There was once upon a time a learned Shaikh who was known for his openness to all traditions. He often said that among the wise, distinctions and differences of religion had no meaning.
It sometimes happened that this Shaikh would receive the visits of a certain man who was seeking desperately for wisdom. Each time he came, he would leave the hem of the Shaikh’s robe wet with his tears, but for some reason that the students of the Shaikh could not understand, the Master did not admit him into his inner circle.
One day, after such a visit, the students asked the Shaikh, “Master, this man is very thirsty for the truth. He seeks constantly, visiting shaikhs and dervishes and yogis and priests and hermits and rabbis, looking for what will soothe the agony of his soul. Why don’t you grant him your blessing and initiate him?”
The Master sat in silence for a moment, and then replied, “You see, the granting of bayat is an act of intimacy. From all the visits that you describe, this man never comes to me alone.”