Abou Ben Adhem, A Compassionate Man

3d rendering of a water splash with ripple shaped as a heart.

Abou Ben Adhem


Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:—
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
“What writest thou?”—The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, “The names of those who love the Lord.”
“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said, “I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men.”
The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.

Additional Reading

Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

2 replies

  1. Wonderful poem. I believe that beliefs and faith is important only as far as it leads to good actions otherwise it is only hollow words.

    In this context I applaud the recent acceptance of Germany of 10,000 refugees daily.

  2. The Christian cross is made of two lines
    One vertical the other horizontal
    The horizontal, relations with our fellows.
    The vertical connects us to God !

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