Topic February

Friendship - Aspects - 3

from: Hazrat Inayat Khan -

In an Eastern Rosegarden

(see also counsellor)

You can listen to all themes here

Covering Faults

There is an attitude which we often see in friends, and that attitude reveals a divine secret. It is the tendency to cover up any fault that our friend has committed from another person; and not only to cover it from the sight of others, but even from our own sight. Never thinking about it, never looking at it, interpreting it differently, such a human being turns the wrong of his friend into right.

And every little good point of his friend, even though it may only weigh an ounce, he makes into a pound. He appreciates and admires it so much, he raises it so high, he considers it so great, that another person cannot imagine how this insignificant idea, this slight merit, can be valued so highly.

No Limitation

In the beginning of my inner pursuit, when I went to my murshid there was no end to my enthusiasm, there was no end to my devotion, there was no end to my excitement about it. I told everybody I met how I felt about the personality of my murshid.

Once, in answer to my deep feeling, my murshid said, ‘Friendship in the path of God, friendship in the path of truth is greater than any friendship in life.’

And at that time I met a very learned man in Hyderabad, with whom I spoke about the deeper things of life. He was interested to hear such deep thoughts from a young man, and said that he would like to see more of me. And in my great enthusiasm I said, ‘If you saw my teacher you would realize that there is no one in the whole world who can be compared with him, so great is he, so wonderful is his personality, so blessed is his presence, so inspiring his glance, so peaceful his atmosphere.’ He said, ‘I would like very much to see him. Where does he live?’ I told him, and then he exclaimed, ‘There? I have lived there for twenty years; it is just next door to my house! What is his name?’ I told him, and he said, ‘I have known him all these years, but I never thought he was so great!’ In twenty years he had not seen what I had seen in a few months. It is friendship that enlightens us; and it is distance that keeps our eyes covered.

If we are friends, and if we cannot understand each other, then we are not yet friends, we only think we are friends. But if we understand, then all the beautiful points in us both are made a thousand times more clear because of that friendship. In friendship there is no limitation.

The Friendship of God

Lastly we come to that most mysterious expression, and yet an expression which is known to all on the religious path: the Grace of God. What is it? It is the friendship of God. It is the friendly emotion of God. It is not the judging quality of God. When God's grace comes, it does not come by saying, ‘Are you worthy, are you unworthy, do you deserve it, do you not deserve it?’ It comes as emotion, love, devotion, admiration comes from friend to friend. There are no limits to it. It is all right for someone to say that because in the past incarnation he has done so much evil, this life he has a bad time with much suffering; or that in the past incarnation he has done so much good, that this time he has become rich. And it is all right for others to say that when they go to hell for their sins they will be whipped and thrashed and put into the fire. But when you look at the grace of God, you forget all these things; no rules, no laws, no deserving or undeserving can be distinguished any more. There is only one thing, and that is love; love that stands above law.

God's grace does not come specially to the pious, it does not come necessarily to the people who are very good, nor does it come readily to the people who are very occult or mystical. It comes as love comes from friend to friend. When love comes it comes without a conception of right and wrong. It is an emotion, it is the rising of the wave, it is a divine feeling that comes. It rises as a stream, and it falls upon the person in the form of a thousand gifts. It may be as inspiration, it may be as comfort, it may be as health, it may be as peace, it may be as rest, it may show itself in a thousand different forms.

The knowledge of what will please your friend, if it comes to you at all, will only come if you really know what friendship is. Otherwise you may presume you are a friend, and all your life you may try to please your friend, but you will never really be able to do so.

It is the same with God. You may do all possible good actions and offer a thousand prayers, and yet if you do not know what pleases God, you cannot please Him. But it does not come from knowledge; it only comes from friendship. Friendship is an automatic action, it is an innocent devotion, an unconscious outgoing, a pure feeling with depth, with life. Automatically that feeling brings about grace. Therefore no one can say why a person is another's friend. We cannot be the judge of it; we cannot understand it. And so no one can say why God is pleased with this person or that person. Sometimes we see that people who do not deserve it have great wealth; and then here are others who, if they had money, would really make the best use of it. Some do not seem to deserve the position or rank they hold; others perhaps in our eyes deserve more; and yet in the eyes of God it is different. It is because they deserve it, though we do not see why and how. And it is the same with friendship.

When someone said to Majnun, ‘Majnun, Leila is not beautiful, why are you so devoted to Leila?’ Majnun said, ‘To see Leila you must borrow my eyes.’

When we judge people do we see with the eyes of God, do we see what feeling God has towards them? And when we cannot see in this way we have no right to question why others are in this or that position in life, why some people are rich, why they are in high positions; it is all a kind of battle with God. And those who learn this one principle: that with a friend we should do our very best to the end, in order to prove worthy of his friendship; and those who try to do their utmost to regard the pleasure and displeasure of God without any thought of reward or of any answer from Him, it is those who really know the meaning of friendship.

When He gives you a blow, He may give a blow

even by the hand of your most loving friend;

and when He caresses you, He may caress you

by the hand of your bitterest enemy.


Vadan - Alapas

(Maheboob Khan, Hazrat Inayat Khan‘s brother, has composed music to a row of aphorisms of Hazrat Inayat Khan in the middle of last century, as this ‚How Shall I Thank Thee‘. Mohammed Ali Khan, Hazrat Inayat Khan’s cousin, has sung this song around the year 1956 in a concert in Zürich – here you can listen to it)

Gayan as E-book - click here

Vadan as E-book - click here

Nirtan as E-book - click here

(these E-book are free of all charge - use their treasures well!)