Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham (King of Balkh) Salvation Story

Sultan Ibrahim Bib Adham

Ref: Kabir Sagar chapter 16 ‘Sultan Bodh’ page 37 (757)

Sultan is a Persian word that means ‘King’. There was a ruler named Ibrahim Adham. He was called the ‘Sultan’. Devotees of previous births become Kings, Officers, and millionaires. Since the day the soul has been separated from ‘Satpurush’ and has got trapped in Brahm-Kaal’s web he is in search of the same comfort and peace he used to enjoy in the eternal world ‘Satlok’ and therefore, is continuously making efforts to attain ‘Satlok’. But by not finding the true way of worship the soul remains trapped in the vicious cycle of birth and rebirth. God Kabir is himself ‘Satpurush’. God Kabir himself appears on earth in every age and tells the true spiritual knowledge and provides salvation mantras to virtuous souls and liberates them. Few amongst them accept the true spiritual knowledge as provided by Satguru (God Kabir) but ignorant sages, saints mislead them and renounce their true worship and re-establish them on Kaal’s worship. 

Great Saint Garibdas Ji Maharaj has mentioned in his nectar speech

अनंत कोटि बाजी तहाँ, रचे सकल ब्रह्मांड | 
गरीबदास में क्या करूं, काल करे जीव खण्ड ||

Anant koti bajee taha, rachey sakal brahamand
Garibdas, mein kya karun, Kaal karey jeev khand

Meaning: Saint Garibdas Ji tells that Almighty Kabir has told him, ‘O Garibdas! I am so capable that I have created infinite creatures and the whole universe. But innocent souls by not recognizing me, leave me; and remain trapped in Kaal’s web. You tell me, What shall I do?’. Then Saint Garibdas Ji says:

जो जन मेरी शरण है, ताका हूं मैं  दास |
गेल- गेल लाग्या फिरूँ, जब तक धरती आकाश ||

Jo Jan meri sharan hai, taaka hun mein das
Gail-Gail lagya phirun, jab tak dharti aakash

गोता मारूँ स्वर्ग में, जा बैठूँ पाताल|
गरीबदास खोजत फिरूं, अपने हीरे मोती लाल ||

Gota marun swarg mein, jaa bethun patal
Garibdas, khojat phirun, apney heerey moti lal

Meaning: Almighty Kabir has said that if any creature in any age takes initiation from me and is not liberated due to some reason then I will preach him in some of his human birth and take that soul again in my refuge. I remain with him and my efforts are to liberate him from Kaal’s trap and provide him eternal peace so that he attains the happiness abode ‘Satlok’. This effort of mine remains until doomsday. 

Due to this process, the soul of Ibrahim Ibn Adham was in the shelter of God Kabir from many previous births. Then Kaal fragmented him with the name. Narrated is the true account of Adham Sultan; a great devout who took refuge of God Kabir in some earlier human birth. God remained with him in all his births and providing true spiritual knowledge finally liberated him from Kaal’s trap.

The write-up will focus on explaining the same through the following:-

The Soul of Samman was the Same Soul of Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham

Almighty Kabir had descended in Kashi, Varanasi 600 years ago. At that time the resident of Delhi who was a bangle seller named ‘Samman’ along with his wife ‘Neki’ and son ‘Seu’ had taken initiation from God Kabir. They were great devouts and were very poor. They used to sell bangles from one place to another and used to glorify their Gurudev. One day God Kabir came to their house along with two disciples named ‘Sheikh Farid’ and ‘Kamal’. There was nothing to eat in the house of Samman due to which he got worried. Samman and his son went to get some flour but no one gave them flour because they had no money. Then Samman and Neki decided to steal some flour so that they may prepare food for their Guru Ji. Samman and Seu stole some wheat flour from the house of a rich merchant but Seu was caught. The merchant told him he will expose him (thief) in public the next morning. 

Samman took the flour and went to his house leaving his son Seu. Then, Neki told Samman to go and sever the head of his son ‘Seu’. The same was done. The rich merchant got scared and pulled the dead body out of his house. Samman brought his son’s dead body along with a severed head and kept it in an Almirah. ‘Neki’ prepared food for Guru Ji and the other two guests and served them on five plates. God Kabir told Neki to serve food on six plates. Samman and Neki were trying to hide that their son is no more but God is Omniscient. Following the instructions of their Gurudev, 'Neki’ finally served food on six plates. Then God Kabir said-

आओ सेऊ जीम लो, यह प्रसाद प्रेम |
शीश कटत है चोरों के, साधो के नित क्षेम ||

Aao Seu jeem lo, yeh prasad prem
Sheesh katat hai choron ke, sadho ke nit kshem

सेऊ धड़ पर शीश चढ़ा, बैठा पंगत माही |
नही धड़ गर्दन में, वो सेऊ अक नाही ||

Seu dhad par sheesh chadha, betha pangat maahee
Nahee dhad gardan mein, vo Seu akk nahee

Immediately, Seu's torso was beheaded and there was not even a cut mark on the neck. Seu was alive by the grace of Almighty Kabir. Then all six ate food together.

