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Monday, January 02, 2006

May You Be Prevented From The Evils Of Envy

Or "Yakfeek shar el 7asd" like my grandma used to say in arabic. If you grew up in an arabic family like I did, you probably would have heard about one or more of the following superstitions: Sleeping in your socks could make you blind, closing and opening scissors causes fights to happen and having your slippers flipped on the floor is bad because its facing God. The evils of envy is another one and by far the most overrated of all of them. You might be familiar with some of these preventive measures against envy: Having a blue crystal in the car, bokhour at home or simply living in extreme secrecy and hiding anything that anyone could possibly envy. True story: Up to this day, my parents won't tell everyone that I moved to the US. They do that because people in Egypt tend to associate the US with living comfortably and my parents fear that I might get envied and some sort of harm would happen to me in result. Its not like my parents are not well educated or anything. My dad has a Phd and my mom is a civil engineer. Its nothing specific to my family either; all the arabic families I know are like that too.

Let's take a look at the reasons why people fear envy and I will refute them all, fair and square. The first reaction I get from friends when I bring this topic up is that they start showering me with stories about how they have been affected by envy one way or another. Whether its a couple who broke up because people envied how happy they were or someone's new car was involved in an accident because someone gave it the eye or many many other stories. My take on this is that people who envy are envying all the time, its just we tend to make the association with harm when something bad happens to us. The other common reason people fear envy is in reference to the quranic verse in surat "Al-Falk". My personal opinion, and I am certainly not an expert in quran tafsir, is that people are misinterpreting the verse. What the quranic verse says is to be cautious from the person who envies. And thats where harm could really come from not from the act of envying itself and thus one should avoid those who envy if possible.

There are many drawbacks for fearing envy. For one thing, it makes us worried about nothing. It influences many of the decisions that we make in a negative way. It forces us to hide things and isolates us from others. Enough said, Flame On!!