The Necessity of Adab
The human being has been created of a hasty temperament. 70:19
In eating, the more hands in the vessel of food, the greater the blessing.
May Allah beautify us with the adab to assure that we have the best thoughts, the best heart, the best behaviors and the best possible actions. May Allah beautify us with the adab that are requisite to assure that everything we are and that we do are beautiful and pleasing unto Him.
I – The Adab of not being Hasty
- Our Deen is a very long journey. In order to embark on it, we need to equip ourselves with the correct adab. By adab we mean intellectual, spiritual, emotional and physical realms. Adab is a necessity to ensure the best, correct thoughts, behaviors, and questions. It ensures the correct humility.
- Our thoughts, actions, feelings and behaviors must be cultivated to be the best possible.
- It is always worthwhile to talk about adab.
- The root of our problems systematically is a lack of adab.
- From the Hadith of Jibreel we learn the following: when the companions were sitting, they were not hasty. Rather, they remained still and observed the scene. They did not rush to intercede, speak, judge or act.
- “The human being has been created hasty.” Most of the time hastiness is not beneficial. We must be calm in how we think, talk and act. This is why adab is the priority.
II – The Inherent Merits of Communal Learning
- There are spiritual benefits to attending circles of knowledge
- There are practical benefits of being around people physically, that online learning cannot replace.
- The online realm is no replacement for communal learning because we will see and observe the questions of others, and will learn tremendously from them. This ensures another dimension to knowledge.
- We observe and learn how the teacher responds to questions.
- Benefit of saying assalamu alaikum and responding to it is immense. The Companions would constantly say salam, even when reconvening if a tree momentarily separated them.
- We receive the warmth, love, and compassion of others, which is profoundly impactful on our souls.
- We are in a space with many opportunities to be a benefit to others.
- In eating, the more hands are in the vessel of food, the greater the blessing. (hadith)
- Walking with the teacher before or after lessons.
- Asking others to make du’aa for you.
- Watching videos online can never replace the benefit of physical learning.
- We must ensure we are a part of the circles of knowledge.
III – Physical Connection (Mulazama)
- We learn the profundity of direct touch from the Hadith of Jibreel. The “stranger” went up to Prophet Muhammad (saw) and made a physical connection, sitting knee to knee and placing his hands on his (saw) thighs.
- The physical connection teaches us to stay close to the people of knowledge and teachers. Stay close physically; if not physically, then spatially, and if not spatially, then spiritually and emotionally.
- We must pick and choose the people of knowledge to stick to and be patient with them. Prolong the journey and do not be hasty. Do not bounce around from person to person. Rather, extrapolate all the knowledge you can locally then move on.
- You need the companionship of a teacher and a long period of time.
- When Imam Malik was asked by one of the khulafa’ to teach his kids, he replied,” al’ilmu yu’ta wa la ya’ti.” “ You come to knowledge; knowledge does not come to you”.
IV – The Journey of Acquiring Knowledge
- If you have the opportunity to attend communal spaces of knowledge, you must strive to seize it.
- Imam As-Shafi’i once made everyone clear the space for a visitor to sit next to him and said, “This is my teacher. He taught me how to milk goats.”
- Wisdom is the lost property of the believer. Wherever the believer finds that lost property, they go to it.
- We must ensure we are best positioned to receive knowledge.
- There is always something to be learned.
- Our great master scholars would read the seerah every year because there’s always new benefits and lessons to be learned.
- Our hearts, minds, and bodies must always be inclined towards knowledge.
V – Adab with our Teachers
- We must vet our teachers, according to standards that Shaykh Yasir has outlined in previous khutabah. No shaykh is perfect. Attain a large database of deep knowledge and perspectives. Exhaust all resources.
- Being patient ensures discipline
- We must cultivate adab with our teachers regardless of who they are
- Cultivating the adab of saying, “I don’t know” is essential.
- When Prophet Muhammad (saw) was asked about when the Day of Judgment is in Hadeeth Jibreel, he says “The one being questioned knows no more than the questioner.”
- Imam Malik regularly said, “I don’t know” although he was the most knowledgeable person in the Muslim world at that time.
- We must fully understand and analyze before rendering judgment.
- Those who say “I do not know” have been given a legal dispensation.
- Do not worry what people think about you, only worry about what Allah thinks of you.
- The first people to be thrown into Hellfire are scholars who have the intention of seeking status among people instead of teaching and learning for the Sake of Allah( swt).
- We must listen much more than we speak.
- If you learn to say, “I don’t know,” people will teach you until you truly know, and you avoid spreading falsehood. If you say, “I know,” people will either bypass you or ask you enough questions that force you to say, “I do not know.”
- Saying “I know” when you do not know is not virtuous and only leads to pain
VI – Developing the Virtue of Stillness
- The Companions physically sat calmly and patiently, listening to the Prophet (saw). This is a manifestation of the state of their hearts.
- Our attention spans are shortening, so we must condition our hearts, bodies, and minds to be still and calm
VII – Adab in the House of Allah (SWT)
- Do not put your feet in the face of the Qibla, a shaykh, or another person,
- Do not be aggressive physically and make space for others.
- Do not be loud and obnoxious in gatherings of knowledge.
- Be selfless not selfish and ensure the comfort of others before the comfort of yourself.
VIII – Humility
- How can I embody adab in my pursuit of knowledge?
- What is the greatest impediment to acquiring and implementing adab in my daily life?
- How does adab increase my ability to reap the benefits of communal learning?