It is a course that requires understanding and detachment from the pleasures and desires of the world. A way of life that teaches you the value of things and what holds true value in this world and the hereafter.
This message would be put forward to us in many ways on many occasions. My respected teachers would always state that the purpose of this course was not to gain large sums of money but was to ensure that whatever we acquired was done so correctly and if that was the case Allah would automatically place Barakah (blessings) within such earnings.
Hadhrat would tell us, on several occasions, an incident that took place between a student and his teacher. Before I continue with the incident, I would like all the readers to remember and acknowledge that the methods and efforts and devotion in both teaching and studying today are no comparison to those many years back. In those days, especially in poorer countries, there would be hunger and struggle for teachers and students; limited sleep, occasional food, broken shelter and the hard floor would serve as a bed. During those times this incident took place:
There was once a dedicated teacher that would teach his students their daily lessons. It would be apparent to the students that the teacher was on limited income and due to this they could see the apparent signs of hunger, poverty and lack of sleep.
The students were also aware that the teacher would never accept any help from the students as it would seem as though they were obliged to aid him due to being his students. Therefore, this matter continued for some time until it got to a point where the teacher could no longer teach comfortably due to the pangs of hunger.
There was a bright and clever student from amongst other students who thought of a way in which he would be able to help his teacher. In effort to do so, he prepared a nice meal and walked past his teacher. The sight of the food made the teacher hungry and he desired within his heart to have that food. The student, after a few moments, approached the teacher with the food as a gift for him.
On seeing this the teacher was very pleased and was just about to being when his facial expressions changed. He thanked the student for the gift but explained that he was unable to take the food as it would be regarded as شُح (greed or expectation). He desired for the food and thereafter the taking of that food would be incorrect for him.
The student tried to compromise with his teacher but to no avail the teacher turned down his gift and asked him to leave. The student took leave but was clever to think of another method to complete the task he had begun.
He returned again several minutes later and approached his teacher and said, my respected teacher, when I presented this food to you before you had desire and expectations that it was for you that I had brought this food and thus you asked me to take leave. But once I left there was no desire in your heart neither did you expect me to return with this food. Therefore, now it would be correct for you to accept this gift.
After mentioning this episode our Hadhrat would advice us to never expect anything from anyone in this world, especially because of our position in the society.
He would also tell us to never accept as a gift an item for which we showed desire or need. For example, if on occasion we mentioned in general that, I really have a need for a red fountain pen, and then due to that someone presented us with that pen as a gift then this would also be incorrect to take.
The only expectation one should have is in Allah, for He provides for all and He is the one who knows the needs and the desires of the heart.
May Allah save us all from expectations from anyone but Him and may He grant us all His blessing by providing for us in times of need. Aameen.