Jealousy Blocks the Eye of the Heart
Blessed Lady Maryam Mother of Prophet Jesus Peace and Blessings Be Upon Them
From the Teachings of Mawlana Shaykh Hisham as Taught by Shaykh Nurjan Mirahmadi
Audubillahi min ash-shaytanir rajeem, Bismillahi Rahmaani Raheem..
Asking from these holy night that as people are celebrating the life and they birth and times of Sayyidina Isa (as), people of realities, people of Love / ishq celebrate that light that life, that love and that teaching all the time. So it is our duty to always join in the celebration of the Divine and those whom the Divine is pleased with and the best example is within the prophets, the Ahlul Bayt and family of the Prophet, the Sahaba or companions of the Prophet and those who accompanied all prophets and the awliyaullah the pious servants of the Divine Presence and they are all the best of examples for us.
Fata qabbalaha rabbu habi qaboolin hasanin wa anbataha nabatan hasanan wa kaffalaha zakariyya kullama dakhala AAalayha zakariyya al mihraba wajada indaha rizqan qala ya maryam an nalaki hatha qalat huwa min Aindi Allahi inna Allaha yarzuqu man yashao bighayri hisab
Right graciously did her Lord accept her: He made her grow in purity and beauty: To the care of Zakariya was she assigned. Every time that he entered (Her) chamber to see her, He found her supplied with sustenance. He said: “O Mary! Whence (comes) this to you?” She said: “From Allah: for Allah Provides sustenance to whom He pleases without measure.” 3:38
Huna lika daa zakariyya rabbahu qala rabbi hab lee min ladunka thurriyyat an tayyibatan innaka sameeAAu adduAAa/-
There did Zakariya pray to his Lord, saying: “O my Lord! Grant unto me from Thee a progeny that is pure: for Thou art He that heareth prayer!
From one understanding of Mawlana Shaykh’s teaching is that Sayyidatina Maryam (as) and they teach us about ourselves through her, that Sayyida Maryem was vouchsafed from her birth by her mother to Sayyidina Zakaria (as), we will not go into that whole event but an important event of that time, is that Sayyida Maryam (as) was given as a gift from her mother, “Ya Rabbi whatever is in this belly of mine, I am asking to give it as a gift in Your way, and to be of service in Your way. And a wonderful daughter was born and she gave that gift to Sayyidina Zakaria (as) a prophet of Allah (SWT) who was in charge of raising that child, because of the conditions and the temple was mainly run by men and she was locked away where no one had access except Sayyidina Zakaria (as) who was responsible for bringing her food and taking care of all her needs, he was the one who was watching over her. And Allah (SWT) describes from these long lives small captions for us that a prophet of God Sayyidina Zakaria prayed all his life for a child to inherit his reality and his secrets and he was asking Allah (SWT) all the way to his old age, “Ya Rabbi grant me a pious child that will inherit from this secret from my traditions and reality so that I may convey them and this lineage that you have bestowed upon us, let it continue.” That was his main dua and he was given the responsibility to raise Sayyida Maryam (as) and then Allah (SWT) describes something important in Sayyidina Zakaria’s life, that Sayyidina Zakaria came into the niche where she would pray and she was a little older, that every time he came into the area where she prayed, there was always foods that was out-of-season, which no one had brought yet (to the markets) and that Our lady peace be upon her and may Allah (SWT) raise her to infinite realities, and Allah (SWT) describes Sayyida Maryam (as) as the one “We have Chosen above all women in Creation.”
Allah (SWT) chose her for a very special gift that He (SWT) wants to bestow upon her. And Sayyidina Zakaria is coming into that niche, a prophet of God and sees that there is sustenance miraculously appearing here. It was to make him realize first that above every knower there is another knower and also to be tested in humility, because Allah (SWT) loves humility and humbleness and He is displeased with pride and arrogance. The teaching of the value of women was a very low reality at that time and for a prophet of God who was asking continuously and then coming to see that this female has sustenance coming into her niche. And immediately his heart opened and he (as) made a prayer in that niche. The humility in his heart made him realize that “I have been asking and asking for a while, but the secret is being bestowed upon her.” And immediately he began to make a prayer in the niche and instantly Sayyidina Jibril (as) appeared and says “Your dua was accepted.”
