Love others, don’t hate - By: M.U. NDAGI | Dailytrust

Love others, don’t hate

Love others, don’t hate
Love others, don’t hate

Envy is a disease of the heart and one of the evils suffered by man from fellow beings.  Every feeling of animosity towards a fellow being amounts to envy. Every manifestation of hatred is tantamount to envy. To be envious is to possess some ill will about fellow men or women. Sadism and bitterness are signs of envy. Islam condemns hatred and related wicked feelings in strong terms. Allah (SWT) commands in the Qur’an 113:5 that we should seek refuge from the envious one when he practices envy.

Abu Hurayrah (RA) relates from the Prophet (SAW) that eight adversities await every envious person. First; envy eats up good deeds in the manner fire consumes woods and shrubs; Second: it leads to disobedience of Allah’s law because an envious person has the propensity of becoming malicious and a liar; Third: Allah will forbid the envious one from interceding for anyone on the judgment day, fourth: an envious person shall be put into hell fire; fifth: an envious person is always tempted to harm others in words or action; sixth: the envious will dwell in perpetual worry and distress; seventh; the mind of the envious will be blindfolded from seeing the righteousness in Allah’s laws; eighth: the envious shall live in continuous deprivation and disappointment.

Envy can be expressed in different ways. To backbite, slander or despise other people are all marks of envy. Envy, most often, leads to disgrace, shame and a feeling of regret. An envious mind is a fertile soil for the devil (Satan) to nurture vices including the evil against self. The story, as told by the holy Qur’an, of Prophet Yusuf (AS) and his half-brothers who plotted against the former is good example of envy against self. Out of sheer hatred, the other brothers of Yusuf conspired and threw him into a wellspring along a caravan route. Unknown to them, Yusuf was to become a king in Egypt from whom they would seek help later in life.

While some nemesis of envy catches up early with the envious one, others do not occur until much later in the life of the envious one. The hatred expressed against another person or others is metaphorically a hatred against self. The Nupe would say “He that works against his kinsman from becoming a king only denies himself the privilege of being a member of a royal family.” Envy is never a means to goodness. The hatred against a fellow man on the basis of the latter’s wealth, knowledge, position or other worldly achievements does not convert such God-given favours for the use of the envious one. No one made himself what he/she became in life. We are what others see us only by Allah’s will, grace and mercy.

Hatred could lead to some terrible and regrettable actions. Ten half-brothers of Prophet Yusuf (AS) did not only hate him along with Binyamin (Yusuf’s full brother) but also despised their father whose love for the two younger sons was perhaps perceived as hypocrisy by the older sons. What a scandalous judgment against one’s father. The half-brothers plotted to get rid of Yusuf by killing him; thinking that their devilish act would earn them their fathers whole-hearted love. These wicked brothers were puppets in the hands of the devil. They allowed their mind become subject to devil’s dictate not remembering that the devil was a declared enemy of man.

Prophet Yusuf’s brothers returned home with a false tale for their father that a wolf had eaten Yusuf while they were having games and exercises. In order to make their tale appear plausible, they came home after sunset to show that they had made efforts to rescue Yusuf. His brothers were so tricky that they stained Yusuf’s clothes with ‘false blood’; not Yusuf’s blood but that of a goat which the brothers had killed expressly for this purpose. Shame and disgrace are bound to seize an envious person as it seized the ten brothers of Prophet Yusuf (AS). When their stock of grain used for sustenance had finished at a time of famine, they had to go to Egypt in search of foodstuff while Yusuf (AS) was already enthroned as the Wazir. Yusuf attended to them but held behind one of the ten brothers so that they might go to bring him Binyamin his half-brother.

When Yusuf’s brothers arrived with Binyamin from the city of Canaan, they told Yusuf that distress had seized them and their family. Shame and regret is always the end of hatred. When Yusuf told them of his identity, the scales fall from the eyes of the brothers as they confessed their wrongdoing. The hatred of an enemy cannot stop destiny from playing out. Yusuf had lived to become what Allah destined.

Although man’s soul is prone to evil except that which receives Allah’s mercy, let us strive to purge our minds of hatred. This can be achieved through constant remembrance of Allah by uttering the Hailalah formula (La ilaha illa-llah). Anyone who constantly keeps himself pure (through ablution) is assured of Allah’s mercy and guidance. Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) recommends the recitation of chapters 113 and 114 of the holy Qur’an before going to bed at night as protection against the plots or mischief of the devil who whispers envy in to the hearts of mankind.

A good Muslim should love others. He should not think evil of others even when others offend him. The Prophet (SAW) said: “No one of you (really) believes (in Allah and his messenger) until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” The Islam of a Muslim is indeed not complete if his heart is not free from hatred or evil thought against his fellow-creatures. May Allah save us from becoming puppets in the hands of the devil, amin.

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