Peace, one and all…
In his Memorials of the Saints (Tadhkirat al-Awliya), Attar includes a profound story of the early Sufi saint Ibrahim ibn Adham. I was reading it on the train home this evening and wanted to share it here. It is set in Mecca, in the environs of the Ka’ba. May it be of benefit to all who pass by.
‘It is related the Ibrahim said: ‘At night I used to be on the lookout for a time when I would find the Ka’ba empty and free of worshippers and could pray for something I needed. I didn’t find the opportunity until one night when a heavy rain was falling. I went and seized the chance – it was just Ibrahim and the Ka’ba. I performed my circumambulations and took hold of the knocker on the Ka’ba’s door and asked for immunity from sin. I heard a voice call out, ‘You ask Me for immunity from sin? All the people ask Me for this. If I grant everyone immunity, what will become of My oceans of forgiveness and pardon, of my mercy and compassion? What use will they be?’
I then said, ‘O God, forgive me my sins.’ I heard the voice say, ‘Speak to Me on behalf of the world, not on behalf of yourself. It’s better for others to speak on your behalf’