BY STUDENTS OF
THE GREAT SUFI MASTERS
SEYEDEH DR. NAHID ANGHA and
SHAH NAZAR SEYED DR. ALI KIANFAR
is among the first necessary qualities that enable one to step
onto a path civilized and generous. Adab in Farsi means politeness,
etiquette, common courtesy and is the "manner" of the
Sufi. The Prophet Mohammad (swa) has said, "the value of
any human being is based upon actions." According to the
teachings of Sufism, outward manner should be in harmony with
the inward manner. True adab comes from the heart.
of the important issues in regard to adab is control. In addition
to respecting one's self, one's teachers, one's elders, and one's
community adab forces us to take control of our every actions
rather than letting our mind, body and tongue run free. In adhering
to adab, we are fully aware of actions, reactions, and resulting
consequences. Control and balance go hand-in-hand. Adab is especially
important in the arena of spiritual understanding. Adab is something
that goes beyond polite behavior in the Khaneghah. It carries
itself throughout all aspects of our lives. Adab makes us aware
of the importance of everything we do. We are aware, and thus
responsible, for our every movement. To understand and practice
adab is truly a noble and esoteric endeavor.
is for the benefit and balance of the individual as well as the
community. Adab is required so that none of us steps on another's
rights. It is required for peace and harmony to remain amongst
us and for our survival. Adab comes from a pure devotion, humility
and reverence and it can aid us in moving beyond the veils of
nafs (self). Adab, is a practice of attending to and controlling
our actions in relation to our Teachers first, toward our brothers
and sisters on this path, and ultimately to all humanity. Inner
adab is a capacity to keep our hearts pure and free from that
which is harmful. Inner adab takes place in how we speak to ourselves
and about others within. Therefore, adab pertains to how we treat
ourselves and includes how we act when there is no other person
in our proximity and when we are alone with ourselves.
may try to learn the actions of adab, which may be pretend adab
if it is not coordinated with the rest of our system. True adab
is cultivated by deepening of practice, faith, and connection
to the harmony of existence. Adab does not overwrite rights, values,
is a proper behavior based on wisdom, logic, learning, observation,
devotion, respect for our own self, honoring our own self, and
valuing our own self. It is not a theory towards an unknown, thus
it is not imagined. We can learn from past mistakes of adab through
meditating in order to understand the principles of adab not simply
by memorize specific rules. Our past mistakes are, in actuality,
a ground for learning. If we learn, then our past becomes a valuable
lesson, and anything of value is important to note.
must have the will and the longing for improvement and learning,
whether spiritual or non-spiritual. There is no compulsion in
religion It is important to review our thinking to see if we do
respect, honor and value our own self. Does how we portray ourselves
match the origin (who we really are). That "origin"
is visible to the people of the divine.
is a continual practice, not something to be turned off and on
by our will, whim, or circumstance.
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