Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) once mentioned:

A businessman told me that a certain person, who was a follower of a Barelwi Shaikh, mentioned the following to him in Calcutta, “Who claims that Ashraf Ali is a Deobandi? The Deobandis (people of Deoband) regard him to be a Deobandi, but really, we feel that he is one of us, the Barelwis.”

Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) then said, “The only reason for this person having a good opinion regarding myself and being happy with me is that I do not adopt a harsh approach when dealing with people. Instead, when dealing with people, I display politeness and good character, together with remaining within the limits of sharee‘ah. Even when dealing with the Barelwis, I do not conduct myself in a harsh or unpleasant manner. I display politeness and good character, according to the sunnah. Due to my dealing with them in this manner, they have a good opinion of me and feel that I am one of them.”

Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) thereafter said, “This approach that I adopt, of dealing with people in a pleasant manner, is the approach which Hazrat Haaji Imdaadullah (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) would adopt. Hazrat Haaji Imdaadullah (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) would often say, ‘Every person feels comfortable with me and thinks that I am like him, and that I have his ‘colour’. However, the reality of the matter is that I am a person that does not have any ‘colour’ of his own, but I am able to adapt to the colour of every person and make him feel at ease, in accordance to the sunnah.’ Hazrat Haaji Saheb (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) then gave the following example saying, ‘My example is that of water; it does not have any colour of its own. If you pour it into any bottle, it will seem as if it is the same colour as that bottle.’” (Malfoozaat Hakeemul Ummat 5/16)

Source: Ihyaauddeen.co.za