A Benefit from Ash-Shaykh al-Uthaymeen, may Allah have mercy upon him, regarding the meaning of Envy and Jealousy:

The Second Chapter: Mistakes which are Compulsory to Beware of

Firstly: Envy and Jealousy

“It is unhappiness for what Allah has bestowed upon others of bounties, and it does not (merely mean) wishing the blessing to be removed from others. Rather, it is just by a person disliking what Allah has bestowed upon others of bounties (that it is considered envy). so this is envy, whether he wished it (i.e. the bounty and blessing) to be removed or to remain whilst disliking it for him. As this has been affirmed by Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy upon him where he said, ‘envy is the unhappiness of a person for what Allah has bestowed upon others of bounties, while the human souls are mostly not free from envy’, meaning, the soul could be forcefully disposition upon it. However, it came in the hadeeth ‘if you envy, then do not transgress. And if you have an (evil) thought, then do not implement it‘. (The) meaning (of these words is) that it is obligatory upon the person, if he sees from his heart any form of envy for others, that he should not transgress, whether (it) be in (terms of) speech or actions. (This is) for verily that is from the traits of the Jews, those who Allah said regarding (them):

: {أَمْ يَحْسُدُونَ النَّاسَ عَلَى مَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ فَقَدْ آتَيْنَا آلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَآتَيْنَاهُمْ مُلْكًا عَظِيمًا} [النساء: 54]

Or do they envy the people for what Allah has given them of His Bounty? Then We had already given the family of Ibrahim the Book and Al-Hikmah (As-Sunnah), and conferred upon them a great kingdom.

[4:54]

Hence, the envious commits several forbidden acts:

Firstly: His unhappiness of what Allah has decreed, for verily his displeasure for what Allah has bestowed this person with of bounties is actually a dislike for what Allah has decreed to occur and an opposition to the preordainment of Allah azza wajal.

Secondly: That envy devours goods deeds as the fire devours pieces of wood because generally, the envious transgresses the envied by mentioning some of that which he dislikes, and by distancing the people from him, and by degrading his value and the likes of that.

Thirdly: What befalls the heart of the envious of sorrow – while the hell-fire will devour him severely -, so whenever he sees this blessing upon this envied one, he would become distressed and depressed and he begins to observe this person. (And) every time Allah bestows upon him any bounties, he becomes sad and distressed and depressed throughout his worldly affairs.”

Reference: The Book of Knowledge, page 54.

Translated by

AbdulFattaah bin Uthman
Abu Fajr