The word adab is not fully translatable from Arabic to English. It encompasses all the good things a Muslim must do. Adab linguistically means to invite people for food. The Arabic word Ma’duba is a word derived from the word Adab, and means to invite all or many people for all types of food, or a gathering around a table. Adab hence includes all that is good; every noble characteristic, habit, or trait that is included within the scope of adab.
Adab is natural, it isn’t really taught, or learnt, but it is naturally developed. Children acquire adab from their parents, students from their teachers, the young from the elders. We may have much knowledge but lack adab and we may have much adab but lack knowledge; but it is adab that holds the greater value and importance. In today’s society, where parents, teachers, and elders are no longer given their correct honours, respect or rights; basic manners have made a swift exit, whilst we compete for glory, knowledge, or worldly gain.