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Most people restrict the meaning of the word "adab" to a mode of behaviour/conduct which is nice and happy and smiley and kumbaya.  However this is wrong.  Firstly, because actually most of the time, having adab is indeed doing good things and being nice etc. So it makes sense for the masses to only think of it as being "nice" etc.  Secondly, because of our backgrounds and our languages like Urdu etc, the word "adab" in those languages actually only has a *positive* connotation.  Thirdly, because we confuse the meanings of words like khuluq with adab, with taqwa etc etc. But that's for a technical class another time.  So for example, if Zayd said hello to Nadeem, and Nadeem slapped him, this would be bad adab. We all get that.  And if Zayd said hello to Nadeem, and Nadeem said hello back and smiled, then this would be *good* adab. We all get that too.  But what if Zayd slapped Nadeem, and then slapped him again, and again, and again? Is it good adab from Nadeem to say hello and smile back?  No, that's not good adab. That's just silly.  Is it bad adab for Nadeem to grab his hand to stop him and slap him one time and finish this stupidity there and then so that Zayd doesn't feel he can bully Nadeem any more?  Aha. Now you should be seeing it. This isn't bad adab at all. In fact, we should say that Nadeem's response here IS the correct adab for the situation. Call it good or not, but it is the *correct* adab. Nadeem did well. The believers don't keep turning the other cheek forever. He didn't exceed the boundaries, or oppress Zayd, he stayed within his rights, but sure, it also isn't ever nice to slap a person. So Nadeem's adab wasn't nice, but it was *correct*.  This is the lesson you need to learn today: to have good adab is not necessarily to be nice and respectful and lovely. It is to do the RIGHT thing, and sometimes that right thing isn't "nice".  Thus, we shouldn't translate "adab" as nice conduct, but as "praiseworthy and correct conduct". Actually, the exact, academic definition for the word adab is "propriety" which means to act in a fit, proper and appropriate fashion.  Therefore, to learn adab is to learn how to respond to every situation. To have adab means you know what to do in each situation in order to get the best and most correct outcome. To know adab means you know the system; the system of life no less. To act with adab means you are able to react to every single scenario in a way which is according to the principles of the Deen, and achieves some kind of objective in that Deen.  And if you understand this, then you now realise how huge a science adab is and how it is bigger than knowledge itself as some of the Salaf would say, because it is to know what to do with that knowledge and put it into practice. It's almost like a practical applied form of wisdom.  And if you understand *this*, then you now realise why we study adab first *before* knowledge, again as the Salaf used to say. And you realise now why you are always told that you need to learn adab from experienced folks, teachers and righteous people of knowledge. Taking it from books is nigh on impossible, because adab is a lived experience, a practical understanding and a real life learning event.  And perhaps most important of all, if you have understand all of the above, then you now realise that if you accuse another person of having no adab because they do things which you may find distasteful but in actual fact those things were relevant and justified to that particular context, and were in line with what is correct and right in the Deen but just not necessarily dripping with honey, then the only person who has bad adab, is you.   Think about this deeply, and it will be a game changer for your understanding of Deen.

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