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What Are the Different Kinds of Envy?

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question:  Assalam alaykum. I have a very bad condition in which I envy the Sahabah/Prophets. I envy them that they will have the highest ranks in Jannah / highest love of Allah while the possibility for normal people like me is very low. What should I do? Does loving Rasul take me to Jannah Waseela?

Answer: 
Wa alaykum al-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

Thank you for writing to us.

The Prophetic narrations refer to two kinds of envy. The first is known as hasad. It occurs where one desires that which another person has and hopes that Allah will remove the favor from him. This kind of envy is haram. The second kind is called ghibtah by scholars. It occurs where one desires that which another person has in terms of good deeds, rank, or proximity to the Messenger Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), while not hoping or desiring that the favor will be removed from him.

The following hadith refers to ghibtah. Ibn ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with them) reported: “The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: ‘Envy is justified in regard to two types of persons only: a man whom Allah has given knowledge of the Qur’an, and so he recites it during the night and during the day; and a man whom Allah has given wealth and so he spends from it during the night and during the day.’” [Tirmidhi]

If your envy is of the second kind, it is not a “very bad condition”, as you say. On the contrary, it is praiseworthy.  Desiring to be with the Messenger Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) in Paradise and wanting to be in his company are beautiful desires for all believers. However, we need to increase our love for him, as well as our following of him. These two qualities go hand in hand. The more we love him, then the more we will follow him. The more we follow him, then the more we will love him. A believer does not increase in love for Allah’s messenger except that he will have his company in Jannah. He said: A man will be with whom he loves.

And Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

 

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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