The Poets

October 21, 2010

Abou Ben Adhem

Last week on the 20th I posted a bio from Spartacus Educational on the poet James Henry Leigh Hunt (1784 - 1859). The 19th was this poet's birthday, and so I decided to read a few of his poems.

I was exceedingly delighted with what is by far his most known work, Abou Ben Adhem. This poem, written in iambic pentameter, is about Ibrahim Bin Adham, a Sufi mystic who experiences an encounter with the divine.

Without a question, what delighted me was the poem's point: we must love our neighbors, our fellow human beings (for it is by virtue of doing so that we partake in the divine).

Hence the previous post ... Love Thy Neighbor.

With that said, here's Hunt's poem without commentary (the poem speaks for itself):

Abou Ben Adhem

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold: -
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said
"What writest thou?" -The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered "The names of those who love the Lord."
"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still, and said "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men."

The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.


cheryl said...

Wow. I wasn't expecting that twist at the end. I think I'll print it off, I'd like to share it with my family.

智琳 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

Uinsin said...


muzzammilx said...

AAh,this is the true love of ALLAH!!! Every readers check out this link (URDU language) this is the spiritual tribe of ABOU BEN ADHEM (RA).... Hadhrat Maulana Hakeem Akhtar Saheb R.A.

As of April 9th, 2010