HADHRAT IBRAAHIM BIN ADHAM (rahmatullah alayh)
Prior to his reformation, he was the proud king of Balkh. (Balkh today is a province of Afghanistan.) Hadhrat Junaid Baghdaadi (rahmatullah alayh) said: “Ibraahim Bin Adham is the Key of the Knowledge of the Auliyaa.”
Once when he visited Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh), many in the gathering viewed Ibraahim Bin Adham with contempt. Imaam Abu Hanifah said: “Sayyiduna Ibraahim!”, and greatly honoured him. In surprise someone asked: “How has he become our leader?”
Imaam Abu Hanifah said: “He is always in the remembrance of Allah, while we are engrossed in remembrance of the world.”
When anyone wished to stay with him (as his mureed), Ibraahim Bin Adham stipulated three conditions:
(1) I shall serve everyone.
(2) I shall give the Athaan.
(3) Whatever I acquire, I shall distributed it equally among the mureeds.
A man who had wandered around the whole day in search of employment was returning empty-handed. He thought of his hungry wife and children at home. What will he tell them today? On his way home, he saw Ibraahim Bin Adham sitting peacefully. With a heavy sigh, the man said: “You are sitting so peacefully without a care in the world. I envy you.”
Ibraahim said: “Give me your sigh in exchange for all the Ibaadat I have so far made.”
A grief stricken heart has great value in Allah’s court. In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah Ta’ala says: “I am in the broken hearts of people.”
Once when someone asked him for his profession (i.e. worldly occupation by means of which one earns a living), Ibraahim Bin Adham said: “The office-bearers of Allah are not in need of a profession.”
When Mu’tasim Billah asked him the same question, he replied: “I have left the world and the Aakhirah for their searchers. For myself I have chosen Allah’s remembrance in this world and Allah’s Vision in the Aakhirah.”
Ibraahim Bin Adham was asked: “Have you ever experienced happiness in your state of poverty?” He replied: “I experienced happiness several times. On the first occasion I was in a boat. My garments were tattered and torn and my hair dishevelled. People were mocking me. A man was repeatedly tugging at my hair and punching me. All expressed their mirth in laughter. Seeing the disgrace of my nafs, I became delighted.
On the second occasion (also in the boat), suddenly a storm threatened to wreck the boat. The pilot accusing me of ill-luck instructed that I be thrown overboard. I was harshly grabbed and hauled to the edge of the boat. Just as they were about to cast me overboard, the storm subsided. I was then left. Again I experienced happiness on account of the disgrace suffered by my nafs.
The third time I was overcome with weakness and tiredness. I fell asleep in a Musjid. The people grabbed me and pushed me down the steps. As I rolled down hitting my head, blood gushed out. Each step I went down, Allah Ta’ala revealed a spiritual realm to me. The happiness of this revelation ended when I landed at the bottom. I wished that the steps were endless so that I could perpetually roll down experiencing the exhilaration of the revelation of spiritual realms.”
Source: Scattered Pearls