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Sunday, June 06, 2004  

The Way How to Cure Envy Ibn Hazm says: Ruthlessness arises from covetousness, and covetousness arises from envy. Envy arises from desire, and desire arises from injustice, greed and ignorance. To get rid of envy, the envious person should remember that what he imagined about the object of his envy and the life he leads and the pleasures he enjoys are probably distorted. Man desires things always and thinks that those who have them are happy, riding the crest of pleasure’s wave. When he does achieve it, however, he is only happy for a moment before he thinks of the next thing to covet. The position which he longed for yesterday no longer seems worth wanting. The same happens when he achieves the next higher position; he is never happy, since he spends all his time planning his next ascent. It is wrong to think that those who enjoy wealth and pleasure are commensurately happy. Those who have everything in the world lose the ability to enjoy them. They are too familiar with the pleasures. The good things in their hands which other people desire become the things that they regard as day-to-day essentials. The pleasure that they take is no greater than anyone takes in what he has. This is because they are always belittling what they have and longing for more; they are always tense and ambitious and have less relaxation than those below them. If a thoughtful man remembers all this, and does not chase after every whim, he will know that happiness and relaxation is within his grasp; he only has to be happy with what he already has. Sufficient is enough. It is useful to add some points to the context of the cure for envy. A prosperous person who attracts envy should not encourage the development of envy by spending extravagantly. He should be moderate in his life-style. He should not be arrogant towards the people he should try to soften their hearts so that they feel no grudge or envy. He should be charitable towards the needy and give alms from his wealth. This will safeguard him against envy and give him the strength to withstand misfortune. He should pray, invoking God’s name and seeking His assistance and protection. There are certain formulae of supplication in the Qur’an and hadiths which are designed to protect belongings. If he is a great scholar he should not boast of the fact; he should be humble, and cultivate the goodwill of his fellow-scholars. Envy between scholars is proverbial. If someone is beautiful or handsome, he or she should not boast of it, but always give thanks to God for it and seek His protection. In this context it is worth noting that the word hasad expressing envy also signifies the evil eye, al-‘Ayn. The belief in its bad effect is primeval and universal. The word “eye” in this sense has its equivalent in every written language, living or dead. According to Bacon, the belief in the power of working evil by a glance upon any object is common in all communities and societies. In the Muslim tradition, envy and the evil eye are synonymous. The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) says that the evil eye can put a camel in the cooking-pot and a boy into the grave. The evil eye can make the animal sicken and die, can put a blight on a crop, make a cow lose her milk, make an accident happen, all because an object has been spitefully and malignantly looked at by someone. This belief is still current among the Muslims, Jews and Hindus and in some parts of Europe and America. To the Muslims it is a matter of fact, and envy or the evil eye is also connected with black magic. The Qur’an forbids the learning of magic and provides the means of protection against it. There are certain Qur’anic verses and suras and prophetic prayers which can be read to diffuse the effect of magic or the evil eye upon a sufferer. -Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi, In Pursuit of Virtue



posted by Abubak'r | 6/06/2004 04:02:00 AM |
As for him who fears to stand before his Lord and restrains the ego its desires, the Garden is shelter.
(The Snatchers:40)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions, while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked, undesirable things."
(Bukhari)
Whoever does good at night is rewarded during the day and whoever does good during the day is rewarded at night. Whoever is sincere in abandoning a desire is saved from catering to it. God is too noble to punish a heart that has abandoned a desire for His sake.
(Abu Sulayman ad-Darani)
Beware of your ego, and trust not its mischief;
The ego is worse than seventy devils.
(Arabic Poem)
Abu Bakar Balkhi
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I seek God's forgiveness, and do not claim that my intention in producing this Blog is confined to good religious purposes; how may I do so when I am aware of the hidden desires, egotistic passions, and worldly wishes that I harbour? I do not claim innocence for myself; the ego is indeed an inciter to evil, save when my Lord shows mercy; my Lord is indeed Forgiving, Merciful. O God! I seek Your protection against my committing idolatry [shirk] knowingly, and Your forgiveness for that of which I am not aware! I ask God to make me and all other believers benefit from this Blog and to render my production of it purely for the sake of His Noble Countenance.

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