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).
“Sunnah as-Saniyyah has degrees. Some of them are wâjib, these are not abandoned. This sort is declared in detail in the Illustrious Sharî’ah. They are muhkamât and are not changed in any aspect. Another sort of it is nawâfil. The sort of nawâfil also is of two sorts:
One sort is the Sunnah as-Saniyyah subjected to ‘ibâdah. They, too, are declared in the books of the Sharî’ah. To change them is bid’ah. The other sort is called âdâb, and are described in the books of the Prophet's biography (Siyar as-Saniyyah). Opposition to them is not called bid’ah. But it is an opposition of a sort to the Prophet's âdâb and it is to not benefit from their nûr and from such true adab. As for this sort, it is to follow Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm’s actions concerning general custom, habitual practices and fıtrî acts, which are known through tawâtur. For example, there are a number of Sunnah as-Saniyyah concerning social relations that show the âdâb of speaking, and those declaring the principles of the âdâb of conditions like eating, drinking and sleeping. The Sunnahs of this sort is called “âdâb”. However, one who follows such âdâb transforms his habitual practices into ‘ibâdah and receives significant faydh from that âdâb. Conforming to the smallest âdâb reminds of Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm, and gives a nûr to the heart.
The most important among the Sunnah as-Saniyyah are the Sunnahs which are the symbols of Islam and connected with the shaâ’er. Shaâ’er is an ‘ubûdiyyah concerning the community which are, in fact, general rights of a sort. As the whole community benefits through the performance of them by one person, due to its abandonment, the whole community will be responsible as well. Riyâ is not penetrated in the shaâ’er of this sort, and it is proclaimed. Even if they are of the nawâfil sort, they are more important than personal fardhs.
Seventh Subtle Point: The Sunnah as-Saniyyah is adab. There is no matter of it, 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 pays attention to the Prophet's biography and knows the Sunnah as-Saniyyah certainly understands that Janâb-i Haqq gathered together all the varieties of adab in His beloved (Habib). One who abandons his Sunnah as-Saniyyah abandons adab. He verifies the rule,1 بِى اَدَبْ مَحْرُومْ بَاشَدْ اَزْ لُطْفِ رَبْ and falls into a destructive situation without adab.
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 that cause shame cannot be concealed from Him. One sort of adab is tasattur, it is veiling the states which are a cause to be loathed. There can be no tasattur before Al-‘Allâm ul-Ghuyûb.
Firstly: Just as As-Sâni’ Zuljalâl wants to show His art beautiful by giving it complete importance and He veils loathed things, and He attracts attention to His ni’mahs through adorning 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 in the Sunnah as-Saniyyah is to assume a state of pure adab within the bounds of As-Sâni’ Zuljalâl's Names.
Secondly: Just as a doctor, in the point of being a doctor, examines the most private member of a non-mahram, and if there is a necessity, it is shown to him. It is not said to be contrary to adab. Rather, it is said that the adab of medicine requires this. But that doctor cannot look to those non-mahrams through the title of manhood, or under the name of the preacher or through the attribute of Hoja. Adab cannot issue a fatwa about its being shown. To show him in that aspect is the lack of hayâ.
In the same way, As-Sâni’ Zuljalâl has numerous Names. Each Name has a different manifestation. For example, just as the Name of Ghaffâr requires the existence of sins and the Name of Sattâr, the existence of faults, so too, the Name of Jamîl does not wish to see ugliness. Names pertaining to beauty (Jamâl) and perfection (Kamâl) like Latîf, Karîm, Hakîm and Rahîm require that beings be in the most beautiful form and best among the possible situations. And as for those Names pertaining to beauty (Jamâl) and perfection (Kamâl), they want to display their beauties in the view of Malâikah, rûh beings, jinn and man through the beautiful condition and fine adab of beings.
Thus, the âdâb in the Sunnah as-Saniyyah are the signs of this elevated âdâb, and its principles and samples.” The Eleventh Flash/ Sixth-Seventh Subtle Point
1 (One deprived of adab is deprived of the favour of Rabb)