Pursuing Justice

“..eagles has been flying for more than 50 thousand years i think, we don’t know, yet they know their places, they know themselves. I mean, the eagle does not fly at the same level as the sparrow. (But) That does not make the nest down there, it’s always up at the top… ”

When i first came across this short interview uploaded in youtube and discussed in www.someideas.com, this video never failed to amaze me even when I am watching it for the tens of times. What caught my interests were the fact that Syed Naqib Al-Attas is a Malaysian scholar, and he is justifying words uttered from his mouth using the naas and facts from Quran and sirah Rasulullah s.a.w which is never contradicting and very convincing. He made it looked so simple, on how to pursue justice with the correct understanding of the meaning of the word adab.

In this video, Syed Naqib Al-Attas explained the word Adab that he believes to be the key to achieving justice.

Sheikh Hamza: … could you perhaps really summarize what you think is the essential crisis taking place right now in the Muslim world.

Syed Naqib: I said it’s lost of adab..but of course the word of adab that I’m using, I think, according to what i understand to be perhaps the very early meaning of that word.

With such calmness and a very convincing voice, Syed Naqib Al-Attas captured many with his careful choice of words and the very neat construction of sentences to convey his messages and ideas. Certainly Syed Naqib Al-Attas has showned his wisdom in tackling this issue. It is very intereseting, the way Syed Naqib elaborated on the word adab when he quoted an ayat from the Quran, just an excerpt of it which is enough to be used as a benchmark and as a guidance to establish justice.

Lost of adab

Adab, as explained by him is a reflection of wisdom, which has been exemplified from prophet Muhammad s.a.w, acting in conformity of justice. I’m not going to explain more on this video, just enough to ask for your time to listen to what Syed Naqib offers you, and i believe every single words uttered from his mouth is a blessing which if we understand it fully, we will at all time observe the true principle of justice from the perspective of Syed Naqib, and of course elaborated based on a verse in surah An Nisaa ( 4:58 ) Quran qalamullah (Allah’s words).

In summary, there are four pillars according to Syed Naqib which eventually will lead to justice. Knowledge and adab is two different thing which must come together so that a condition of justice will result in.

The four terms are,

1. a’mar (commands) and prohibitions – law – people not living in a state of nature

2. ahli (expert authorities) – a just governance

3. hakam (wisdom) ‘hikmah’ – knowledge that tells about proper places of everything

“the eagle does not fly the same level as the sparrow”

haq – reality and truth or true reality due to the quality of truth is something which not only true but must also be real. Truth is not just prepositional or being used just as a meaningless word in a sentence.

Conformity of the three conditions above will result in;

4. Justice (adil) – condition of things being in proper places

Allah gives wisdom as He pleases. Adab is an action that are based on three terms elaborated in the video above, and with adab, the condition of justice is met.


One response to “Pursuing Justice

  1. Just wanting to say something that I have experienced so far after all these years trying to get into the practice of medicine abroad. As some of us might already know, western culture did not regard adab in the view of ours. Or maybe they have their own appreciation of adab themselves that I myself have not properly learned yet. In medicine, unless a person is gifted (in my opinion), it is quite difficult to practice adab at the same time to engage to patients. It might be because of communication barrier as well, but the thing is can we practice adab succinctly when we have to sometimes go overboard in physical exam, for example. By going overboard means that sometimes being trained overseas we have to do transgender examination, or examining the opposite gender. I expect this is not the case back home, but sometimes you know by going overboard might also mean we have to yell at an elderly that refused to swallow the nasogastric tube or refused the urethral catheter, coz at the end of day we are deemed responsible of doing or not doing the treatment according to the management plan. Adab in a westernized,best-practice-evidence-based medicine? Now I partially hate the age of reasons, coz the enquiries might not always come with definitive answers.

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