| 2 Summary of Ethics


Malice

Overall Meaning: The Meaning of Malice

Hiqd linguistically: is spite, and the heart’s attachment to hostility, awaiting the chance for evil. Its plural is: ahqad. [905] al-Sihah, al-Jawhari (2/466); Lisan al-`Arab, Ibn Manzur (3/154).

Hiqd technically: is having evil expectations in the heart against creation for the sake of enmity. [906] al-Ta`rifat, al-Jurjani (p. 91). It is withholding evil, awaiting the opportune moment to manifest it. [907] Tahdhib al-Akhlaq, al-Jahiz (p. 33). The Difference between Malice and Sensitivity (Mawjidah)

Sensitivity is feeling and knowing pain, initiating the self in seeking its removal. It is therefore a lofty trait. Malice is deep-seeded evil, expecting it at all times against whom one is spiteful. Its impacts never leave the heart.

Another difference is that sensitivity is borne of what afflicts one, whilst spite is of what it afflicts you with. Sensitivity is the sense of what has afflicted you of its harm. [908] al-Ruh, Ibn al-Qayyim (p. 251). Dispraise of Malice in the Qur’an and Sunnah

❖ Allah, exalted, says: “Among mankind is he whose speech pleases you in worldly life, and he calls Allah to witness as to what is in his heart, yet he is the fiercest of adversaries. When he leaves, he sets out to spread corruption in the land, destroying crops and live-stock- God does not like corruption.” al-Baqarah: 204, 205.
❖ He says, honoured and majestic: “We will remove whatever bitterness they had in their hearts. As brethren they will be upon couches facing one another. No weariness will ever touch them there, nor will they ever be expelled.” al-Hijr: 47, 48
❖ `Abdullah ibn `Amr, Allah be pleased with them both, said: “It was said to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ: ‘Who is best among people?’ He replied: ‘One with a clean heart and a truthful tongue.’ They said: ‘We know what it means to be truthful; what type of person is he of a clean heart?’ He replied: ‘It is the pious, pure one. He has no sin against him nor transgression, and he holds no rancour nor envy.’” [909] Reported by Ibn Majah (4216) and this is his wording, as well as al-Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-Iman (6604). al-Mundhari authenticated its chain in al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib (4/33), and likewise al-Busiri in Zawa’id Ibn Majah (2/325), al-`Iraqi in Takhrij al-Ihya’ (3/18), and al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Ibn Majah (4216). Quotes of the Predecessors and Scholars on Dispraising Malice

❖ Zayd ibn Aslam narrates “that he entered upon Abu Dujanah while he was ill, yet his face was glowing with happiness. He asked him: ‘How come your face is happy?’ He replied: ‘I have no greater trust than in two deeds of mine: I never spoke about what did not concern me, and my heart was always sound towards the Muslims.’” [910] Reported by Ibn Sa`d in al-Tabaqat al-Kubra (3/557) and Ibn Abi al-Dunya in al-Samt (95).
❖ Ibn Hajar al-Haytami said: “Envy is a result of malice, which is in turn one of the results of anger.” [911] al-Zawajir `an Iqtiraf al-Kaba’ir (1/83).
❖ Ibn Hibban said: “Malice is the origin of evil. Whoever has evil in his heart, it will plant for him a plant with bitter taste, thorny stem, and regret for a fruit.” [912] Rawdat al-`Uqala’ (p. 134). Impacts and Harms of Malice
Malice begets envy, which is that spite leads one to wish for the removal of others’ blessings. One is overcome with sorrow at the advent of another’s blessing, and overjoyed when calamity befalls them. Neglect and severance of ties, turning away from the malicious in belittlement. Speaking out of turn, whether through lying, backbiting, divulging a secret, uncovering a hidden matter, etc. [913] See: Ihya’ `Ulum al-Din, al-Ghazali (3/181). It is a manifestation of low ambition. It does not manifest in the noble and is not befitting for the intelligent. It plants the seeds of having bad expectations in others, following their privacies, name-calling and insulting, and backbiting and tale-bearing. Denying the truth and refusing to follow it. Means to Curing Malice
Supplication. Good-heartedness. Humility. Instilling bonds of brotherly faith. Brotherhood and rancour do not meet in a single heart. Filling the heart with love and the desire for good for others. Apologising and excusing oneself. Gifting each other presents. Avoiding anger, a cause of malice. Causes of Malice
Debate and competition. Antagonism Humour which transgresses its bounds instills malice in the hearts. Intense dislike to the level of violent hatred. Vindictiveness, and the desire to actualise evil on the one upon whom malice is directed. States of the One Shown Malice

The first: that he has his rights returned to him fully without increase or decrease. This is justice.
The second: that he is gracious with him through pardon. This is virtue.
The third: that he oppresses him with what he is not deserving of. This is tyranny, the choice of the lowly. The second is the choice among friends, and the first is the pinnacle of levels among the righteous. [914] Ihya’ `Ulum al-Din, al-Ghazali (3/181). Malice in Adages, Proverbs, and Poetry

❖ “More malicious than a camel.” The Arabs describe camels as being malicious and ungracious. [915] al-Akhlaq al-Islamiyyah, `Abd al-Rahman al-Maydani (1/723).
❖ Manifest admonishment is better than hidden malice. [916] al-Mustatraf, al-Abhishi (p. 37).
❖ It is said that three qualities the possessors of which will never find joy in life: malice, envy, and bad manners. [917] al-Mustatraf, al-Abhishi (p. 221).
❖ The poet said:

            “Malice is a buried ailment, carried only
            By the ignoramus, full of spiritual maladies.

            What is with me, that I carry malice and it
Hurts me; I am then stupid, out of all ideas.

Goodness of heart brings more joy and ease.
Glory is more beloved to me than folly.”

Rancour, malice, spite, bitterness, resentfulness


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