Ibrahim Bin Adham (ابراہیم بن ادھم) (death 777), also known as Abu Ben Adhem or Abou Ben Adhem was a Sufi saint. His full name was Sultan Ibrahim bin Adham, Bin Mansur al-Balkhi al- Ijli, Abu Ishaq.
Mewlana Rumi has extensively described the legend of Sultan Ibrahim Bin Adham in his famous Masnavi.
2 His legend
4 Quotations & Other Mention in Oriental Literature
5 The legend of Abu Ben Adhem in the West
6 See Also
Ibrahim Bin Adham was born in Balkh on the east of Khurasan. His family was from the Kufa and were descendants of the second Caliph Omar bin Khattab.
He was the king of Balkh but abandoned the throne to become a Sufi saint. According to the Arabic and Persian sources like al- Bukhari ( d. 870) and many others, Ibrahim Bin Adham received a warning from God and abdicated his throne to take up the ascetic life in Syria. He died in 777-8 and is believed to be buried in Syrian town of Jabala.
His master was Fudhail Bin Iyadh whose master was Abdul Waahid Bin Zaid whose master was Hasan al-Basri. His successor was Huzaifah Al-Mar’ashi.
His legend enlarged gradually from al-Bukhari to Abu Nu'aym al-Isfahani and after its full formation around the eleventh century, expanded to central Asia under the Mongols, Anatolia under the Ottoman rule, North India in the age of the Tughluqids, and Malaysia during the seventeenth century as revealed in the works by R. Jones.
Ancestors of Ibrahim Bin Adham include:
Umar Bin Khattab, second Caliph
Abdullah Bin Umar
Adham, King of Balkh and Bukhara
Ibrahim Bin Adham aka Abou Ben Adham
Quotations & Other Mention in Oriental Literature
Open one thing and shut up another. Open thy purse in the way of God and shut up the tongue except to the worship of God.
Think thy wife to be a widow and thy children to be orphans. Roll on the dust like dogs so that thou mayst have a right to sit among the Dervishes.
Patiently starve to death. Questioned, who would be responsible for blood? Replied, He, who imposed starvation
The legend of Abu Ben Adhem in the West
He was popularly known as Abu Ben Adhem or Abou Ben Adhem in the West because of a famous poem by James Henry Leigh Hunt:
Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An Angel writing in a book of gold:
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said,
"What writest thou?" The Vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one who loves his fellow men."
The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest!
Maktab Tarighat Oveyssi Shahmaghsoudi
Fudhail Bin Iyadh
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