History tells us that in olden days people used to be very hospitable and used to care for the guest as much as they could. In tribal life hospitality used to be part of their culture. Arabian tribes were especially known to be very hospitable. In tribal areas of Pakistan, it is still a part of their unwritten traditions. The guests are offered the best possible food and comfort for as long they stay there. Certain tribes go to the extent that even if their enemy suddenly drops in, he is given full honor and respect of a guest. These are beautiful traditions particularly of Muslim culture. Islam has taught us to treat the guest in the best possible manner. In Islamic history, there are plenty of stories and examples that glorify this wonderful tradition and teaching. But the time changes; many things change with time. So has the tradition of hospitality particularly in bigger cities all over.
Let us look at it from another angle. When a person is born, he does not bring a thread of cloth or a cent with him. Whatever he/she gets in this physical life is given to him/her by God Almighty through other human beings, which is left to the world upon death. Whatever a person has is given to him for a purpose and is with him temporarily for a limited period. That purpose includes sharing with others, which he gives away as charity, gifts or entertainment to his guests etc. I therefore believe that whatever he offers to the guest is not his own; that was given to him as "share" for that guest. If the guest would not come to him, he wouldn’t even get that. Truly, when the guest receives his share, the host is relieved of the burden that was upon him to keep that stuff in his trust. So rather than taking the guest as a financial burden, one should be thankful to him for relieving us of the burden that we were carrying for so long. This is perhaps one of the reasons why the guest is said to be kindness of God.
Hospitality however, is not restricted to good food only; it also includes comfort of guest and treatment with respect. If this philosophy can be understood, I am sure that people would be more hospitable than ever before.
Muhammad Akram Khan, Reiki Master/Teacher