The Same Soul of Samman Took Birth As Nausher Khan

Neki and Seu attained salvation. But Samman had in mind that if he would have been rich he would not have to sever the head of his son. God Kabir blessed Samman to be a millionaire in that birth itself. His biggest sacrifice was that of his son for his Gurudev. But Samman did not have the willingness to attain salvation. His next birth was of the son of the King of Nausher Khan city. He became the ruler but was a miser. God Kabir acquiring the form of a ‘Zinda Baba’ went to the King Nausher Khan and preached him to donate but he denied saying, ‘he is poor’. When God told him he had a huge treasure, Nausher Khan refused and said ‘it's all coal’. Then the entire treasure in reality became coal. King Nausher Khan apologized and prostrated to ‘Zinda Baba’. God Kabir blessed him and the whole treasure again converted to precious diamonds and pearls. Then he donated the maximum from his treasure. With that devotional earning and serving the saint as a reward he became the ruler in Iraq of Balkh city.

The Birth Story of Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham

Ibrahim Ibn Adham Sultan was born from a Faquir named Adham Shah who married the princess, daughter of the King of Balkh. This was the divine spectacle of Almighty Kabir to liberate his dear devotee soul Nausher Khan. God says in his nectar speech

यह सब खेल हमारे किए | हम से मिले जो निश्चेय जिये ||

जो जन मेरी शरण है, ताका हूं मैं  दास |
गेल- गेल लाग्या फिरूँ, जब तक धरती आकाश ||

Yeh sab khel hamarey kiye. Hum se miley jo nishchey jiye

Jo Jan meri sharan hai, taaka hun mein das
Gail-Gail lagya phirun, jab tak dharti aakash

Taking Sultan in Refuge

Nausher Khan in the next birth became a King of Balkh in Iraq. His capital was in that city. The name of the King was Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham. He was constantly getting human births with the worship he had done in the human birth of Samman and he continued to be the King in return for the donations and virtues he performed. His biggest donation was three kilograms of wheat flour which he gave by sacrificing his son due to which he became a rich King. It all happened by the grace of Almighty Kabir. He had 18 lakh horses and a huge treasure. He used to wear precious shoes that had 2.5 lakh diamonds attached to it. He had 16 thousand females and was leading a lavish life. He used to hunt and slaughter many animals.

One day a great Saint arrived in one devotee’s house near the palace of the King for spiritual discourse. Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham heard that discourse sitting on his terrace overnight and got highly inspired to worship. In the morning, Ibrahim Ibn Adham told his soldiers that he wants to meet some renowned saint. A famous fake preacher was brought to King and Abraham started worshipping according to the method told by that fake saint. The saint used to pretend as if he is above all vices and materialistic pleasures but in reality; was greedy and a deceiver. Abraham used to wear a precious ring. He was highly influenced by that fake Baba. That greedy Baba got prepared a duplicate ring exactly similar to the ring of the King with the help of the same jeweler. One day the greedy Baba went to meet the King and expressed his desire for boating with the King. All arrangements were done and both went for boating. Amid the river; Baba asked Adham Sultan to show his precious ring and tactfully exchanged it with the duplicate ring. Ibrahim Ibn Adham offered that precious ring to fake Baba to which he denied saying, ‘these precious ornaments are useless for Faquir and then he threw it in the river. The King became sure that the ascetic is truly far from materialistic things. He is a great saint. 

After some time, one of the reliable men of the King revealed the secret of the ring, the Baba was exposed of his fraud. The ring was found buried in Baba’s hut. The King was hurt by Baba’s fraud and lost all faith in saints. He imprisoned Baba. Then he called all sages, saints of his empire and inquired if they had found ‘Khuda’ then let him also help meet Allah but no one had the answer. One saint asked the King to arrange a glass of milk. The same was done. Then that saint told, ‘King the milk does not have clarified butter (ghee) in it. The King inquired how is Ghee obtained from the milk?. The saint told the procedure. First, the milk is converted to curd then it is churned and then ghee is obtained’. With this example, the saint explained to King that there is a proper method to attain God which is possible only in human birth. Acquire a guru and do true worship. But the King did not accept and annoyed with saints he imprisoned all. They used to grind mills inside the prison. All those devouts were God-loving souls but by not getting a true spiritual leader were doing arbitrary worship. God is merciful and He helps his dear souls by disguising himself as an enlightened saint, preaches them true spiritual knowledge so that they may worship and attain salvation. 

To release those trapped dear souls (sages) and his dear devotee Ibrahim, the same soul of Samman from butcher Brahm-Kaal; Almighty Kabir did few spectacles. 

  • Divine Spectacle 1 - 360 Mills Started Running on their Own by the Grace of Almighty Kabir 
  • Divine Spectacle 2 - Appearance of God Kabir as a Camel grazing villager
  • Divine Spectacle 3 - Appearance of God Kabir as a village Traveller-
  • Divine Spectacle 4 - God Kabir acquired the form of a maid-servant of Sultan Adham
  • Divine Spectacle 5 - Almighty Kabir showed King his ancestors who became dogs after death
  • Divine Spectacle 6 - Final blow of God Kabir to expel Abraham from the swamp 
  • Divine Spectacle 7 - Sultan abandoned worldly pleasure of Kaal’s region
  • Explaining to the person trapped in the maze of Brahm-Kaal

Divine Spectacle 1 - 360 Mills Started Running on their Own by the Grace of Almighty Kabir

