Kitāb ādāb al-murīdīn is unique among known Ṣūfī compositions in that it presents Ṣūfism from the standpoint of ādāb (rules of conduct). Composed by one of the four great masters of Ṣūfism bearing the nisba Suhrawardī (ca. 490/1097-563/1168), the book is characterized by a realistic approach to social necessities and to the moral capability of human nature. The Ṣūfī's sphere of activity, according to Abū al-Najīb, is within society. To accommodate the needs of lay members of the Ṣūfī brotherhood, the author makes prominent use of the traditional concept of rukhṣa, the relaxation of strict rules .
Kitāb ādāb al-murīdīn is a book steeped in the Ṣūfī literary tradition and contains elements found in earlier Ṣūfī classics. However, all the variegated elements have been recast by the author in his own mold. Its language is clear and simple, in accordance with its purpose as a popular manual. The large number of extant manuscripts and their varied provenance may indicate the great popularity which the book enjoyed.