Friday, November 17, 2006

Impact of losing adab

One of the best definitions of adab i have seen is that by prof seyyed naquib al-attas whereby he defines it generally as discipline of body, mind and soul.

This discipline has to be inculcated in a person from his/her birth all through years of growing up till he/she dies. Indeed the learning process is a lot more intensive in his/her earlier years of life. The classroom for learning adab is the world itself and beyond. The teachers start from parents, extend to siblings, relatives, kinsmen, neighbours and include various forms of institutions which come in a little later and the process never stops.

Now in today's world this classroom for adab has fallen apart. Naturally explaining the loss of adab in ourselves as a human race. The impact now becomes obvious. Without adab, the impact will be a loss of justice. Today due to lack or loss of adab, we cant engage anything from environment, to other humans, to other countries, to systems etc positively. Instead we end up exploiting, destroying, harming, abusing, corrupting and stealing. Naturally the response from the other end will not be pleasant having received nothing pleasant from us. But we remain oblivious and defiant in our ways blaming everyone and everything except ourselves. If mankind wants to resolve any one of its woes, it has to at least re-estalish whatever adab that it lost, instead of finding inspiration in alternative ideologies such as secularism, liberalism which only add on to the erosion of adab and exacerbating the woes.


At 4:26 PM, Anonymous irving said...

Salaam Dear Brother:
An excellent and true post. Here are two post also about adab:

Wisdom and Adab of the Qur'an

Adab of the Sufi Path

Ya Haqq!

At 6:27 AM, Blogger ney_reed said...

wassalam irving

thanks so much for the links... indeed i have a long way to go in incalcating that level of adab... will be much helpful...

At 10:04 PM, Blogger Ahmad said...

Adab. Often misunderstood as a drill or set of Rules. Truth is. Adab comes from love. If you love someone so much would you hurt her? Islam without love is idol worshipping. And love comes with adab, its the adab of caring and loving one another.

At 2:25 AM, Blogger ney_reed said...

adab perhaps can be described as methods of how to act or react, with the body, mind and soul, in the best manner in individual respective circumstances, situations, states, trials, tribulations and conditions.

the motivation or inspiration to act with adab comes the love of the servant for his/her Creator. therefore yes adab indeed comes from love.

but that does not mean that love will necessarily bring about adab.dont tell me none of those who has hurt us in life truely love us. likewise if we truely love someone, we can still unknowningly hurt that person if we dont know the adab of interacting with that person. even when one has love, if one never built upon his capacity for adab, we cant expect him to have adab.

one has to therefore, after having gone through the process of reviving his/her emotions to seek union with the Creator with whom he/she has been seperated at birth in this world, to embark on a learning process to understand adab.

this understanding of adab may involve some drill or set of rules like those you can find in the links brother irving pointed above, but yes just as you rightfully pointed out, it wont be consistent to reduce adab or look upon it as some drill or set of rules. without love, you wont find the inspiration to carry out that drill/set of rules diligently and sincerely and instead will be mechanical and superficial.

then again we can also explain that true love for the divine cannot come about without knowledge. only when we find something inspiring enough to invoke love within us for it can we actually love it. likewise only when we find more inspiring things about that something will our love grow.

in simple words we only will fall in love with something when we "see" something that makes us fall for it. likewise our love for it will only grow for it when we "see" more things about it that makes us love it more. we "see" the unseen God through the process of unveiling which comes in the process of seeking knowledge.

Then again that process of knowledge comes from repentence and self-realization. Only when we see ourselves we see how mortal, fallible, finite, limited we are and we then turn towards the Immortal, Pure, Infinite One. "He who knows himself knows God"...

Now ahmad perhaps you can help me here... how do we possibly bring ourselves to see ourselves in this capitalist world that through its consumerism and capitalist systems constantly and subconsciously make us forget ourselves? what does seeing ourselves come from? :)


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