God Kabir disguised as a sage and riding on an OX went in the office in the palace of King Adham Sultan and told that the OX will tell how is Allah? Where is Allah?. The OX started speaking like a human by the grace of Almighty Kabir and told Ibrahim ‘the one sitting on me is Allahu Akbar’. Sultan got shocked seeing an OX speaking also he was impressed. Then God Kabir along with the OX disappeared and went and stood in front of the prison. As instructed to soldiers to immediately imprison any sage or saint found; they imprisoned God Kabir. The soldiers told Kabir Saheb to drive the mill as other imprisoned saints were doing. God Kabir said each of us will do only one job, either to drive the mill or to pour grains in the mill. Soldiers agreed to add grains and told you all drive mills. Kabir Saheb told all saints to stand and close their eyes. Kabir Saheb drove one mill. All of a sudden, all 360 mills automatically started moving. God Kabir told the soldiers to continue adding grains and grind as much flour as they need. Then he told all sages to open their eyes. All of them found themselves one kilometer far from Balkh city outside the prison in a jungle. God Kabir told all the sages to abandon the city. In this way, by the divine spectacle, God freed all sages. The King was told about this divine act of a Faquir (Kabir). The King came and was surprised seeing 360 mills running on their own. Later, the mills automatically stopped.

Divine Spectacle 2 - Appearance of God Kabir as a Camel Grazing Villager

After some time, God Kabir appeared disguised as a Camel grazing villager holding a long stick in hand on the terrace of the residence of King Abraham at night. The King was deep asleep. God Kabir started banging a stick on the roof which repealed the sleep of King. He got annoyed and ordered his soldiers to catch the person who had disturbed his sleep. The camel grazing villager ie. God Kabir was brought. The King asked ‘Who are you? What are you doing on my terrace? Almighty Kabir told, ‘I am a Camel grazer. One of my Camels is lost and searching for him I came to your terrace. I am a ‘Caravan’. The King was surprised and told, ‘How can a Camel come on the palace’s terrace? It is quite impossible. Go and search the Camel in the forest’. 

God Kabir said ‘O Abraham! in the way a Camel can never be found on a terrace, he should be searched in the forest similarly, God can never be found to the one sitting on the throne and leading a luxurious life. God is found in saints. Saying this God disappeared. Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham immediately fainted and fell on the ground. Then, the ministers and Queens called a Tantricist who tied the talisman on the right hand of the King saying he is under the effect of ghosts and phantoms, now he will be alright’.

The King lost all interest in his official duties and used to remain quiet and upset. God Kabir again appeared in the prison and played the same divine act of automatically driving the mills with the remaining prisoners and relieved them all. Thereafter, the King never imprisoned any sage and saint. After this, due to fear no sage/ saint used to visit the city. God also wanted that the fake gurus should not come near the King so that they may not be able to misguide Sultan Adham. After some time, the King became normal and was again lost in his luxurious world.

Divine Spectacle 3 - Appearance of God Kabir as a Village Traveller

God Kabir again appeared disguised as a traveler dressed as a villager holding a bundle of clothes and went to the residence of the King. Abraham asked, ‘Why have you come here?’ Kabir Saheb said ‘I am a traveler and have to stay for one night in your hospice. Tell me the rent for a one-night stay’. The King laughed and said, ‘O innocent traveler! this is not an inn, this is my palace. I am the King’. The merciful God said ‘Who was living before you in this palace?’. Abraham told, ‘my father, my ancestors’. God said ‘where are they? I want to meet them’. The King said ‘they are no more alive’. God asked, ‘For How many days will you stay in this palace?’. The King became mum ‘I also have to die’. God said ‘O innocent man! Is this not an inn, then what else’

तेरे बाप-दादा पड़ पीढ़ी | वे बसे इसी सराय में गीद्दी ||

Tere baap-dada pad pidhi, ve basey isee sarai mein giddhee

ऐसे ही तू चल जाई | ताते हम महल सराय बताई ||

Aisey hee tu chal jayee, tatey hum mahal sarai batayee

अब तू तखत बैठकर भूली | तेरा मन चढ़ने को सूली ||

Ab tu takhat bethkar bhulee, tera mann chadhney ko sooli

Then God disappeared and the King again fainted. Again the Tantricist was called who; this time tied the talisman on the left hand of the King saying nothing wrong will happen to the King, henceforth, and left.

Divine Spectacle 4 - God Kabir Acquired the Form of a Maid-Servant of Ibrahim Ibn Adham

Adham Sultan was enjoying a luxurious life. During the day, the King used to rest in his ‘Naulakha’ garden (Garden with nine lakh fruit-trees of different species). The maid-servants used to lay the bed for the King and decorate it with flower vessels around. The dress of maids used to be different from that of Queens. Merciful God Kabir does several efforts to liberate one soul from the trap of butcher Brahm-Kaal. This is yet another divine spectacle.

One day God Kabir disguised himself as the maid of the King. God acquired the form of a female and laid on King’s bed. When Adham Sultan came and saw a ‘bandi’ (khawasi) lying on his royal bed he got furious. He lifted the whip and hit the reclining maid (God Kabir) three times harshly on the waist which left marks. God Kabir got down from the bed and acted to cry once, then he started laughing loudly. Ibrahim Ibn Adham Sultan got shocked seeing the maid-servant laughing after being beaten badly. The King held the hand of the maid and asked, ‘why are you laughing?’ God said, ‘I slept on this bed just once for 22 minutes and have been punished with three whips. I am laughing because the one who sleeps on this dirt bed day and night what will happen to him?. I pity you, O the innocent man’. Seeing this the King got unconscious’. When he came to his senses, he could not understand ‘what is happening with me?’. 

