When Was Abou Ben Adhem Born?

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Robin Burden answered
It's suggested that Abu Ben Adhem was alive sometime during the 8th century - with some people suggesting he was born around 730 AD.

Who was Abou Ben Adhem?
In brief - Abou Ben Adhem was a king of an Arab community known as the Balkh.

He's also known by the name Ibrahim Ben Adhem, and is considered the central figure of Sufism (a mystical interpretation of the Islamic religion).

The Arabic prefix 'Abou' (which means 'father of') isn't actually part of his name - although his full name is thought to be Sultan Ibrahim bin Adham, Bin Mansur al-Balkhi al- Ijli, Abu Ishaq.

The name Abou Ben Adhem was popularized in western culture as a result of a poem written by the 18th century Romantic poet James Henry Leigh Hunt. You can read this poem here.

James Hunt is not the only romantic poet to have used Eastern influences in his work. Samuel Coleridge is well known for his poem, Kubla Khan, which was inspired by an opium-induced vision of the Mongolian emperor Kublai Khan.

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