Good manners

The principal of adab, usually translated as ‘good manners’ but with a much deeper and more universal meaning, is at the heart of Islam. It means good manners towards God, including gratitude for the gift of life, our food, sunlight, even the air we breathe. It means good manners in all our dealings with our fellows, even our enemies, respecting the dignity of the human condition. It means treating the animal creation with courtesy and compassion, and no tree or plant which feeds man or beast is to be abused. The environment as such is sacred.

Gai Eaton


Categories: Islam

1 reply

  1. The word “adab” also encompasses the meaning which is expressed Qur’an 16:125 “…..and argue (with them) in the best of ways.” The word “ahsanu” is generally translated as meaning “Best” or “Best/Better of ways/manners” but also carries the meaning of “most courteous” and “Kindest.” So this would imply that in polemical discussions, debates, arguments, the Muslim should exhibit the proper “Adab” by engaging with all interlocutors in the best manner (Ahsan) with courtesy and kindness.

    Therefore, when the argument gets heated we should not allow others to drag us down to their level using curse words, insults, and bad manners. While standing our theological ground in polemical debate, we should not forget to live up to the standard of Qur’an and exhibit proper Adab, even when the test is not easy. This is the more honorable and Islamic way.


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