In Honour Of The Venerable

Shaykh Ibrahim bin Adham®

‫شیخ ابراھیم بن ادھم‬
Imam Qushayri ® state: “The root of chivalry is that the servants strive constantly for the sake of others. Chivalry is to have a beautiful character.”

Ihsar - Chivalry


here are many waqiahs in relation to chivalry. One such waqiah is when the Holy Prophet (saw), Sayyiduna Ali ® and another sahabi were sharing one horse. The Holy Prophet (saw) rode the horse for

one stage of the journey and then dismounted to give it to the sahaba. The sahabi gave up his turn for the Holy Prophet (saw) and Sayyiduna Ali ®. When it was Sayyiduna Ali’s turn ® he said, “Ya Rasul-Allah (saw), please take my turn, as I am a young person and I can walk for further.” This is chivalry because Sayyiduna Ali ® is willing to walk, but the Prophet (saw) replied, “No, I also am in need of this.” So they too are practising chivalry.

The perfect example of chivalry is displayed by the conduct of Sayyiduna Ali Amongst many other virtues, Sayyiduna Ali ® is renowned the most for Data Sahib ® say that this is

having this quality amongst the sahabas.

reaffirmed in the Holy Quran, in the 30 Chapter. Where Allah (swt) praise Sayyiduna Ali ® and Sayyida Fatimah ®, because they went without food for
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three days, as everyday they would give away what they had. They preferred others even when they themselves were in need.

In one battle, Sayyiduna Ali ® had overpowered an enemy warrior and had his sword at the man’s throat, when the man spat in his noble face. Immediately Sayyiduna Ali ® got up, put away his sword, and told the man, “Taking your life is unlawful to me. Go…you are free.” The man was amazed, “O ‘Ali,” he asked, “I was helpless, you were about to kill me, I insulted you and you released me. Why?” Sayyiduna Ali ® replied, “When you spat in my face it aroused the anger of my ego. If I had killed you then it would not have been for the sake of Allah, but for the sake of my ego. I would have been a murderer. You are free to go.” The enemy warrior was deeply moved by this show of great nobility and so embraced Islam immediately.

In another battle, Sayyiduna Ali ® encountered a handsome young warrior who moved to attack him. Sayyiduna Ali’s ® heart was full of pity and compassion for this misguided youth. He said out aloud, “O young man, do you not know who I am? I am ‘Ali the Lion of Allah! No one can escape from my sword. Go, and save yourself!” The young man continued towards him, sword in hand. “Why do you wish to attack me? Why do you wish to die?” Sayyiduna Ali ® asked. The man answered, “I love a girl who vowed she would be mine, only if I killed you.” “But what if you die?” asked Sayyiduna Ali ®. The man replied, “What is better, than dying for the one I love? At worst, would I not be relieved of the agonies of love?” Hearing this, Sayyiduna Ali ® dropped his sword, took off his helmet, and stretched out his neck. Confronted by such chivalry, the love in the young man’s heart was transformed into love for Sayyiduna Ali ® and for Rasul-Allah (saw). Chivalry was practiced by all the sahabas as Imam al-Qushayri ® say, “The essence of futuwwa — noble, generous, and honorable conduct — is that the servant should always be working for the sake of something other than himself.” In the battle of Tabuk one nephew was looking for his uncle

amongst the injured. After finding him, he approached him and found his lips parched from thirst. As he was about to make him drink from his waterskin
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they both heard another sahabi asking for water. The uncle instructed his nephew to go and serve him first. Again just as he was about to place the waterskin to the sahabi’s lips; they heard a third person nearby pleading for water. So this sahabi orders the young man to go and give water to this soldier, however he died before he could drink the water. Afterwards he

returned to the other two sahaba and found they both had met their Lord and were now drinking from the gardens of paradise. “He is the sultan of this world and of deen and dunya, he is the mountain of certainty, he is the treasure of the world of isolation, he is the treasure of secrets, he is the lord of the greater realm, he has been brought up with lutf and karm and is the master of the world, Ibrahim bin Adham.”
(Shaykh Fariduddin Attar ®)

