مَنْ زادَ أدَبُهُ على عَقْلِهِ كانَ كالرَّاعي بَيْنَ غَنَم كَثيرَة۔

One whose etiquette augments his intellect is like a [lone] shepherd among many sheep.



One whose etiquette augments his intellect is like a [lone] shepherd among...

— 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 worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.

The Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,

One whose etiquette augments his intellect is like a [lone] shepherd among many sheep.

Let us delve into the connotation of this Hadith in light of the Quran.

Firstly, let us understand the key words in this Hadith. "Adab" refers to etiquette or manners, while "aql" signifies intellect or wisdom. The word "ra'i" means shepherd, and "ghanam kathira" refers to many sheep.

The Quran emphasizes the importance of good manners and etiquette in numerous verses. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Qalam (68:4),

And indeed, you are of a great moral character.

This verse highlights the noble character of the Prophet Muhammad (), who was the epitome of perfect manners. The Prophet's () etiquette was a reflection of his profound intellect and wisdom.

Furthermore, the Quran teaches us the significance of intellect and wisdom. In Surah Al-Baqarah (2:269), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,

He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good.

Wisdom is a divine gift that enables a person to make sound judgments and decisions. It is through wisdom that one can navigate through the complexities of life and uphold righteous conduct.

Now, let us reflect on the essence of the Hadith. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) compares a person whose etiquette surpasses their intellect to a lone shepherd among many sheep. Just as a shepherd guides and protects his flock, a person with good manners guides and influences those around them. They become a source of guidance and inspiration for others.

When a person's etiquette surpasses their intellect, they possess the ability to control their emotions and respond to situations with grace and wisdom. They are able to navigate through challenges and conflicts with patience, kindness, and understanding. Their words and actions become a reflection of their inner wisdom and intellect.

The consequences of possessing such etiquette are profound. It allows individuals to build strong relationships based on trust, respect, and empathy. It enables them to resolve conflicts amicably and foster harmony within their communities. Moreover, it allows them to embody the teachings of Islam and become ambassadors of peace and righteousness.

Let us consider an example to further illustrate the significance of this Hadith. Imagine a person who possesses great knowledge and intellect but lacks proper etiquette. They may have profound insights and understanding, but their arrogance and harsh demeanor repel others. Their knowledge becomes ineffective as it fails to inspire and influence those around them.

On the other hand, a person with good manners and etiquette, even if their intellect may be limited, can have a profound impact on others. Their humility, kindness, and empathy create an environment of love and compassion. They are able to connect with people on a deeper level and inspire positive change.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes the importance of combining intellect with good manners. It teaches us that true wisdom lies not only in knowledge but also in the way we interact with others. By embodying proper etiquette, we become like a lone shepherd among many sheep, guiding and influencing those around us. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom and manners to be a source of guidance and inspiration for others.

. : . (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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