Adab is how to act in a given place, situation and time following our Prophet’s (pbuh) example.
Part 1 of 3: Good Adab
All Sufis should have good adab. Good adab starts with believing in Allah and doing things for Allah’s sake. It is pleasing to Allah to be good to other people, being considerate and respectful. How we act in the world in relation with other people and situations has a direct effect on our spiritual being. As Sufis we try to be aligned with Allah at all times. In this path we have to balance the inner and the outer. As Sufis, being in balance outwardly means following adab.
Everybody’s action is really important in the world. Everything is done with action. What you do in your life is going to affect you forever, so it must be the right action. It is like playing chess. When you move a chess piece you have a plan. I plan to move my chess piece here. If he moves there, then I will play this piece. You plan all this from the first move, which is very important.
When you have a goal, then you can align your actions according to this goal. That is why it is important to know the goal.
WHERE THE ACTION COMES FROM AND WHICH ONE IS BEST
An action can come from wisdom or from ignorance, from your nafs, ego, or from your heart, or it can come from a necessity or from self-defense. It can be an automatic action or can come from any other reason. Before we perform an action, we must understand why we are doing it. If we do not understand, we must ask the Owner of the House to tell us what He wants. That is what Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) did, “O Allah I cannot find You. Show me how to get to You.” And He did. So many people have asked, “Allah, show us; guide us.” And Allah has.