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Prohibition of envy in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

"One of the sanest, surest, and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others." (attributed variously to Robert Heinlein & Archibald Rutledge).

The idea of envy (or, covetousness) is an important subject in the Abrahamic faith traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The prohibition against covetousness rounds out the Mosaic moral code, codified as the 10th and final commandment in the Ten Commandments -- the injunction against coveting one's neighbor's property. The rationale behind this is the acknowledgement that all blessings arise from God's sovereign providence and it is not for his creation to question whom and how and when he chooses to bless.

Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines covetousness as :

1. "feeling or showing a very strong desire for something that you do not have and especially for something that belongs to someone else", or
2. "marked by inordinate desire for wealth or possessions or for another's possessions"

In the teaching of Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount, we see how He elevates and strengthens several Mosaic commandments from being only a behavioural prohibition to a prohibition of even the attitudes/thoughts, using the pattern "You have heard it said...but, I tell you".

In like manner, we see elsewhere in the Bible that the negative obligation "Do not covet..." is superseded by the nobler positive duty to celebrate and rejoice in others' successes, good fortunes and blessings, and to not be happy be when they fall, instead to "weep when they weep".
"Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep" [Romans 12 : 15]
"Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;" [Proverbs 24 : 17]
Similar principles about the prohibition of envy and divine providence being the source of all blessings are also found in the Quran.
"And do not covet that by which Allah has made some of you excel others; men shall have the benefit of what they earn and women shall have the benefit of what they earn; and ask Allah of His grace; surely Allah knows all things."  [The Noble Quran, 4:32]
"Cast not thine eyes on the [good things] which we have bestowed on several of [the unbelievers, so as to covet the same; neither be thou grieved on their account. Behave thy self with meekness towards the true believers;"  [The Noble Quran, 15:88]
"Nor strain thine eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to parties of them, the splendour of the life of this world, through which We test them: but the provision of thy Lord is better and more enduring."  [The Noble Quran, 20:131]

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