Chapter XXV (l)
The Rules of Audition
The rules of audition prescribe that:
- It should not be practiced until it is essential, and must not be made a habit of it.
- It should be practiced seldom, in order that its reverence is not lessened. The presence of Sheikh is must during the performance and the place should be cleared of common people. The qawal (orator) should be a respectable person.
- The heart should be emptied of worldly thoughts, the heart should not be inclined to amusement and unnecessary excessive effort should not be made.
- One must not exceed the proper bounds until audition manifests its power, and when it has become powerful one must not repel it but follow it as it requires. If it agitates, one must be agitated, and if it calms, one remains calm. Then one must be able to distinguish a natural impulse from the ardor of ecstasy.
- The audience must have enough perception and be capable of receiving the Divine influence and of doing justice to it. And when its might is manifested on his heart he must not endeavor to repel it, and when its force is broken he must not endeavor to attract it.
- While one is in a state of emotion, he must neither expect anyone to help him nor refuse anyone’s help if it be offered.
- One must not disturb anyone who is engaged in audition or interfere with him, or ponder what he means by the verse (to which he is listening), because such behavior is very distressing and disappointing to t he person who is trying to hear.
- One must not say to the singer that he is chanting sweetly, and if he chants otherwise, he must not say to him that he should chant better, or shows hatred towards him; rather he must be unconscious of the singer’s presence and commit himself to Allah Who hears correctly.
- And if he has no part in the audition which is being enjoyed by others, it is not proper that he should look soberly on their intoxication, but he must keep quiet with his own waqt (time) and establish its dominion, that the blessing thereof may come to him.
I think it more desirable that beginners should not be allowed to attend audition, lest their natures become immoral. These concerts are extremely dangerous and corrupting, because women on the roofs or elsewhere look at dervishes who are engaged in audition and in consequence of this the audiences have great obstacles to meet with. The young lads should not be permitted in the audition assembly, since some ignorant Sufis have made a religion of all this and truth and reality have flung from them.
I seek pardon of Allah for my sins of this kind in the past, and I implore His help, that He may preserve me both outwardly and inwardly from contamination, and I enjoin the readers of this book to hold it in due regard.