It is definitely referenced in the OT. The most specific and visible example of an eye of jealousy is in King Saul’s hatred towards David. It is closely related to the spiritual condition of the person involved.
The NT also reveals how envy reveals human being condition behind the emotion. Unfortunately, even Christian were known to have and Christ’s love does not approve of it if you recall the Love Chapter in 1 Corinthians 13.
However, there is a positive side to jealousy. One of the names of the Lord is ‘Jealous’ – by that, one who lives in covenant relationship with the people of Israel. He is ‘jealous’ on their behalf. He declares these positive feelings after the break-up of the earthly kingdom of Israel and in promise acts of renewal. Another word – desiring – as Paul emulated this for the immature Corinthian believers. He called it a ‘godly jealousy’. This could be seen through the eyes of my Italian in-laws, the same could be said of a Middle-Eastern father, preserving their daughters as a pure virgin for her husband on the wedding day. Paul guards and protects the young Corinthian church, which he would present spotless and mature to Christ. The picture of his jealousy could hardly be more positive.
In our Muslim worldview, when they feel they are the victim of the evil eye of envy – is there a biblical answer for them? The OT story of Saul and David would be a great point to make. Provoked to a deeper dependence upon the Lord, David did not fight off the effect of being eyed. Psalm 59 would have been the relating Psalm during this time period and David was calling upon the Lord as his ‘loving God’ and it reversed the fear. Instead of David being afraid, Saul became afraid of David because the Lord was with David and had left Saul. The envious one was afraid of the one envied because of the latter’s relationship with the truly Jealous.
There is a story of a veteran missionary to Muslims in North Africa, Charles Marsh, where his wife took their pretty daughter to a Muslim wedding party. During the reception, a friendly woman approached her and said, “You had better take Saliha home at once. They are looking at her and talking about her.” She did so at once, but that night the perfectly healthy child developed a high fever and became really ill. Prayer in the name of the Lord Jesus was the only remedy. Some kind of spiritual transaction did occur, hurting Saliha – authority of Jesus Christ proved more than adequate to combat any transference of harm to Marsh’s daughter.
The grip of the evil eye concept lies in its being based on human fear. Real or perceived, it’s deemed as responsible for calamity in the lives of many Muslims. One of our promises in Christ is that the Holy Spirit residing in us is greater than the evil abroad in the world. Christ protects us against all willed or unwitting malevolence. Indeed, there is nothing in all creation that can separate the believer from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. In such answers to the problem of being eyed lies a possibility for Christian witness to ordinary Muslims struggling within their daily round of attacks upon well-being. To know that the Lord is jealous for them against all envy and malice provides relief both from the immediate attack and from the closed worldview that insists upon answering such malevolent force only with other non-absolute force. It is the eye of the Lord Himself that provides comprehensive security.