- resentment or enviousness of a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc.
- mental uneasiness or discontentment from suspicion or fear of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc.
- vigilance in maintaining or guarding something.
Perhaps the following verses would further educate us about jealousy:
[2:105] Neither the disbelievers among the followers of the scripture, nor the idol worshipers, wish to see any blessings come down to you from your Lord. However, GOD showers His blessings upon whomever He chooses. GOD possesses infinite grace.
[2:213] The people used to be one community when GOD sent the prophets as bearers of good news, as well as warners. He sent down with them the scripture, bearing the truth, to judge among the people in their disputes. Ironically, those who received the scripture were the ones who rejected any new scripture, despite clear proofs given to them. This is due to jealousy on their part. GOD guides those who believe to the truth that is disputed by all others, in accordance with His will. GOD guides whoever wills in a straight path.
[2:109] Many followers of the scripture would rather see you revert to disbelief, now that you have believed. This is due to jealousy on their part, after the truth has become evident to them. You shall pardon them, and leave them alone, until GOD issues His judgment. GOD is Omnipotent.
In the light of the above verses, we understand that jealousy is an egoistic trait that originates from inner fear and insecurity. The fear of losing authority or the self image one cares to portray leads to an egoistic feeling of resenting the success or the blessings of another. It could also lead to feeling disturbed or threatened by any change or newly introduced knowledge. Such insecurity further veils the eyes and the brains and impairs the quality of being receptive or tolerant as elaborated in 3:19, 42:14, 45:17. Even though proven facts/knowledge could be recognizable by those who harbor jealousy in their hearts, they insist on their own ways because they fear the change and the consequences of losing control over themselves and others. Thus, they fail to appreciate the truth.
Quran teaches us how to stay away from that harmful emotion and how to deal wisely with jealous individuals. A basic guard against jealousy in Quran is to never question God's wisdom of specifying His blessings for us (21:23, 20:131, 74:6). We each have a path and God is the One who designs this path based on His knowledge ; He knows our choices and decisions and He justly provide us with what we need and what we deserve based on that knowledge (28:56). He also tests us throughout our journey to take us spiritually from one stage to the next (20:131). When we choose His path, and while we are striving to stay on that path, we must fully trust that whatever comes across is part of His divine plan to support us and to keep us progressing on that path (19:76). Once we lose this guiding tip and start questioning our packages, we deviate and we fall victims to our insecurities, shortcomings and ignorance.
[20:131] And do not covet what we bestowed upon any other people. Such are temporary ornaments of this life, whereby we put them to the test. What your Lord provides for you is far better, and everlasting.
[74:6] Be content with your lot.
Never Question God's Wisdom [21:23] He is never to be asked about anything He does, while all others are questioned.
[19:76] GOD augments the guidance of those who choose to be guided. For the good deeds are eternally rewarded by your Lord, and bring far better returns.
[28:56] You cannot guide the ones you love. GOD is the only One who guides in accordance with His will, and in accordance with His knowledge of those who deserve the guidance.
Logic, wisdom, guidance, knowledge, money, kingship, intelligence, redemption, forgiveness, prophet-hood or being part of a community that receives a warner are all examples of certain blessings mentioned in Quran (38:20, 2:269, 6:88, 3:27, 2:247, 9:27, 16:2, 2:150-151). They are all from God. They are all part of His divine system to augment our choices.
Appreciating all kinds of blessings given to us and using them to promote God's truth is certainly a righteous choice. Recognizing the greatness and mercy of God in the blessings and special talents of others is a sign of being an appreciative believer. A humble believer is secure enough to celebrate the uniqueness of others. All of this, however, would be a defeat for Satan who would rather want us wish for what others have and ignore what God has bestowed upon us (74:6, 20:131). He would rather see us lose our peace and waste our God-given energy. Then, he would rejoice to witness jealousy progressing into resentment, envy, divisions and all sorts of unappreciative behavior. Once we become unappreciative, he assumes authority over us.
[2:90] Miserable indeed is what they sold their souls for - rejecting these revelations of GOD out of sheer resentment that GOD should bestow His grace upon whomever He chooses from among His servants. Consequently, they incurred wrath upon wrath. The disbelievers have incurred a humiliating retribution.
[42:14] Ironically, they broke up into sects only after the knowledge had come to them, due to jealousy and resentment among themselves. If it were not for a predetermined decision from your Lord to respite them for a definite interim, they would have been judged immediately. Indeed, the later generations who inherited the scripture are full of doubts.
[4:54] Are they envious of the people because GOD has showered them with His blessings? We have given Abraham's family the scripture, and wisdom; we granted them a great authority.
[4:55] Some of them believed therein, and some of them repelled therefrom; Hell is the only just retribution for these.
[3:118] O you who believe, do not befriend outsiders who never cease to wish you harm; they even wish to see you suffer. Hatred flows out of their mouths and what they hide in their chests is far worse. We thus clarify the revelations for you, if you understand.
[5:14] Also from those who said, "We are Christian," we took their covenant. But they disregarded some of the commandments given to them. Consequently, we condemned them to animosity and hatred among themselves, until the Day of Resurrection. GOD will then inform them of everything they had done.
When confronted with jealousy, believers should hold fast to the rope of God, respond with the truth and resort to grace and patience rather than violence. Down the road, God might change this animosity and rage into love (60:7, 9:15).
On our striving path to redeem our souls, we gradually purify our hearts of jealousy and upgrade it to a competition towards righteousness.
[23:61] They are eager to do righteous works; they compete in doing them.
Ultimately, by God's grace, our liberated souls at our Lord will be rid of jealousy and will eternally rejoice in peace and contentment.
[15:47] We remove all jealousy from their hearts. Like one family, they will be on adjacent furnishings.
[113:1] Say, "I seek refuge in the Lord of daybreak.
[113:2] "From the evils among His creations.
[113:3] "From the evils of darkness as it falls.
[113:4] "From the evils of the troublemakers.
[113:5] "From the evils of the envious when they envy."
[59:10] ...."Our Lord, forgive us and our brethren who preceded us to the faith, and keep our hearts from harboring any hatred towards those who believed. Our Lord, You are Compassionate, Most Merciful."
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.