मैं एक घड़ी सेज पर सोई | ताते मेरा यह हाल होई || 
जो सोवे दिवस और राता | उनका क्या हाल विधाता ||
गेब भये खवासा | सुल्तानी भये उदासा ||
यह कौन छलावा भाई | याका भेद समझ ना आई ||

Mein ek ghadi par soee, tatey mera yeh haal hoee
Jo sovey diwas aur rataa, unka kya haal Vidhata
Gaeb bhaye khawasa, Sultani bhaye udasa
Yeh kaun chalawa bhai, yaka bhed samajh na aayee

Emphasizing the importance of true devotion, God Kabir mentions devout Dadu Dayal Ji, Guru Nanak Ji and Sultaan Adham in the following Hymn.

Sat Kabir dware tere par ek daas bhikari aaya hai, bhakti ki bhiksha de deejo umeed katora lyaya hai||
Saambr mein Dadu Daas Miley, phir Nanak ko khar kyaas mile||
Sultani ko ho khawaas mile, jiskaa bistar jhaad bichaya hai||
Bhakti ki bhiksha de deejo umeed katora lyaya hai||

Divine Spectacle 5 - Almighty Kabir Showed King His Ancestors Who Became Dogs After Death

Once the King went hunting. Chasing a deer he went deep inside the forest. He and his horse were badly thirsty. He saw a Faquir sitting in the garden amid the trees loaded with fruits nearby and there was a vessel kept filled with water. Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham went near the sage, drank water, and quenched his thirst. He tied the horse with a tree and saw three cute dogs were also tied there. The King greeted the sage and requested to give him two dogs. The ascetic said, ‘I cannot give you these dogs. I have to teach them a lesson. In earlier birth, they were the rulers of Balkh city. I used to tell them that you should remember Allah because you are not eternal and after death, you will become a dog. Today, you have all pleasures in human life and are eating delicious food because of the virtues of earlier births. If in case you will not do true worship in this human birth then you will suffer in the life of a dog and other species then you will not get good food to eat. They did not hear me considering this sage is a fool. They were only worried as to who will take care of their empire and the queens?. 

Now they have become dogs. See, I have prepared halwa for them and have added dry fruits but will not give them to eat. If they will try to eat; I will beat them’. Saying this God started thrashing dogs with an iron stick. The dogs started screaming badly. Then God told Sultan that the fourth chain is being kept for the present ruler of Balkh city who is swayed by the materialistic pleasures and has forgotten Allahu Akbar. He has forgotten that after death he will become a dog. I have told him many times to worship Allah because he will not remain permanent here in this inn. He does not fear Allah and tortures innocent saints. I am saved since I am far. When he will die and will become a dog I will chain him’. The King was shocked to hear the true words of the sage and seeing his ancestors tied as dogs. He said. ‘I am the King of Balkh, please forgive me, and prostrated to the Faquir’. When he stood he did not find anything there, the sage had disappeared. No dogs, no huts, no water, no garden. Then the King got fearful and returned to his palace. 

Divine Spectacle 6 - Final Blow of God Kabir To Expel Sultan Ibrahim From The Swamp

Back in the palace, Adham Sultan used to remain gloomy. One day a dog came into the palace who has wound in his head and several worms were scratching his head. It was the divine act of God Kabir. This was the final blow to expel Abraham from the swamp. The dog said, ‘O Abraham! I was also a ruler. All creatures whom I killed while hunting and in war have become worms and are taking their revenge by scratching my head. I am unable to do anything. The same will be your condition. See your future. Khuda is roaming after you. You are wasting your life in the affection of your family and empire. After this, Adham Sultan abandoned the palace the same night.

Divine Spectacle 7 - Sultan Abandoned Worldly Pleasure of Kaal’s Region

A ‘Malan’ (female gardener) was selling plums outside the garden. Ibrahim Ibn Adham Sultan was hungry but had no money therefore, he purchased one kgs plum by selling his precious footwear worth Rs. 2.5 lakh to Malan. While the Malan was giving plums to Abraham one of them fell on the ground. Both bent down to pick the fallen plum and started claiming it to be theirs. At that time, God Kabir appeared and scolded Malan that you are quarreling for one plum with Sultan who sold his precious footwear worth Rs. 2.5 lakh just to purchase one kgs plum. Simultaneously, God scolded Adham Sultan that ‘O fool! on one hand, you sold precious footwear than on the other hand you are quarreling and claiming just one plum. What kind of sacrifice is this?. Act wisely, have patience’. Saying this, God slapped Sultan and disappeared. 

Such could be life’s journey. Moving ahead, Adham saw a beggar sleeping on the road who had rested his head on a stone. At that very moment, he threw his mattress and pillow. Ahead, Sultan saw a person drinking water from the river with his hands. Then, he threw his lotah (small round metal pot) as well.

Explaining to the Person Trapped in the Maze of Brahm-Kaal

Sultan was going. On the way, heavy rains started. The weather was pleasant. Sultan saw a hut of a farmer who had two-acre uncultivated land and an old cow. To protect himself from rain Sultan went behind the hut. The husband-wife were happy with good rain subsequently, a good crop. They were discussing, ‘they are far more blessed than the King of Balkh Bukharey’. Sultan stayed there till morning and while he bade farewell he told the farmer couple to discard materialistic pleasures and worship Allah to attain salvation. He told him he is Adham Sultan and he has abandoned the empire to attain God but the couple did not trust saying, ‘If so, then a fool like you is not on earth’. 

