The Man with Too Much Tea

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem, Alhamdulillahi Wasolatu Wasalaamu ‘ala Rasulillah…

A scholar of great knowledge once visited a Sufi Sage. He was very pleased to be visiting the Sage and, started talking and talking to show how much knowledge he had.

Finally the Sage said, “Let me pour you some tea,” and began pouring tea for his guest out of a teapot. He kept pouring until the teapot was full, and began to overflow onto the table.

The scholar was surprised. “What are you doing?” he asked. “You are as full as this teacup,” said the Sage. “How can I put anything in it, when it is overflowing already?”

One must therefore visit a Sufi sage with an empty heart, with a humility that is receptive to whatever the sage may choose to put in there. If one’s heart is already full – of pride, of worldly concerns- one can receive nothing. The scholar in this story was obviously a person with too much tea in him.

2.

The following is an excerpt from Bidayah al-Hidayah by Imam Ghazali r.a. may Allah make it easy for us to practice these adabs. Amin

The Proper Conduct for a Student

  1. Greeting the Teacher/Guide/Guru with a Salutation of Peace (Salam)
  2. Limiting conversation in his presence.
  3. Not to talk unless told to by the Teacher.
  4. Not to ask anything before being permitted to.
  5. Do not go against him by saying, “So-and-so said something different than what you mentioned.”
  6. Do not mention a different view than his, such that one sees himself as knowing better than the teacher.
  7. Do not ask a question to a friend who sits together in the teacher’s class.
  8. Do not twist and turn your head during the lesson but sit serenely, head bowed as if in prayer.
  9. Do not ask too many questions especially when the teacher is not in a good mood.
  10. Stand up when the teacher stands up as a show of reverence.
  11. Do not harbor bad thoughts of him if one sees something wrong in his external acts. One has to recall the stroy of Nabi Musa a.s. and  Nabi Khidr a.s. from surah al-Kahfi of the Quran. One does not know the inner state of the guru, and upon what his actions are based.

Wallahu’alam

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