DISCIPLINING THE SOUL – (PART 4)

DISCIPLINING THE SOUL – (PART 4)

AVERTING ENVY:

Envy is to wish that the blessing of the one who is envied is removed, even if the one who envies does not receive the same blessing. The reason for this disease is the love of distinction and the hatred of being equal to everyone else. This is the reason why when someone is blessed with a grace that makes them distinct from everyone else, the envious person becomes pained because of that distinction or because that person became equal to themselves. This pain only disappears when the blessing of the one who is envied is removed.

It is rare to find anyone safe from possessing some amount of envy in their heart. It is something that a person is not sinful for possessing, rather sin is only earned when you wish for the removal of a blessing bestowed upon a fellow Muslim.

Know that envy causes insomnia, malnutrition, paleness, mood swings and continuous depression. It only occurs in regards to worldly matters, you will not find people envying those who pray at night or those who frequently fast, neither will you find the envious envying scholars for their knowledge, rather, they envy those who have fame.

The cure for the disease of envy is firstly to know that Allah had predestined everything that will happen, and trying to change what is predestined is impossible. The One who divides the sustenance between people is Judicious and Wise, He is the Possessor, He gives and He takes, for He created the universe and all that it contains, subhanAllah, all praises and glory be to Him. It is as if the one who envies opposes the will of the Giver, may He be exalted. It is only when we learn to accept the decree of Allah that we can truly find peace.

The one who envies should look to the state of the one they envy; if what they have is only from this world, then they should pitied and not envied, because what they possess will probably count against them rather than for them. Know that a surplus of worldly matters is nothing but trouble. The one who is rich is always afraid of losing their money and the ruler is afraid of being dismissed.

Salim narrated from his father, may Allah be pleased with him, that The Messenger of Allah, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

“Envy is not justified except in the case of two individuals only: one who Allah has blessed with the Qur’an, so he prays reciting it during the night and day. And a man who Allah gave wealth, so he spends it rightfully during the night and the day.”

[Recorded in al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, warned us of the dangers of envy and gave us a way to overcome it. He said:

“The disease of the nations before you is creeping towards you: envy and hatred. It is the ‘shaver’. I do not speak of what cuts the hair, but what severs the religion. 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 tell you about something which, if you do it, you will love one another? Spread salaam amongst yourselves.”

[Recorded in Ahmad] AVERTING SPITEFULNESS:

Spitefulness is what remains of the traces of others unpleasant words and actions, in the inner self of the one who was spited. Indeed, the mind decides the traces of other unpleasant deeds to remain as it decides for the traces of others pleasant deeds to remain.

‘Abdullah ibn Ka’b ibn Malik narrated that he heard ibn Malik’s story when he did not join the Messenger of Allah, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, in Tabuk and the story of the revelation and the acceptance of his revelation. He said, “I entered the masjid, while the people were gathered around the Messenger of Allah, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, so Talhah ibn Ubaydillah ran to me, shook my hand and congratulated me. By Allah! He was the only man of the immigrants who did that.” He said, “So Ka’b never forgot Talhah for this.”

[Recorded in al-Bukhari]

Just as this proves that a good deed is not forgotten, neither is a bad deed. Nevertheless it is preferable to try to remove traces of an ugly deed from the heart.The cure of spitefulness is therefore forgiveness and remission.

There are two stages of forgiveness: First is to know the reward of someone who forgives, and second is to thank the One Who made you be in the position of the forgiver and the other person in the position of the one who errs. The perfection of forgiveness can be reached through being content and this happens by removing all that is in the heart against the other person.

An even more precise cure is to know that you were harmed because of a sin you have committed, or to wipe away a sin, or to raise your rank or to test your patience, and Allah tests those He loves most. You should remind yourself that everything that happens to you is from Allah alone, the One who predestines everything.
AVERTING ANGER:

Anger is placed in the nature of the human being to keep harm away and to enable us to take revenge when we are harmed. Anger is the heat that spreads when something provokes one’s anger, it makes the blood boil to take revenge, and may even cause fever. The main reason for anger is usually arrogance. What is detested is excessive anger, as it disturbs one’s soundness, makes imbalanced and immoderate, such that a person starts to make wrong decisions.

The cure for anger according to the ahadith of the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, is to change your state. If you are talking, be silent. If you are standing, sit down. If you are sitting you should lie down in order to calm yourself. If possible it is best to leave the location you are in to move away from the person that has made you angry. You should also reflect on the excellence of repressing anger, for Allah has praised the one who represses their anger. All praises and glory be to Him who says:

“Those who repress anger and forgive other people, verily Allah loves the good-doers”

(Surah Ali Imran 3:134)

Remember also that everything that is happening to you may be a result of a sin that you have committed, that it is all predestined and that matters will become easier for you. You should also be careful not to act out of anger or to punish anyone when you are angry. This will ensure that any punishment is equal to the offense and not equal to your anger. A man was brought to ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz, who ‘Umar was angry at. He told him, “If I was not angry at you, I would have beaten you.” And let him go.

There are many ahadith regarding anger. Abu Hurairah, RadhiAllahu Anhu, said:

“A man came to the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, and said, ‘Advise me!’ He said, ‘Do not get angry!’ The man kept repeating his request and the Prophet continued to reply, ‘Do not get angry!’.”

[Recorded in al-Bukhari]

The Messenger of Allah, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

“The strong is not the one who overcomes people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself whilst in anger”.

[Recorded in al-Buhkari and Muslim]

It is also reported that Sulayman ibn Sard, RadhiAllahu Anhu, said: “I was sitting with the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, and two men were cursing each other, the face of one of them was red and swollen (because of his anger). Thereafter the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

“I know a word which if he says, what he feels will be gone. If he says ‘I seek refuge in Allah from the cursed Shaitan’ what he feels will be gone.”

[Recorded in al-Bukhari and Muslim]