Poem 07 Abou Ben Adhem By James Henry Leigh Hunt

ABOU BEN ADHEM (JAMES HENRY LEIGH HUNT) 1784 - 1859

Q:1.What is the main idea of this poem?
Service to humanity is service to God. In the poem, ‘Abou Ben Adhem’, the poet, James Henry Leigh Hunt, expresses his ideas how to attain the status of greatness. One who cares and loves his fellow being is loved by God, as the highest status of worship is to love the creatures created by God. So, in order to accomplish greatness in the eyes of God we need to love our fellow being. God loves those who love their fellowman. 

Q:2.How does the poet show his love of God?
The poet shows his love of God by narrating the story of Abou Ben Adhem, a religious and pious man. By narrating the story, he tells the readers that if a man serves his fellowmen, he is blessed by God. 

Q:3.What was Abou doing in his room when the visitation took place?
He was enjoying a peaceful sleep in his room. 

Q:4.What awoke him from his slumber?
A very bright light awoke him from his slumber. When he woke up, he saw a presence in his room. The presence was surrounded by moonlight, and the light was emitting out of the presence, thus enriching the moonlight. 

Q:5.What was the stranger/angel doing?
It was writing something in a book of gold. 

Q:6.What imagery does Leigh Hunt use to describe the presence?
He describes the presence standing within the moonlight as a lily in full bloom. Leigh Hunt’s description creates a beautiful picture in the readers’ minds of a fully blossomed water lily surrounded by clear water of a lake. 

Q:7.What made Abou bold enough to address the strange presence in his room?
According to Leigh Hunt “exceeding peace made Ben Adhem bold”. I think, the peace of which Leigh hunt speaks of, is the peace, calmness and quietness of the dead of the night as well as the inner peace of a person who spends his life according to the God’s will. A person with inner peace is always content and fearless. It is due to this inner peace that Ben Adhem addressed a stranger boldly. 

Q:8.What did he ask the angel?
He asked the angle what it was writing. Later he asked if his name was in the list of those who love the God. 

Q:9.What did the angel say to his queries?
He said that he was writing the names of those who loved God. At another query, he said that his name was not in the list. 

Q:10.What did Abou ask the angle to do?
He requested the angle to write his name in the list of those who loved their fellowmen. 

Q:11.Did the angle comply?
Yes, the angle did what Abou asked him to do. It enlisted Abou’s name and vanished. 

Q:12. Briefly, write the happenings of the next night.
The next night the angle returned to Abou’s room. It had come to earth after a visit to God, so it was giving out much light than before. It showed Abou the list of those whom God had blessed for their service to humanity. Abou was happy to see his name on the top.

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