Ibrahim ibn Adham’s (ra) advice against disobedience
This is the true story of famous saint Ibrahim ibn Adham (Ra ) and a man who wanted to clean his heart of disobedience of Allah swt .
A man came to Ibrahim ibn Adham, may Allah be pleased with him, and said, “Abu Ishaq, I am unable to control myself. Please give me something to help me with it”
“If you accept five conditions,” said Ibrahim, “and are able to put them into practice, your disobedience will not cause you any problem.”
“Just tell me what they are, Abu Ishaq!” the man said.
“The first is that when you want to disobey Allah you do not eat anything He provides.”
“Then how will I get anything to eat? Everything on the earth is from Him!” “So is it right to eat His provision and disobey Him at the same time?” replied Ibrahim.”No, it is not. What is the second condition?the man asked .”
The Second is “When you want to disobey him, move off His land.”
“That is even more difficult! Exclaimed the man. “In that case where will I live?””Is it right to eat his provision and live on His land and then to disobey Him?” asked Ibrahim. “No, it is not,”the Man replied .
“What is the third condition?” “When you want to disobey Him in spite of eating His provision and living on His land, find a place where He will not see you and disobey Him there.”
“What do you mean, Ibrahim? He knows everything that happens even in the most hidden places!” “So is it right to disobey Him when you eat His provision and live on His land and when you know that He can see everything you do?” “It certainly is not!” the man replied.
“Tell me the fourth condition.” “That when the Angel of Death arrives to take your soul, you say to him, ‘Give me a reprieve so that I can repent and act righteously for Allah.'”
“But he won’t listen to me!” “Then if you cannot ward off death long enough to give yourself time to repent, and you know that when it comes there will be no reprieve, how can you hope to be saved?”
“What is the fifth?” “That when the angels of the Fire come to you to take you to the Fire, you do not go with them.”
“They will take me whether I like it or not!” exclaimed the man.”So how can you hope to be saved?” “Enough, enough, Ibrahim! I ask Allah’s forgiveness and I turn to Him!” saiid the Man.
The man’s repentance was sincere and from that time on he was assiduous in his worship and avoided acts of disobedience until the day he died
Amazing advice right ? The saint Ibrahim ibn Adham was amazing too. He was the king of Balkh, and a whole world was under his command; forty gold swords and forty gold maces were carried before and behind him. One night he was asleep on his royal couch. At midnight the roof of the apartment vibrated, as if someone was walking on the roof.“Who is there?” he shouted. “A friend,” came the reply.“I have lost a camel, and am searching for it on this roof.”. “Fool, do you look for the camel on the roof?”cried Ibrahim. “Heedless one,” answered the voice, “do you seek for God in silken clothes, asleep on a golden couch?” These words filled his heart with terror, he could not sleep any more.
He renounced his throne for a spiritual kingdom and wandered to live a life of complete asceticism, earning his bread in Syria by honest manual toil until his death in c. 165 AH (782 AD). According to Arabic and Persian sources like al-Bukhari and others, Ibrahim ibn Adham received a warning from God through Khidr who appeared to him twice, and as such, Ibrahim abdicated his throne to take up the ascetic life in Syria. He is described in the Kashf-al-Mahjub, written by Ali Hujwiri (Data Ganj Bakhsh), as “unique in this path; the chieftain of his contemporaries, and a disciple of al-Khidr.”
If you want to read more about this great Sufi saint you can read this :Tadhkirat al-Auliya’ translated by A.J. Arberry
And Allah knows the best.