نِعمَ قَرينُ العقلِ الأدَبُ۔

The best companion of the intellect is etiquette.



The best companion of the intellect is etiquette.

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: Good Etiquette)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds, and blessings and peace be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.

The Arabic Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,

نِعمَ قَرينُ العقلِ الأدَبُ۔

This Hadith can be translated as,

The best companion of the intellect is etiquette.

In this enlightening saying, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the importance of etiquette and its close relationship with intellect.

Let us delve deeper into the key words of this Hadith. The word (qarin) "قَرِينُ" refers to a companion or a close associate. In this context, it signifies the close relationship between intellect and etiquette. The word (aql) "عَقْلِ" refers to intellect or reason, which is a divine gift bestowed upon humans by Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). It is through our intellect that we are able to comprehend and discern between right and wrong.

The word (adab) "أَدَبُ" refers to etiquette or good manners. It encompasses a wide range of behaviors and actions, including respect, humility, kindness, and consideration towards others. Etiquette is not limited to formalities or superficial gestures; rather, it is a reflection of one's inner character and values.

To understand the significance of etiquette as the best companion of intellect, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly emphasizes the importance of good manners and righteous conduct. In Surah Al-Hujurat (49:13), Allah says,

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.

This verse highlights that the best among us are those who possess righteousness, which includes having good manners and treating others with respect and kindness. The Prophet Muhammad () also emphasized the importance of etiquette in his teachings and actions. He said, (Sunan Abu Dawood)

The best among you are those who have the best manners and character

Etiquette is not merely a superficial display of politeness; rather, it is a reflection of the inner state of a person's heart. When one possesses good manners, it indicates that their intellect is guided by moral values and principles. Good manners enable individuals to interact with others in a compassionate and respectful manner, fostering harmony and unity within society.

Furthermore, etiquette has far-reaching consequences in both personal and communal spheres. On an individual level, practicing good manners cultivates humility, self-discipline, and self-control. It helps individuals to navigate social interactions with grace and empathy, promoting healthy relationships and fostering a sense of belonging.

On a communal level, etiquette plays a vital role in maintaining social cohesion and harmony. When individuals treat one another with respect and kindness, it creates an environment of trust and cooperation. This, in turn, leads to the establishment of a just and compassionate society, where the rights of all individuals are upheld and protected.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement serves as a reminder for Muslims to prioritize the cultivation of good manners and etiquette. By doing so, we not only enhance our own intellect but also contribute to the betterment of society as a whole. Let us strive to be the best companions of our intellect by embodying the teachings of the Quran and the noble example set by the Prophet Muhammad () and his Ahl al-Bayt (عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلسَّلَامُ). May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom and guidance to uphold good manners and etiquette in all aspects of our lives.

. : . (Readers are advised to verify the sources mentioned above, and to independently research for an accurate understanding of Hadith. Remember, personal research and seeking guidance from scholars are essential in gaining a better insight. Please, do contact us if you find any wrong citations or explanations.)

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