What Would Adab Do?

The humblest of all seekers of knowledge, the one who neither criticises nor belittles.

The one who knows her place as a lifelong student, even if she’s a teacher. 

The one who always begins her questions with, “I would like to seek your opinion on this matter”,

instead of “I disagree with you on what you’ve uttered.” 

The one who, in disagreement with someone, choses to discuss privately,

instead of throwing out the problem into the public sphere for all the world to see.

The one who, if angry, refrains from retaliating, maintaining a composed demeanour,

and responds in a civilized and tactful manner.

In a world of increasing impatience and egoism, she changes those who are aware of her existence.

Yet, she does not emerge amongst the arrogant.


Where do we find her? When do we find her? How can we be like her?

Seek her constantly, and she will grow in you. 

With every conversation, every interaction, ask, “Is this what Adab would do?” 

Know who you are and how you’ve come,

and lose your ego in reverence of the One whom you’re from.

Realize that the following of His Law is above all of our own desires and reasoning,

just because He gave us our existence- without Him, we’d be nothing.

But be wary, of claiming the character of Adab. Because by saying you have it, you lack it.

And by saying that others lack it, you’ve lost it.

May Allah grant us Adab-

"It is the recognition of the Reality; and knowing our place in the order of things; capable of putting the right thing in their rightful place and manner; giving due to whoever has the right; and in our acquiring of the rightful things, we acquire it with the right amount and under the right situation. It is very closely related to the Islamic concept of al-'Adl (the justice); the upholding of which leads to taqwa- the consciousness of Allah."

-What is Adab? By Ustaz Zhulkeflee bin Haji Ismail

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