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Chapter 28. Consorting with People

Since people's natures are varied and different, getting along with everyone is difficult. For this reason, the best that a person of sound mind can do about this is to seclude himself  and keep himself  to himself, for this is indeed generates a great comfort and relief. Nevertheless, if he has to associate with people then he should do so in a kind manner while being lenient towards them, fulfilling their rights, ignoring his own due rights, he should be patient with those who are ignorant, forgive those who are unjust, and give the arrogant the best seat in a gathering. The best means by which he can attain their affection is through forgiveness and bestowals. Besides, by these two, he can enslave those who cannot be led. It was mentioned in a lfadith, "Dealing wisely [going along] with people is a charity."

Section one: Associating with Laypeople

If a scholar is tested with associating with laypeople, then he should be very cautious, as lay people's aims and purposes are different to those of a scholar; what makes one of  them contented makes the other discontented. And some of them are angered by correctness because they see it as wrong; and, in spite of their ignorance, they do not accept what the scholars say.

Therefore a scholar should distance himself from them as much as he can, because associating with them brings dishonor to him, belittles him in their eyes and so his knowledge becomes disparaged by them. Further, if a sinner sees a scholar laughing or eating, or if he hears that he got married, then he will not have any respect for him [i.e. they may think of him as someone seeks worldly pleasures and not the hereafter]. Therefore one should be very cautious of them, for such people are actually the killers of the Prophets. However, if he has to socialise with them, then he should not say much to them, and he should speak not what they may take advantage of, or of anything that might not be suitable for him to speak about with them. After incorporating all this, assuring safety from them is possible.