One year, Ibrahin bin Adham decided to perform Hajj on foot, walking not just from one place to another in Makkah, but also to and from his homeland, which meant a long and arduous trek. As he was leaving his homeland, a man riding on a camel passed by and said,
“O Ibn Adham, where are you going?”
“Im going to perform Hajj, if Allaah wills,” said Ibrahim.
“Then where is your mount, Ibn Adham, for the journey is long.” asked the man.
“I have my mounts that I ride upon, though you cannot see them,” said Ibrahim.
“What?”asked the man, not comprehending Ibrahim’s meaning.
“If I am afflicted with calamity, I ride on the mount (figuratively of course) of patience (for just as a mount takes a person from one place to another, patience takes one to safety in the Hereafter). If I am given a blessing, I ride on the mount of thankfulness. If something is decreed (and it is difficult to bear) happens to me, I ride on the mount of contentment. And when my soul invites me (to satisfy some lust or desire), I reflect on how the time I have left on earth is less than the time that has already gone by.”
“You are indeed traveling by the command of Allaah.” said the man. “Then by Allaah, it is you who are the rider and I who is the foot-traveler.”