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It is mentioned that Hadrat Sayyiduna Abul Hasan Antaaki – may Allah be pleased with him – used to live in Khuraasan.


One day, nearly thirty guests came to him. The bread was less and there was no time to prepare anything. It was also late in the evening. Whatever bread he had, he broke them into pieces and placed them on the eating cloth. After all of them had sat down to eat, he then turned off the lantern. They all then began to eat and from around the eating cloth, the sound of chewing also was heard. When everyone remained silent, the lantern was again lit. When the eating cloth had been lifted, it was found that the bread which was placed there at the beginning was still in the same state and amount. In fact, all of them were merely acting like they were eating. Every one of them sat there so that the other person could be able to eat the bread.


This is the actual behaviour and sign of a true Sufi. They do not eat to satisfy their nafs. They are not slaves of their stomachs or their nafs. They do not live for themselves but for others. They remain hungry themselves and allow others to eat. As for those who worship their nafs and their stomach, that person can never be a true Saint. The other name of Tasawwaf is serving creation. (Makhzan-e-Ikhlaaq) 240)