Definition of 'Adab'

"Adab (a creative literary word/work) is that which connects the 'seen' to the Unseen/Real (Haqq), (or, in simple terms, to Allah Ta'ala, who is One, the Real, the Absolute)."

- Ahmed Javaid, Principal Iqbal Scholar, Iqbal Academy. From his lecture on "Religion and Culture."

Therefore, any literary word that fails to connect us to the Truth fails to be a literary word at all, he added. Since when I heard these words, I have developed an awe for the kind of work an 'adeeb' (one who does 'adab') perfoms, and it has become a desire to be a man of that rank. But it seems impossible to be so without actualizing the message of this art in one's own self at first, because the term 'adab' has another meaning as well, and on the whole, there is no such word in modern English that can match this word which is at once used for a literary piece of work and ettiqutes, manners, etc. Nonetheless, both meanings start and end with the Truth, both are destined for it. Therefore, how can one be ignored in the favor of the other?

May Allah give me the power to preceive the truth as it is, and help me to utilize it so that I become His useful servant. (Ameen)

4 did criticisms:

Haris Gulzar said...

Ameen to your prayers, but I'd say that everyone has his own definition of each word. This might be a very good and a complete definition of the word Adab, but it doesn't mean that if you dont exactly follow this very definition, you aren't an adeeb... If you know what I mean

Umer Toor said...

Yes, I'd like if you can please elaborate...

N.A. said...


Umer, do you have a soft copy of this article?

Umer Toor said...

@ NA

Thanks :)
It was an oral lecture. I don't have its soft copy sadly

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