Answered by Shaykh Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf Mangera
In the name of Allah the Inspirer of truth
One must realize that being envious of others is actually being displeased with Allah for his bounties upon that person. Allah in His infinite wisdom bestows upon who He wills what He wills. We have to be able to deal with the situation by being grateful (shukr) for what He has given us and being patient (sabr) on what has not been given to us. It is not blameworthy for one to ask Allah to give him what has been given to another person, but it is to ask for it to be taken away from him. A person who is envious of another will only be hurting himself by the feeling of rage and jealousy consuming his heart. If a person gives physical or verbal expression to his inner feeling then he will be committing an even greater sin.
Hakim al-Umma al-Thanawi writes:
HASAD [JEALOUSY, ENVY] Allah says: “Say, I seek refuge with the Lord of the dawn… from the evil of the envious one when he practices envy” (Surat al-Nas).
Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “Do not be jealous among yourselves” (Muslim). To be displeased with another's good position and to wish for its elimination is Envy (hasad). Acting according to the demands of envy man becomes a sinner. Opposing the demands of envy a man is laudable and will be rewarded.
Generally the basis of Hasad is pride and falsehood. Without any valid reason man seeks to withhold the bounties of Allah. He desires (at times consciously and at times subconsciously] that like himself, Allah too should restrict His bounties on the other. Hasad is a malady of the heart. It is harmful to both one's spiritual life and worldly life. The harm to man's spiritual life is it prevents the illumination of his good deeds from entering the heart and he becomes the victim of Allah's Wrath. Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “Jealousy devours good deeds like fire devours wood” (Ibn Maja).
The harm to his worldly life is the frustration and worry, which perpetually afflicts the envious person. He is consumed by frustration caused by envy for another whose disgrace and fall he always anticipates. In this way the envious one destroys his Hereafter in addition to eliminating his worldly comfort and peace of mind.
The disease of envy (hasad) is remedied by frequently praising the person against whom the jealousy is directed. Praise him no matter how difficult this may seem. Honor him and meet him with respect and humility. (Culled from the works of Hakim al-Ummat)
You may also read the following prayer of forgiveness that has been related from Hasan al-Basri (may Allah have mercy on him):
class="Arabic">اَللّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ اَسْتَغْفِرُكَ لِكُلِّ ذَنْبٍ كَتَبْتَهُ عَلَيَّ بِسَبَبِ عُجْبٍ كَانَ مِنِّيْ بِنَفْسِيْ أَوْ رِيَاءٍ أَوْ سُمْعَهٍ أَوْ حَقْدٍ أَوْ شَحْنَاءٍ أَوْ خِيَانَةٍ أَوْ خُيَلاَءَ أَوْ فَرَحٍ أَوْ مَرَحٍ أَوْ عِنْدٍ أَوْ حَسَدٍ أَوْ أَشَرٍ أَوْ بَطَرٍ أَوْ حَمِيَّةٍ أَوْ عَصَبِيَّةٍ أَوْ رِضَاءٍ أَوْ رَجَاءٍ أَوْ شُحٍّ أَوْ سَخَاءٍ أَوْ ظُلْمٍ أَوْ حِيْلَةٍ أَوْ سَرِقَةٍ أَوْ كَذِبٍ أَوْ غِيْبَةٍ أَوْ لَهْوٍ أَوْ لَغْوٍ أَوْ نَمِيْمَةٍ أَوْ لَعْبٍ أَوْ نَوْعٍ مِنَ الْأَنْوَاعِ مِمَّا يُكْتَسَبُ بِمِثْلِهِ الذُّنُوْبُ وَيَكُوْنُ فِيْ اِتِّبَاعِهِ الْعَطَبُ وَالْحُوْبُ.
O Allāh, I seek Your forgiveness for every sin that You decreed upon me due to my self-conceitedness [‘ujb], ostentation [riyā’], desire to be heard [sum‘a], malevolence [hiqd], rancor [shahnā’], treachery [khiyāna], pride [khuyalā’], exultancy [farah], over exultancy [marah], rebellion [‘ind], envy [hasad], insolence [ashar], insolent ungratefulness [batar], zealotry [hamiyya] (for other than Allāh), partisanship [‘asabiyya], acquiescing [ridā’], hope [rajā’], extreme niggardliness [shuhh], generosity [sakhā’] (in spending in sin), cunning [hīla], theft [sariqa], falsehood [kidhb], backbiting [ghība], idle pastime [lahw], unprofitable talk [laghw], calumny [namīma], play [la‘b], or any such activity that draws sin and pursuing it brings destruction [‘atab] and grief [hūb]. (From Prayers of Forgiveness to be published by White Thread Press).
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