حَسَبُ الأدبِ أشرَفُ مِنْ حَسَبِ النَّسَبِ۔

The value of good etiquette is nobler than the value of lineage.



The value of good etiquette is nobler than the value of lineage.

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

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

حَسَبُ الأدبِ أشرَفُ مِنْ حَسَبِ النَّسَبِ۔

This can be translated as,

The value of good etiquette is nobler than the value of lineage.

In this enlightening Hadith, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the significance of good manners and behavior, emphasizing that it holds greater importance and honor than one's lineage or social status.

To delve deeper into the meaning of this Hadith, let us first explore the key words and their implications. The word (adab) "أدب" refers to good etiquette, manners, and behavior. It encompasses a wide range of virtues such as respect, humility, kindness, patience, and honesty. It is a comprehensive term that encompasses both external actions and internal qualities.

On the other hand, the word (nasab) "نَسَب" refers to lineage or ancestry. It pertains to one's family background, heritage, and social standing. It is often associated with notions of prestige, honor, and privilege.

To support the exegesis of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly emphasizes the importance of good manners and character in numerous verses. For instance, in Surah Al-Qalam (68:4), Allah says,

And indeed, you are of a great moral character.

This verse highlights the exceptional character of the Prophet Muhammad (), who serves as the epitome of good manners and etiquette for all Muslims to emulate.

Furthermore, in Surah Al-Hujurat (49:13), Allah states,

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 emphasizes that true nobility and honor lie in righteousness and piety, not in one's lineage or social status. It reinforces the idea that good manners and character are the true markers of distinction in the sight of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ).

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement serves as a reminder to all Muslims that the value of good etiquette surpasses any worldly distinctions. It reminds us that our behavior towards others, regardless of their social status or lineage, should be guided by kindness, respect, and compassion. It teaches us that true honor and nobility are not determined by our family background, but by our actions and character.

By prioritizing good manners and etiquette, we cultivate an environment of harmony, unity, and mutual respect within our communities. It encourages us to treat others with kindness and fairness, regardless of their social standing or background. It reminds us that our actions have a lasting impact on those around us and that our behavior should reflect the teachings of Islam.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes the significance of good etiquette and manners, highlighting that it holds greater value and honor than one's lineage or social status. It reminds us that true distinction lies in righteousness and piety, as emphasized in the Quran. By embodying good manners and character, we not only fulfill our duty as Muslims but also contribute to the betterment of society as a whole. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the ability to embody the teachings of Islam and strive towards excellence in our conduct.

. : . (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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