In the Mubaarak Hadith, we are taught that honouring and taking care of the guest is part of the beautiful qualities of deen and the sunnah. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “The one who has imaan in Allah Ta‘ala and the last day – he should honour his guest.” Hence, we find that our pious predecessors would go out of their way to honour their guests, fulfil their needs and see to their comfort.
Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Saheb (rahimahullah) was very particular in regard to taking care of his guests and would personally attend to them and take care of their needs. Out of concerns for his guests’ comfort, he would personally approach each guest to ask them if they needed anything. Hazrat (rahimahullah) showed such consideration to the guests that even after he fell ill and could no longer walk, he still went, with the assistance of two attendants, to see that the guests were comfortable. Hazrat (rahimahullah) showed such importance to the guests that it was only after he was reassured that their needs were taken care of that he would go to rest. (Hayaat-e-Mahmood 1/406)
Seeing to the Meals of the Guests
At the time of meals, Hazrat (rahimahullah) would keep a watchful eye on all the guests to see if they needed more roti or food. Hence, throughout the meal, when Hazrat (rahimahullah) noticed that any guest needed more roti or food, he would immediately instruct the attendants saying, “Pass more roti to so-and-so. Pass more food to so-and-so,” etc.
If any guest was absent, he would immediately enquire about his whereabouts. Hazrat (rahimahullah) would also try to ensure that all his guests felt comfortable. Hazrat (rahimahullah) was also particular about arranging special food for the special guests who came from different villages, areas and countries according to what they desired.
In reality, Hazrat (rahimahullah) would sit down to eat with the guests merely as a formality. He ate very little, but remained seated on the dastarkhaan until the end of the meal. Hazrat (rahimahullah) would only stand up when everyone had completed eating, so that guests may feel comfortable with his presence and eat to their fill.
Postponing His Journey Due to Guests
At times, Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Saheb (rahimahullah) would have a journey scheduled and planned, however on hearing that a certain special guest was coming, Hazrat (rahimahullah) would cancel his plans and postpone his journey so that he could receive, host and entertain the guest.
One example of this is the occasion when Hazrat (rahimahullah) had made plans to go on a journey. After planning the journey, Hazrat (rahimahullah) was informed that Hazrat Moulana Abraarul Haq Saheb (rahimahullah) would be arriving on a certain date which coincided with his journey. On hearing this, Hazrat (rahimahullah) immediately changed his plans and postponed his journey.
Seeing to the Bedding of the Guests
When a guest needed bedding, Hazrat (rahimahullah) would personally get the bedding and lay it out for him. After he fell ill, he would instruct the attendants to make the necessary arrangements for the guests, and Hazrat (rahimahullah) would thereafter inspect whether these preparations were done correctly or not.
On one occasion, one of the attendants arrived with a few guests at the time when Hazrat (rahimahullah) was about to retire to bed. Hazrat’s (rahimahullah) bedding was already spread out on his bed at that time. Seeing the guests, Hazrat (rahimahullah) asked the attendant, “Do you need a bed for the guests?” The attendant replied, “I need two beds for the guests.”
At that moment, there were two beds in the room – one of which had Hazrat’s (rahimahullah) bedding on it and was for Hazrat (rahimahullah) to sleep on. However, as soon as he heard that two beds were required for the guests, he immediately took his bedding off the bed so that the attendant could use the bed for the guest. Thereafter, Hazrat (rahimahullah) placed his bedding on the floor and slept on the floor.
The attendant was under the impression that Hazrat (rahimahullah) had another two beds reserved for his own use. Later on, when the attendant and the guests came to know that Hazrat (rahimahullah) had given his own bed to the guest and had slept on the floor, they felt grieved that they had taken the bed from Hazrat (rahimahullah), but there was nothing that they could now do.
Bidding Farewell to Guests
When the guests were leaving, Hazrat (rahimahullah) would stand up and hug each visitor, greet him and see him off till the door. During the latter years of his life as well, despite being old and extremely ill, due to which Hazrat (rahimahullah) would sometimes become dizzy and fall down, he would still stand up in order to hug every person and bid him farewell.
When bidding the guests farewell, Hazrat (rahimahullah) would recite the following sunnah dua reported in the Hadith:
أَسْتَوْدِعُكُمُ اللهَ دِيْنَكُمْ وَأَمَانَتَكُمْ وَخَوَاتِيْمَ أَعْمَالِكُمْ
At times, some of the poor visitors did not have sufficient money for the bus fare for their journey home. Hazrat (rahimahullah) would generously give them money for the fare.
Similarly, it was Hazrat’s (rahimahullah) habit to give certain special guests some food for the road at the time of their departure.