Most of us live our lives with feelings of hatred for certain people and also feeling jealous of what Allah has granted others in provisions of this life. Such feelings not only rob us of our peace within but also hurt us both in this life and the hereafter.
It is reported in the Musnad of Ahmad from Anas, (radi-Allahu-anhu), that he said,
We were sitting in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) one day and he said, `A person is about to arrive from this mountain path who is from the people of Paradise.’ So a person from the Ansar arrived, his beard dripping with the water of wudu and holding his sandals in his left hand, and he gave us the salam. The next day the Prophet (s.a.w.) said similar words and the same person appeared in the same condition. On the third day the Prophet (s.a.w.) again said similar words and again this person appeared in the same condition, so when the Prophet (s.a.w.) left, `Abdullah bin `Amr al-Aas followed this person and said, indeed I have abused my father and I swore that I would not go to him for three days so if you would let me stay with you until those three days expire, I would do so.’ He replied, `Yes.’
Anas continued saying,
So `Abdullah told us that he spent three nights with this person yet he did not see him stand for the night prayer at all. All he did was when he turned sides on his bed he would mention Allah and make takbir and would do this until he stood for the Fajr prayer. `Abdullah said, `Except that I never heard him speak except good.’ So when the three days were over I was eager to make little of his actions. I said, `O servant of Allah there was no hatred or disassociation between my father and me but I heard the Messenger of Allah (saying on three occasions, `A person is about to arrive who is from the people of Paradise,’ and you arrived on those three occasions, so I wished to stay with you so that I may look at your actions and emulate them. But I have not seen you perform a great deal of actions, so what is it that has reached you to make the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) say what he said?’ He replied, `It is nothing more than what you have seen, except that I do not find in myself any disloyalty (animosity) toward any of the Muslims, and neither do I find any jealousy for the wealth that Allah has bestowed upon them.’
We see from the above hadith that keeping a clean heart rather than one filled with hatred, jealousy, animosity, and so on can be a source of peace in this life and salvation on the day of judgment.
In our daily dealings with people, some of us not only have such feelings about others but we also forsake them. We should remind ourselves that it is not permissible to forsake a Muslim, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible for a man to forsake his Muslim brother for more than three days, each of them turning away from the other when they meet. The better of them is the one who gives the greeting of salaam first.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5727; Muslim, 2560). This applies especially if the believer is a relative because forsaking relatives is an even worse sin.
We learn from scholars that the only exception of this is in cases where the other’s company and mixing can hurt one spiritually and in other areas of ones life. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr also said: “The scholars are unanimously agreed that it is not permissible for a Muslim to forsake his brother for more than three days, unless there is the fear that speaking to him and keeping in touch with him will affect one’s religious commitment or have some harmful effect on one’s spiritual and worldly interests. If that is the case, it is permissible to avoid him, because peaceful avoidance is better than harmful mixing.” (Tarh al-Tathreeb, 8/99)
The general principle is that “the Muslim must be forbearing and sincere towards his brothers, he must be tolerant towards them and overlook their mistakes. He should not hasten to adopt a solution that may cause division and haraam kinds of forsaking.” (islamqa.info)
Feeling jealous of other’s provisions and rizq
To avoid feelings of jealousy of the provisions that others may have, we should remind ourselves that Allah has apportioned our provisions in this life and trying to feel jealous of others is akin to disagreeing with Allah on His decisions. Consider the following verses from the Quran:
“Is it they who would portion out the Mercy of your Lord? 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. But the Mercy of your Lord is better than the (wealth of this world) which they amass. [Surah al-Zukhruf 43:32]
In a hadith narrated by Al-Tirmidhi from al-Zubayr ibn al-‘Awaam that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah 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) salaam amongst yourselves.” (A hasan hadeeth. Jaami’ al-Tirmidhi, 2434).
Cleaning our hearts of jealousy and hatred
As part of our personal purification efforts, we should constantly work to rid our hearts of such feelings. No one is free from such feelings but we should venture to avoid Satan’s whispers regarding instilling such feelings in our hearts. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: “Nobody is free from hasad (jealousy), but the noble person hides it whilst the base person shows it.” (Amraad al-Quloob). 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-Bukhaari, 2033).
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah also said in his book Amraad al-Quloob (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 Allaah will benefit him by his taqwa.”