Sultan said:-

गरीब, रांडी (स्त्री) डांडी (गाय) ना तजै, यह नर कहिए काग | 
बलख बुखारा त्याग दिया, थी कोई पिछली लाग ||

Garib, randi (istree) dandi (gaye) na tajey, yeh nar kahiye kaag
Balkh Bukhara tyag diya, thee koi pichlee laag

After this Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham did not remain the Sultan of the earth but he became the Sultan of devotion. God Kabir took him in the refuge and gave initiation. He became famous as the ‘Sultan’. 

It has been mentioned in Kabir Sagar chapter ‘Sultan Bodh’ page 62  

प्रथम पान प्रवाना लेई | पीछे सार शब्द तोई देई ||  
तब सतगुरु ने अलख लखाया | करी परतीत परम पद पाया ||
सहज चौका कर दीन्हा पाना (नाम) | काल का बंधन तोड़ बगाना ||

Pratham paan prawana leyee, pichey Sarshabad toee deyee
Tab Satguru ne alakh lakhaya, kari parteet param pad paya
Sehaj chaukaa kar deenha pana (naam), Kaal ka bandhan tod bagana

Almighty Kabir met Garibdas Ji from Chudani village, district Jhajjar, Haryana, and blessed him with divine vision. Then, Saint Garibdas Ji mentioned in Satgranth.

गरीब, हम सुल्तानी नानक तारे, दादू कूं उपदेश दिया। 
जात जुलाहा भेद नहीं पाया, काशी माहे कबीर हुआ।।

गरीब , अनन्त कोटि ब्रह्मण्ड का एक रति नहीं भार। 
सतगुरु पुरुष कबीर हैं कुल के सरजन हार।।

Garib, hum Sultani Nanak tarey, Dadu ko updesh diya
Jaat Julaha bhed na payaa, Kaashi mahey Kabir hua

Garib, Anant koti brahamanad ka ek rati nahee bhar
Satguru purush Kabir hai kul ke sirjanhaar

Examination of Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham

Sultan Adham saw a hut of the sage who was performing austerity for many years. Sultan went near the sage. The ascetic told Adham not to stay here because there is no food and water available. You should go somewhere else. Sultan Abraham told, ‘I have not come as your guest. I am the guest of God. He will arrange food for me. The person’s destiny is pre-decided. ‘O cheater! You are not even a good citizen. You want to attain God. If the intention is not right then human beings cannot do charity. Without charity, God cannot be attained. He; who has given birth will provide food also. Abraham went a bit far and sat. A platter descended from the sky in the evening in which different types of vegetables, pudding, kheer, bread, and water were kept. The plate was covered with a cloth. Abraham lifted the cloth from the plate and showed it to the old seeker. Two loaves of barley flour and one lotta (metal pot) of water came from the sky for that old seeker. Seeing this, the old seeker got angry that, ‘Lord, I will not eat the food you have sent. You discriminate. You send dry barley bread for me and for Abraham you send delicious food’.

God made a celestial announcement (Akashvani) ‘O Devotee! Abraham was a rich king. He had a billion-trillion treasure. He had sixteen thousand queens, children. He had rich ministers and officers. He had many attendants. He has left a highly lavish life to attain me. What should I not give him?. You look at your status. You were a shearer. You used to dig grass the whole day then you used to get a penny. You used to carry a heavy load on your head every day. You had no wife, no mother neither your father was rich. I used to send you cooked loaves and you still show tantrums. If you do not agree as per my will, then go and sit somewhere else. If you are alienated from devotion, then your grass spud, and the mesh is kept here, go and cut grass and arrange livelihood. If you want to get something from God then don't act against my wish’. If there is pride in devotion, then he is far from the divine. If a devotee of God is respected then he is close to God. 

Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham requested God that, ‘O God! I will work hard for my survival and will also worship. Don't send this food, I want to stay at your feet after eating whatever little I get. After eating the food you are sending for me only defects will crop in my mind. I may commit mistakes. The old devotee was also listening to this plea and he felt shy. He requested, ‘O Lord! forgive my mistakes. I am happy in your willingness’. From that day onwards, Abraham used to cut woods from the forest and used to sell them in the market, and from that earning he used to purchase food and then eat. He used to eat that for eight days and remains involved in devotion.

Devotee’s Intention Should be Distinct

After a few years, Abraham went on a tour. There was a garden of a rich man. He had the requirement of a servant. He appointed Sultan to guard the garden. After one year the rich man came into the garden. He asked Abraham to bring pomegranates. Sultan brought pomegranate. The Pomegranates were sour. The rich man said that ‘in one year you did not even know how sweet are pomegranates?’. Sultan said, ‘Seth Ji, you have kept me for the protection of the garden, not to destroy the garden’. If the keeper becomes an eater then how will that be?. I have never eaten any fruit, so how would I know about sour and sweet?’. When the rich man asked the other servants, the servants said that this servant gets two loaves of bread,  he eats them, murmurs, and wanders around the garden. We have also seen him in secret. Neither has he plucked and ate any fruit nor has he eaten the fallen fruit. Some servants told him he is the ruler of Balkh city. I saw him ten years ago in a jungle while he was hunting. When I asked, ‘it seems you are the Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham of Balkh city, initially he refused. Then I said, ‘I saw you in the forest at the time you were hunting. My brother-in-law ‘Yacub’ is a great officer in your army. He told us that the King has taken asceticism. His son is ruling Balkh city’. Then he said, ‘do not tell anyone’. The rich man fell on his feet and apologized and gave a lot of money and said that ‘you take this money for your livelihood and do devotion as well. Stay at my home or I will get the palace constructed in the garden. You continue living here and worship. Sultan thanked and moved ahead.  

