The ways of learning, the knowledge of the nature and needs of learners, and all other things which are possessed and made available by Sufis, are known by them as ‘gifts’. These therefore are ‘things given’, which can be of use to the recipient.
When people ask for guidance or teaching, they are in this sense asking for gifts. But, as with more material gifts, they cannot stipulate the nature, extent and timing of their bestowal.
‘Gifts’ are not only given, but they can be given only within the framework which governs gifts of this kind.
This conception of bestowals of capacity and of their reception and employment is very helpful in understanding that one cannot bargain with someone who has gifts to give; that one may not appreciate their worth unless one is shown what they are or how to use them; that one does not really, for the most part, apply for gifts to be given.
The Commanding Self