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Anecdotes of Ebrahim ibn Adham
One day Ebrahim ibn Adham was asked, "What befell you, that you quit your kingdom?"
"I was seated on my throne one day," he recalled. "A mirror was held up before me; I looked into that mirror and saw that my lodging was the tomb and therein was no familiar friend. I saw a long journey ahead of me, and I had no provision. I saw a just judge, and I had no defence. I became disgusted of my kingship.',
"Why did you flee from Khorasan?" they asked.
"I heard much talk there of the true friend," he replied.
"Why do you not seek a wife?" he was asked.
"Does any woman take a husband for him to keep her hungry and naked?" he countered.
"No," they replied.
"That is why I do not marry," he explained. "Any woman whom I married would remain hungry and naked. If I only could, I would divorce myself. How can I bind another to my saddle?"
Then turning to a beggar who was present, he asked him "Do you have a wife?"
"No," the beggar replied.
"Do you have a child?"
"Excellent, excellent," Ebrahim exclaimed.
"Why do you say that?" asked the beggar.
"The beggar who marries embarks on a ship. When the children come, he is drowned."
One day Ebrahim saw a beggar bewailing his lot.
"I guess you bought beggary gratis," he remarked.
"Why, is beggary for sale?" the beggar asked in astonishment.
"Certainly," Ebrahim replied. "I bought it with the kingdom of Balkh. I got a bargain."
A man once brought Ebrahim a thousand dinars.
"Take," he said.
"I do not accept anything from beggars," Ebrahim replied "But I am wealthy," the man retorted.
"Do you want more than you own already?" Ebrahim asked.
"Indeed," the man exclaimed.
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