Fanadat-hu almala-ikatu wa huwa qa-imun yusallee fee al mihrabi annaAllaha yubashshiruka bi yahya musaddiqan bikalimatin mina Allahi wa sayyidan wa hasooran wanabiyyan mina as saliheen
While he was standing in prayer in the chamber, the angels called unto him: “Allah doth give thee glad tidings of Yahya, witnessing the truth of a Word from Allah, and (be besides) noble, chaste, and a prophet,- of the (goodly) company of the righteous.”
The AwliyaAllah take these stories and begin to teach us that “In the path of humility you don’t know where the secret is going to lie.” And firstly his dua was accepted and he witnessed that miracle and also that it came to a woman while he is standing in authority and he was a prophet of the Divine Presence, his station and reality could not be matched, but Allah (SWT) and also that the Divine can give the gift to whomever He pleases, it is not restricted and His hands are not tied (to giving only to those who have authority). But His gift was given for what was to come later, he witnessed a reality when he made a dua and his dua was accepted and now he is held accountable for that reality because later in her life, she is going to be tested. And she realized that she would be tested when the Divine came and said, “You are going to have a child.” And she thought, “How am I going to have a child when no one has touched me?” And the
Wa-ith qalati al mala-ikatuya maryamu inna Allaha istafaki wa tahharaki wa stafaki ala nisa-i al alameen
Divine says, “It is going to be with Kun Fa Ya Kun, when I order it “to Be, it is.’ Whatever needs to happen will happen and you will be with a child.” And the importance in that reality is that a heavy test was coming to her (as). Being secluded always in prayer and worship and now she was going to have something bestowed on her that would bring many difficulties and hardships and many accusations. But the Divine says, “I am not going to care (about that) because this life is about iman and caring (for Love of God).” It is not about popularity or about being comfortable or the easiest way, but that, “We will bestow and you will recieve.” Sameena wa atana “I have heard and obeyed,” and the child was going to come. And the order from Allah (SWT) with her station being so high,
“When they begin to attack you , there is no permission to respond to the attack.” With the power that she had of what the Divine had bestowed upon her, she had the ability to answer with Divine Energy and Divine Lights, she could rebuff any attack that would have come because she was a Divinely Gifted human being. And what comes with it, because each step leads….when we read stories and if we read too fast, many examples in our lives would be lost.
So saintly beings they tell us to contemplate the event and step by step what Allah (SWT) wants us to apply this in our lives, it is a timeless reality that did not just happen only once and we go out and celebrate it, but their lives have a timeless reality for our life on earth. And the first (lesson) is that Allah (SWT) loves the humble, the standing authority and the powerful with so much assigned to him was humbling himself and it does not mean that only prophets have to be humble but anybody with power and authority. The Divine loves the character of humility and said, “Witness My miracle all around you,” he was humble enough and witnessed it and immediately made a prayer and immediately his prayer was answered.
And the saintly lady of Divine Presence was also going to be tested, “You will be tested and be given a mission which is not popular, and many people will attack you and you do not have permission to reply.” Allah (SWT) tells them, “We have vouchsafed for you a fast and during your fasting you cannot give a reply, and if it becomes too difficult point to the child, We will inspire the infant to answer them.” But these are levels of Awliyaullah that if Allah gives them a test you cannot go out and try to prove your innocence.
