Ibrāhīm ibn Adham was approached by a group of people. They asked him about the Saying of Allāh, The Most High:
وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْم
“Call upon your Lord and He will answer you.”
They said: “We supplicate to Allāh but He does not respond to (our invocations).”1
Ibrāhīm ibn Adham replied:
You know Allāh but yet you do not obey Him.
You recite the Qurʾān but you do not act upon it.
You know about the shayṭān (devil) but you agree with him.
You claim that you love the Messenger of Allāh but you abandon his sunnah.
You claim that you love (to enter) Paradise but you do not act for it.
You claim that you fear the hellfire but you fail to abstain from disobedience.
You say that death is truly (approaching) but you do not prepare for it.
You are preoccupied with other people’s faults but you do not analyse your own.
You eat the sustenance that Allāh provides (you with) but you show no thanks.
You bury your dead but you do not contemplate over that.2
1. Abū Hurayrah narrated that: The Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “The invocation of anyone of you is granted (by Allāh) if he does not show impatience, saying, ‘I invoked Allāh but my request has not been granted'” (Bukhārī and Muslim).
2. Al-Khushūʿ fi-as-Ṣalāt by al-Ḥāfiḍ ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī (d. AH 790) page 39. This narration has mysteriously been omitted from the English translation of this wonderful book.