ADAB – ÂDÂB
أدب - آداب
Literally: Adab is behaving with good moral, courtesy in every aspect. Respectfulness. Modesty. Politeness.
As an Islamic term: Rules and ways of action of Prophet Muhammad (asm). Behaving properly to the Sunnah of Muhammad (asm). Âdâb is the plural of adab. It is the general name for the conduct of Muhammad (asm).
“There are degrees in the Sunnah as-Saniyyah: some are wâjib; these may not be abandoned. This sort is described in detail in the Illustrious Sharî’ah. They are muhkamât and can in no way be changed. Another sort is nawâfil, and these are of two sorts:
One sort is the Sunnah as-Saniyyah which concerns ‘ibâdah. They too are described in the books of the Sharî’ah, and to change them is bid’ah. The other sort is called âdâb, and are mentioned in the books of the Prophet's biography (siyar). Opposition to them cannot be called bid’ah, but it is an opposition of a sort to the Prophet's âdâb and means not benefiting from their nûr and true adab. This sort is to follow Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm’s actions concerning general custom, habitual actions and fıtrî acts, which are known through tawâtur. For example, there are numerous Sunnah as-Saniyyah showing the âdâb of speaking, and explaining the principles of the âdâb of eating, drinking, and sleeping, and concerning social relations. The Sunnahs of this sort are called âdâb. One who follows this âdâb transforms his habitual actions into ‘ibâdah and receives significant faydh from the âdâb. Practising the smallest aspect of such âdâb recalls Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm, and imparts a nûr to the heart.
The most important among the Sunnah as-Saniyyah are those which are the symbols of Islam and are connected with the shaâ’er. In fact, Shaâ’er are ‘ubûdiyyah, they concern the community, and are general rights of a sort. As the whole community benefits from one person doing them, so on the person giving them up, the whole community is responsible. There can be no riyâ in the performance of shaâ’er of this sort, and they should be proclaimed. Even if they are of the nawâfil sort, they are still more important than personal fardhs.
Seventh Subtle Point: The Sunnah as-Saniyyah is adab. There is no matter among them beneath which a nûr, and adab, is not to be found. Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm decreed اَدَّبَنِى رَبِّى فَاَحْسَنَ تَاْدِيبِى , that is: "My Rabb bestowed me adab beautifully and instructed me of the adab" Yes, one who studies the Prophet's biography and knows his Sunnah as-Saniyyah will certainly understand that Janâb-i Haqq gathered together in His Habib1 all the varieties of adab. One who gives up the Sunnah as-Saniyyah abandons adab. He verifies the rule, 2 بِى اَدَبْ مَحْرُومْ بَاشَدْ اَزْ لُطْفِ رَبْ and falls in non-adab in a way that causes him the loss.”
Question: How can there be adab in the face of al-‘Allâm ul-Ghuyûb, Who sees and knows everything and from Whom nothing can be hidden? Situations which cause shame or embarrassment cannot be concealed from Him. One sort of adab is tasattur, that is veiling the states which cause to disgust. But nothing can be hidden from the sight of al-‘Allâm ul-Ghuyûb.
Firstly: Giving it the greatest importance, As-Sâni’ Zuljalâl wants to show His art as beautiful; He veils detestable things; and He attracts attention to His ni’mahs by decorating them. So too, He wants to show His creatures and ‘abds as beautiful to other conscious beings. Their appearing in ugly situations is a sort of rebellion against His Names like Jamîl, Muzayyin, Latîf, and Hakîm, and is contrary to adab. Thus, the adab of the Sunnah as-Saniyyah is to assume a manner of pure adab within the bounds of As-Sâni’ Zuljalâl's Names.
Secondly: As a doctor, a doctor may examine the most private member of a non-mahram, and if necessary it may be shown to him, and this may not be said to be contrary to adab. Indeed, it may be said that the adab of medicine requires this. But the same doctor may not look to those non-mahram through his title of manhood, or under the name of hoja or preacher, and adab cannot issue a fatwa permitting it to be shown. To show it to him in such a way would be a lack of hayâ.
In just the same way, As-Sâni’ Zuljalâl has numerous Names, and each Name has a different manifestation. For example, just as the Name of Ghaffâr requires the existence of sins and Sattâr, the existence of faults, so too, the Name of Jamîl does not wish to see ugliness. Names pertaining to Jamâl and Kamâl like Latîf, Karîm, Hakîm, and Rahîm require that beings be in the most beautiful form and best possible situations. And those Names pertaining to Jamâl and Kamâl want to display their beauties in the view of Malâikah, rûh beings, jinn and man through the beautiful adab and fine conduct of beings. Thus, the âdâb of the Sunnah as-Saniyyah are the signs of this elevated âdâb, and its principles and samples.” The Eleventh Flash/ Sixth-Seventh Subtle Point