Noble Birth
Shaykh Ibrahim Bin Adham ® was pious and siddiq of the time, his father was called Adham, grandfather was called Suleiman and his great grandfather was called Mansur. He was born in the 2nd century AH, 8th century AD, in the Holy city of Makkah sharif. When Shaykh Ibrahim’s ® father, Shaykh Adham ®, went on Hajj, he had taken his wife with him who was infact pregnant with Shaykh Ibrahim ®. The baby was born during the pilgrimage rituals of Hajj; his mother washed her newborn son in the well of Zam Zam sharif, wrapped him and carried him in her arms as she made tawaaf of the holy Ka’bah. Shaykh Adham ® would pray and ask others to make dua that his son would become a pious and an honourable man, others say this is the reason as to why Shaykh Ibrahim ® became a great saint of Allah (swt).

Shaykh Ibrahim ® grew up to become a handsome prince of Balkh (Afghanistan), his father, a rich and powerful king, gave him everything he could possibly want. He had a magnificent palace to live in, the finest silks to wear and plenty of servants to obey his very wish. Whenever he travelled he would have forty riders ride before him and forty behind, such was his life.

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During these days Shaykh Ibrahim ® bought a slave and asked him a series of questions, ‘What is your name? What do you eat? What do you wear? What work do you do? And what do you desire?’ The slave replied, “My name is whatever you call me, I eat what you provide me, I wear what you give me, I do what you tell me to do and what I desire? What has desire got anything to do with being a slave?” Shaykh Ibrahim ® suddenly felt strange and asked himself, ‘O unfortunate one, have you been like this with your lord? Learn the etiquette of servanthood from this slave!’ After this event he cried so much he became unconscious. This experience was an early awakening to realising his true purpose, which was destined to unfold.

The Call
One night as he was sleeping, around midnight the roof of his palace shook as if it were to collapse, he asked, “Who is it?” The stranger replied, “I am….you know me. I have lost my camel and I am looking for it”, Shaykh Ibrahim ® said, “O foolish one! You’re looking for the camel on top of a roof, how are you expecting to find it there?” This stranger replied, “O heedless one! Just as you hope to find God in these soft beds and silk clothing, for me to seek my camel on your roof is that any stranger?” After this event, an awe of whelm spread into his heart, a fire was lit and he became pre-occupied in contemplation, bewilderment and sadness and could sleep no more.

At daybreak he sat on his throne, the ministers of state stood each in his place and his slaves were drawn up in their ranks. Suddenly a very aweinspiring man came into this gathering, but nobody had the courage to ask this person who he was and why he had come. He walked straight up to Shaykh Ibrahim ® who asked, “What do you want?” He replied, “I have come to settle in this caravanserai.” Shaykh Ibrahim ® said, “This is not a caravanserai, it’s my palace!” The stranger asked, “Whose palace was it before you?” Shaykh Ibrahim ® replied, “My fathers.” The stranger then asked, “Who owned the palace before him?” Shaykh Ibrahim ® replied, “My grandfather.” Then the stranger asked, “Where are they now?” Shaykh Ibrahim ® said, “They have left… they have died.” The stranger then stated,
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“Is this then not a caravanserai, a place where one comes and another one goes?”

Saying this he departed very quickly and Shaykh Ibrahim ® ran after him and implored to him to listen, “By God, I want to have a conversation with you, please stay. Who are you, and where have you come from? You have set my heart on fire!” The stranger replied, “I am from land, I am from sea, I am from heaven, I am from the other world, my famous name is Khidr.” Shaykh Ibrahim ® asked, “Please wait, so I may go back to my palace to settle my affairs.” Sayyiduna Khidr (as) replied that the matter could not wait and then disappeared. The pain and the longing in Shaykh Ibrahim ® grew, and blazed fiercely in his soul, and he narrates: “I came to such a state that I would see something at night in a dream and then in the following day it would happen. I could take it no more so I had my horse saddled to go to hunting. In the state of bewilderment I became separated from my riders and ended up in the middle of the desert. I then heard a voice say, ‘wake up!’ I heard this command a few times more and then I heard, ‘be awake before you are awoken!’ and after hearing this I lost all self control and fell, then a storm came.

