مَنْ قَلَّ أدَبُهُ كَثُرَتْ مَساوِيهِ۔

One whose etiquette decreases, his vices increase.



One whose etiquette decreases, his vices increase.

— 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. 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,

مَنْ قَلَّ أدَبُهُ كَثُرَتْ مَساوِيهِ۔

This can be translated as,

One whose etiquette decreases, his vices increase.

In this wise utterance, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the direct relationship between a person's manners and their moral character.

To understand the significance of this Hadith, let us first explore the key words. "أدَبُهُ" refers to one's etiquette or manners, which encompass a person's behavior, conduct, and interactions with others. It reflects their level of refinement, respect, and consideration for others. "كَثُرَتْ مَساوِيهِ" means that their vices or negative traits increase. This implies that when a person neglects or diminishes their etiquette, their negative qualities and behaviors become more prevalent.

The Quran provides us with numerous verses that emphasize the importance of good manners and etiquette. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Hujurat (49:11),

O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them.

This verse teaches us to avoid mocking or belittling others, as it goes against the principles of good manners and respect for fellow human beings.

Furthermore, in Surah Al-Isra (17:53), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) advises Prophet Muhammad () to

Tell My servants to say that which is best. Indeed, Satan induces [dissension] among them. Indeed Satan is ever, to mankind, a clear enemy.

This verse highlights the importance of speaking with kindness and choosing our words wisely. It reminds us that our words have the power to either bring people closer or create divisions.

The Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a reminder for Muslims to constantly evaluate and improve their etiquette and manners. When a person's etiquette declines, their vices begin to increase. For example, if someone becomes disrespectful towards their parents, their vices may manifest in disobedience, neglect, or even abuse towards them. Similarly, if a person lacks patience and kindness in their interactions with others, they may become prone to anger, aggression, and conflict.

Conversely, when a person upholds good manners and etiquette, their positive qualities and virtues flourish. The Quran encourages us to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving. In Surah Al-Imran (3:134), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,

Those who spend [in Allah's cause] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people - and Allah loves the doers of good.

This verse highlights the importance of controlling our anger and forgiving others, which are essential aspects of good manners.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a profound reminder for Muslims to prioritize and cultivate good manners and etiquette. It teaches us that when we neglect our etiquette, our negative traits and vices increase. Conversely, when we uphold good manners, our positive qualities and virtues flourish. By following the teachings of the Quran and emulating the noble character of the Prophet Muhammad () and his Ahl al-Bayt, we can strive to improve our manners and ultimately become better individuals and Muslims. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) guide us all on the path of righteousness and grant us the ability to embody the best of manners.

. : . (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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