A man invited Hadhrat Ml Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi) for a meal. After talking to him, it transpired that he had taken bay’ah to Hadhrat four years earlier. Hadhrat asked: “During this time, did you ever write a letter to me?” When the mureed replied in the negative, Hadhrat commented: “Now how can I accept your invitation? My complaint is that despite being my mureed for so long, you have not even bothered to write to me once. The compensation for this indifference is that I should not accept your invitation.” The mureed conceded that he had erred. Hadhrat then replied; “When the error has been eliminated, I too shall eliminate my refusal. How could you dissociate so much that upon meeting you, I did not even recognize you? There should therefore be some measure of punishment.”
The purpose of Bay’ah is Islaah of the nafs – moral rectification. If, after entering the path of Tasawwuf the mureed is indifferent and neglectful, it indicates a serious defect in the resolve of the mureed for Islaah-e-nafs. Worse yet – insincerity of motive!