Hazrat Ibrahim (as) and the Worshipper

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir says in a reliable tradition, “One day Ibrahim went to stroll in the town and derive some lessons from the creatures of Allah. Wandering through the town he reached wilderness and saw a man standing up in prayers. His voice was reaching the sky and his dress stuck close to his body. Ibrahim stood there in amazement and watched him pray. Then he sat down near waiting for him to conclude the prayers. A long time passed. At last Ibrahim nudged him with his hand saying that he had a request from him and should shorten his prayers. The person concluded the prayers and turned towards Ibrahim.
“For whom do you offer prayers?” asked Ibrahim
“For the God of Ibrahim.”
“Who is the God of Ibrahim?”
“The One who has created you and I.”
“I like your way,” said Ibrahim, “I wish to make you my brother for Allah’s pleasure. Tell me, where do you live? So that whenever I wish, I can pay you a visit.”
“You cannot reach the place,” said the worshipper, because it is across a stream that you cannot traverse.”
“How do you cross it?” asked Ibrahim.
“I walk on the surface of water.” Replied the man.
Ibrahim said, “May be, the One who has solidified water for you, can do the same for me? Rise up. Let us go we shall spend the night together.”
So they set out. When they reached the bank of the river the worshipper uttered ‘Bismillah’ (in the name of Allah) and started walking on the surface of the stream. Ibrahim too uttered ‘Bismillah’ and followed. The person was amazed. When they reached his house Ibrahim asked him the source of his livelihood.
“I collect the fruit of this tree, all the year round,” he replied, “and that is my livelihood.”
“Which is the most difficult day?” asked Ibrahim.
“The day when the Almighty would recompense the deeds of all His creatures.”
“Come let us pray to Allah, to save us from the afflictions of that day,” said Ibrahim
There is a variation in another tradition wherein Ibrahim suggests, ‘You supplicate and I say ‘Amen.’ Or ‘I supplicate and you say ‘Amen’.
“What for?” asked the worshipper.
“For the sinners among the believers,” replied Ibrahim.
The worshipper refused and when asked the reason he said that he was praying for a particular thing for the past three years and his prayers have not been answered so far. “I feel ashamed of requesting Allah for something. Because He may not oblige me,” he explained.
Ibrahim said, “Whenever Allah loves a person, He saves his supplications, so that the supplicant would continue to plead and invocate Him. And when He hates a person He either fulfils his wishes instantly or instills despair so that he would stop invocating.”
The Ibrahim asked him as to what was his need that he continues to invocate Allah.
The worshipper said, “One day while busy in prayers at my usual place, I saw a handsome boy pass by. A light shone his forehead and his tresses flowed on his back. He was grazing some cows with such shiny skins, as if anointed with oil. He also had well-fed and healthy sheep. I was elated at the sight and asked him, “O young man. To whom do these cows and sheep belong?”
“They are mine,” replied the boy.
“Who are you?” asked I.
“I am Isma‘il, the son of Ibrahim the Khalil of Allah.”
At that moment I prayed to Allah that He allow me to see His friend (Khalil).”
“I am Ibrahim, the Khalil of the Beneficent (Rahman) and that boy is my son.”
Alhamdo lillahe Rabbil A’lameen (Praise be to Allah the Lord of the worlds),” said the worshipper, “He has granted my prayers!”
Then he kissed the cheeks of Ibrahim and putting his arms around his neck said, “Now you supplicate and I’ll say ‘Amen’.”
So Ibrahim supplicated Allah for the believers from that time unto the Resurrection Day and requested Allah to condone their sins and to be satisfied with them. The worshipper recited ‘Amen’ on his invocations. 



Reference: Hayat Al-Qulub, Vol. 1, Stories of the Prophets