Living the 4 Relationships

Traditional Muslim scholars classify relationships into 4 dimensions:
  1. Spiritual - Me and Allah
  2. Psychological - Me and Myself
  3. Social - Me and Humanity
  4. Environmental - Me and the Physical Universe
Within each relationship there are norms and rules of interaction, called Adab. Translated simply, they are Manners. Deeper, they refer to the quality of the relationship being navigated.

Allah has taught us, through Rasulullah SAW, the adab of interacting with Him in worship. The adab is present in the studies of Taqwa (Allah-awareness), humility and love.

The adab of me and myself is seen in how I care for my mind, body and soul. Whether I respect myself enough to take in only what benefits them and stay far away from what damages them. (Daily stuggle, for sure).

The adab of me and others is seen in my daily interactions with people. How I respect them, how I care for them, how I advise or admonish them, how I listen to them.

Finally, the adab of me and my environment is seen in how I appreciate the objects around me, how I maintain them and how I dispose of them.

The example of Rasulullah SAW provides a good blueprint and yardstick to close the gap and follow in his footsteps. While his relationship with Allah is a given, observe how he maintains utmost discipline in his diet, hygiene, fitness and intellect. How he treats his family, companions and enemies; with respect and fairness. How he treats his possessions. He names his mirror, his sword, his horse and maintains them according to their rights.

These four relationships represent the daily interactions we navigate throughout our lives. When one of them suffers in quality, we aren't living a full life.

Pay attention to your relationships. Live your life through them.