Thursday, 27 September 2007


The Evidence of True Imaan and The Highest Decree of Women


The Prophet Muhammad SAW has said:

"Whatever contains vulgarity is made ugly by it, and whatever contains modesty is made beautiful by it.''

"Modesty and being at a loss for words are two components of true faith, while vulgarity and long-windedness are two components of hypocrisy."

"Modesty is of faith, and faith is in Paradise. Vulgarity is of rudeness, and rudeness is in Hell."


Hayaa may be interpreted as “morality", “modesty” or “shyness.” It is a natural trait which is part of human nature. It serves to restrain a person from all indecent and immoral acts. In fact, in the terminology of the Shari'ah it is used in a much wider sense. It represents a feeling that is intolerant of all sin and makes a person react with disgust when confronted with the prospect of sinning.

However, if one continuously defies the dictates of Hayaa and indulges in wrongful actions, this natural quality gradually withers away and eventually may even be totally lost. This is the point where a human being stoops to the level that the Qur’an describes in the words:

"they are nothing but like animals, nay they are worse!" (Surah 7: Ayat 179)

The fundamental importance of Hayaa in Islam can be further gauged from the following Ahadith:

Zaid bin Talha RA reports that Rasulullah SAW said:

"Every creed has a distinguishing quality, and the distinctive quality of Islam is modesty." (Ibn Majah)

Rasulullah SAW has also declared Hayaa as a branch of Imaan. In yet another Hadith it is reported that Rasulullah SAW said:

"Hayaa is a part of Imaan and Imaan leads to Jannah. But obscenity stems from the hardness of the heart and the hardness of the heart leads to Hell." (Tirmidhi)

Furthermore, Rasulullah SAW has warned:

"Hayaa and Imaan exist together. When one of them is removed, the other is also removed." (Baihaqi)

Hayaa is thus a praised habit. It prevents its owner from doing something wrong. This is among the reasons as to why the Prophet Muhammad SAW said:

"Shyness does not bring anything except good."

As previously mentioned, the Prophet SAW has explained that Hayaa is a component of Imaan.

Abu Hurairah RA narrated that the Prophet Muhammad SAW said:

"Imaan consists of more than sixty branches or parts, and Hayaa is a part of faith."

One story describes the Prophet SAW passing by a man who was criticising someone of his shyness. Upon observing this, the Prophet SAW told the man to leave him because Hayaa is part of Imaan.

Gathering from all the aforementioned Ahadith so far, we can thus gather that Hayaa is related with Akhlaq (character), and Hayaa signifies moral uprightness and virtuous behaviour. Expanding this further, the classical scholar, Ibn Qayyim RA stated that Hayaa is a part of life; and depending on how much Hayaa the heart possesses, that Hayaa will reflect how much moral character an individual has.


Hayaa is practised between a servant and his Rabb (Lord), when the servant shows shyness for his Rabb, especially in committing any form of act attributed to disobedience.
Also, Hayaa may be evident between a person and other people.


The Hayaa between a servant and his/her Lord has been explained in one Hadith whereby the Prophet Muhammad SAW said:

"Be shy of Allah as you should truly be shy."

The Sahabah RA responded:

"We are shy (of Allah), O Prophet of Allah (SAW)."

The Prophet SAW then explained:

"It is much more than that. He who is truly shy of Allah, let him preserve his head and what it perceives, let him preserve his stomach and what it desires, let him remember death and afflictions, and he who desires the Hereafter abandons the adornments of this world. He who performs all these, is the one who is shy of Allah as he should be."

In another Hadith, the Prophet SAW is narrated to have said:

"He who is shy of Allah, Allah Ta'ala is also shy of him."

This refers to the quality of Allah, that Allah SWT is shy for that slave of His who has endeavoured in all avenues whole-heartedly to obtain Allah's Pleasure, and will not be reluctant to grant him/her Forgiveness, to accept his/her supplications and a sublime reward for his/her obedience.

Thus the shyness between Allah and his servant, is the shyness of honour, generosity and sublimity, because Allah Almighty is shy to refuse his/her servant when he/she raises his/her hands in Du'a (supplication).

A person who is shy of Allah, abandons what is forbidden in every situation whether in the presence or absence of people.

This Hayaa is the shyness of worship and the Fear of Allah Almighty, and it can only be acquired by knowing Allah, His Greatness, His Nearness to His servants and His Knowledge of what is open and being kept hidden and secret.

This form of Hayaa is of the highest form of not only Imaan, but also of Ihsaan. In a famous Hadith narrated by Saiyidina Umar ibn Al Khattab RA, the Prophet Muhammad SAW said:

"Ihsaan is to worship Allah as though you are seeing Him, and while you see Him not, yet truly He sees you."


As for the shyness between an individual and other people, it is that which prevents that person from committing a wrong, and thus hates people witnessing his/her feeling of humiliation and guilt.

