(3,930 words)

Politeness, in Arabic ʾadab (less common: kiyāsa), is one of the highly praised qualities of man and is regarded as a vital ingredient in the ‘relationship’ between God and man. A dictum ascribed to the Prophet Muḥammad says ḥusn al-ʾadab min al-ʾīmān ‘good behavior is part of the faith’. As in other languages, politeness is associated with a number of related concepts, such as taṣarruf and sulūk ‘conduct, behavior’, tarbiya ‘bringing up’,tahḏīb ‘educating’, t̲aqāfa ‘culture’, xuluq/ʾaxlāq ‘morals; character’, and ḏawq ‘good taste; tact’. All these words indicate good natu…

Cite this page
Avihai Shivtiel, “Politeness”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 20 April 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_SIM_vol3_0107>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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