Negligent Behaviour of the Murid

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ 

Imam Mahmud ibn ‘Ali al-Qashani (q.s.) wrote, in Miswbah al-Hidayah wa Miftah al-Kifayah, “The Lamp of Right Guidance & the Key to What is Sufficient,” that the murid should not show negligence in his behaviour.  A too free type of behaviour in the contact with our shaykh is not allowed, neither in words nor in deeds, because if we just let it all go, then the veil of modesty and the dress of worthy behaviour are Taken Away and the flow of Mercy then gets Interrupted.  We should use respectful terms when addressing him. 

In the beginning, the companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.) did not use respectful terms when using his name.  They said, “Muhammad” and “Ahmad” until this was Disallowed in the Words of Allah (s.w.t.) that was Sent Down: 

سُوۡرَةُ الحُجرَات

وَلَا تَجۡهَرُواْ لَهُ ۥ بِٱلۡقَوۡلِ كَجَهۡرِ بَعۡضِڪُمۡ لِبَعۡضٍ أَن تَحۡبَطَ أَعۡمَـٰلُكُمۡ وَأَنتُمۡ لَا تَشۡعُرُونَ (٢) 

… nor speak aloud to him in talk, as you may speak aloud to one another lest your deeds become vain and ye perceive not. (Surah al-Hujraat:2) 

Thereafter, they addressed him by using “Messenger of Allah” or “Prophet of Allah.” 

Representatives of the Banu Tamim, in order to get him out, shouted out in front of the inner apartments of the Prophet (s.a.w.), “Muhammad!  Come out to us!”  Then, these Elevated Words were Revealed: 

سُوۡرَةُ الحُجرَات

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يُنَادُونَكَ مِن وَرَآءِ ٱلۡحُجُرَٲتِ أَڪۡثَرُهُمۡ لَا يَعۡقِلُونَ (٤) وَلَوۡ أَنَّہُمۡ صَبَرُواْ حَتَّىٰ تَخۡرُجَ إِلَيۡہِمۡ لَكَانَ خَيۡرً۬ا لَّهُمۡ‌ۚ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬ (٥) 

Those who shout out to you from without the inner apartments ― most of them lack understanding.  If only they had patience until you could come out to them, it would be best for them: but Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surah al-Hujraat:4-5) 

Just as we should not be to free in our speech to our shaykh, we should see it as our duty to honour and respect him in our acts.  That is why, when we are in the company of our shaykh, we should roll out our praying-carpet only during the times of the ritual prayers.  When listening to Sufi music, we should refrain from making movements and we should not call out, and as long as we have the power to control ourselves, we should not move when we are in the company of the shaykh.  We should also refrain from laughing.


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