A certain Sufi community in Bangalore had shrunk over the years until only one teacher and three disciples remained. They lived together in their Sufi centre, spending their days in remembrance of God, meditation and tending their fields and orchards. The residents of this Sufi centre grew older and older and they became concerned that their way of life might die out as no new, young people joined the order.
One day a traveller arrived. He was a caliph of a Sufi order from what formerly was called Yugoslavia. The teacher of the Sufi community in Bangalore told the visitor about their worries about the future of their community.
The traveller did not know how they could solve their problem, but he told this: “I have come to visit you all for a specific reason. In my meditations I have had an experience of unveiling and it became clear to me that the teacher of the age is one of you!”
When the traveller had left them the teacher mentioned everything to his disciples. Immediately the three disciples concluded that their teacher must be the one. But then all of them reflected and wondered if the teacher of the age might be Mo’in, who was a beautiful singer and who could recite the Qur’an in such an inspiring way. Or perhaps the teacher of the age was Farid, who always showed a spirit of selfless service to everyone he met? Or why could Shams not be the one as he was a very silent man with no outward show whatsoever?
The four people, i.e. the shaykh and his three mureeds, could not answer the question who among them was the teacher of the age. They, however, began to treat one another as if each was the one. Their mutual respect deepened and deepened. This loving spirit started to function as a magnet. Soon the new atmosphere started to attract more and more travellers. Some came to participate in the tending of the fields and the orchards of the small-sized Sufi community, some were invited to join the dhikr practices of the community and eventually some young people stayed.