mark of the believer to be noble, and he will become submitted to you by noble treatment. And even if someone is apparently ignoble, he is noble with respect to his belief. It often happens that if you tell an evil man, “You are good, you are good,” he will become good; and if you tell a good man, “You are bad, you are bad,” he will become bad. Hearken, therefore, to these sacred principles of the Qur’an, for happiness and safety are to be found in them:
If they pass by futility, they pass by it in honourable disdain.(25:72) * If you forgive, pardon, and relent, verily God is All-Relenting, Merciful.(64:14)
Fourth Principle: Those who cherish rancour and enmity transgress against their own souls, their brother believer, and divine mercy. For such a person condemns his soul to painful torment with his rancour and enmity. He imposes torment on his soul whenever his enemy receives some bounty, and pain from fear of him. If his enmity arises from envy, then it is the most severe form of torment. For envy in the first place consumes and destroys the envier, and its harm for the one envied is either slight or nonexistent.
The cure for envy: Let the envious reflect on the ultimate fate of those things that arouse his enmity. Then he will understand that the beauty, strength, rank, and wealth possessed by his rival are transient and temporary. Their benefit is slight, and the anxiety they cause is great. If it is a question of personal qualities that will gain him reward in the hereafter, they cannot be an object of envy. But if one does envy another on account of them, then he is either himself a hypocrite, wishing to destroy the goods of the hereafter while yet in this world, or he imagines the one whom he envies to be a hypocrite, thus being unjust towards him.
If he rejoices at the misfortunes he suffers and is grieved by the bounties he receives, it is as if he is offended by the kindness shown towards him by divine determining (kader) and divine mercy, as if he were criticizing and objecting to them. Whoever criticizes divine determining is striking his head against an anvil on which it will break, and whoever objects to divine mercy will himself be deprived of it.
How might justice and sound conscience accept that the response to something worth not even a day’s hostility should be a year’s rancour and hostility? You cannot condemn a brother believer for some evil you experience at his hand for the following reasons:
Firstly, divine determining has a certain share of responsibility. It is necessary to deduct that share from the total and respond to it with contentment and satisfaction.