Adab: The Importance of Good Manners in Islam

Mohamed Waheed
Adab: The Importance of Good Manners in Islam

Adab refers to the Islamic etiquette. It is the manner of conduct that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used while interacting with the world around him. It is the way he treated his companions, his wives, his enemies, his Ummah and all living things.

Adab, therefore, is an ‘ilm’ or a knowledge bestowed upon our Prophet (PBUH) by Allah so that he can teach the same to all of mankind. 

Good Manners and Islam

Narrated Hz Abu Hurairah (RA) that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: [1]

The perfect believer in respect of faith is he who is best of them in manners.

It is impossible to practice Islam if we neglect the importance of good manners. For instance, we cannot be true Muslims if we disregard cleanliness (which is said to be half of one’s faith). Imagine losing out on half of faith just because someone is too lazy to take a bath!

By implementing good manners and Adab we are actually reinforcing our faith. Furthermore, it is not only Allah’s Love that you gain but also the love and respect of those around you. Even the disbelievers of Mecca who wanted to kill Muhammad (PBUH) acknowledged his truthfulness. None could deny his noble character and good manners.

What is Adab?

Adab consists of spreading words of peace and mending broken relationships between people. It involves praying for your brothers and sisters in Islam, advising and calling each other to do good and to stop that which is evil. Adab or good manners are about respecting your parents, elders and neighbors and showing love and compassion to the young. It also includes visiting the sick and abstaining from evils such as back-biting and slandering.

The good manners and the sense of morality can prevent us from falling into sins. It is narrated from Hz Abu Hurairah (RA) that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: [2]

Modesty (al-Haya’a) is a branch of faith.

Modesty here refers to the sense of consciousness that prevents one from indulging in wrong deeds.

Other than modesty, we also need to develop forbearance in ourselves. It is relatively easy to build forbearance and the best way is to follow the beautiful Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Even on the day Mecca was liberated, he showed mercy to those disbelievers who had tried to kill him multiple times. Many Meccans were awed by this act of mercy and chose to embrace Islam.

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Thus, each time we feel we were wronged, it is better to practice patience and control our anger. We should always remember that Allah is Merciful to those who show mercy to others.

Appraisal

Lastly, here are some tips on how to practice Adab in the best way:

  • We must learn to pass on good manners and the very best of Adab to our family and friends.
  • We should treat our parents with utmost kindness and humility.
  • We should try to teach the younger ones good manners. The best way to teach is to first practice it ourselves.
  • It is a good thought to follow the basics: share smiles with whoever we meet, share our joy and happiness with others and forgive those who commit mistakes.

As believers must keep on improving our manners. Only then can we complete our faith and hope to earn the Mercy of our Creator so that we may enter paradise, where we truly belong.

References

  1. Sunan Abi Dawud Book 41, Hadith 4665
  2. Sunan an-Nasa’i Vol 06, Book 47, Hadith 5009

Mohamed Waheed is a keen learner of Islam. He is working on understanding and perfecting his knowledge and faith in order to teach Muslims and non-Muslims alike. He is mostly interested in teaching how to read the Quran. Other than that, he also enjoys fishing and swimming.