ADAB – ÂDÂB
أدب - آداب
Literally: Adab is good moral, hayâ, behaving with good morals and courtesy in every aspect, treating people with grace. Respectfulness. Modesty. Politeness. The style of speech and action required by morality and decency. A character which preserves a person from shameful things.
As an Islamic term: The way of action of Prophet Muhammad (asm). The principles of the tarbiyyah of Islam which arises from the manifestation of Allah’s attribute of Rabb. To act in conformity with the Sunnah of Muhammad (asm), which is the best way of action that Allah granted to His Prophet.
Âdâb is the plural of adab. It is the general name for the conduct of Muhammad (asm). Through his Sunnah, Prophet Muhammad (asm) displayed the whole Islamic âdâb.
Janâb-i Haqq decrees in Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm, وَاِنَّكَ لَعَلَى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ1 . Through the sahîh riwâyât, when a distinguished Sahabah like Hazrat Aisha Siddîqah (ra) described Hazrat Prophet ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm, she would say كان خُلُقهُ القرآن .2 That is, "The example of good moral qualities the Qur'an declares is Muhammad ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm. One who conformed to those good moral qualities more than anyone and who, by fitrah, is created on those good moral qualities is he."
Thus, while each deed, state, word and action of such a person is worthy to be a model for mankind, even lunatics can understand how unfortunate the ghâfils — those who do not give importance to his Sunnah or who want to change them — among his ummah who believe in him are.
The Eleventh Flash/ Eleventh Subtle Point
Sunnah as-Saniyyah has degrees. Some of them are wâjib, these are not to be abandoned. This sort is declared in detail in the Illustrious Sharî’ah. They are muhkamât and are not to be 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 that they are described in the books of the Prophet's biography (Siyar as-Saniyyah). Opposition to them is not called bid’ah. But it is a sort of opposition to the Prophet's âdâb; it is to not benefit from their nûr and such true adab. As for this sort, it is to follow Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm’s actions of general custom, habitual practices and fıtrî acts, which are known through tawâtur. For example, there are many Sunnah as-Saniyyah that concern social relations, show the conduct of speaking and declare the principles of the conduct of the states, such as eating, drinking and sleeping. The Sunnah of this sort is called âdâb. However, one, who follows such âdâb, transforms his customary actions 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 is, in fact, a sort of general right. As the whole community benefits through one person performing them, the whole community will be responsible for its abandonment. Riyâ cannot penetrate this sort of shaâ’er, and it is to be proclaimed. Even if they are of the nawâfil sort, they are more important than personal fardhs.
Seventh Subtle Point: The Sunnah as-Saniyyah is courtesy (adab). There is no matter of it beneath which a nûr and courtesy (adab) are not to be found! Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm decreed اَدَّبَنِى رَبِّى فَاَحْسَنَ تَاْدِيبِى , that is: "My Rabb bestowed me courtesy (adab) beautifully and instructed me of the courtesy."
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 courtesy (adab) in His beloved (Habib). One, who abandons his Sunnah as-Saniyyah, abandons courtesy (adab). He verifies the rule 3 بِى اَدَبْ مَحْرُومْ بَاشَدْ اَزْ لُطْفِ رَبْ and falls into a destructive discourtesy.
Question: How can there be courtesy (adab) before 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 courtesy (adab) is tasattur; it is to veil the states which are a cause of being loathed. There cannot be tasattur before Al-‘Allâm ul-Ghuyûb.
Firstly: Just as, giving it the greatest importance, As-Sâni’ Zuljalâl wants to show His art as beautiful, veils loathsome things and attracts attention to His ni’mahs by 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 kind of rebellion against His Names like Jamîl, Muzayyin, Latîf and Hakîm and is contrary to courtesy (adab). Thus, the courtesy (adab) in the Sunnah as-Saniyyah is to assume a state of pure courtesy (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 that it is contrary to courtesy (adab). Rather, it is said that the courtesy (adab) of the medicine requires it. But that doctor cannot look to those non-mahrams with the title of manhood, or under the name of the preacher, or the attribute of the hoja. Courtesy (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 Ghaffâr requires the existence of sins and the Name Sattâr, the existence of faults, so too, the Name Jamîl does not wish to see ugliness. Names pertaining to His beauty (Jamâl) and perfection (Kamâl) like Latîf, Karîm, Hakîm and Rahîm require beings to be in the most beautiful form and best situation among the possible ones. And as for those Names pertaining to His beauty (Jamâl) and perfection (Kamâl), they want to display their beauties in the view of malâikah, rûh beings, jinn and man through the beautiful conditions and fine courtesy (adab) of beings.
Thus, the âdâb in the Sunnah as-Saniyyah are the signs of this elevated courtesy (adab) and its principles and samples.
The Eleventh Flash/ Sixth-Seventh Subtle Points