Published by: Amina
On the authority of Abu Masood Uqbah bin ‘Amr al-Ansaree al-Badree (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said, “Verily, from what learnt by the people from the speech of the earliest prophecy is: If you feel no shame, then do as you wish.” (Al-Bukhari)
The word al-Ḥaya’ is derived from the word “al-Ḥayy“, which means life, as if the person who has no Haya’ (modesty) is like a dead person. However, Haya’ is more complex and dynamic than just modesty and encompasses many shades of meaning, including humility, sensitivity, shyness, apprehensiveness, and shame. Why shyness is crucial? Shyness are important because it gives life to the heart, brings about sense of guiltiness that leads to repentance as Iblīs is deprived of Allah’s Mercy because he refused to repent. The sense of shyness of young generation today has been much eroded. How to nourish and nurture back their homage? Do we feel shy or ashamed of ourselves every time we stand in front of Allah or raising our hands in our prayers?
We should enjoying every second the ni‘mah of Allah but no serious commitment taken to discipline ourselves, observing the adab, following the Sunnah, serving and promote the religion, safeguarding the sanctify of the religion. Or we don’t have such feeling due to our hectic life or drown in worldly pursuit even though every moment we are shaken! Awaken by local and global issue from the media.
How to achieve modesty? Here is some hadith related to Haqiqat al-Haya’:
عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: «استحيوا من الله حق الحياء»، قالوا: “إنا لنستحيي من الله والحمد لله!”، قال: «ليس ذاك، من استحيا من الله حق الحياء فليحفظ الرأس وما وعى، وليحفظ البطنوما حوى، وليذكر الموت والبلى، ومن أراد الآخرة ترك زينة الحياة الدنيا. من فعل ذلك فقد استحيا من الله الحياء»
From Abū Hurayrah (raḍiallāhu ‘anhu), indeed the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) has said: “Be shameful (shy) to Allāh with the real shyness”. They replied: “Indeed we are always shy to Allāh. Alḥamdulillāh!” He replied: “That is not what I meant. Those who seek real shyness from Allāh, upon him to observe the following: safeguard the head and what retain in it, safeguard your stomach and what it hold in it. Be alert of death and decay and decline from worldly ornament for those who seek ākhirah. These are the composition of real shyness”. (Narrated by al-Tirmidhī)
We should seek real shyness from Allah as early Muslims used to say, “Be shy toward God when you are in private in the same way you are shy in front of people when you are in public.” Another one of their sayings is, “Do not be a devoted slave of God in your public behavior while you are an enemy to Him in your private affairs.” Modesty can be seen as the main meaning by which ethics and morals in the society were maintained. Shyness from society may be the reason of modesty, yet this modesty will not remain based on the fact that what is immodest one day in a secular society may be totally acceptable in another. Thus, they key to modesty is knowing that God is aware of what we do. To seek what is best for us is to submit to what He has in mind for us. Thus, al-Ḥaya’ is one of the most important factors that keep a person from committing a sinful act. If a person has no al-Ḥaya’, he/she will do almost anything.