Definition of a Servant / Devotee

Once upon a time, the Sultan went to the ashram of a saint and stayed there on the special request of the saint. The name of the ascetic was ‘Hukum Das’. He used to stay in the ashram with his twelve disciples named Faquir Das, Anand Das, Karm Das, Dharam Das, etc. but their behavior was not like a servant. If their guru asks them to do some work they linger and say it was Dharma Das’s turn, tell him to do. Dharam Das tells ‘it's Anand Das’s turn’. Observing their behavior Sultan said

दासा भाव नेडे नहीं, नाम धराया दास | पानी के पिये बिन, कैसे मिट है प्यास ||

Das bhaav nedey nahee, naam dharaya das. Paani ke piye bin, kaisey mit hai pyas.

Sultan told those disciples that ‘when I was the King; I had brought a servant’. I asked him ‘what do you like to eat?’. The servant replied, ‘Servant likes whatever his master provides him to eat’. I asked, ‘What do you wish?. Which work do you like to do?. He replied, ‘Whatever work is instructed by the master that is my liking’. I asked, ‘what do you wear?’. He said, ‘I wear torn old clothes given by the owner’. I relieved him and gave him a lot of money. By obeying the same thing, I follow my master’s orders. I never put forth my will. Whatever God provides I eat accepting His wish. Considering myself a servant I serve. To please God it is necessary to please Gurudev. After that, all the disciples started living obediently, and obeying the orders of their Guru started behaving well among themselves and made their life successful.

How Did Sultani Obtain ‘Sar Shabad’?

Almighty Kabir created an ashram and started living. He was famous by the name ‘Zinda Baba’. Sultani was given the initiation of Satnam (a two-word mantra) after a few months of the first mantra initiation, one of which is the ‘OM’ mantra, and the other is told at the time of the sermon. The Sultan kept coming for the divine’s vision many times. When qualified after ‘Satnam’, the seeker is given initiation of ‘Sar Shabad’. After one year, Sultan politely prayed for the initiation of ‘Sarnam’ to guru Ji in his ashram then God told him to come after one year on the same day. I will give the initiation ‘Sarnam’. To see me you can come anytime. In this way, eleven years passed. In between, he used to come regularly for divine’s vision but to get initiation ‘Sarnam’ a day is fixed. When in the eleventh year Sultan was coming for the initiation of ‘Sarnam’, he was passing from the way near one house. The mistress of that house cleaned the terrace and threw the garbage from the roof and dumped it in the street which accidentally fell on the devotee. Sultan shouted at her, ‘Don’t you see! Humans also come and go in the street’. If I had not come here after renouncing the kingdom, I would have stripped your flesh. The mistress apologized. 

She was also the disciple of Almighty Kabir. When she saw Sultan in ashram she asked God Kabir, ‘O Gurudev! the devotee who is sitting in seclusion, was he ever a king?’. Zinda Baba asked, ‘what is the matter daughter? There is no difference between a king and a poor here. Why have you asked this question?. He was the King of Balkh city earlier. I told him the true spiritual knowledge then he abandoned the empire. He works hard by selling woods and earns his livelihood. He also worships. That sister told me, by mistake I threw the garbage on him then he got annoyed and said, ‘If I was the King today I would have stripped your flesh’.

After Satsang, the eligible disciples were called for ‘Sar Shabad’. When the turn of Sultan came then Zinda Baba told ‘you are the King, Sar Shabad is given to the servant who has considered the human body merely ash. Sultani told, ‘I have abandoned the empire for many years’. Guru Ji told, ‘nothing is unknown to me. You have abandoned the rule but the royalty is still not renounced. You come again after one year to get the initiation ‘Sarnam’.

After one year, Sultan was coming to take ‘Sarnam’ from the same street. Guru Ji told the same mistress that the King is coming to take ‘Sar Shabad’ . You prepare a garbage mix of cow dung, ash, and water and pour on him and tell me his reaction. As instructed by ‘Zinda Baba’ She did the same and later apologized. Then Sultan said, ‘Sister, mud has fallen on mud, it does not matter, I will take a bath and wash my clothes’. The sister told Sultan’s reaction to Gurudev then God Kabir provided him ‘Sar Shabad’ and said, ‘Son! Today you have become a servant, now your salvation is certain. 

Reference:- ‘Mukti Bodh’ book. The writer is Jagatguru Tatvdarshi Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj. Chapter ‘Sumran ka Ang’, speech no. 103, ‘Pativrata ka Ang’ speech no. 32-33. It has been said

Garib, sola sahans suhailiyan, Chandey meer diwan । Balakh Bukhara taji gaye, dekh Adham Sultan।।32।।
Garib, Sultani Patibrat hai, chaiyan Balakh Bukhaar। Mun manjan avigat rate, Sayeen ka deedaar।।33।।

Meaning:– When Abrahim Sultan Adham had knowledge about Almighty then he renounced the Kingdom for Him. 16 thousand wives, 18 Lakh horses-mares, and by renouncing other wealth he became homeless for God. Then he never had the desire for a Kingdom in mind. He bore hunger-thirst, summer-winter, but remained firm on the path of God, and followed the path of loyalty and attained salvation.

That is why devotees should learn from this story, do not rush to get ‘Sar Shabad. Normalize all the vices inside you, act with prudence, salvation is certain. 

