How much does guidance mean to you? How much should a person revere one who is a means for them finding a treasure no less than Allah, Himself?
A wonderful narration of a short story I have heard several time, courtesy of Mawlana Shaykh Tamim Ahmadi of Fremont, California:
True Love Leads to True Value
Once, a beggar came to Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliyaa (RA) asking for some financial assistance. The Shaykh replied, “I will give you whatever I receive today.” It just so happened that the Shaykh had received nothing on that day. The Shaykh then told him, “Whatever I get tomorrow will be given to you.” The next day, too, the Shaykh had nothing. So, the Shaykh then gave his shoes to the beggar.
Amir Khusro (RA), who was a student of the Shaykh, was accompanying the king when he saw the beggar somewhere on a journey. Amir Khusro (RA) noticed that the beggar was extremely happy. He asked the beggar, “Where are you coming from?” He replied, “I am coming from Dehli.” Amir Khusro (RA) then asked about his Shaykh. The beggar informed him that the Shaykh was doing well. Amir Khusro (RA) told the beggar, “I sense some fragrant smell coming from you. Did the Shaykh give you something?” The beggar replied, “I have the Shaykh’s shoes. He had given them to me out his extreme kindness.”
Amir Khusro (RA) then asked the beggar, “Would you like to sell the shoes?” The beggar replied, “I had intended to sell the shoes so that I can acquire some money.” The beggar knew how much reverence Amir Khusro (RA) had for his Shaykh. The beggar then told Amir Khusro (RA) that he would sell the shoes for 500,000 rupees.
Amir Khusro (RA) happily paid the price for the shoes. Placing the shoes with the utmost care by him, he set off for Dehli to visit his Shaykh. Sultan al Mashaaikh, Hazrat Nizamuddin (RA) saw him approaching with the shoes and commented, “Khusro! You have bought those shoes for a cheap price.” Amir Khusro (RA) replied, “Hazrat, I only paid the price the beggar asked for; otherwise, I was prepared to give all of my wealth for these shoes.”
Subhaanallah! It is indeed intriguing to see the level of love Amir Khusro (RA) had for his shaykh. The pious of the past had value for the shoes of their shaykhs. Today, we don’t have value for our shaykhs, let alone their shoes. We overlook their feelings, likes and dislikes. We disrespect them and do not even realize it.
We pray to Allah that He grant us the ability to truly appreciate our shaykhs and to value them the way they deserved to be valued and appreciated.