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DEMOCRACY AS A TOOL OF HASAD (ENVY) IN OUR SOCIETY



By
Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori

It is important to note that hasad are of different kinds; some enviers only cherish what you have, they do not want it to escape you or want the exact one that is in your possession. They do not intend harm against you. They only want Allaah to bless them the way He has blessed you. This is not a bad envy. In fact, there is one hadith that says envy is allowed in the case of someone Allaah blessed with the knowledge of the Qur'an and one who is wealthy and spends his wealth in the cause of Allaah. Here, the envier neither wish that Allaah takes away his Qur'an knowledge nor wealth. He only wish that Allaah blesses him with what he has seen in his brother or sister in Islaam as the case may be.

The bad kind of envy is the one by which someone wish for himself exactly what is in the hand of his brother by all negative means possible, or that he doesn't have the opportunity of getting that thing, but he wishes that his brother loses it or does not even smell it at all. For instance, if someone holds a post and his brother in Islaam does not like it and he wants him to lose the position even though he doesn't have the qualification to replace him in that post, it is hasad. In some situations, it may be that he is interested in that particular position himself. This is an example of bad envy. This is one of the vices that democracy has created in our society.

It is important that scholars continues to warn against democracy and its evils no matter what colour the democrats tries to paint it with. Democracy turn Muslims against one another. People assassinate the character of their fellow Muslim in the name of politics. By the arrangement in democracy, there is no way a person can be a politician without becoming a حسود (a pathological envier) of your fellow Muslim because he is inspired to seek political office through every means possible and the personality of his fellow Muslim is not sacrosanct to him. 

Let us compare this with what is laid down in the shari'ah. The Companions رضي الله عنهم did not play politics in this manner. They did not envy one another. As much as some of them were pressurised towards seeking the position of the Caliph, they didn't succumb. Ali رضي الله عنه accepted Abubakr, Umar, 'Uthman رضي الله عنهم and he did not envy them despite several attempts by hypocrites to cause friction among the rightly guided Caliphs. The orientation they received from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was that it is not proper to seek position of authority even if you want it. Leaders in a shari'ah compliant society are to be recruited through the allegiances of the people of knowledge and not the kind of electoral process we have today in our society. In the shari'ah, leaders are not to be selected merely through the principle of majority. Leaders are appointed based on their qualifications, antecedents and capacity to serve.

May Allaah guide us aright.

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