For her, Allah (SWT) said, “Don’t talk, you take the accusation and the abuse and We will resolve it from Divine Presence when We wish to.” And then the defective character that Mawlana Shaykh wants us to understand because Sufism is a school of tarbiyya, a school of bringing out bad character, bringing out the jewel within us but the stone may be very big and filled with lots of garbage. And these jewelers, these Awliyaullah can smash at that stone until they have the right size of jewel that has value in Divine Presence. So everything about keeping their company means that as you are aggravated or upset and seeing things that do not make sense to you or events that happen, keep close company. The more you distance yourself the more you are giving in to your ego and bad character and you begin to stay away and you find yourself alone with your bad character where you are comfortable being alone with that bad character.
So they teach us that in the face of confusion, these pious people were greatly tested in their lives. So Sayyida Maryam (as) gave us a message that, “You are going to be tested and maybe as Allah (SWT) was saying ‘you can’t even defend yourself.'” So lets see what is coming from the hearts of people. So then the case was established that she was tremendously pious, they knew her piety! And they saw the sustenance coming into her niche or they heard of it from Sayyidina Zakaria (as). The whole town knew that the sustenance comes to her miraculously and their nabi Sayyidina Zakaria’s (as) dua was accepted in her niche because of the tajalli of her presence and it was accepted miraculously and instantly. And then Allah (SWT) says that, “I will give a test to her to see the quality and the character of people.” And the response from the people when she comes back with a child laid the foundation saying, “We know you come from a very pious background, you are from the descendants of Sayyidina Aaron, and that your mother and your father were both good and you are not from a bad stock and they began to attack her.
It means that for us, we stop right there and the tafakkur shows that what blinds us from blessings and it blinds us from miracles and blinds us from our daraajats and to be raised is hasad (envy). Hasad is jealous and it blocks everything. The character of hasad and we sent an article on this from the big shaykhs and from Mawlana Shaykh’s teaching that they want to show that the character of jealously is what they want to (bring out).
Jealousy when it sees something it is very aggravated by it saying, “Why is this bestowed on you? Or why are you special or he special Why did you get the raise or why did you get this and it can be many different issues. When it concerns religious people and piety it can be very dangerous. Because it has to do with our daraajat and to be raised in our blessings. But in our daily lives, these issues of jealously and not being able to stand other people, women with women and men with men, and different places, “I don’t want to go there,” or things “I don’t want to do that,” and they begin to teach us from the story that they knew the piety of this holy from the Divine Presence and they saw the miracles time and time again in their lives and their character of jealousy is a sickness that lays dormant waiting to reveal itself.
It sits there baking and boiling and you can’t believe why is this person or why is she the one and it is waiting until the event that Allah (SWT) sends to that pious person to make it look like they did something wrong. And in the eyes of jealous people she was very wrong, it means that Allah (SWT) was describing that in their whole life, “You thought they understood you.” And Allah (SWT) wants to show that no, “They are very jealous of you.” And it only took one instance for the jealousy to come out and begin the attack, “We knew all along that there was something in you.” And that jealousy became so fierce that they wanted to kill her, and farther they wanted to kill the child and it became so fierce that they killed Sayyidina Zakaria (as). He ran from them and they accused him that you have impregnated her and he hid within a tree and they chopped the tree! It means the danger and sickness of hasad is the root of our arrival onto this earth.
Azzazeel thought that he was the khalifa on this earth, he thought he would be raised and the imam teaching all the angels and then the Divine said “No, I have created Adam (as) so bow down.” He said, “I am never going to bow.” And he did not bow and he came to this earth. And the imam of this earth is that fallen angel. He is the one leading and teaching, the one who has been here and he is teaching from his characters and not from the characteristics of the saints and the pious people. And he teaches that, “As I fell you will fall too. I will blind you from all the blessings.”
Because when hasad comes we don’t See any blessings in what is happening. We just have a jealous view, “O I don’t like that place or I don’t like those people, I am not going to eat or drink from them.” And he takes away that rahmah and takes away that blessing and makes us to move far away and as soon as the test comes, “O I never liked you,” and it brings out all the disease and the bad characteristics. Hasad it is waiting and lying dormant for one excuse. One excuse to launch an attack and show itself how it was always blinded by the hasad.