After picking myself up, I saw some animal and I began to hunt it, then to my astonishment it turned around looked me in the eyes and said, ‘I have been sent to hunt you! Not for you to hunt me! This is not the reason why you have been created; have you not got anything better to do?’ I asked myself what kind of situation is this and if I was imagining the whole thing, and then I heard the same words coming from my saddle, and my fear increased, I began to see things more openly. When Allah (swt) wanted to complete his work I heard this conversation further from within myself, and then I began to see what is in the higher realm, it became manifest to me. I began to see the hidden men of Allah and I attained certainty. Following this I cried so much that all my
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clothes and my horse were full of my tears and I repented with sincerity.”

After dismounting from his horse, he saw a shepherd wearing felt clothes and a felt hat. He took his gold-embroidered cloak and bejewelled cap and gave them to him and requested for his clothes in return, which he donned upon himself. This symbolic event was to change his life forever and marked a transition from wealth and power to spirituality and poverty and the moment is best described as: ‘All the Angels stood gazing on Shaykh Ibrahim ®. ‘What a kingdom has come to the son of Adham,’ they cried. ‘He has cast away the filthy garments of the world, and has donned the glorious robes of poverty.’

Turning his back on his kingdom, lamenting and repenting over his past life, he proceeded on foot over mountainous terrains and arrid deserts; he eventually reached the city of Merv. Here he saw a man who had fallen from a bridge and was about to perish in the waves of the river. Shaykh Ibrahim ® immediately made the following supplication, ‘O God, preserve him!’ Suddenly the man became suspended in mid-air until helpers arrived and pulled him to saftey. Many witnessed this miracle and cried out, ‘Who is this man?’ and ‘Where has he come from?’ To avoid attention Shaykh Ibrahim ® swiftly left this place, and travelled south to the great capital, Nishapur.

Cave in Nishapur
On the outskirts of Nishapur, Shaykh Ibrahim ® searched for a desolate place where he could busy himself with obedience to Allah (swt). He found an empty ghar (cave) and began to pray there. He spent nine years in this particular cave, three years in each of the three compartments, and Allah (swt) knows best what kind of prayers and hardships he went through in these nine years of isolation.

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Every Thursday Shaykh Ibrahim ® would climb above the cave and collect firewood, which he would sell the following morning in the town of Nishapur. After performing the Juma prayers, he would buy from his earnings a piece of bread, which he would break into two and give a piece to another dervish and use the other half to break his fasts. This would be his practice for every week.

During the winter it was so cold in the cave, it was close to freezing, especially during the nights. In one particular night, Shaykh Ibrahim ® needed to do ghusul for his ibadats. As it was so cold he thought he would die if he

attempted it, however despite this fear, he broke a piece of ice and washed. During the ghusul he felt something was giving heat to his back, but yet could not see what, as it was still too dark. After completing his prayers and other ibadats he fell asleep, and when daylight came he felt very warm. As he turned to see the source of this heat, he realised it was a python, it was blowing hot air onto his back. When seeing the python he prayed ‘O lord you have sent him to me as a mercy, but now looking at him I fear him.’” So from that moment the python moved away and rubbed its face two or three times in the dust and vanished infront of him. Shaykh Ibrahim’s ® fame for piety, poverty and chivalry spread far and wide. As more people came to recognise this, he decided to move on and left the cave. When Shaykh Abu Sa’id Abu al-Khayr ®, went to do the ziyaret of the cave he said, “Subhanallah! If you were to fill this ghar with musk, it would still not give as greater fragrance it contains, because of one pious man spending a few days and creating this atmosphere of spirituality...may Allah bless him.”

