Manners or Adab is a way of doing something, how we behave, and the way we treat the others. It is also called as etiquette. Islam sees manners as an important thing, which means that all Muslims should have good manners. A true Muslims are not only defined by their worship, prayer or performing sunnah, but also by how they perform the good manners or Adab. In such a proper way and most importantly, the true Muslims also must treat others well since there are so many virtues of good manners in Islam.
As mentioned in the following hadith :
“Nothing is weightier on the Scale of Deeds than one’s good manners.” (Bukhari)
“The most beloved of Allah’s servants to Allah are those with the best manners.” (Bukhari)
From those hadith, we understand how important manners are for Muslims. Whoever performs good manners, they will be loved by Allah and they will be rewarded.
Things Included as Basic Manners in Islam
Manners or Adab in Islam can be found in any aspect of our life such as appearance, conversation to other, eating, visiting the other people, and even for entering or leaving a house. All of these manners have been demonstrated to us by Rasulullah SAW and have been recorded in numerous hadith that we can learn right now. But among those manners, there are several things basic manners in Islam that Muslims should understand and must be applied in daily life.
1. Basic Manners in Eating or Drinking
Eat and drink are the need for human beings in order to gain nutrition and strength for their activities. Therefore, eat and drink must be done correctly. Muslims should acknowledge the importance of food in Islam (manners, types, and benefits). Here is the verse about how Muslims should eat and drink their food :
“O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.” (QS. Al-A’raf : 31)
And hadith as mentioned below :
“The blessing in the meal is by washing before and after it.” (Narrated by Abu Dawud)
“Mention Allah’s Name (Bismillah) before starting eating, eat with your right hand, and eat from what is near you.” (Narrated by Bukhari & Muslim)
“Verily, Allah is pleased with His servant when he eats a morsal and praises him, and when he takes a drink and then praises him (Alhamdulillah).” (Narrated by Abu Dawud)
According to the above hadith, Islam encouraged Muslims to keep personal hygiene, especially before they eat or drink. And, it is important not to forget offering thanks to Allah SWT before eating the meal and after having the meal as a form of gratitude. Allah SWT will multiply His blessing towards us if we respect His gift and sustenance.
2. Basic Manners of Keeping Appearance and Personal Hygiene
Rasulullah said in the following hadith
“Verily, Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty. Arrogance rejecting the truth and looking down on people.” (Muslim)
It means that as Muslims, it is our obligation to keep our appearance, especially in the public area. Islam sets rules on how people should dress both for men and women. We should maintain our cleanliness, dress nicely in modesty, not to luxury, covering our aurat (private parts) as mentioned in the following verse :
“Tell the believing men to reduce (some) of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women to reduce (some) of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which (necessarily) appears thereof and to wrap (a portion of) their headcovers over thier chests and not expose their adornment….” (QS. An-Nur : 30-31)
Moreover, using a loose and thick garment are also recommended for Muslims to cover the shape of the body. As the conclusion, Muslims should dress properly without any intention to achieve admiration or praise from other people. Since in Islam the best clothing that represents our true selves as Muslims is behavior (Akhlaq). As mentioned in the following verse:
“O children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment. But the clothing of righteousness – that is best. That is from the signs of Allah that perhaps they will remember.” (QS. Al-A’raf : 26)
Read also about 50 Akhlaq of Prophet Muhammad SAW (morals and manners).
3. Basic Manners of Treat Others (Conversation)
Human is a social creature, they need others to support their life and they cannot live alone. Therefore, as a good Muslims, another basic manner we must understand is how to talk or have a conversation with others.
“And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them (harshly), they say (words of) peace.” (QS. Al-Furqan: 26)
It is clear that Islam loves peace. Therefore, Muslims should talk to other person both to fellow Muslim or non muslim in gentle, clear, low voice, moderate in the pace of talking, and avoid vain conversation. As mentioned in the verses below:
“And (they are) those who do not testify to falsehood, and when they pass near ill speech, they pass by with dignity.” (QS. Al-Furqan: 72)
“And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice, indeed, the most disagreable of sounds is the voice of donkeys. Do not see that Allah has made subject to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth and amply bestowed upon you His favors, (both) apparent and unapparent? But of the people is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge or guidance or an enlightening Book (from Him).” (QS. Luqman : 19)
Indeed it is better for Muslims to speak in a low and moderate voice. This will prevent Muslims to annoy/offend the other people. In addition, the above verse also warns us not to speak or indulge in conversation without having any knowledge or guidance, especially related to religious matter including Allah SWT. Indulging in good conversation can prevent ghibah and insult. Read also about Importance of Silence in Islam.
4. Basic Manners to Parents and Elderly
A great Muslim are also seen by their basic manners to the elderly or noble person. They are the ones that we have to respect, especially parents. Parents and elderly people have a special status in Islam. Rasulullah said in the following hadith:
“Part of glorifying Allah is honoring the grey-haired Muslim.” (Narrated by Abu Daud)
“And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age (while) with you, say not to them (so much as), ‘uff’, and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.”
Honouring parents and elder people is mandatory for Muslims. By helping them and speaking at them in a noble word is as same as honoring the commandment of Allah and we will be included as the righteous people. There are so many Qur’an verses of respecting parents and the importance of devotion to parents in Islam.