Also, one who is shy of people, must refrain from disgraceful habits, wicked deeds and sayings. He/she does not swear, nor slander or backbite, nor publicise his/her sins - let them be in a boastful manner or in the form of regret.

A true Muslim's shyness of Allah protects him/her from his/her wickedness internally, and his/her shyness of people protects from his/her wickedness externally. Hence the person becomes both internally and externally righteous, in secret as well as in public affairs, and this is how Hayaa becomes a part of true faith - true Imaan.


Without having Hayaa, there remains nothing that would prevent a person from having a wicked character in doing evil, and that person becomes as if he/she has no Imaan.

This is infact stated in a Hadith narrated by Abu Mas'ud Al Ansaari RA whereby the Prophet SAW said:

"Among the words people obtained from the First Prophecy are: 'If you feel no shame, then (you will not be hesitant to) do as you wish'."

Abdullah ibn Abbas RA said as per advice from Rasulullah SAW that:

"Hayaa and Imaan are equally in rank and merit, and that if Hayaa is lost then Imaan usually follows."

The above indicates that - that persopn who loses Hayaa, loses that which prevents him/her from doing evil deeds, followed by not fearing the Haraam or the guilt.


Thus the emphasis that Islam has laid on this vitally important natural trait is self-evident. The reason for such great emphasis is that - when Hayaa is lost, the door is flung open for the departure of all values attributed to Imaan. Immorality then becomes the norm. Infact, Immorality is one of the main social problems we are experiencing today. Let alone social problems, abandoning Hayaa is the recipe to draw down the wrath of Allah SWT.

Abdullah bin Abbas RA reports that Rasulullah SAW said:

"When zina (fornication) and the indulgence in interest become rife in a community, then they have drawn down the wrath of Allah Ta’ala upon themselves." (Hakim)

When Saiyidina Abu Bakr As-Siddiq RA was appointed as the Khalifah (leader of Muslims), he delivered a sermon wherein he said:

"...and immorality does not spread in a nation but that Allah Ta'ala engulfs them with calamities." (Hayatus Sahabah)

Thus the diagnosis of the problems that are engulfing us has already been made by Rasulullah SAW. To protect ourselves and the Ummah, we will have to once again adopt Hayaa with great urgency and importance.

In short, we will have to adopt the lifestyle of the Qur’an and the Sunnah in its true spirit in order to be successful in this world and the Hereafter.


We live in a time where Hayaa has disappeared in the majority of people, a lot of abominable and disgusting ways and actions have materialised in the society - especially amongst women.
Among the disappearing signs of Hayaa in women today are the disgraceful displaying of women almost half naked, and not covering their adornment and modesty, by wearing perfume and thereby showing no shame in mixing freely with men, shaking hands in a proud and undignified manner.

Men and women without shame - listen and play music, watch shameful, disgusting movies in front of their wives and children without any hint of dignity. This in turn excites and arouses sexual desires, demolishes moral codes of conduct and paves the way for detestable and rebellious behaviour and deeds.

Where is the Hayaa in those people who abandon their children to the lost and lustful life of the streets by allowing them to mix with strangers of wicked and insubordinate character?
Where is the Hayaa, the shyness in the smoker who exhales smoke from his mouth into the faces of those sitting in his company, thereby spreading the stench of bad breathe and harmful odours?

Because the above is widely spread, such practices are considered normal, and far from regretted in this day and age. A true Muslim will be hesitant to smoke in front of anyone, just as he/she is hesitant to smoke in front of Rasulullah SAW.

It is the absence of Hayaa that causes people to be reduced to the lowest of lows, confirming to what the Prophet SAW said:

"If you feel no shame, then (you will not be hesitant to) do as you wish."

Allah SWT states in the Qur'an, in Surah Al-Mulk:

"Verily! Those who fear their Rabb unseen - they do not see Him, nor His Punishment in the Hereafter, theirs will be Forgiveness and a great Reward. " (Surah Al-Mulk: Ayat 12)

"And whether you keep your talk secret or disclose it, verily, He is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts of men." (Surah Al-Mulk: Ayat 13)

"Should He not know what He Created? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous to His slaves, All Aware of everything." (Surah Al-Mulk: Ayat 14)

Let us know that the praised Hayaa is that which prevents its owner from sinful morals and generates him/her to do admirable actions and deeds.


As for the Hayaa which prevents its owner from acquiring what he/she needs in matters regarding Religion and this Worldly Life, is the Hayaa that is completely and utterly condemned.
A true Believer is not shy in saying a word of truth, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong.

A true Believer is also not shy to ask about matters pertaining to his/her Religion.
We must remember the Hayaa which encourages the person in doing a good deed and saying the truth, is in reality a disappointment to Shaytaan.

We ask Allah Almighty for forgiveness in anything we may have done that transgressed our duty. To make our hearts firm on His Religion and make our lives end with the True faith. To help and guide us and to give us the ability to learn and understand His True Religion. To apply it throughout our daily lives, and to preach it to others, and grant us His Mercy in this world as well as in the Hereafter.

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