Hasad is a desire that a blessing or a cause of happiness departs from its possessor and becomes transferred to oneself. Hasad is cancerous in its effect and leads to hatred, animosity, ill-feelings and often further disobedience towards Allah. It is condemned in many ahaadeeth. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wassallam) said,
‘Envy eats away good deeds like fire eats away wood.’ (Abu Daud and al-Tirmidhi).
Some of the causes of hasad are as follows:
1. Enmity and hatred: This is the one of the severest cases of envy because when a person has hatred and enmity in his heart for someone animosity begins to settle in his heart. This animosity needs to be treated and causes the person to desire revenge. If he is unable to get some sort of revenge, this animosity turns into envy: the person yearns for his enemy to lose any blessings that he has.
2. Low Self-Esteem: This type of envy originates whenever someone else is blessed with goodness the person feels inferior and this inferiority leads him to desire the blessings be removed from the other person.
3. Pride and Arrogance: This is when a person sees another succeeding beyond him and considers this person unworthy of this blessing. He is proud, thinks himself better and more deserving and wishes that the blessings be removed from his possession.
4. Astonishment: This is when people are amazed and astonished that others are distinguished from them, and question how someone like that can receive a blessing that they themselves do not have.
5. Fear of losing one’s own aims: This usually is in the case when a number of people seek a common goal. In such a situation each party is envious of the other when the other party is blessed with something that helps to achieve their common goal. If rival gains something for the common purpose, then one get jealous as they see this as compromising their own goal.
6. Love of leadership and status: The person who is very talented in his field, who is accustomed to praise, compliments and flattery will find it difficult not to envy one who is also up-and-coming in his field. As such, he will be saddened to hear of him being praised or esteemed and will wish that this blessing be removed from him. His love of recognition and a fear of losing this is for him a sufficient reason for and cause of envy.
7. Impurity of the soul: An impure soul rejoices at the calamities of others and regrets their blessings. This person is miserly with regards to Allah’s provisions and blessings, and his attitude is one which implies that the bounty, on others, diminishes Allah’s provision for him; he forgets that Allah favors whom He wills, without measure and that others cannot limit that which is decreed by him already.
In reality when a person is envious of another, he is actually doubting the wisdom of Allah (swt) and questioning His decision. This is because, ultimately, it is Allah who decided what favors’ to bestow on which people.
“O you who envies the blessings I have
May Allah (swt) protect us from this evil and severe disease. Aameen.