Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
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A Dervish in Need
Detail from Shahjahan Enthroned with Mahabat Khan and a Shaykh, Mughal, 1629. Click for complete painting.

Thousands of people were said to have eaten at Nizamuddin Auliya's table. In fact, so much money was spent at his langar that the Sultan launched an inquiry into the matter. He was told that the princes, Court officials and rich men of the city all donated thousands of rupees towards its expenditures. The sultan then prohibited all princes and Court officials from giving any money to the Saint. When the Shaikh heard this he asked his servants to double their expenses, saying, "Put your hand in the vault and you will get what you need." And they did.