His Travels
Wandering in the wilderness and measuring each step with prayer and forgiveness. His travels led him from Baghdad to Syria and onto Tarsus. Whilst travelling, he worked constantly to help and serve others, spending the wages of his labour on his disciples and companions, while choosing the
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simplest ascetic provisions for himself. He wore a turban and common cheap clothing without proper shoes, in winter, a sheepskin jacket over a shirt; in summer a simple shirt and a loincloth. Regardless of travelling, he fasted regularly, and maintained the all-night vigil, and was constantly in dhikr. Eventually he left Tarsus for the Holy sanctuary of Makkah sharif. On another part of this journey he arrived at Zat ul- Irq. Here he met one of seven mystics who was facing the pangs of death and asked, “What is your state young man?” The young man replied, “Ya Ibn Adham, we are Sufi people and we set off on tawwakul. We made a pact with our Lord that we would not ask of anyone but from Him and have no fear or hope but from Him. When we arrived at this place, Khidr (as) appeared to us and gave us salaams. He also gave us glad tidings and said our efforts had been

rewarded and our desire that we wish from Allah (swt) had been granted. In that moment, whilst Khidr (as) was giving us these glad tidings we heard a voice say, ‘O Liars! And Pretenders! You made a pact with Me, that you will have nothing to do with anyone else, why are you speaking to someone else other than Me?’ And from that voice we heard, ‘Until you give your blood, I will not make peace with you again!’ So that is why the others have given their blood, and I am waiting so I too can make my way back to the pact.” Whilst listening to this young man Shaykh Ibrahim ® became bewildered and asked, “The rest of your companions have died and you are the sole survivor, why is this?” He replied, “I am not as advanced as the six mystics before me, I am still weak and need to address my weaknesses. Until I too become ripe and reach the level I promised with my brothers, I wait patiently.” Whilst saying this he also achieved that level and passed into the divine presence. Ism-e Azam Initiation During this period of Shaykh Ibrahim’s ® life, he was initiated into the great name of Allah (swt), the Ism-e Azam.

Whilst walking in the desert (ba’diyah), he met a stranger who was as physically weak as he was. They travelled for a little while together and

stopped to pray Salat ul-Maghrib, on completion the stranger recited some
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strange mystic words, which were unknown to Shaykh Ibrahim ®. At once two containers appeared, one of food and the other of water, which they ate and drank. After accompanying this man for a few days he initiated Shaykh Ibrahim ® into the Ism-e Azam, after which he disappeared. At a latter stage of this journey Shaykh Ibrahim ® met Khidr (as), who said, “This person who has given you the name of Allah, is my brother Ilyas (as).” Arriving In Makkah Sharif It was fourteen years after leaving Nishapur, Shaykh Ibrahim ® finally arrived at Makkah sharif, the holy people; the Shaykhs of Makkah sharif longing for his arrival went out to welcome him. However Shaykh Ibrahim ® hid himself so he would not be recognised. He ran ahead of the group he was travelling with, so that he could enter the city without attracting attention. Meanwhile the khadims of the Shaykhs had gone ahead to look for him. Encountering the Shaykh well in front of the bigger group, without knowing who he was, they asked, “Do you know who Shaykh Ibrahim is from amongst the approaching group? We have a grand reception for him." Not revealing his own identity he replied, “What do you want with that heretic?” Deeply offended by the remarks, the khadims beat him. “How dare you insult such a holy man and call him a heretic, it is you who is the heretic!” shouted the khadims. “I agree, that is what I am saying.” replied the injured Shaykh Ibrahim ®. When the khadims finally had enough and left, Shaykh Ibrahim ® picked himself up and addressed his nafs, “Well! Did you enjoy the grand reception, Alhamdullilah! I saw you getting excited about it, now you have tasted the welcome and been put in your place!” However later on people found out it was him and begged for his forgiveness and welcomed him to live in Makkah sharif.

