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HASAD

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

The word hasad means envy or jealousy. It occurs four times in the Koran, denoting a human emotion that begrudges others and wishes them ill for what they possess. Its best illustration is in the Koran (113:5): "And from the evil of an envier when he envies" (wa-min sharrin hasidin idha hasada), where the divine protection is sought from "the envy of an envier." This envy is grouped with other kinds of evil, such as the evil of "darkness" (sharr ghasiq) and the evil of those "who blow upon knots" (wa-min sharri l-naffathati fi l-uqad). A polemical context, which provides another instance of the use of the word hasad, is 2:109, where it is mentioned that the People of the Book out of hasad wish to turn the believers back into disbelievers. The verb "to envy" (hasada) is also employed in 4:54 in reference to this same group who "were given a portion of the book", wherein it is asked, "Do they envy people for what God has given to them out of his favour?" (am yahsuduna l-nasa ala ma atahumu llahu min fadlihi). This is a theme especially developed in the life of the Prophet in his relation to the Jews of Medina, whose refusal to convert is portrayed as resulting from envy. In 48:15, those not permitted to accompany the Prophet and his followers when they set out to collect booty present themselves as the targets of envy. The term hasad is not used explicitly in 12:8, which is described how Joseph's brothers resent what they perceive as their father Jacob's preference for Joseph and his brother, the verse nonetheless seems to imply the notion in the brothers' reaction.


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