Do not be Envious of the Prosperity of an Evil Doer
By Maulana Manzoor Nu‘maani
Abu Hurayrah radhiyallahu anhu relates that the Apostle of Allah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:You should never be envious of an evil-doer (an infidel or a pervert) because of a blessing or prosperity. You do not know what suffering he is going to endure after death. At Allah’s place (i.e., in the Hereafter) there is a killer for him that will not die.
The narrator, Abdullah ibne Abi Maryam who related it, on the authority of AbuÊHurayrah radhiyallahu anhu says, “By ‘killer’, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam meant the Fire of Hell (ie. the evil-doer is going to live in Hell forever. To be envious of such a man is rank foolishness and ignorance).”
Often when a truthful Believer, who is spending his days in pain and poverty, sees some wicked and godless person surrounded with comfort and luxuries, the devil puts various doubts into his heart, or, at least, he begins to feel envious of his happy circumstances. But it is the height of ingratitude to Allah. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam, in this Tradition, has warned that no believing person should grudge the short-lived happiness and prosperity of those who are devoid of the blessings of faith and good-doing because, after all, they are going to undergo the torment of Fire in the Hereafter.
If the bitter end which is awaiting those unfortunate men can be known, material comfort and physical pleasures they are enjoying will appear to be no better than the special consideration that is shown to those who are sentenced to death a few days before their execution. This, exactly, is the nature of the prosperity and bodily enjoyment of the rebels against Allah in the sight of the bondsmen who are blessed with faith in the reality of the Hereafter, as related by the Apostles. They do not view with envy their wealth and comfort but are thankful to Allah that by endowing them with Faith He has saved them from the frightful chastisement that is in store for the impudent slaves of the flesh.
The humble writer has known faithful bondsmen who, on seeing godless men of the world, spontaneously recited the prayer of gratitude and thankfulness to the Lord the sacred Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam used to say when he saw anyone in distress: Praise be to the Lord who saved me from that with which He hath inflicted thee, and made be better than many of His creatures.