أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Ibn Qudamah Al-Maqdisi mentions a conversation between a young lad and the great scholar Ibrahim Bin Adham in his book Kitab At-Tawwabin (p. 285):

The young boy: O Abu Ishaq, I am wronging my soul, advise me with something that’ll hold me back from disobeying Allah and breathe new life into my heart.

Ibrahim Bin Adham: Alright. If you take five things from me and fulfill them, you can disobey Allah the Almighty all you want and no harm will come to you.

Young boy: (Interested) OK, tell me.

Ibrahim Bin Adham: One, if you want to do other than what Allah wants you to do, then do not eat the food that He provides you.

Young boy: Then where am I supposed to eat from when all the food on earth is from Allah?

Ibrahim Bin Adham: Dear lad, is it right that you eat the food Allah the Almighty has given you and then go off and disobey Him?

Young boy: No it is not right. What is the second?

Ibrahim Bin Adham: Two, if you want to live life to the fullest in disobedience of Allah, then don’t live on His land.

Young boy: That’s harder than the first. Where shall I live when all that is in the east and west the belongs to Him?

Ibrahim Bin Adham: Dear boy, is it right that you eat His food and live in His land, yet still insist on turning your back when He calls you?

Young boy: No it’s not right. What’s the third?

Ibrahim Bin Adham: If you want to disobey Allah, yet still eating the food He gave you and still living in His land, then find a place where He can’t see you.

Young boy: O Abu Ishaq, how can that be so when Allah is the All-Seeing and All-Knowing of all that happens, even what the heart whispers?

Ibrahim Bin Adham: Dear boy, is it right that you eat His food and live in His land and disobey Him while He watches you and what you are exposing?

Young boy: No it’s not right. What’s the fourth?

Ibrahim Bin Adham: When the angel of death comes to snatch your soul, tell him to grant you a day so that you can sincerely ask Allah for forgiveness and change your life.

Young boy: He won’t grant me that.

Ibrahim Bin Adham: Dear boy, if you find yourself helpless to put off death for just one day and you know that it cannot be delayed by your wishes, how do you expect to win?

Young boy: (With a sigh) What is the fifth?

Ibrahim Bin Adham: When the gatekeepers of Hell will come to drag you away on your face to Hellfire refuse to go with them.

Young boy: Nothing will stop them.

Ibrahim Bin Adham: How do you expect to be saved then?

Young boy: Enough, Abu Ishaq. (And he lowers his head crying). O Allah, forgive me for my transgression.

Epilogue: Young boy went on to become a student of Ibrahim Bin Adham. He repented to Allah sincerely and lived an upright life with his teacher until death parted the two.

Imam Ibrahim Bin Adham died over a thousand years ago in the year 778 CE.

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