Hazrat Inayat: Dealing with Opposition

Q: When we deal with persons who are aggressive towards the Message and you in their speaking, what attitude have we to take toward them?
A: A perfectly tolerant attitude. Not a defensive attitude. The reason is this, that the person who does not understand the real, you do not need to defend for the real, because the real itself is its defense. Only he is to be pitied that he cannot understand. For instance, there is a man who has real gold, and he wants to sell it at the market. And there is a man with false gold. And when a false gold is bought and a person makes an objection, then the man is naturally angry, because he wants to sell his false gold. But the person who has the real gold, if anyone says, “No, this is not real gold, it is false,” by that you have not lost, because the real you have already.  The tolerant attitude is much better in all these cases than a defensive attitude. Besides this, it is never in the favor of our Message to antagonize a person. For instance, if a person criticizes or looks at it in a sneering way, and if you feel his attitude and you say something which is displeasing to him, you lose that person forever. But if you are tolerant, perhaps this very same man, who is a raw fruit just now, in two years may be ripened, and the very same man may come to us. To keep the raw fruit to ripen, instead of allowing it to be decayed.

I will give you an example. There was a man in Switzerland; one of my mureeds spoke to him about the Message, and he was only too critical. But this mureed of ours did not antagonize him, he just let him stay there. And what happened? This man, for curiosity’s sake, wanted to look at one or two books. And after having read these books he said, ‘Perhaps I shall try to hear the Murshid when he comes to Switzerland.” So this man came to hear me speak at a lecture. And that gave him a desire to meet me. So next time he came and met me. After one meeting he himself offered to become a mureed. And next day he brought his whole family to become mureeds! A mureed, who is our very great friend and support today, and one of our very sympathetic workers. So that is the idea. If he would have been antagonized, before even looking at the book he would have thrown it away. He was given a chance to look at the book by not being antagonized. Human nature is delicate, it must be delicately reached. The whole success of the Message is in the delicacy of the workers.

Q: Can you give us some example how to deal with a very materialistic person, how to awaken in him some idea of spirituality?
A: A materialistic person is always a very difficult subject  to approach, because he gives us no ground to stand upon. A godly person gives us at least God as the ground to stand upon. A materialist does not give us that ground; therefore we must find a ground. And that ground is his own self. We must get that ground from him. That is to say, he is not concerned with soul, hereafter or God. But he is concerned with himself. As soon as you stand on that ground, his own life, its happiness, its success, its balance, its real benefit, then you have a ground to stand upon.

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