[4:32] Do not covet that in which God has preferred some of you above others. To men a share from what they have earned and to women a share from what they have earned. And ask God of His bounty; God is ever Knower of all things.
In the language of right conduct, the command is to toil, not covet. In the language of declaring God's unity, the command is to the [divine] decree and judgment, not desire and wants. It is said, 'Travel the road of those who came before you in your concern for the right of God. Do not ask to obtain what they were selected for from the favor of God. Concern yourselves with the right of your Master, not with following your whims and choosing what you want'.
It is said, 'Do not covet the station of lords without traveling their paths, cleaving to their course, and doing what they do, for that is a distorted way of thinking'.
It is said, 'Be a seeker of His rights, not a seeker of your portion or your right. If you start seeking what you wish for yourself, you have unconsciously added partners to your profession of God's unity'.
It is said, 'Do not covet stations of men, for each has a station appropriate before God'. They are counted out so that until someone has died, his place will not be inherited by another. God Most High said: He has made you successors (6:165; 10:14; 10:73; 35:39) and the successor is the one who succeeds from those who came before him. If you covet the station of one of the friends, it is as if you are seeking to hasten his passing in all or in part of what you covet, and that is injurious.
It is said your extinction beneath the course of His decree according to what has already been established by His choosing is more fortunate for you than looking to obtain your desires since your ruin may lie in the object of your desire.
It is said whoever's outward nature has not been educated in the different kinds of right conduct, his inward nature has not been refined by the different kinds of waystations. So he should not attempt to obtain intimate communications - that would be preposterous!
And ask God of His bounty: The distinction between coveting and asking for His bounty has several aspects: Coveting something is accompanied by your heedlessness of your Lord, so you covet in your heart the existence of that thing without anticipating it from God. But when you ask God, it is impossible for you not to remember Him. Another [sense of the verse] is when the questioner does not see his own worthiness. The sincerity of desire causes him to implore and beseech. The one who covets is not in this group. Another [sense of the verse] is that God prohibits coveting that in which God has preferred others to you, since its meaning would be that He takes what He has given your companion and gives it to you. But He allows you to ask of His bounty in giving you the like of what He gave your companion.
It is said, 'Do not covet the gift but ask God to give you contentment from His bounty in not receiving the gift. That is more perfect than the gift, for surely emancipation from the bondage of things is better than owning them.