The Story of Hazrat Sultan Ibrahim Adham



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11/06/22  Hazrat Ibrahim Adham, may Allah the Almighty bless him, was the king of Balkh (now a part of Soviet Union). He was a sovereign over forty princes. Allah the Almighty had, however, chosen him exclusively for Himself.

In the prime of his youth, he abdicated his kingdom and set out on the path of faq’r to the woods. There are several incidents that he encountered because of which he became hateful of the world.

One day he was out hunting that he saw in the woods a man who was tied by ropes. In the meantime a crow flew along and pushed into the man’s mouth the bits of the most superior and delicious food that he usually ate at home. He asked him all about this.

He replied: “He was a merchant. The robbers looted him and fastened him with ropes and threw him there. Since that day a crow comes daily and feeds him with the food of his liking.”

There is another account: He (Ibrahim Adham) went to the jungle for hunting. There he saw an old fort. He entered and saw that the floor bricks were loose. When he saw it closely, he found a treasure. He ordered his minister: “Look around if there is anyone and call him over.”

The minister looked around and saw an old woodcutter cutting the wood in the jungle. He shouted: “O grand man, come here for a short while. The king is calling you.”

Hearing this the old man accompanied the minister and saluted to the king. Sultan Ibrahim Adham spoke to him thus: “Grandpa, come along and take this precious treasure. Lift and take it home and spend the rest of your life in comfort and luxury. This will not finish for many of your generations to come.”

Hearing the king’s order, the old woodcutter smiled and said: “O the king, may I say something if there is peace for me?” The king said: “Yes, say it by all means!”

The old woodcutter went on, “O the refuge of the world, I have seen this wretched treasure ever since my childhood. What to say taking it, I have not till today even looked at it; nay even spit at it. Such like treasures are more needed by kings than woodcutters like myself. Please you take it away.”

Hearing this, it seemed as if the ground moved away from underneath his feet. His eyes were lowered because of shame. He dived deep into the pond of shame and felt completely taken in. The pillar of his heart shook and the doors and walls began to tremble. Whilst standing there, he felt that the royal robe withered to a ragged dress and the imperial crown changed into the mantle of faq’r in that a woodcutter won the day and, alas, he was defeated openly in the field.

In other words, by the time he reached his palaces, all the stages from A to Z of faq’r and ghina were accomplished, Maasha’Allah! He walked along and said to himself: “Damn this kingdom. In fact he (the woodcutter) is the king!”

When Sultan Ibrahim Adham abdicated completely all connections, affairs and needs and was about to set out o the path of Allah the Almighty having bidden for always farewell to the royal palaces, it occurred to his heart: “I should take a bowl for drinking and a pillow to sleep on.” Accordingly, he took a bowl and a pillow and set out on his journey. He had gone for only a short distance that he saw a man sitting on the bank of a small stream drinking water out of his hands. He threw away the bowl there and then. He went still further and saw a man sleeping having rested his head on a lump of clay. He threw away the pillow there.

It was about sunset and he thought in his heart: “Where and how shall I spend the night?” Simultaneously, he saw some smoke rising from a place. He thought there must be some sort of habitation and that he would stop there. When he reached there he saw a faqir who sat by an open fire. Sultan Ibrahim Adham went near, greeted and said to him: “O connoisseur, can I spend the night here with you?”

The faqir thought to himself: “I receive here only two chuppaties daily and if this man stops here, I will have to give one chuppaty to him.” He said: “Brother! Go away, no one else can stop here.”

Hearing this reply, he set off from there and stayed on under a tree nearby. When the night befell, a person in the shape of light appeared with the royal dining table whereon laid food of many and various kind. He saw and said: “I do no at all require any food tonight. All the same, go and deliver this food to the faqir.”

Over the faqir’s food, consisting of two chuppaties and a bulb of onion, had also arrived. When both these tables laiden with food arrived before the faqir, he was astounded: “That faqir since yesterday has received the most sumptuous dining table. And here I am having renunciated everything extraneous for twelve years, receiving only two chuppaties and a bulb of onion.”

A command from the unknown was heard: “bring along his shoes, spade and net and tell, ‘you had abandoned this much in devotion to me. Take them and off you go. And that man has renounced his the sultanate of Balkh and Bukhara. Tonight he is My guest and I feel ashamed if I were to offer My guest food less sumptuous than he ate at the royal palaces before he set off in My path.’”

Henceforth, his life as a faqir began and he comes from the well-known family of the Order of Chistiyyah! Mashallah!