Is King Superior or the Devotee

Once, Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham went to a pond outside his city and sat down. His son was the King. When it was discovered, he climbed on the elephant and reached the pond with a band and asked his father to return to the house. Sultan Adham refused. The son said, ‘what condition have you made of yourself?. Stay here comfortably, you are suffering as a beggar. Today everything happens with my order’. Sultan said, ’what God can do, the King can never do’. The son said, ‘you give permission. I will do the same. You will have to stay along with us’. Sultan agreed, ‘I put a needle into the pond. Take out the needle from the pond and return to me’. The King called the soldiers, divers, and nettings, all tried but their efforts went in vain. The son said, ‘Father! In place of one needle, I will bring a thousand needles. Can your Allah take out this needle?’ 

Then Sultan said, ‘O Son! If my Allah will take out this needle, then will you do devotion?’ Will you take asceticism?. The son said, ‘first you bring this needle out through your Allah, then I will think’. Abraham said, ‘Fishes, daughter of God, a needle of me (slave) has fallen into your pond. Please take my needle out’. After a few moments, a fish came to the shore near Abraham with a needle in his mouth. Abraham grabbed the needle and thanked the fish with folded hands. Then Sultan said, ‘Son! What God can do, human; be it even a King as well cannot do. Now, will you worship?’. The son said, ‘God has given you only a needle, I can give you pearls and diamonds. I will worship in my old age’. The devotee Abraham stood and walked away towards his cave.

Disorders Such As Deeds, Anger, Fascination, Lust, do not Perish, They Calm Down

विकार मरे ना जानियो, ज्यों भुभल में आग |
जब कर्रेलय धधकही. बचे सतगुरु शरणा लाग ||

Vikar marey na janiyo, jyon bhubhal mein aag
Jab karraley dhadhkahee, bachey satguru sharnaa laag

Abraham Sultan once went to Mecca. His aim was that confused Muslim devotees keep coming to Mecca for Hajj or otherwise. He had to explain to them, therefore, he stayed there for a few days. A Haj pilgrim went to the city of Balkh and told that Abraham lives in Mecca. When the little boy insisted to see his father, then his mother and some men and women of the city also went along and went to Mecca and met Abraham. Abraham used to teach his disciples that a boy without beard and mustache and a foreign female should not be looked at. Doing so, the fascination rises for them. Abraham could not keep up seeing his boy, he kept looking at the child. The boy was 13 years old. The disciples said that ‘Gurudev you teach us that one should not look long at a child without a beard and mustache but you are looking at him. Abraham said, ‘I do not know why I am attracted to him?. At the same time, an old man said, King! this is your queen and this is your son. When you renounced the state, at that time he was in the womb. He has come to see you’. At the same time, the boy touched the father's feet and sat in his lap. Fondness tears spilled in Abraham’s eyes. There was a celestial announcement from God (Akashvani) that Sultani, you did not love me. You love your family, go home. At the same time, Abraham was shocked and prayed with his eyes closed, ‘God this is beyond my control, either kill me or kill this boy’. At the same time the boy died, Abraham got up and left. People from Balkh started preparing for the boy's funeral. 

To attain God the devotee has to meet every criterion, then success is showered. God immediately gave human life to that boy's creature and gave birth to him in his devotee's house. Since childhood, that soul found the path of God. 

Once, all the devotees gathered in Satsang in Zinda Baba's ashram. That boy was four years old at that time. By the grace of God, his bed and Abraham's bed were laid side by side. Seeing Abraham, the boy said, Father, why did you leave me in Mecca?. I am now born in a devotee's house, see Allah has reunited me with you’. When this thing was brought to the notice of Guru Ji; Zinda Baba (God Kabir Ji), then Zinda Baba told that this is the son of Abraham who died in Mecca. Now God has given birth to this creature in the devotee's home. Abraham was saddened by the boy's death but he did not share with anyone. That day, he said, " O ocean of mercy! you are omniscient, today my heart has become lighter. I was continuously thinking, what did God do?’. How will her mother go back home?. Today my soul is completely calm. Zinda Baba sent a message to the girl's former mother i.e. Abraham's wife that he should come to the ashram. The boy and his new parents and Abraham were also called and introduced that boy to his mother. Seeing her the boy immediately said, ‘Mother! You left me in Mecca and went away.’ There, God came, see he was seated (told pointing towards Zinda Baba). He took me along and left in their house. I was born to this mother. 

Now, I have taken initiation and chant the first mantra. ‘O Mother! you also take initiation from Guru Ji; your welfare will happen’. Abraham's wife took initiation and said ‘send this boy with me’. God Kabir Ji, Zinda Baba said that if he had to be placed in that hell (in the glare of the King) then why would he have died?. Now, you come to the ashram and visit the child in Satsang every month. Abraham did not feel familiar with the boy because he was born from someone else's body. But his illusion, stupidity of mind perished. Which he used to say in his mind that Allah should not have done this. Now, he came to know that God does what is good. Even if it doesn't feel good to you at that time. All creatures are of Allah. He thinks of everyone's interest. We think of our interests. The queen also did not have that feeling in the boy, but the soul was the same. That is why the mother’s affection was awake in the heart. So seeing him she used to get peace. Making this reason; God emancipated both the Queen as well as the child.  

The Devotee is Like a Tree in Nature

Once in a ship, a rich man was going for business. He was accompanied by cooks and a party of joking people. It was a long journey, it would take a month. Funny people need a person on whom they can mock. On searching, they found Ibrahim so took him along. They thought he was a beggar, and needed food, we will provide. After going far in the sea, the program to entertain the rich man started. They were mocking at Abraham that there was one foolish Abraham. He was sitting on the same branch of the tree that he was cutting. He fell and died. All of them laughed aloud. In this way, they continued passing such indecent remarks for a long time. Abraham was very sad, he thought this suffering would continue for months. I will not be able to do devotion nor will I be able to live peacefully. 

