Summary of “Abou Ben Adhem” by James Henry Leigh Hunt

Abou Ben Adhem is a poem that has been portrayed the heavenly feelings of a devotee or a strong believer. This poem clearly explains that the poet who addresses himself as Abou Adhem is a strong believer in God. He believed that not only loving God, but also loving people who believed in God is great.

As a boy Hunt was an admirer of Thomas Grey and William Collins and tried imitating them in many ways. Since he had difficulties in speech, which was cured later, he could not make it to the university. He made a mark in the English literature with the publication of Story of Rimini in 1816.

In this poem, it shows that when Adhem sees an angel in his room one night, he was not frightened or scared, for he had belief in God and seeing an angel, he was happy. But just wanted to know, what the angel was writing down. When he was informed that the angel was making a list of people who loved God, Adhem just wanted to know whether his name was also included. But when he was informed that his name was not there, he did not feel dejected or sad, he only requested the angel to write his name in the list of people who loved God’s fellowmen.

When Adhem saw the angel the next day also, he enquired the purpose of visit and he was totally surprised and happy to know that his name was in the list of people whom God had blessed.


This poem clearly depicts the belief one has in God. When we love God, we could love other people. By loving other people, we could make the world a better place and forget and forgive one another. The poet has tried to convey the message that, we could make the world a better place to live in and by how God would love it to be. All holy books teach us the same theme –“To love one another” .

Hunt has beautifully pictured how each one of us should think and how when we start thinking for others; we are truly blessed by God for our deeds. Loving God is not meant only by saying, but it is our deeds that ultimately God would count, and for every good deed that we do, we are being noted in God’s book and being blessed.

A poem that has conveyed a message in depth and that is what make Hunt a true critic, writer, poet and essayist, in all respects.