Once, Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah) and Shaqeeq Balkhi (rahimahullah) met in the Haram of Makkah Mukarramah during the occasion of Haj. During the course of the discussion, Ebrahim (rahimahullah) posed a question to Shaqeeq (rahimahullah), “What do you regard as the foundation of your path of piety?”
Shaqeeq (rahimahullah) replied: “If we have food to eat we are grateful, and if we do not have we are patient.” Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah) responded, “(This is no achievement.) The dogs of Balkh do the same, (if they find something to eat they will eat and if they do not find anything to eat then they are patient until something comes along).” Shaqeeq thereafter asked him, “Then what do you regard as the foundation of your path of piety?” He replied, “If we find anything to eat then we feed others first before filling our own belly, and if we don’t have anything to eat then we are grateful to Allah Ta‘ala and praise Him.” After hearing this reply, Shaqeeq (rahimahullah) stood up and sat with utmost respect in front of Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah) saying, “You are our teacher”. (Hilyatul Awliyaa vol. 8, pg. 38)
Lesson: These are real people with real values. They put others first before themselves, and despite whatever condition they experience, they are forever grateful to Allah Ta‘ala. Such people possess real values. May Allah Ta‘ala grant us all these great qualities.