Jealousy and Faith Mutually Exclusive
The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “In the stomach of a man, dust flying in the Path of Allah and the flames of Hell cannot be together; nor can faith and jealousy dwell together in the stomach of a man.” [Baihaqi]
Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) will not allow the fire of Hell to touch the man who risked his life in the Path of Allah.
This hadith tells us that faith (Eemaan) and jealousy are also mutually exclusive. Faith and jealousy are like light and darkness. They cannot coexist at the same time in the same place. If the light of faith is bright the darkness of jealousy cannot remain. One of them will take over the heart.
Jealous of Allah: Suppose you really admire a basketball player. You study his technique and moves and try to play like him. But there comes a point when you realize that he has talent that you do not have and so you can never be like him. You then have two choices: To remain in awe of him or to become jealous of him. If you become jealous of him you will try to find fault with him, compete with him, and downplay his skill. Your energies will all be directed in negative activities.
This is the choice we have with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). Intelligent people recognize Allah’s immeasurable superiority over them, and out of awe and respect for Him obey and worship Him. Stupid people try to compete with Allah. Out of jealousy they work like mad scientists to wrestle control of nature out of Allah’s Hands and into their own. They study science not with the intention to appreciate Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) better and serve His creation, but to gain control over it and be its master. Such scientists have jealousy in their hearts and not faith. Thus, they do not submit to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala).
Jealous of People: A person can only be jealous of another when their conviction (Eemaan) in Allah’s attributes is lacking. For example, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is Ar-Rahmaan and Ar-Raheem for each person: therefore, he has given each person the circumstances that are most suitable for them. How can a person be jealous of another when they know that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has provided them with what is best for them, and their having what somebody else has would hurt their chances of everlasting happiness in Jannah?
Therefore, if I am jealous of others’ worldly fortunes, I should realize that this jealousy is from weakness of belief in Allah’s attributes and the rewards of Jannah.