I’ve left all people, entirely, for your love.
I’ve orphaned my dependants so I can see you.
If, for love, You diced me up into many pieces,
My deep-feeling heart would yearn for none besides You.
Pardon (this) weak (slave) who has hastened to You.
He has come full of hope in Your generosity.
If, O Overseer, he has disobeyed You,
At least he has not prostrated to anyone worshipped besides You.
My Dear God, your sinful slave has rushed to You,
Admitting his sins, and has called on You;
So, If You forgive, that is becoming of You,
And if You cast (him) away, who will show mercy besides You?
Ibrahim b. Adham, the great early ascetic, has been greatly respected throughout Islamic history for his righteousness and devotion. He was a prince, enjoying the lavish lifestyle his social position afforded him, when, one day, the call to God changed the course of his life.
He was out hunting when he heard a voice speak from his saddle. It said, “O Ibrahim, you were not created for this, nor were you commanded to do so.” This had such a deep effect on him that he left his life of luxury and set off to find the pleasure of Allah.
These lines are an expression of the state of slavehood he had before Allah. They express his desire to please Allah through the many sacrifices he gave hoping attain closeness with the divine. The emit the fragrance of his love for Allah which nothing could change. They cry out for the forgiveness and acceptance a needy slave years for from his perfect, generous Lord.
He died in the year 162 AH defending the Muslim lands at Jablah, on the Syrian coast. May Allah be well-pleased with him, and us because of His love for this great saint.