The Sufi master Ibrahim ben Adam was sitting one day in the forest clearning when two wandering dervishes approached him. He made them welcome and they talked of spiritual matters until it was dusk.
As soon as night fell Ibrahim invited the travellers to be his guests at a meal. Immediately they accepted, a table with the finest foods appeared before their eyes.
“How long have you been a dervish?” one of them asked Ibrahim. “Two years”, he said.
” I have been following the Sufi Path for nearly three decades and no such capacity as you have shown us has ever manifested itself to me”, said the man.
Ibrahim said nothing.
When the food was almost finished a stranger in a green robe entered the glade. He sat sown and shared some of the food. All realized by an inner sense that this was Khidr, the immortal Guide of all the Sufis. They waited for him to impart some wisdom to them.
When he stood up to leave, Khidr simply said:
“You two dervishes wonder about Ibrahim. But what have you renounced in order to follow the dervish Path?
“You gave up the expectations of security and an ordinary life. Ibrahim ben Adam was a mighty king and threw away the sovereignty of the sultanate of Balkh to become a Sufi. During your thirty years you have gained satisfactions through renunciation itself. This has been your payment. He has always abstained from claiming any payment for his sacrifice.”
— A Sufi Tale