Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Etiquettes of Guests and Hosting Them

The son of our teacher (Ra), a doctor, was such that once Maulana Gangohi happened to visit him and at that time there was no food in the house. He frankly informed him of the situation saying that the house is empty of food, I don't feel like getting a loan and there are quite a lot of people around who will be more than happy to entertain you if you would like. Maulana Gangohi refused and said if you are hungry and then I will stay hungry as well, I am your guest and so the Maulana did not eat a thing until the evening.

Near Maghrib time, a man came to the house saying that so-and-so was cured from your medicine and he sent these eleven rupees. Immediately the doctor went to the Maulana saying 'Hazrat, it is in your blessed presence we have received some provision, now I'm definitely going to buy some delicious food for us to enjoy' The Maulana said that there was no need for that, something ordinary would suffice but he still insisted as they had both been very hungry all day. And so they all enjoyed a sumptuous meal by Isha time.

The host should be similarly frank with his guests, but the guest himself should not be overly so and start requesting this delicacy and that drink and this bed. The second thing is that if the host wants to be particularly formal with his guests then for how long will he be able to keep it up? How many loans is he going to take? Because many people have a habit of visiting those who are known for their good spread. So much so that the poor guy becomes exasperated by the constant entertaining and even then they don't stop, it's simply free food for them.

Once in Thana Bhawan there was a similar person who used to be inundated with guests and visitors and it got to the point where he had to borrow money to pay for all the niceties. He complained to me about this and I told him from now on don't make any effort, if you have enough chapaati's put that in front of them whether they eat to their fill or not, don't borrow money to serve anything - when they are going to stay hungry they'll stop coming. That's what he did and soon enough he was rid of them.

So these type of 'guests' don't care a jot about the feelings of their host, they are just interested in the food whatever the situation of the housekeeper. In fact some people travel simply for that reason - they'll get all kinds of nice food from places.

There was an Islamic student in Kanpur who used to say that those people who finish their books and graduate are quite foolish, because then we don't get the easy bread and butter from our hostel. Thats why we are still lying around and don't get past 4rth grade, if we completed our studies who'd give us our roti's?!

So that good-for-nothing was aiming for roti's even from studying!

(Maulan Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Hurmaat-ul-Hudood, pg 104-5, Published Maktaba Thanvi, Karachi)

1 comment:

Horatio Pepperwell said...

interesting- good point about the attitude of some guests these days. nice writing style. i'll be back for more.