When was the last time you heard of someone being arrested for envy? A long time ago? Never? Nevertheless, it has been, and is yet, at the root of innumerable crimes.

In criminal cases, especially those involving murder, the determination of the criminal’s motives are preeminently important. Without understanding why party A murdered party B, there can be no real understanding of the nature and dimensions of the crime, its impact on others, and the best verdict and punishment to be rendered to party A.

Now, suppose party A murdered party B out of envy. Party A is not being prosecuted and sentenced because party A was envious of party B. Party A is being prosecuted only because party A committed murder, not because he/she was envious of party B. But, could the envy in party A have been prevented?


Can envy be uprooted from humanity permanently? Yes. How? It’s written in the scriptures that, one day, God will give the people new hearts. This process has now begun in America, among Black people.

The teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, now being administered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, in the presence of God, compels us all to make the most searching kind of discovery and examination of our own motives–except the most self-deluded, who are insanely perfect in their own eyes.

In October of 1973, I wrote a statement of nearly 5,000 words called “ENVY.” I am presenting major excerpts from that writing beginning in this article. I’m asking the reader to reflect on this. Does the material in “ENVY” point to the envy today of Minister Farrakhan and we who follow him, as it did to his teacher and followers 30 years ago?

Be it the will of Allah, this article will appear in the issue of The Final Call, when it goes to press on the 22nd of this month (September). This date will mark the 72nd anniversary of the momentous meeting in Detroit, Michigan, between Master Fard Muhammad and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad would later say that, as he was looking at and listening to the man–then going under the name of Mr. W.D. Fard–he could not but compare his experience to the prophecy of the coming of God in the book of Habakkuk and elsewhere in the Bible.

At one point during that meeting, he said that he told his brother Charlie, “This has got to be the man.”

When the meeting was over, he got in line with others to shake the Speaker’s hand. When his turn came, he told Him that He was the One Whom the Bible’s prophets foresaw coming alone about that time, about 2,000 years after Jesus, or the Son of Man.

Almost simultaneously, Mr. Fard Muhammad looked around to see who else heard that. Then, He looked at Elijah a little sternly. His smile followed His look. He bent His head close to his and put one hand on his shoulder, and the other on his forehead. Pressing His mouth against His servant’s ear, He whispered:

“Yes, I am that One. But who else knows that, but yourself?”

He continued that he should keep quiet about this. He would let him know when to make that known. Then, gently, He nudged him away and began talking with the others nearby.

That occurred on the night of September 22, 1931. Forty years later, the following appeared in Muhammad Speaks, November 12, 1971, which I was to later (in 1973) quote in “ENVY”:

“Today, after suffering all types of deprivation, suffering personal sacrifice and plain ingratitude … after forty years of struggle, Messenger Muhammad is shining forth as the greatest leader of any nation, and we are thankful to Allah (God) Master Fard Muhammad, to Whom praises are due forever for raising, and teaching, and giving Messenger Muhammad to us, who believe and follow him.”

“As the holy flame of divine success grows stronger giving us a preview of the rise to greatness of the greatest nation under the guidance of Messenger Muhammad … the unholy flame of envy grows in its intensity.”

I wrote: “As these words show, the success, the greatness, the praise and the overall position of the Messenger and the Nation, at the time of this writing, is but an indication of that which will be the case in the future.”

“Joseph’s brothers were envious of him because God had favored him for His own wise purpose.”

“Saul tried several times to kill David, out of envy. And it is written in the Bible that the main motive involved in the betrayal of Jesus to his enemies, according to the Bible, was envy.

“Envy can be seen as a major factor affecting the destinies of men and nations in both the scriptures and in the writings of many about this world for the past 6,000 years.

“Envy has been, and is, a major factor shaping the history of America and the Black people in her midst. It has been, and still is, a major factor in the relations between Black brothers and sisters in this country. Therefore, envy has been an evil reality that Messenger Muhammad had to deal with from the start of his mission.

“What is envy? What are its roots? Why is it so destructive? It is often said that envy is self-destructive.

“Why? How does envy differ from jealousy? How are envy and jealousy manifested?”

“Dictionaries are of little or no help in defining the state of mind and feelings that the word envy represents.”

“However, if you ever probe the study of morality, you will find that the extent to which envy influences vital issues is avoided publicly by most writers, teachers, politicians, scholars in all fields, and so on.

“Envy is sneaky. It wears many faces or disguises. Have you ever considered that it is all but impossible to depict a person posing by him or herself, in a picture in a manner that tells any viewer that the person is envious? If you were to draw an envious person, how would that person look? Why is it so hard? The reason is due to the fact that envy in a person cannot be detected apart from that person’s relation to the one he (or she) envies.

“Envy is an emotion that is directed towards another. Without the other (a target, a victim), envy cannot happen.

“You can show fear, happiness, anger or grief, for example, far more easily than you can show envy in such as pictures, sculptures, etc.

“It is not easy to portray the state of mind of a person who despises another for having a reputation, or for having some skill, which the envier not only lacks, to some degree, but who would also rejoice at the other’s loss of such assets–though that loss would not mean a gain for the envier.”

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 2538, we read, in part: “Through the devil’s envy death entered the world.”


More next issue, Allah willing.