One of the companions of Shaykh Ibrahim ® narrates, “I requested Shaykh Ibrahim ® to be his companion, to travel with him for Hajj. He said, ‘Young man, we people have our way, you might not be able to follow it.’ I pleaded with the Shaykh not to deny me his
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companionship, as I really wanted to be with him. He then agreed and said, ‘Ok, but we have to elect an Amir, because Rasul-Allah’s (saw) sunnat is that if two people travel then you must appoint an Amir.’ I immediately said, ‘You are older and wiser so you must be the Amir, I will follow you.’ Shaykh Ibrahim ® agreed to this, but on the journey he started to cook and clean after me. I protested, you are the Amir let me do this, but this was to no avail as he said, ‘Before we set off on this journey you wanted me as Amir, I did not protest, now I am telling you to follow and let me be the Amir.’ So throughout the journey he did everything, he cooked for me, looked after me and when it was hot he would shield me from the heat and when it was cold he would do all he could to keep me warm. When I became ill he spent whatever he had on me, whatever I desired he fulfilled, he even sold his donkey and spent the money on me. When I became better I could not see the donkey, I asked ‘Where is the donkey?’ He told me he had sold it, I then said, ‘I am very weak, what am I going to ride on?’ And for three manzils (stages) of the journey he carried me on his back. Once we had completed the Hajj rituals, I immediately said, ‘I think we need to re-negotiate. We should elect a new Amir, and this time I will be Amir.’ Shaykh Ibrahim ® said, ‘Ok, that’s fine, as you like, we’ll travel like this.’ But as we started our travels he began to serve me in the same manner and love as before. I protested, ‘No Shaykh, no! As the Amir I am telling you don’t do this.’ But he replied, ‘You are the Amir, it is necessary for me to look after you. Amir means leader, so you are my leader. This is good manners, and I must serve you.’ So he kept serving me on the latter part of our journey.” In the holy mosque one day it came to Shaykh Ibrahim’s ® heart to do tawaaf of the Ka’bah whilst it was not so busy. But this seemed impossible, as there were many pilgrims. That night a giant thunderstorm engulfed Makkah sharif and the Ka’bah was
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suddenly vacated as pilgrims ran for cover. Shaykh Ibrahim ® narrate, “…I then saw an opportunity to do tawaaf. It was such a situation that I was the only one doing tawaaf. I approached the Ka’bah and took hold of the ghilaf and prayed, ‘Oh Allah, keep me away from sin.’ And then I heard a voice within me say, ‘Oh Ibrahim, everyone asks us of this, to be sinless. But if I make all of you sinless then where will my mercy go?’ I then prayed, ‘Oh Allah, forgive my sins.’ I heard the same voice say, ‘Everyone asks this, ask for something else.’ I then prayed, ‘Oh my Lord, the seven heavens are meaningless to me, what I seek is your love and your uns (intimacy). Ya Rabb, take me out of the life of zillat (shame), and give me the honour of your obedience.’”

“If there was no sin, God would destroy this world as sin is needed for His mercy.”
(Shaykh Muhyiuddin Ibn Arabi ®)

Rasul-Allah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam Sayyiduna Ali ® Imam Hasan al-Basri ® Shaykh Abd al- Wahid bin Zaid ® Shaykh Fudayl bin Iyadh ®

Shaykh Attar ® say, because Sayyiduna Khidr (as) trained Shaykh Ibrahim ® under his supervision, he was his spiritual Master. But nevertheless Shaykh Ibrahim ®

became the disciple of a living Shaykh, Shaykh Fudayl bin Iyadh ® in Makkah Sharif.

