Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
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The Perfect Preservative
Koran tablet, Moroccan, 19th-20th century. Click for larger image.

Muhammad Sabat al-Shauri traveled from Egypt to study with Abdul Qadir Gilani. His visit was a long one, and he enjoyed and profited from Abdul Qadir's teaching. When it was time to go home, Muhammad asked Abdul Qadir for a last lesson. Abdul Qadir answered, "Do not ask any questions during your journey" — this was one of the rules of his life. When Muhammad asked how he might then get food during his journey, Abdul Qadir put his finger in Muhammad's mouth and kept it there for a minute; it was as sweet as honey. The two men parted, and Muhammad traveled home with only the food he had brought. He never felt hungry during his trip, never needed to stop, and returned home sooner than he expected. When he handed his provisions to his wife, she opened the bags and found that the food was as fresh as if it were newly harvested. Many family members and friends came to welcome Muhammad back home, and though they all shared the food he had brought with him, they could not finish it all.