I’m reading an incredible book right now by Habib ali al-Jifri called Wayfarers to God, and so far, it is one of those reads where your heart softens because everything you are reading speaks to you. Below, a passage that made me stop and re-read several times.
No sooner do you attempt to examine your faults than the wickedness of the nafs surges forward to cover those faults. Yes indeed, many in the Community are far worse than you are, but have you been created to transfix your gaze upon those worse off than yourself? How many times have you looked at someone driving a car more expensive than yours and wished you had one like theirs? How many times have you worn a garment only to see a more expensive garment that you wished you could have worn instead? And how many times have you heard that gifts – from the gifts of this world – have been conferred upon so-and-so and wished that they were yours? Why didn’t you say, “alhamidullah. Many are without food and I am eating, alhamidullah”? Why do you not say, “Some people don’t have a mount or clothes, but I do”? Why is it that in the affairs of this world we look to those above us, but in the affairs of the Hereafter we look to those below us? Do you know why? Indeed it is because the nafs has not been purified, developed and cultivated. Indeed, it is your greatest foe on the path to Allah.
~Wayfarers to God, Habib Ali al Jifri, p. 21