Why was Ben Adhem’s name not in the angel’s book in Leigh Hunt’s poem “Abou Ben Adhem”?
The angel was making a list of those who loved God. But Abou Ben Adhem was not a man popularly known for the love of God, but for his love for the fellow human beings. That is why his name did not feature in the angel’s book of gold.
Not necessarily do you have to love God in order to love your fellow men. In the poem, Abou Ben Adhem loves his men more and believes that ‘service to mankind’ is ‘ service to god’ and hence he loves his fellow humans more.