How Can I Overcome My Jealousy and Purify My Heart?

Question

Sometimes I get very jealous of my husband, even though he does not do anything wrong. For example, when I see that his co-worker is good-looking, it is very difficult for me to think about their work-related interaction. We live in a non-Muslim country, where women wear seductive clothes. Because of my jealousy, it is difficult for me to dress modestly and not compete with them. I feel like my heart is sick. How can I purify it?

Answer

Thank you for your question. Sister, you don’t need to compete with faithless women who let it all hang out for a snippet of self-confidence. Don’t stoop to their level and strive to get to where you want to be spiritually, and you will find that your life will be beautiful, by His grace.

Jealousy

Ghayra is best translated as protective jealousy and it is considered healthy in Islam, as long as one doesn’t behave wickedly because of it. Your husband certainly should not be blamed. It is best explained here:
The Protective Jealousy (Ghayra) of Spouses
When Can Protective Jealousy Become Abuse?

Competition

Competing with these faithless women will get you nowhere in life and is not worth a second of your precious time, or thoughts. In order to gain your husband’s full attention, pay attention to this hadith and strive to embody it:

It was said, O Messenger of Allah, what type of wife is best? He said, “The one who makes (her husband) happy when he looks at her, and she obeys him if he instructs her to do something, and she does not do anything with regard to herself or his wealth in a manner of which he does not approve.” [Ahmad]

Take the steps that usually make men happy, such as dressing up at home, smelling beautiful at home, being cheerful, loving, mindful, and helpful. Listen well, don’t anger easily, be patient, and dutiful and be active in bed.

Desire What Allah Desires

If you shift your focus to desiring what Allah and His Messenger desire of you, you will find blessings in your life and good things will come your way. If you dress modestly outside your home, you are actually upholding your husband’s good name, and you are being a fine example for your children. You are getting the blessings of angels and you warding off the devil.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), said, “None of you [truly] believes until his desires are subservient to that which I have brought.” [Nawawi, Al-Arba‘in: We have related it in Kitab al-Hujjah with an authentic chain of narrators]

Purification

Please consider taking our excellent courses here at Seekers for free, on the topics of purification and spirituality:
Purification of the Heart for Youth: Diseases of the Heart and Their Cure
First Principles of Islamic Spirituality: Ibn Ashir’s Introduction to Sufism Explained

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.