At the dergah of Shaykh Fudayl ®, he was made to renounce his false pride. For a man
Shrine of Shaykh Attar ®

who was a King of such a grand kingdom, his Shaykh was very strict with him, and infact made him carry out the garbage on a regular basis.
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Ibrahim ® did as he was ordered without any ill feeling, and carried the garbage out on his shoulders. The other disciples could not bear to see that this great noble being was subjected to such humiliation, so they pleaded to their Shaykh to give him another task, which was more befitting. Shaykh Fudayl ® said, “Well alright, we’ll have a test.” So he sent someone to knock the garbage over whilst Shaykh Ibrahim ® was carrying it. Shaykh Ibrahim ® looked at him sternly and said, “When I was king, I would have never put up with that.” This was then told to Shaykh Fudayl ® who then said, “He’s not ready yet.” Some months later, the incident was repeated. This time, Shaykh Ibrahim ® just looked at the one who knocked the garbage over. Just like before when Shaykh Fudayl ® heard about it, he said, “He’s still not ready.” Then, finally, months later when the garbage was knocked over for the third time, Shaykh Ibrahim ® didn’t even look to see who did it. He just picked the garbage up and continued with his chore. After hearing this, Shaykh Fudayl ® went out and embraced him and gave him a very high initiation and thus he became the successor.

Personality and Character
Whilst walking one day, Shaykh Ibrahim ® came across a wealthy young man who was spewing due to having drunk alcohol. He vomited so much that flies were attracted to him and this excessive spewing caused him to lose consciousness. Upon seeing him Shaykh Ibrahim ® was very upset. The thought occurred to him that the very tongue that pronounces the name of ‘Allah’ has become impure due to alcohol. So he collected some water and washed the vomit around this man’s mouth. He then prayed to Allah (swt), “Oh Allah, though he is unworthy and disobediently involved in sin, You are my Friend and he is a servant of my Friend. In view of the fact that I consider him to be Your servant even though he is a sinner I will cast my attention on him, for he is nonetheless connected to You.” The splash of cold water on the man’s face immediately woke him up. He came to his senses and sat up. He saw Shaykh Ibrahim ® and said: “Ibrahim you are an Awliya. You are he who has given up a Kingdom and yet you are
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tending to a miserable drunkard like me?” Shaykh Ibrahim ® replied, “Seeing you in this state aroused compassion in me. I saw you in a state where flies are attracted to you, but because you are a servant of Allah, I deemed it correct to serve you…” This young man was surprised and replied, “I was always under the impression that men of Allah look down upon sinners. Today I have come to realise that none are as compassionate to sinners as the friends of Allah. Please give me your hands, so that I can make taubah, I can repent for my sins and become you follower.” Shaykh Ibrahim ®

accepted his request for Bayat and made him repent from his sins. At that moment Shaykh Ibrahim ® received the ability to see hidden things, and he saw that this young man had surpassed many pious individuals of that period due to his repenting. “Every son of Adam is a sinner but the best of sinners is he who repents.”
(Rasul-Allah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam)

There was once a young man who fell in love with a girl, when meeting her he soon realised she too had similar feelings for him. However they both understood that it wasn’t right for them to meet alone and after a short while he left and did a very sincere tawba. On his way home he was troubled and soon came to meet a prophet of the time. The prophet asked, “Where are you travelling to?” The young man replied, “I am lost, and am in need of guidance.” The prophet invited him to walk with him, and as they continued on their journey they both noticed a cloud shading them. The young man thought that it must be shading them because the man with him was a prophet and very pious. As they were both about to separate ways they observed the cloud move over the young man and not the prophet, so the prophet asked him, “What is it you have done?” The young man narrated his story to the prophet. The prophet said to him, “This is happening because you did a sincere tawba and Allah is so pleased with you that there is a cloud shading you!”

Halal Livelihood

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Shaykh Ibrahim ® once asked a person, “Do you desire to become and Auliyah?” The man replied, “Of course!” Shaykh Ibrahim ® said to him, “Then don’t attach yourself to one particle to this world, or to the next, and turn your face towards Allah (swt) completely, and from everyone else apart from Allah wash your hands and eat from the halal rizq.” And he went on to say, “Nothing is more beneficial to this path for becoming a man of Allah. Than a person being careful of what enters his throat, and therefore is conscious about what he eats is halal and what he earns is halal. Halal livelihood is more important and more beneficial than any other action.”

