Honours & Insults

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

One of the greatest characteristic weaknesses of man is the control of his temper.  Insult or ridicule of the awliya’ is their fuel for the righteous.  A true Sufi takes no notice of any insult done to him.  How great Sufis have mastered this difficult evil is illustrated by the following instance.

Once, Shaykh Abu Thahir as-Sarsari (q.s.), a great shaykh of his time, was passing through a bazaar when someone hurled an insult at him by addressing him as “Ya Shaykh az-Zindiqin,” meaning, ‘O Leader of the Heretics’.  One of the muridun of the great shaykh with him was enraged at this insult to his revered teacher and wanted to retaliate there and then.

The shaykh calmly restrained him.  On reaching the home of the shaykh, to pacify the murid’s anger, Shaykh Abu Thahir (q.s.) showed him a bundle of letters written to him by people of eminence, addressing Shaykh Abu Thahir (q.s.) with high honorifics

The shaykh told his disciple, “Everybody has his own opinion about me according to the limits of his knowledge and status.  All opinions are mere expressions of their own wisdom and status.  If someone calls me a heretic, why should we quarrel over mere reflections of his own ignorance?  Certainly this reflection does not represent my actual personality and all that goes with it.  The titles, good or bad, are mere prefixes or suffixes attributed to one’s personality according to the people’s own estimation and ability.  We should take no impression of such irresponsible behaviour.  Even if it insults us, then Allah Alone has the Right and Power to punish the offender and not us?  Who are we to take Allah’s Law into our own hands and wreck vengeance?”


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