So then Mawlana Shaykh points out that before we can truly grow and bring out the reality of the heart, we must understand that hasad. And we must fight against that hasad and the reason why we don’t like or keep our distance and the reason why all these feeling and emotions come within us, it is from hasad or jealousy. And when we don’t have jealousy and we hear bad news or when we hear something, we are very saddened because we don’t want a difficulty to come out and we don’t want those issues to be brought out. Instead of a joyfulness that her community should have had, they said “O what have you done? We have found it now..ah ha there is something wrong with you.” It means they point out to us on this holy night, it is not just about the event that everybody talks about but the events in their lives and how much they suffered in the way of the Divine Presence. And they took their test and they kept quiet and they went through their tests for the benefit of humanity. And Awliyaullah come into our lives and teach us, “The biggest danger in our character is jealousy and it blinds us from everything. It closes our ears and they don’t want to hear anymore, it closes the eyes and they don’t want to see anymore, I am not seeing the miracle and I am not seeing the blessing.” It begins to distance the heart until the person pulls and withdraws and they are able to lunge and attack.
And as soon as they open their mouth they say, “I never liked this, I never liked that,” and these are all the sickness of jealousy. If this was true and sincere love, none of this would come out. You would go down with the ship and not find a way to save yourself and say, “O I am the clever one, I knew all along.” The Prophet (s) described that if you find something wrong, give seventy examples and seventy daleel to yourself that, “I must be wrong. This is a pious person.” They did this throughout the life of the Prophet (s) and they did this through history to all the pious saints. They did this to show us and for the heart to open then we must conquer this characteristic and we seek refuge in the Divine and ask for the nazar of Sayyidina Muhammad (s) and the madad and support of Awliyaullah that they show us our character defects and give us strength and madad to come against them and realize that everything about our sufi life is going to bring out all of these realities.
Everything that they do to the shaykh and everything about the shaykh’s life is to test everybody’s hasad or jealousy and everybody’s anger. That is why the elect a leader and make a group to follow. It is not the superiority of the leader, he should be humble, he should be nothing. But the fact of leadership and how people treat and act and respond then the whole room can be tested for jealousy. The whole room can be tested for envy and pride. We said before from the masters of reality, they teach us how to do it.
They say that “If you serve tea in the whole room and bring everybody a Styrofoam cup and for the shaykh bring a very nice cup. Some shaykhs have very fancy cups and walk all the way down the middle of the room and put that cup in front of the shaykh. It is not because the shaykh needs a nice fancy cup he doesn’t even own one at home, (I have one with the kids painting on it)..but we are in need. We are in need to be tested in this school because if you are in a school and you are never being tested, you will withdraw rightaway and find a school where you are going to be tested. So then the test comes into our heart, “Why does he have this special cup?
Why is my cup like this? How come I have to have it like that and look at that cup he has got? Look at his plate it is full of food and everybody else is hungry looking at that food.” These are big stories.
In previous times, Sayyidina Abdul Qadir Jilani (q) would sit with all the students and they would bring a big lamb and bismillah, he would start eating. He did not care how hungry you were, you just kept watching him eat and then he tells one of the others, “Come join me.” And then that one begins to eat and everybody has a whispering in their heart that, “Who the heck is this? Who is he to eat while we are all sitting here hungry. And many would leave because these are powerful awliya they are witnessing and they want to make an event and begin to witness the hearts. “Look, look how they are complaining that he is eating first and then he calls certain people, ‘come, come, sit and eat.'” Then, everybody would go crazy, “Why did he chose him? I am better than him. Why did he chose him to sit at the table. It means that these are the masters of teaching and bringing out what we know and that which we do not know within us. We pray that they teach us our sicknesses and give us the strength to conquer those sicknesses so that we can reach towards Divine realities. Subhaana Rabbika Rabbil izzati amma yasifoon wa salamun mursaleen wal hamdu lilahi Rabil Alameen.