Abou Ben Adhem Summary & Analysis by Leigh Hunt

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"Abou Ben Adhem" is a poem by Leigh Hunt, a key figure of the Romantic movement in England. The poem focuses on an event in the life of the Sufi saint Ibrahim bin Adham (anglicized to Abou Ben Adhem). Ben Adhem encounters an angel, who is writing a record of those who love God. Learning his name isn't on this list, Ben Adhem instructs the angel to mark him down as one who loves his "fellow men." The next night, the angel returns with a second list: those who are blessed by God. Ben Adhem's name is at the top this time, suggesting that God favors those who love their fellow human beings—indeed, that love for other people is the best way to express love for God. Hunt is not particularly well-known for his poetry, and is better remembered for his role in facilitating the work of other poets at the time (such as Keats and Shelly). "Abou Ben Adhem" is one of a handful of Hunt's poems still commonly read.

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