The True Nature of Disobedience

A man came to Ibrahim ibn Adham as he was a doctor of  hearts and said to him, “Verily I obey myself in everything. Advise me on how to stop this or give me the permission to disobey Allah.” He replied, “If you are able to fulfil five conditions you won’t be disobedient.” The man, anxious to hear the reply, said “Instruct me Ibrahim!”. So he said:

1. “If you want to disobey Allah then don’t eat from His provisions.” The man was surprised. Then he asked, “How can it be when everything is from Allah, oh Ibrahim!” He replied “If you know this, is it proper that you eat from His provisions?”

2. “If you want to disobey Allah don’t live in His countries.” To this he was even more surprised. “How can this be when all countries belong to Him!” “If you know that, is it fair that you live in His country and you disobey Him?”

3. “If you want to disobey Allah find a place where He will not see you and disobey Him.” “How can that be when He is the knower of all secrets! He knows the secrets and what more hidden than secrets. He hears the crawling of an ant on a solid rock on a dark night.” “And if you know that, is it appropriate that you disobey Him?”

4. “If the angel of death comes to take your soul tell him to wait for a bit.” The man said, “How can you say this when Allah says ‘If your time has come they can neither advance it nor postpone it’ (Quran 7:34)!” .  He said, “If you know that Allah will take your soul at any moment, how can you hope for safety?”

5. “If the Zabaniyya (the angels of Hell) come to take you to Hell, don’t go with them.” He hardly finished hearing him when he began to cry. Weepingly he begged “Enough Ibrahim, I ask Allah for His forgiveness and I repent to Him.

After this he was consistent in his worship till he died.

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