On one occasion there was young man, whom people said, had attained great spiritual states (haal). When hearing this Shaykh Ibrahim ® said, “Bring him to me so I can verify this claim.” When this young man was brought to the Shaykhs presence he was told to be his guest for a period of three days. During these days Shaykh Ibrahim ® fed this young man from his halal provisions that he had earned with his own hands. Soon after, this person began to lose his spiritual state and started to lack in his ibadats. It soon transpired that what was pumping out was his ego and shaytan and not genuine spirituality. Shaykh Ibrahim ® went on to explain to him, “Your prayers and fasting were fine, but what you were eating was not halal. Therefore, it is this that was giving you the false impression that you were spiritually progressing whereas in reality you were not.”

Reunion With His Son
When Shaykh Ibrahim ® had left Balkh in his youth; he had a son who was still an infant. When that son grew up he asked about his father, his mother said, “Your father is lost, and maybe you will find an indication of his whereabouts in Makkah sharif.” The son replied, “I will go to Makkah sharif and I will do ziyaret and khidmat.” So he went out and said to his people, “Anyone who wishes to do hajj with me, saddle your horse, for I will pay for all!” Four thousand people gathered around him and volunteered for this journey.

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When the caravan from Balkh arrived at Haram sharif, in Makkah sharif, they saw a dervish and asked him, “Do you know Ibrahim bin Adham?” He replied, “Yes, he is our master.” They then asked where he was, to which he replied, “He has gone to the jungle to collect wood, which he will sell for bread and then share amongst us.” After hearing this, his son set off in the direction of the jungle in search of his father. After a while he saw Shaykh Ibrahim ® walking slowly, whilst crouching over, due to the heavy load of wood he was carrying on his back. The son broke down into tears when he heard his father say, “Who will buy a clean thing with a clean thing, a halal thing with a halal thing?” A person then came and bought the wood with bread. Shaykh Ibrahim ® used to preach to all his followers, “Don’t look at young boys and women, especially during hajj.” All the dervishes accepted and followed this advice. When the hajjis were doing tawaaf, Shaykh Ibrahim ® and his followers were also amongst them. After a while Shaykh Ibrahim ® saw a beautiful young man and began to gaze at him, his followers were puzzled by this and when they finished their tawaaf, some said to him, “May Allah have mercy on you! You tell us not to look at women and young men and yet you are looking at that young boy.” Shaykh Ibrahim ® said, “Did you see him?” These followers replied they had, then he said, “It came to my heart maybe he was my son, who I left in Balkh, at that time he was an infant and I feel it may be him.”

However throughout this entire time his son did not make his presence aware to his father. Every day he would come and look at his father and observe him from far. One day Shaykh Ibrahim ® went to the caravan from Balkh and met the people who had come from there. He went into one of the camps and he saw the same young man sitting on a chair and reading the holy Qur’an, he was reciting the ayat, ‘Inama ’amwalokum wa aulado kum fitna’ ‘Most certainly your possessions and your children are a source of fitna.’
(Holy Qur’an)

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After hearing this Shaykh Ibrahim ® began to weep and said, “Allah has said true, God has spoken the truth.” And he returned to his abode and instructed one of his followers to go and ask the boy whose son he is. Shaykh Ibrahim’s ® follower came to the young Prince and asked him where he was from, and who his father was. He replied he was from Balkh, and then put his head down and whilst crying said “I am the son of Ibrahim bin Adham, I have not seen my father until yesterday and I am not certain whether it is him or not, and I am afraid if I speak to him he might run away from me.” This dervish then says, “Come with me, I will take you to him.”

