Saturday, November 01, 2003

Customising in another context

During his visit to England, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817 - 1898), the modern Muslim educationists, writers and reformers was attending a formal dinner in his honour. As per their customs, the hosts served liquor in place of water, not realizing Muslims’ aversion to drinking. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan wanted water but resisted asking.

After the last course, a bowl of warm water was placed in front of every one for washing hands. Sir Syed thankfully drank that water. Others attendees saw this, exchanged meaningful looks and did the same as the guest of honour had done. They never wanted to embarrass the guest.

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