Hazrat Ibrahim Adham, may Allah the Almighty bless him, was the king of Balkh (now a part of Soviet Union). He was a sovereign over forty princes. Allah the Almighty had, however, chosen him exclusively for Himself. In the prime of his youth, he abdicated his kingdom and set out on the path of faq’r to the woods. There are several incidents that he encountered because of which he became hateful of the world.
One day he was out hunting that he saw in the woods a man who was tied by ropes. In the meantime a crow flew along and pushed into the man’s mouth the bits of the most superior and delicious food that he usually ate at home.
He asked him all about this.
He replied: “He was a merchant. The robbers looted him and fastened him with ropes and threw him there. Since that day a crow comes daily and feeds him with the food of his liking.”
There is another account:
He (Ibrahim Adham) went to the jungle for hunting. There he saw an old fort. He entered and saw that the floor bricks were loose. When he saw it closely, he found a treasure. He ordered his minister: “Look around if there is anyone and call him over.”
The minister looked around and saw an old woodcutter cutting the wood in the jungle. He shouted: “O grand man, come here for a short while. The king is calling you.”
Hearing this the old man accompanied the minister and saluted to the king. Sultan Ibrahim Adham spoke to him thus: “Grandpa, come along and take this precious treasure. Lift and take it home and spend the rest of your life in comfort and luxury. This will not finish for many of your generations to come.”
Hearing the king’s order, the old woodcutter smiled and said: “O the king, may I say something if there is peace for me?”
The king said: “Yes, say it by all means!”
The old woodcutter went on, “O the refuge of the world, I have seen this wretched treasure ever since my childhood. What to say taking it, I have not till today even looked at it; nay even spit at it. Such like treasures are more needed by kings than woodcutters like myself. Please you take it away.”
Hearing this, it seemed as if the ground moved away from underneath his feet. His eyes were lowered because of shame. He dived deep into the pond of shame and felt completely taken in. The pillar of his heart shook and the doors and walls began to tremble. Whilst standing there, he felt that the royal robe withered to a ragged dress and the imperial crown changed into the mantle of faq’r in that a woodcutter won the day and, alas, he was defeated openly in the field. In other words, by the time he reached his palaces, all the stages from A to Z of faq’r and ghina were accomplished, Maasha’Allah! He walked along and said to himself: “Damn this kingdom. In fact he (the woodcutter) is the king!”