Excerpt from 'Angels Unveiled' by Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani published by KAZI. Reprinted with permission from Naqshbandi Sufi Order Library

One day, the master of ascetics, Ibrahim ibn Adham, was by the seashore on a snowy day. Heavy, dark clouds were filling the sky and he was shivering with cold. He made his prayers on a plank of wood and sat in meditation all night. In the early morning he took a shower and made a small hut out of the wood to shelter him from the weather.

He resumed his meditation and thanked God for his life. At that moment, God said to the Angel of Death: "My servant Ibrahim's fervent love for Me has become unbearable upon him, therefore go down and take his soul and let him enter My paradise." The Angel of Death thought that Ibrahim ibn Adham would be like others, unwilling to give up his soul and putting up resistance. He veiled himself with seven veils so that he would not be recognized, and he appeared to Ibrahim as a very old man.

He said to him: "O my brother! can you share your shelter with me?" Ibrahim replied: "It is not necessary to share it, I will give it to you, because I was expecting you since last night to come and take me to my Lord."

The Angel of Death was very surprised and asked him: "How did you recognize me despite my veils?"

Ibrahim replied: "When God ordered you to take my soul, I was present there with you. Take me and let me be in the presence of my Beloved."

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