An imam, required by his position not only to lead prayers, but also to preach in the mosque and invite people to God, once visited the great Persian Sufi Abul Hassan Kharqani, and asked him to deliver a sermon to him.
Abul Hassan said, “By all means call people to God, but never invite them to yourself.”
The imam looked surprised at this, and Abul Hassan gave the following explanation.
“If an imam should become envious of a fellow imam who is similarly inviting people to God, it means he does not invite people to God but to himself. Otherwise, what could be the reason for his envy?”