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  • “Its meaning covers being sensible and reasonable, well- behaved, well-mannered, treating people kindly. Adab (mannerliness) is used in the terminology of Sufism to defend against errors and to distinguish the factors leading to errors. It is dealt with under the categories of ‘mannerliness in Shari’a,’ ‘mannerliness in serving God’s cause,’ and ‘mannerliness before God, the Truth.’ Mannerliness in Shari’a is knowing the commandments of the religion and practicing them in daily life. Mannerliness in serving God’s cause is being ahead of everyone in striving and making efforts but preferring others to oneself in obtaining the fruits, receiving the wages and being appreciated and rewarded for effort. It is also doing all the prerequisites for a desired result but attributing all good and comeliness and success to God. As for mannerliness before God, it consists in ‘refining’ and ‘adorning’ nearness to God, in collectedness and self-possession, avoiding excessive claims and reckless or casual speech or behaviour incompatible with the rules of Shari’a.”1)
  • “In the most general sense, literature is a discipline that studies elegant, measured, and harmonious words uttered or written in verse or prose in a form that is congruent with the conditions of time and usually in compliance with the rules of the language. The Arabic word for literature is adab, which has a wider frame of connotation associated with good manners, gentleness, elegance, refinement, and perfection. It has often been interpreted in relation to a person’s lifestyle, conduct, and integrity and as a means to the flourishing of that person in spirituality and purification of the heart. In this sense, adab falls in the domain of books on ethics or of treatises on Sufism, and therefore it is not usually covered within the discipline of literature. Even so, drawing upon its semantic roots, it is possible to refer to an indirect connection between the two.”2)
  • “For the sake of mannerliness and loyalty, it is very important to mention the prominent ones in a reverent way. Nowadays, a sort of vulgarity in speech has become widespread and increases day by day. For me, this is a tear that needs to be repaired and should definitely be fixed. Each time the honorable people are mentioned, their names should be pronounced with great respect. Most importantly, if the name of our noble Prophet is pronounced, we are to wish peace and blessings upon him!”3)

Further Reading

Other Languages


M. Fethullah Gülen, Emerald Hills of the Heart: Key Concepts in the Practice of Sufism (vol. 2), New Jersey: Tughra Books, 2011, p. 13.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Speech and Power of Expression, New Jersey: Tughra Books, 2010, p. 9.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Fikir Atlası (Fasıldan Fasıla-5), İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2011, p. 159.
mannerliness.txt · Last modified: 2022/06/15 14:11 by Editor