The “green eyed” monster, jealousy is one of those very self destructive emotions. It is also something that can be hard to avoid given how ubiquitous others lives are plastered all over our various social media accounts. One touch or click and we get to see someone taking an exotic vacation or wearing the latest designer goods or has the perfect family and we wish we had that too. In Islam, there is something called ghibtah, which is envy that is free from malice and then hasad, a very destructive jealousy, where we not only wish we had what the other person has but also wish they lose what they have also. As Muslims, we are commanded to want good for our brothers and sisters in Islam, not just our blood brothers. By questioning why a certain person has been blessed with certain qualities or material goods, we are also questioning the decree of Allah and this is most certainly not allowed. Some of the ways we can fight our share of the hasad we may feel are making dua to Allah to cure our hearts and asking Allah’s help from the shaytan. We can also make specific duas for that person or even give them gifts if possible. The shaytan possessed those evil qualities of arrogance, pride and was even jealous of Adam and he has vowed to try to pass these evil qualities on to the children of Adam. There is a saying that jealousy is like you drinking a poison and hoping the other person dies. As I have grown older, one thing I have seen is that Allah may give someone everything but that may only last for a certain amount of time, be it beauty or wealth or health. Peoples’ circumstances are constantly changing, change is the only constant in life. Focus on self love and improvement and gratitude and pray that everyone is blessed with what you have. You probably have more than you think!
Our siblings are the people that we will have the longest relationships with in our lives. It is also one that can be filled with drama and jealousy but it doesn’t always have to be this way. From a biological point of view, it is seen as offspring that are fighting for a limited amount of resources and that it sets us up for a lifetime of patterns that can extend past the death of the parents with numerous cases of siblings falling out over estates and will disagreements. As parents we can help them get along and nip the rivalry with a variety of techniques that can be found from parenting books and online. I’ve noticed that one of my children has less of a tendency towards being jealous versus the other one who can get pretty jealous at times. This is something that we try to address and work towards channeling it towards something more positive. We can also advise our children the way Prophet Yaqub (Jacob) did when Yusuf (Joseph) told his father about his dream and Yaqub realized Yusuf will inherit the prophethood, he told him “O my son, do not relate your vision to your brothers or they will contrive against you a plan. Indeed Satan, to man, is a manifest enemy.” (12:5) So if one child is blessed with something, it is better that they don’t also rub it in their siblings faces to help minimize the rivalry. The ones less favored should also instead of complaining about the favoritism, can try to step back and try to see what qualities they can emulate, if any. Another lesson we can learn from the Prophet Yusuf is that no matter how bad siblings can act, we should always strive to forgive them and blame the Shaytan for their bad acts and unkind words. Fostering sibling ties now can help prevent them from cutting off ties as they get older. There are many ahadith that forbid cutting the ties of the womb, may Allah protect us from this major sin inshallah.
“Hey did you hear about so and so?” Our eyes raise and we gasp “no I have not, tell me!” Gossip is so pervasive in our lives that we cannot even grocery shop without checking out the latest celebrity gossip. Gossip is so pervasive in all societies because it makes us feel good when someone is doing something shocking or is doing worse than us. It is so easy to not even recognize that we are gossiping because it has become such an integral part of our lives. There are plenty of Islamic lectures and articles on its evils that you can search for so I will leave that part to the experts. We all know about the ayah “O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, in deeds some suspicions are sins. And spy not neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear God, verily, God is the one who accepts repentance, Most Merciful”(49:12). What I didn’t realize for a long time was this ayah was about gheeba, saying something true about someone! Slander, when one makes up a story about another person, is far worse of a punishment. One scholar said that it’s possible that the politicians will make it to heaven based on all the people that are gossiping about them. I don’t know about you, but I find it hard work to fast and do my salah and give charity and I really don’t want to fork over my good deeds to someone that I don’t even like. I have been working on this part of myself by not really talking on the phone with people and avoiding known gossips in the community. What tips do you have to avoid gossiping? Would love to hear from you guys! Leave your comments below
My heart is so heavy seeing the recent round of photos of innocent Palestinian children being butchered for no reason other than the face that they are of the wrong race and religion. I could not watch the videos. As a mother, I cannot imagine the anguish the parents are going through. All those months of carrying a baby and years raising that child for that child to be murdered with no remorse and no recourse. The mother that might have prayed for years for a child and finally had her prayers answered. The mother that had a colicky baby that kept her up at night. The mother who kissed her baby’s dimpled hand while rocking her baby in the middle of the night. The mother that made an extra stop to the store on her way home to buy a special treat to see her child’s face light up. The mother who prayed all night for her teenager to stay safe. These children are all of our children, where has our humanity gone? Do we not all bleed the same color? Breathe the same air? I can only pray that no mother needs to watch a video of her baby being butchered. Being a mom means we are in this together, let us teach our children to love humanity. We can always start the movement within our own homes.
We are so very lucky to have been born in this country and to live lives that are blessed with peace and prosperity. As we can see from all the various refugee crises, not everyone can say the same thing. That’s why it is crucial that every night, we sit with our children and let them count some of their blessings. This can be done verbally or they can even start their own gratitude journals. Numerous studies have shown that people that practice mindfulness and gratitude enjoy numerous health and mental benefits. Some of these benefits include better relationships with others, improved physical health, increased happiness and reduced depression, more empathy and less aggression, better sleep, improved self esteem, and increased mental resilience (Forbes Nov 2014). With so many benefits, it is imperative that we cultivate gratitude with our children so they can reap the many benefits. By doing so, we will be raising children that are less likely to whine about what they don’t have and enjoy what they do have.