At the same time, a celestial announcement was made, ‘O devotee! If you say then I will kill these fools and sink the ship and save your life. They hurt you’. Hearing this either voice all the people of the ship got scared. Abraham said, ‘O Allah! do not put this stigma on my forehead. They are ignorant, instead of killing so many people, kill me or give them good sense. They should do worship and get their welfare done’. All the passengers including the shipowner apologized to Abraham and heard the spiritual knowledge of God. They kept him with themselves respectfully and gave him a separate place in the ship for him to worship. Abraham explained them true spiritual knowledge and brought them to the ashram and got them initiated from Guru Ji. Abraham himself used to give initiation. When it was told to Zinda Baba ie. God Kabir Ji in the presence of Abraham that Abraham used to give initiation then God told, ‘O devotee! you are doing wrong. You are not authorized to give name initiation’. After that day, Abraham stopped giving initiation and got his disciples to take name initiation from Guru Ji again. He apologized and got his name purified and promised not to repeat this mistake in the future. 


Merciful God Kabir liberates the soul who has come in his refuge in some human birth no matter it might take a few more births. He preaches true spiritual knowledge and then blesses the soul and provides salvation. The same happened with Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham. Almighty God Kabir has descended at present to liberate virtuous souls. Great Tatvadarshi Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj is Almighty Kabir. This is the advice to the devotees that identify God and take his refuge, attain salvation, and land back to the native immortal abode ‘Satlok’.


FAQs about "Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham (King of Balkh) Salvation Story"

Q.1 Who was Abou Ben Adhem in real life?

Abou Ben Adhem, also known as Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham, was historically a Muslim king who ruled over the city of Balkh. His story is intertwined with a spiritual journey and devotion towards God Kabir. According to SukshamVeda, in a previous birth, he was known as Samman and had a deep connection with God Kabir. He sacrificed his son's life for his Gurudev, God Kabir, but couldn't attain salvation then. Over multiple lifetimes, due to accumulated spiritual wealth he became king, and in his birth as Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham, he ruled as a king before renouncing his throne for a life of asceticism and devotion towards God.

Q.2 Who was the king of Balkh Bukhara?

Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham was the king of Balkh Bukhara. He held significant wealth and power during his tenure. However, his spiritual experiences and divine inspirations led him to choose a different path. Encounters with manifestations of God Kabir, including appearances as a saint, a simple villager, a traveler, and other forms, prompted him to abandon his kingship and set out on a quest for spiritual enlightenment.

Q. 3 Was Abu Bin Adham a good man?

Abou Ben Adhem, or Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham, was a virtuous individual. His spiritual transformation was marked by his dedication to God Kabir's teachings. He relinquished his opulent lifestyle and authority as a king, embracing a life of humility and devotion towards God. This shift in focus from material wealth to spiritual pursuits exemplified his goodness and commitment to his spiritual journey.

Q.4 How did Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham find inspiration to attain salvation?

Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham's inspiration to seek salvation came through encounters with divine manifestations of God Kabir. These encounters took diverse forms, such as a saint, a villager tending to camels, a wandering traveler, and more. Through these experiences, he received guidance and messages, inspiring him to forsake his throne and worldly attachments in favor of a spiritual path leading to salvation.

Q.5 What is the significance of Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham's story?

Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Adham's story holds a profound significance. It underscores the transient nature of material possessions and highlights the paramount importance of dedicating one's life to spiritual growth and attaining salvation. The narrative serves as a poignant reminder that the ultimate purpose of human existence is to break free from the cycle of birth and death, achieved through unwavering devotion to a complete spiritual Guide and the grace of God Kabir.


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Preetpal Singhal

The story highlighted in the article truly exemplifies the dedication of a devout person. I, too, have a strong faith in God and strive to lead a simple life while steering clear of bad habits. However, I struggle to control the five vices, which often leaves me feeling remorseful. Despite trying various methods suggested by spiritual guides, such as meditation and fostering a positive mindset, I haven't found a lasting solution. I am earnestly seeking genuine guidance to overcome this.

Satlok Ashram

Dear reader, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. The presence of the five vices in humans is attributed to the influence of the three Gunas, which persist throughout life. Their control is achievable by following the true path of worship under the guidance of an authentic Guru and by receiving the Mantra from them. The spiritual teachings of Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj through His discourses, and the insights found in the book "Gyan Ganga," offer a potential resolution to your predicament.

Devdas Kumar

I've come across many stories of individuals who made profound sacrifices for their faith and I'm deeply intrigued by what inspired such devotion and how they cultivated such noble qualities. I aspire to make a positive impact on society and seek suggestions on how to lead a more fulfilling life dedicated to the welfare of others and become like them.

Satlok Ashram

Dear reader, we're grateful for your interest in our article. The teachings of the Almighty God Kabir Ji, possess a transformative power capable of reshaping an individual's life. Connecting with the authorized Saint of Almighty God Kabir Ji and embracing His grace aids devotees in developing virtues akin to divine beings. The comprehensive teachings of a true Guru not only guide individuals towards personal welfare but also inspire actions for the betterment of society. We recommend delving into authentic spiritual wisdom by listening to discourses by Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj and studying the book "Gyan Ganga" to understand the primary goal of human life.