18 October 2017 CE | 27 Muharram 1439 AH

Hadith Explanation

As Fire Consumes Wood

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Beware of envy, for envy consumes good works as fire consumes wood.” [Abu Dawud]

Envy takes eeman away as a fire reduces wood to ashes. A person who envies desires that the goods granted to the envied person be taken away from him. That is to say, the main objective of a man who envies his affluent neighbor is not to be affluent but that his neighbor be poor. He doesn’t like for another person to be at parity with him or better than him. This is a disgraceful and mean property not befitting of Muslims.

Envy and pride go hand in hand. When a person allows himself false pride then he envies others so that he can have more than what the other has in order to exhibit greater pride. Whereas, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) made us and either directly gave us what we are proud of or allowed us the opportunity to become who we are. In each and every case all good is from Allah. Therefore, all pride is false. It is attributing to oneself what can only be attributed to Allah. Thus, pride is also the biggest lie one tells oneself. It is the lie that, “I am something.”

Envy and pride are two major sins and fundamental flaws of character. If there are two huge cracks in the foundations of a building the smallest of tremors will bring the building crashing down. Thus also does eeman come crashing down if these flaws of envy and pride are present in a Muslim.

Look at what envy and pride did to Iblees. He was such a devout worshipper of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) that he had been raised from the level of the Jinn to the level of angels. But pride in himself and envy at the station that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) had destined for Aadam (alaihis salam) and humans, caused his years of worship to evaporate instantly and He refused to submit to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). He continued in his disobedience of Allah, getting bolder and bolder in his insolence, because his false pride in who he was wouldn’t let him bow down before Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and seek forgiveness.

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