Gem

Attributed to both Sufyan at Thawri and Abu Hanifa:

A little amount of adab (manners) is more beneficial than a lot of knowledge without adab.

Nelson Mandela:

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.

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Author: Ify Okoye

Muslim woman, RN, & rebel with a cause.

5 thoughts on “Gem”

  1. Asalamu alaykum wa Rahmatullah,

    Apologies for the delay in response.

    Una hermana dijo que ella pensó que la manzana musulmana era linda. 🙂 And she was I believe the first one to add me to her blogroll so I wanted to pay tribute to her.

    One of my teachers says that many Muslims focus more on adaab (a more correct definition being etiquettes) than on khuluq (character traits/manners).

    So, this leads to many people that observe outwardly the etiquettes of eating with the right hand, exiting the masjid with the left foot, handling the Quran, etc. but have not internalized the inward character traits from which these etiquettes are derived. So their observance of the adaab is hollow, false, and not reflective of the light of Prophetic guidance.

  2. This is the essence Muslim Apple, and a great point.

    If you ask me, there are 2 ways to approach this: 1 is from the outside in, and is what some people need, whereas the other is from the inside out. Ghazali mentions in one of his great works (“On Disciplining the Soul“) that one way to break down the “nafs” and desires, is to constantly do that which is opposite to them. If you are greedy – give charity constantly – and eventually it will become a character trait. This is what I think the traditional adab ideas relate to, in simply immitating them.

    The second way stems from the inside. The adab of eating contains many rules, for example, such as if you are the host to keep eating until your guest stops etc. etc. But, when you look internally, this is for your guests comfort, and is from compassion. it is so your guest don’t feel shy about eating if hungry, or embarassed that they have taken too much etc. It is about dealing with people on an emotional level.

    Both are important in developing our character to a higher level – we need to train to control our own desires, but also think about others and be helpful.

    Anyway, amazing little post – it got me thinking over all types of things and lessons that I was taught, and how I can improve myself. 🙂

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