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Education in Islamic Education - The Concept Of Adab

arabic ethical proper conduct

The humanist concerns of classical Islamic education are epitomized by the Arabic term adab. Initially, the concept of adab related to the "rules of conduct" and the "customs" as inherited from one's ancestors, revered as models. From about the eighth century on, it stood for the "ethical and practical rules of proper conduct" deemed praiseworthy in the medieval Muslim world. Additional connotations of adab include: the knowledge necessary for a certain profession; good breeding (proper upbringing of children, their morals, and their good behavior); courtesy; etiquette, and refined manners; aristocratic learning; and urbanity. Adab also designates the main form of classical Arabic belles-lettres, which explicitly aims at both the education and the entertainment of the reader. (The "Mirror of Princes" literature in Arabic and Persian, providing political and ethical advice to rulers, is a fine example in this regard.)

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