How to Keep Your Envy & Faith in Check

Today’s world is filled with so much glamour and galore, and it’s kind of hard not to experience a little envy now and then. After all, let’s be honest — envy is a pretty basic-level human emotion that all individuals can attest to. But just because it’s something that all human beings can experience, doesn’t mean that they should.
Envy, or Hasad, can be dangerous. And if we don’t learn how to control it, sooner or later it begins to consume us by creating lack of confidence, dislike, or hatred of the person one is envying.
This as a result begins to deteriorate a person’s spirituality, and their overall connection with God begins to get affected. As Muslims, having a relationship with God is much more than an aspect of our lives, rather it is our lives, it is what our lives are focused on, or at least it should be if we claim we are followers of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The Prophet (PBUH) stated:

“Beware of envy, for envy eats up good deeds as the fire eats up wood.” -Abu Dawood 

To covet what another individual has is an emotion that displays the inner condition of a person. In Islam, the inner is the most important, after a person dies, Allah (SWT) will judge the human by looking at the condition of his or her heart. And having an envious heart could be the very thing that keeps us away from the ultimate success in the hereafter.

“Surely in the breasts of humanity is a lump of flesh, if sound then the whole body is sound, and if corrupt then the whole body is corrupt. Is it not the heart?” -Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Envy is a disease of the heart that not only begins to affect the internal state of a person, but also begins to manifest itself externally, creating other vices such as anger, doubt, insecurity, and disloyalty.
Often times it begins to create a resentment towards the friend or family member because of the negative feelings the person is holding on to against them because of some physical feature, tangible item, or merit they possess — and in the process they begin to abandon those important relationships.
Other times, a person might not even know the individual that they were envying, but that also keeps them away from building new relationships, which in the end is only ultimately hurting themselves.
Islam is a community-based religion, its main tenants honor the ideals of love and sister/brotherhood. And when envy begins to creep in the hearts of mankind, it only breaks the bonds of peace and unity.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated:

“Do not envy one another; do not hate one another; do not turn your back on one another (in discontent); but be slaves of Allah as brothers.” -Al-Bukhari and Muslim

So how exactly do you fight it?

If you ever find yourself coming up against envy, recite a dua (prayer) that will help dispel any negativity that you are feeling and knock that feeling out!
Try reciting:

اَللَّهُمَ زِدْ وَباَرِكْ

Allah Huma Zid Wa Barik”

Translation: “O’ Allah, increase them in what you have given them, and put barakah and blessings in it.”
At first, you might get confused as to how this dua helps with your envy problem — but by praying for someone else, you automatically are blessing yourself with the same dua, because whenever you pray for good for someone else, the angels do the same for you.
Another way of getting rid of envy is to really ponder on why you’re feeling it in the first place.
When we often feel covetous, we fixate on why or how does the other person have what you want, and how can you get it. Rather admitting that, “Hey, I really shouldn’t be feeling this way,” and redirecting that energy towards praying and remembering Allah (SWT), realizing that if it’s meant for you, you will have it.

For if Allah ordains something for you, no one can take it away from you; and if he didn’t ordain something for you, no one can give it to you. 

And if that doesn’t do it for you, think of the words of Muhammad (PBUH) mentioning to look at those who have less than you, that way you are indirectly reminded of the blessings Allah (SWT) has bestowed upon you, and all the things that you should be grateful for.
And if you needed more…
Be God conscious.
We often forget that in Islam guarding ourselves from envy is just as essential as guarding ourselves from other sins.
For some strange reason, many of us do not consider that having desires to want what others have, or wanting them to lose what they possess is more than just thoughts and feelings, but it’s actually a state of being,  that slowly begins to decay one’s spirituality.
And not only does it distance them from Allah (SWT), but it also begins to distance them from the best that they can be.
If a person is not strong enough, the clutches of envy will grab them hard where their mind will become fixated on those negative thoughts, leaving them in a sad and degrading place.
Human beings were created for much more than to just desire other people’s items, merits, features, or to harbor ill feelings towards those individuals just because they have more. Rather, the whole purpose of being here is because of Allah (SWT).

“And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).” -Quran 51:56

Therefore, envy can be a product of human beings forgetting what reality is really all about, and getting blinded by all the superficial glitter, which leads them to chase after dunya (worldly life), and trivialities that don’t really matter much.
It’s this fixation that we have with ourselves and our desires that leads us to forget the purpose of reality, which is that we were all created by God, for God, and that one day inevitably we must die.
Instead, the question you should be pondering on is, “What state will I be in when it comes time to meet the Creator?” Thinking and contemplating a little bit before sinful acts can really save us from partaking in the first place.
It is truly being in the state of Takwah, or God consciousness that protects and uplifts a human being from error, and helps them become the best that they can be. In the end, saving them from grieve in this world and the next.
So next time you feel envy emerging at your door, realize you are here for the sake of Allah (SWT), and that He has blessed you with many gifts of your own that you should be thankful for — because in reality, He didn’t have to bless you with those things either (if He didn’t want to.)

Most of all, put faith in God.

Although it can be hard sometimes, we have to constantly remind ourselves that we are not alone, that Allah (SWT) is ever watching, and he knows what we struggle with, and will always have what’s best for us in mind. Plus, there is nothing Allah (SWT) cannot do.
So why not surrender to Him and ask for help? It makes life much easier, and keeps the worries at bay. Eventually, as you begin to rely solely in Allah (SWT), realizing you are in the best of hands, envy becomes nothing more than a visitor from the past.