Many strangers always addressed Murshid wherever he went. And the direction of their admiration in life moulded the shape of their questions.
Some simply asked, “Who are you?” or “From where do you come?” or they presented their visiting-card, saying, “May I come to pay you a visit?” When Murshid was wearing the black burnous, many respectfully addressed Murshid as ‘Padre,’ and when Murshid wore the beautiful, white muslin clothes, the white anga*, the white robe, the white turban and the white shoes with yellow embroidery, they asked, “Are you a minister?” [i.e. a political leader; ed.] “Of which State are you the minister?” And many only stared, knowing murshid to be of a caste which one addresses not.
Once a man said to Murshid, “You must be a rich merchant. What kind of business do you have?” Murshid’s humble answer was, “I am a seller of clothes.”
* * *
When Murshid lived in London during the time of the war, a detective visited the house where Murshid was staying. Knowing himself to be an official, the detective felt he had the right to investigate every corner of it, as if he himself were the owner of it all. With a proprietary air, he opened the door of the room where Murshid was present. Then, beholding Murshid, who was sitting in deep meditation, he did not enter the room. But his soul entered that kingdom which is not of the earth.
And he subsequently became a mureed.
Adapted from “Rays”
Kismet Dorothea Stam