From the Chapter of Adab in Madarijus-Salikeen by Imam Ibnul-Qayyim, Rahimahullah
Al-Adab has three categories: Adab with Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, Adab with His Prophet SallahAllahualaihiWassallam and his legislation, and Adab with His creation.
As for Adab towards Allah SWT, it is in three cases:
1- Guarding one’s actions from faultiness.
2- Guarding one’s heart from seeking other than Him.
3- Guarding one’s desire from getting attached to that which He Detests.
Abu Ali Ad-Daqqaq, Rahimahullah said:
It is through the obedience of Allah- Subhanahu wa Ta’ala- that the slave attains Paradise, and it is through his adab, that he attains obedience of Allah.
Ibn al Mubarak, Rahimahullah said:
We are in greater need for a little of Adab, than we are for much of knowledge.
Al- Hasan al Basri Rahimahullah said when asked about the most beneficial forms of Adab:
It is gaining knowledge of this deen, detachment from the worldly life and knowing Allah’s rights over you.
And among the many examples of Adab towards Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala is the example of Issa, alaihissalam when asked:
وَإِذْ قَالَ اللَّـهُ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَأَنتَ قُلْتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتَّخِذُونِي وَأُمِّيَ إِلَـٰهَيْنِ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ ۖ
And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?’”
He, alaihissalam, did not reply, “I did not say this”, but maintained Adab with His Lord in his reply; first Exalting Allah “Subhanaka”,
Exalted are You!
Following it by acknowledging that he had no right to utter anything besides that which he was commanded to (affirming His slavehood and submission to His Lord).
مَا يَكُونُ لِي أَنْ أَقُولَ مَا لَيْسَ لِي بِحَقٍّ ۚ
It was not for me to say that to which I have no right.
He alaihissalam continues this pattern of Adab by further saying that Allah knows best of what he said, honoring His knowledge of the seen and hidden, and then explicitly declares his lack of knowledge of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala of Himself and that unseen:
إِن كُنتُ قُلْتُهُ فَقَدْ عَلِمْتَهُ ۚ تَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِي وَلَا أَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِكَ
If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself.
All this is beautifully wrapped with a final testimony of submission to Allah’s Complete Knowledge of all things.
إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ
Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.