Hadhrat Maulana Muhammed Masihullah Khan mentions:
Once, when travelling in England, we arrived at our destination in a certain city. Now, my schedule and habits during travels are the same as those at home. Sleeping has its proper time. No such thing as feeling a bit tired so have a nap. This has not happened during travels and it has not happened on arrival back home. Meals have their times. No question of feeling peckish so have a meal.
On our arrival we were welcomed and then seated and conversation commenced. Somebody suggested: “Hadhrat, would you care to lie down for a while?” I replied: “No, it is not my nature to do so”. He seemed surprised. “Hadhrat has travelled such a long distance and for quite a long time.” I said: “Yes, but during travel my mazhab is different.”
When those present heard me speak about another mazhab, they were all surprised. “But we are all of the same mazhab!” “No. During travels my mazhab is different,” I repeated. Everybody was now curious. What is this new mazhab Hadhrat is coming with? I explained: ” My mazhab is this that, when about to travel, the moment I set my foot outside the door of my house I shut the door on all thoughts of comfort and of getting angry. This is my mazhab when travelling!”
This is so because one comes across many such things that go against one’s temperament during one’s travels. As a guest at somebody’s place you have in mind a certain schedule, but your host does just the opposite. And so forth. If one’s temperament is such that it is easily irritated, the next thing is that anger wells up and then this anger is evident in the words one utters. So, one should lock up one’s anger at home and leave aside all thoughts of comfort. After I had explained my “mazhab” my host did not insist on my going to lie down and we carried on speaking.
Here, in Jalalabad, we have lunch approximately at noon, long before Zhur. Noon came and I expected everybody to be getting ready for lunch. Nothing happened. It went onto 1p.m. Still nothing. Lunch was served only after Zuhr, which is the custom over there. So, one just has to adjust one’s routine, but one does not say anything.
In the cold climate over there, tea is served at odd times. My habit here was to have tea after Zuhr, just before ‘Asr. This was my routine during travels too. Over there every now and then somebody would offer tea which I would politely refuse. They commented, “We find you amazing! Others who came to visit tend to drink tea every now and then. Also, quite a bit is spent on buying pan. Whereas you do not chew pan and tea you refuse.”
“Safr-hadhratan”- habits in travel should be like those at home. The question of usuls (principles) is different. My Hadhrat used to say: “The usuls of safr (travel) are different and the usuls of hadr (residence) are different. One cannot adopt the same principles in travel that one adopts at home.” In safr there is caution and consideration and one has to overlook many things.
“Ibnus Sabil”- the musafir, the wayfarer. In other words categories that have been dealt with are people we know. We now come to the wayfarer who is a complete stranger. He should also be shown due consideration. The status of a person at home may be such that he enjoys all-round respect and honour. However, when he is travelling he is just as ordinary as anyone else.
For example: the provincial administrator, in his office or at home, will be shown great respect which his status demands. However, if he is travelling in his personal capacity, he will be treated like any ordinary other ordinary person by those who do not know him nowhere.
One can only exclaim one’s wonder at the depth with which Allah Ta’laa laid on our mua’sharaat! Wah! Allah-miyan! Wah!” Is there anything left out by Allah Ta’laa in the Quraan Sharif? Definitely not!
For Friends- A Compilation of the selected discourses of Hadhrat Maulana Masihullah Khan Sahib Rahmatullahi Alayh, pg 168