Shaykh Ibrahim ® were sitting with his followers near Rukn-e Yamani, and when this boy and his mother saw Shaykh Ibrahim ® they could no longer contain their sabr, They cried and the lady said to her son that this is your father. They all started to cry and the son fell unconscious, when he came to his senses he gave salams to his father. His father took him to one side and said, “What deen are you on?” The son replied, “I am on Islam.” Shaykh Ibrahim ® said, “Alhamdolillah”, and then further asked, “Do you know the Qur’an?” The son replied, “yes” and Shaykh Ibrahim ® again said, “Alhamdolillah.” He then asked have you learnt anything from knowledge, the son replied, yes he had, and Shaykh Ibrahim ® said, “Alhamdolillah.” After this Shaykh Ibrahim ® wanted to leave but his son and wife implored him to stay a while longer. Shaykh Ibrahim ® raised his head to the heavens and said, “O Lord, help me” and at that moment his son died. His followers,

shocked and bewildered asked what had happened. Shaykh Ibrahim ® said, “When he grabbed hold of my cloak, my heart began to feel attachment towards him, and then I heard a voice say, ‘Ya Ibrahim, you claim to love Me, then how can you love Me and someone else? And you say to other people don’t look at women and young children and yet you yourself are looking at your wife and child!’ When I heard this voice I said, ‘O my Lord, come to my aid. If he becomes an obstacle for the love I have for you then either take him or take me.’ And the prayer was accepted in his favour rather than mine.”

Khatam Sharif – February 2006

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Moments With The Awliya
Shaykh Ibrahim ® associated with many great Shaykhs throughout his life. Shaykh Junaid al-Baghdadi ® said about him, ‘The knowledge of Sufism and the keys to this knowledge are Ibrahim bin Adham.’ One day Shaykh Ibrahim ® came before Imam al-Azam ®, and some of the followers of Imam al-Azam ® looked down upon him and made some belittling remarks. Imam al-Azam ® immediately referred to Shaykh Ibrahim ® as ‘our master’, these students asked, “How has he achieved this rank of masterhood?” Imam
Shrine of Imam Al-Azam ®







preoccupied with his lord, whereas I have other

pre-occupations, and for this reason he is our master.”

On another occasion Shaykh Ibrahim ® sent a disciple to Jerusalem to study with the venerable Shaykh Sufyan-al-Thawri ®. When the student arrived at Shaykh Sufyan’s ® home, the neighbours made fun of him for coming so far to study with such a man, as they were ignorant of Shaykh Sufyan ®. The student, however, in the spirit of his master, ignored their behaviour and declared that he had come not to learn from Shaykh Sufyan’s ® religious authority, but to gain from his humility. When Shaykh Sufyan ® heard these words, he reflected on the master who had trained such an aware individual and decided to meet Shaykh Ibrahim ® himself. When the two saints of Allah (swt) met, Shaykh Sufyan ® said, “I am your pupil, in learning to accept whatever comes to me.” From this very first meeting, these two were

delighted so much in each others spiritual company that they sat awake the whole night with short spurts of conversation and long periods of contemplative silence.

Passing Into The Divine Presence

Khatam Sharif – February 2006

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Shaykh Ibrahim bin Adham ® moved away from dunya towards the end of his life. For this reason it is not possible to know the exact place of his mazar. At the time of Shaykh Ibrahim’s ® death a voice was heard by all, ‘Know that the security, the peace, the protection of this world has died!’ Many people had become confused as to what had happened for this voice to be heard. Until they heard that the Shaykh had left this temporary world for the everlasting one.

Having lived a truly purposeful life Shaykh Ibrahim ® passed into the divine presence in approximately 783 AD (163 AH). From the inspiration, which he left behind, the most vital for us is his promise for hope. His life and words make it clear that God helps a sincere lover, ‘God sheds mercy on a traveller, and looks with His eye of grace.’ “You know that heaven has no more weight for me than a mosquito, since You have honoured me with Your love, made me intimate with remembrance of You, and released me to contemplate Your grandeur.”
(Shaykh Ibrahim bin Adham ®)

(Complied by Sayyid Sajid and Saeed Rashid)

Khatam Sharif – February 2006

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