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Chapter 2.2. Between Hasad And Ghubta

Fundamentally, envy occurs when someone else attains power and authority; otherwise the one who is performing actions is not normally envied, even if this person be blessed with far more food, drink and wives than others, as opposed to these two blessings of power and authority, for they cause a great deal of envy. This is why you find envy directed at the People of Knowledge, who have a following amongst the people that you will not find directed to others who do not have such a following. Similarly for the one who attracts a following due to his spending his wealth, for the people benefit this person by nourishing his heart, and this person brings benefit to them by nourishment of the bodies. Mankind is in need of that which will correct them in both these matters, this is why Allah, the one free from imperfection, has propounded two parables,

Allah puts forward the example: a slave under the possession of another, he has no power of any sort, and (the other) a man on whom We have bestowed a good provision from Us, and he spends thereof secretly and openly. Could they be equal? (By no means, not). All the praises and thanks be to Allah. Nay! (But) most of them know not. And Allah puts forward another par­able of two men, one of them dumb, who has no power over anything, and he is a burden to his master, whichever way he directs him he brings no good. Is such a man equal to one who commands justice, and is himself on the Straight Path? [Surah al-Nahl (16):75-76]

These two parables were propounded by Allah for His Own Holy Self and for that which is worshipped besides Him, for indeed the idols are not capable of performing any actions that would be of benefit,, and neither of saying anything that would be of benefit. So when a completely powerless slave under the possession of someone is considered, and another to whom Allah has provided a goodly provision from which he spends in secret and in the open, can this slave, incapable of doing good, and this person capable of doing good for the people in secret and open, ever be equal? And He, free is as He from defect, is able to bestow good upon His servants, and as He is continuously doing so. So how can this incapable slave (i.e. the idol) who cannot do anything, be likened to Allah to the extent that he is worshipped alongside Him? So this is the parable of one to whom Allah has bestowed wealth from which he spends day and night.

The second parable: when two people are considered, one of them is dumb, he does not understand nor speak, and is not capable of anything and is in fact a burden upon his master, for whichever way he directs him he brings no good and hence he is of absolutely no use. The other is a just scholar - enjoining justice and acting justly, and is upon the Straight Path. This person is then like the one upon whom Allah has conferred wisdom and he acts according to it and teaches it. And Allah has propounded this parable for Himself, for He is All-Knowing, All-Just, All-Powerful, commanding justice, He is maintaining His creation is justice is upon the Straight Way as He, the Exalted said,

Allah bears witness that there is none worthy of worship but He, and the angels, and those having knowledge; (He is always) maintaining His creation in Justice. There is. none worthy of worship but He, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. [Surah Al Imran (3):18]

And He said upon the tongue of Hud,

Indeed my Lord is upon the Straight Path. [Surah Hud (11):56]

This is why the people used to exalt the home of al-Abbas: Abdullah used to teach the people and his brother used to feed them, and so they used to exalt them due to this.

Muawiyah, saw the people asking Ibn Umar about the rites of Hajj and Ibn Umar would give them the verdicts, to which Muawiyah said, 'By Allah this is nobility' or something similar.