Protective Jealousy is the Characteristic of the Noble - I

63154 0 1947

Protective jealousy is an innate noble characteristic upon which a sound person whom Allah has honored and favored was created. Islam elevated the rank of this sublime trait and laudably mentioned it to the extent that it considers defending one's honor and being protectively jealous about inviolable matters a type of Jihaad. For this, a person may offer everything and sacrifice his soul, and such a person would be at the same rank as the martyr in Paradise. It was narrated on the authority of Sa‘eed ibn Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, “I heard the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) saying: ‘A person who is killed while protecting his property is a martyr, a person who is killed while defending his life is a martyr, a person who is killed while defending his religion is a martyr, and a person who is killed while defending his family is a martyr.’

The Meaning of Protective Jealousy

It is a change in the state of the heart and feelings of anger that arise due to a person's feeling that others might share or aspire to share something that he owns. This feeling appears among the spouses. Both men and women share this instinct, although the protective jealousy of women is greater. This feeling becomes more intense when the woman feels that her husband is betraying her or that he desires another woman. Likewise, the man feels the same when he has suspicions regarding his wife's behavior or feels that she desires other men.

Protective Jealously from the Sharee'ah Viewpoint

For both men and women, protective jealousy, when called for and shown in a moderate way, is a praiseworthy trait and it is a necessity for spouses in order that they can live in kindness. Each of them also has to consider the protective jealousy of the other and know that every matter has a moderate and sensible point between its two extremes. It was proven that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “There is jealousy that Allah loves and jealousy that He hates. There is pride that Allah loves and pride that He hates. The jealousy that Allah loves is jealousy regarding a matter of suspicion. The jealousy that He hates is jealousy regarding something that is not doubtful. The pride that Allah loves is a man's pride when fighting and when giving in charity. The pride that Allah hates is that shown in oppression and boasting.” [Ahmad and others, Al-Albaani - Saheeh]

Protective Jealousy is an Indication of Manliness

Protective jealousy, when justified and shown in a moderate manner, is an indication of true manhood. It leads to the protection of honor, the safeguarding of sacred ordinances, the veneration of the symbols of Allah, and the promotion of adherence to the limits that He has set. It denotes the strength of one's faith and shows that it is instilled in his heart. Little wonder then that unethical practices, impermissible exposure of women's beauty, immorality and licentiousness prevails throughout the western world and other similar communities. The reason behind this is either the lack of or the complete absence of protective jealousy.

Even in the pre-Islamic era, this characteristic prevailed among the Arabs who experienced the meanings of these virtues. They would be protectively jealous even about their neighbors' honor from their own desires. Manly zeal could also drive these people to incite wars for the sake of any assault against a woman, to protect her honor, or in response to her seeking refuge. The cause of the war of Al-Fijaar that broke out between the Arabs was that a group of youth from Banu Kinaanah saw a woman in the market of ‘Ukaath and asked her to uncover her face, and when she refused they began mocking her. Thereupon, she screamed, “O people of ‘Aamir!” Immediately their fighters responded to her request. The tribe of Kinaanah stood to defend their youth. The tribe of Hawaazin stood on the side of Banu ‘Aamir and Quraysh stood on the side of Kinaanah, which resulted in a countless number of victims and much bloodshed.

Excessive Protective Jealousy

Excessive jealousy is a source of trouble for the person and those around him. Many so-called honor-related crimes are committed due to rumors. This extent of jealousy, which is hazardous, may drive a person to kill others without any justification or sound evidence for his action. This happens in many places. Some husbands have the disease of bitter doubts which turns their marital life into unbearable turmoil. It was narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) forbade that a man should unexpectedly come to his wife at night, doubting her fidelity and probing into her lapses. [Muslim] It is improper for a husband to have no confidence in his wife, and he should not be excessive in monitoring her each and every action. There is no doubt that such behavior damages the marital relationship and severs what Allah The Almighty has ordered to be joined.

‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, may Allah be pleased with him, would say, “Do not have excessive jealousy over your wives such that you would cause them to be slandered.” Also, Mu‘aawiyah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “There are three characteristics of nobility: Forgiveness, having a flat abdomen and avoiding excessive protective jealousy.”

Therefore, moderation in this regard is very important and the limits of the required protective jealousy are determined by the texts of the Sharee'ah. It was narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Allah becomes jealous and the believer also becomes jealous. Allah becomes jealous when the believer commits what He has forbidden.” [Al-Bukhari]

Protective jealousy is required if women violate the prohibitions of Allah The Almighty, and in this case such jealousy is praiseworthy. Conversely, being void of such jealousy in these situations is dispraised and is the cause of a person being prevented from entering Paradise. The proof of this is what was narrated on the authority of ‘Ammaar ibn Yaasir, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “There are three types of people who will never enter Paradise: A Dayyooth, a woman who assumes a masculine attitude and an alcoholic.” His Companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah, we know what an alcoholic is, but what is a Dayyooth?” He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) replied: “He is the person who does not care who has private access to his womenfolk.” The Companions asked, “Who are the women who assume a masculine attitude?” He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) replied: “They are women who imitate men.”

Considering the Protective Jealousy of Others

When a man feels the pain of a loss or jealousy when his friend forsakes him and befriends someone else, then we should consider the jealousy of the mother-in-law. A mother in this situation feels as if she has lost her son to someone else, after having cared for him throughout his entire life and sacrificed every dear and precious thing to make him a man of consequence in this life. Also, just as the person feels jealous over his wife, he should consider her jealousy over him. It is improper to show his admiration for other women, not to mention narrating his pre or post-marital relationships, as this is not a source of pride. Rather, a person should keep it hidden, repent from such an act if they have happened, and adhere to Sitr (covering and protection).

A woman should also control herself as much as she can, otherwise her jealousy would be irrepressible. Commenting on the verse in which Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And they will have therein purified spouses.} [Quran 2:25], Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “They are purified from menstruation, urination and any harm that afflicts women in this world. Their souls are also purified from jealousy, wanting to harm their husbands and desire for other men.”

The Jealousy of Allah The Exalted

Sharee'ah texts prove that Allah The Exalted becomes jealous . His jealousy is a fact and He becomes jealous in a manner that befits His majesty and perfection. A manifestation of His Jealousy is His dislike that His slave should fall into acts of disobedience or associate anything in what is due solely to Him in terms of obeying His commands and avoiding His prohibitions. It was narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Allah becomes jealous and the believer also becomes jealous. Allah becomes jealous when the believer commits what He has forbidden.” [Al-Bukhari] In another Hadeeth, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “No one is more jealous than Allah The Almighty. Because of His jealousy, Allah has prohibited immorality, both apparent and concealed, and no one likes to be praised more than Allah The Almighty.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Another narration of this Hadeeth states: “The believer gets jealous and Allah is even more jealous.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It was narrated in a Hadeeth that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said to his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, about one of them: “Are you surprised at Sa‘d's jealousy over his honor? By Allah, I am more jealous over my honor than he is over his, and Allah is more jealous than I am.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

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