Loss of Adab

Assalamu’alaikum, may be peace and blessings be upon you,
Alhamdulillah, I managed to write something this time =) Here, I want to share with all of you one of the most thought provoking ideas forwarded by Professor Syed Naquib Al Attas in his works regarding the issue of the Loss of Adab. I personaly think that if we were to relate this notion with the current state of the Muslims mind, there is in fact truth in it. Anyway, what is the loss of Adab?

It is basically referring to the loss of discipline-of body, mind and soul; the discipline that assures the recognition and acknowledgement of one’s proper place in relation to one’s self, society and community; the recognition and the acknowledgement of one’s proper place in relation to one’s physical, spiritual capacities, intellectuals and potentials; the recognition and acknowledgement of the fact that knowledge and being are ordered hierarchically. With regard to Adab itself, it is referring to the recognition and acknowledgement of the right and proper place, station and condition in life and to self discipline in positive and willing participation in enacting one’s role in accordance with that recognition and acknowledgement.The occurrence of Adab in one and in society reflects the condition of justice.Loss of Adab implies loss of justice which in turn leads to the confusion in knowledge.
In a simple manner, the present dilemma of Muslim is:
1-Confusion and error in knowledge, creating the condition for:
2-The loss of Adab within the community.The condition arising out of (1) and (2) is:
3-The rise of leaders who are not qualified for valid leadership of the Muslim community, who do not possess the high moral, intellectual and spiritual standards required for Islamic leadership , who perpetuate the condition in (1) above and ensure the continued control of the affairs of the community by leaders like them who dominate in all fields.

In fact, those three elements are operating in a vicious cycle.
The chief cause is however the confusion and error in knowledge. To break the vicious cycle, we must tackle first the problem of the loss of Adab since no true knowledge can be instilled without the precondition of Adab in the one who seeks it and to whom it is imparted. Knowledge in fact must be approached reverently and in humility and it cannot be possessed simply as if it were there available to everyone irrespective of intention and purpose and capacity.

-Legitimate Authority-
The interpretation and clarification of knowledge about Islam and the Islamic worldview is accomplished by authority, and legitimate authority i.e. those who recognize and acknowledge a hierarchy of authorities culminating from the prophet. It is basically incumbent to have to have a proper attitude towards legitimate authority and that is reverence, love, respect, humility and intelligent trust in the veracity of knowledge interpreted and clarified by such authority.
By ‘hierarchy’, it is not meant oppression, domination etc. Any kind of ‘hierarchy’ or ‘order’ is not necessarily legitimate for such order is not order at all.-It is DISORDER. By disorder, it means contrary to justice. In fact, disorder is the manifestation of the occurrence of injustice.

-Confusion of knowledge-

The confusion in knowledge of Islam by an individual very often creates in him an overweening sort of individualism.
>He looks at himself as equal to others whereas they are in reality superior to him
and cultivates immanent arrogance and tends to reject authority.
>He thinks he knows whereas in reality he doesn’t.
>He inclines towards envy.
>He allows his passion to hold sway over his actions and decisions in life.

When an individual instigated by his own arrogant ambitions and disposition does not hesitate to wrongly burden his soul by taking upon himself a trust and responsibility which he in his real capacity cannot adequately fulfill, this will lead to the Loss of Adab. When people like him increase in number some of them or those they consider representative of their kind, inevitably become leaders who we have earlier designated as false. And they consolidate their kind in all spheres of responsibility and trust in societal life: The resulting condition suffered by the society is what we have called the Loss of Adab which reflects the injustice that prevails and the continued corruption of knowledge.
Finally, Professor Syed Naquib Al Attas touched on the issue of levelling. The chief characteristic symptom of Loss of Adab within the community is the process of leveling cultivated from time to time in the Muslim mind and practiced in his society. By ‘levelling’ it means the leveling of everyone, in the mind and attitude to the same level of the leveller. It is perpetrated through the encouragement of false leaders who wish to demolish legitimate authority and valid hierarchy so that they and their like might thrive , and who demonstrate by example by levelling the great to the level of the less great, and then to that of the still lesser. In a sense, it is basically a tendency to challenge and belittle the legitimate authority. Indeed, even the Noble Companions –may God be well pleased with them –were not exempt from such censure: Sayyidina ‘Umar and Sayyidina ‘Ali were both charged by a lesser man with committing mistakes, notwithstanding the fact that, according to a well known Hadith, they were both included among the Ten who were assured paradise. We can only marvel how, when God Himself has overlooked their mistakes, a mere creature who lived centuries later could still persist in pointing out those mistakes!.

(Allah Knows Best).
p/s:I cannot resist myself than to agree with Professor Syed Naquib Al Attas on this issue. Take a look at around you and try to reflect what is happening with our Ummah now. Surely, the Loss of Adab is very much prevalent !.


a.j. said...

THW : the akhlaq of prophet will make you cry if we really understand and knew how beautiful his act and mannerism ... may we be blessed with more leaders that represent the right moral value of a muslim

gud one thw!

Fid said...

" If you come across someone performing an innovation, remember to praise Allah, the Most high. Remember to praise Allah, the Most High, because he hasn't tested you with that innovation. "

"No one is safe from misguidance. So remember to constantly ask Allah to keep you on the straight path."

TheHumbleWayfarer said...

To Ayub- Yes, you are right akh.
we need leaders that
embrace and uphold the
values as stated in the
Qur'an and also sunnah of
our beloved prophet. Leaders
that truly represent the
universality of the message
of Islam and not for a
particular group of ppl !

To Kak Fid- Thanks for the thought^_^

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