blessings, you achieve triumph against your evil soul. You defeat it and reach the level of purity bi’idhnillah.

[dropcap2]D[/dropcap2]Focus on this! – Focus on your relationship with Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Spend your time with the book of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Engage yourself in designing your permanent residence. You must ensure it’s the best, right? The one who is busy with Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has no time for even thinking of what others possess, as he is so delved into thanking Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for all the bounties Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has blessed him with!

A bonus WOW extinguisher

Ibn Sireen has said: I have never felt envious towards any person concerning anything of the dunya. Because if he was a person of Jannah, how could I be envious of something concerning this dunya when it is nothing compared to what he will get in Paradise! And if he was a person of hell, how could I be envious concerning something of this dunya when he is going to hell!

The Author

Faria Alam is a young aspiring student who seeks to help young females educate themselves. She is a freelance writer and loves to read books of different disciplines. She takes great interest in personal development.

13 Responses

  1. Alima Ashfaq April 4, 2012 / 12:22 am

    MashaAllah, tabarakAllah – a pertinent reminder for us all, jazakillahu khayrun Faria (:

    • Faria Alam April 4, 2012 / 7:03 am

      Alhamdulillah, all goodness from Allaah SWT. BarakAllaahu feeki ‘Aalima :)

  2. Maisha April 8, 2012 / 3:30 pm

    Great :D

    • Faria April 9, 2012 / 9:48 pm

      Alhamdulillah :)

  3. Aaliyah April 18, 2012 / 10:51 am


    • Faria April 18, 2012 / 11:21 am

      Alhamdulillah. Jazaakillaahu khayran Aaliyah :)

      • Alima Ashfaq April 18, 2012 / 6:24 pm

        Faria, Aaliyah mashaAllah is from the same school as me, and one of the only sisters who is practising tabarakAllah. Keep it up Aaliyah! We’re here if you need us, all of us at I am Alima. (: 

        • Faria April 18, 2012 / 7:39 pm

          MashaAllah Aliyah :) Keep it up and as Alima said feel free to contact us for any help you would need :)

    • Faria April 29, 2012 / 6:52 am

      Alhamdulillah :)

  4. Sharmin Shanjida April 29, 2012 / 4:28 am

    MashaAllah. such a nice presentation……

    BarakAllaahu feeki,Faria.:)

    • Faria April 29, 2012 / 6:53 am

      Alhamdulillaah, Jazaanaa wa iyyakum Sr. Sharmin Shanjida :)

      On that note, since you seem to really like it, I would like to ask you, what is the most common reason we face envy? Even, in practicing circles this is faced, any possible reason you can think of?

  5. majida October 13, 2012 / 11:19 pm

    Masha,ALLAH very good sister .

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