The duties of good conduct of any servant towards his master, who
bestowed upon him even a tiny portion of the bounties your Creator has
bestowed upon you, consist in honoring the master in word and deed, in
faithfulness to him, exerting himself in his master's affairs, openly
and inwardly, and showing reverence and fear when standing in his
presence. As a pious man said, "Do not rebel against your master when
he observes you."
Among these duties are also included that he should be humble and
submissive to his master, in his visible behavior and innermost secret
thoughts; that he should conduct himself with humility before him, in
his attire and habits.
That he should honor and exalt him, in his speech and thought, that he
should praise and laud him by day and by night; that he should recall
his good deeds privately and publicly; recount his praises according
to what befits him; run to do his service joyously and goodheartedly
out of love that he will find favor in his master's eyes; strive to
draw nearer in his behavior to his master's will; ever beseech his
master to be pleased with him and forgive him; to love him; to be
afraid that he may be falling short in doing what he had been
That he should heed the master's command, keep far from that against
which the master had warned him, think of the many iniquities which he
has committed in the past, appreciate the benefits he has received on
account of their great number and importance and diminish the value of
what he has done in comparison with what he should have done; that he
should regard his efforts as petty, compared with what is befitting
He should admit his own insignificance compared to the greatness of
his master. He should bow to him frequently, in deep humility and
lowliness. He should put his trust in his master for all his needs and
be satisfied with whatever position his master assigns him to. If the
master provides for him fully, he should thank and praise him. If the
master leaves him hungry, he should accept and bear his condition
patiently. He should never suspect the master of unfairness in his
judgment of him, nor charge him with perverseness in his decree. He
should be contented with what the master favors him with, and justify
the master when he has punished him.
Other things which are proper on his part: that in every movement of
his limbs and in all his traits, he should exhibit evidence of his
servitude and of his master's ownership.
He should ponder only on remembrance of his master.
Look nowhere else than to the master's ways.
Listen only to his master's words, eat only the food that his master
provides for him, think only of his master's greatness, render no
service except to please his master.
Rejoice only in serving his master.
Seek only his master's will.
Hasten only on his master's errands, abstain only from whatever might
be against the master's will.
Stay nowhere except in his master's house, remain ever faithful to him
Only read his books, wear only the garment of reverence for his
Sleep only on the couch of love for him, keeping ever in his mind the
Awaking with the sweetness in thinking of him.
Finding no pleasure except in being with him, fleeing from naught
except disobedience to him, never mourning except when his master is
angry [on him - PL], feeling no fear except fear of his master, hoping
for naught but his master's kindness, never angry except at that which
his master obliges him to be so. He will only be pleased with one who
does his master's will; take nothing but with his master's permission;
only give to one to whom his master orders him to give.
And so with all his movements. He will not move a foot, nor raise an
eyelid except to fulfill his master's will.
The habits that are bad in a servant are the opposite of those that
are good in his master's sight. When these good habits are reversed,
they are easily recognized...