All notes taken from a talk by
Ibn adam al kawthari entitled
adab in islam
Cheadle Masjid on
Saturday 31st March 2007
Adab is a word which cannot be translated exactly into the english language. it includes all good actions and verbal statements. Plural is adaab
Taken from adb which means calling people for food :)
A condition of seeking ilm (knowledge) is adab, as otherwise you will not seek ilm the way it should be sought.
The ulema used to say that knowledge without adab is like fire without wood and adab withoug knowledge is like a soul without body.
And one of the things we must do is correct our intentions as (eg)we should not want to learn to show arrogance or to prove others wrong as this is the way of the ignorant.
Classically, adab was not taught but seen and passed down. There was no need to teach it as children could see adab from their parents’ actions and youngsters could see it in their elders. Today, it is taught and books are written because this is an area that has diminished.
All the hadith collections have chapters dedicated to manners, etiquettes and adab. And imam al bukhari even wrote a separate collection – al adab al mufrad.
He did not mention the hadith in his main collection to emphasise them by separating them out and also some of the ahadith were not of the calibre that he would have liked to be included in his sahih collection.
It is said that everything in the deen relies on adab. And it is of taqwa to have adab- to have respect for the quran, the prophet saw and masjids.
And then there is social adab, and the adab you seek from your parents is the best type of inheritance they can give you.
Tasawuff and purification of the soul is all about good adab. To succeed in tassawuf , it is mandatory to have good character.
The idea behind adab is that nobody should be harmed by anything you say or do.
Because a complete believer is where other muslims feel safe in their presence
The prophet saw was the best of people, especially to his wives and servants.
This is why islam spread so fast. People came into islam because of the prophet’s saw character. One companion said the prophet saw never used to see me without a smile on his face. Another said each person thought he was the most beloved to the prophet saw because of the way he made them feel in his presence.
It deals with basic issues such as not breaking a promise. We think this is not part of our religion, but it is actually a fundamental part of the religion. And breaking a promise is one of the signs of a hypocrite.
The talk was based on the text Islmiac manners by sheikh Abdul Fattah. I will inshAllah be putting up all the points up eventually, and you should be able to access them all together by clicking on the “adab” button under the labels section. To start off, here is one I thought was pertinent..
Etiquette of joking
we need to be cautious in everything we say, in case we cause offence. Even amongst friends, we should exercise caution, although joking is permissible to some extent.
for example, one of the prophet’s saw companions was trading in the market, and the prophet saw came from behind and covered his eyes.
But even when we are joking around, we should have respect and consideration and ensure we do not cross the line.