Islam is a religion of extraordinary and superb morality, which invites to best virtuous manners and instill in the soul the values of modesty and virtue. The Prophet of Islam Muhammad (PBUH) made it clear to us that he was sent by Allah to complete the virtuous manners and characters as he (PBUH) said:
“I was sent for the sole purpose of completing the virtuous manners.”
(Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 273)
The meaning of modesty:
Al-Haya means, bashfulness, modesty, or self-respect and it is a state of mind in which a person feels a kind of unease or discomfort in doing something hateful or unpleasant.
It is the title of Islam:
Islam has come to fight evil and all blameworthy actions, forbidding all sins both secretly and openly. The purpose of Islam is to set up a pure and ethical society in which evil, sin, and lewdness do not exist. The society that is based on the Islamic teachings will be a clean and decent society that is free of obscenity, insolence, and immorality. Islam has excessively struggled to establish such ethical, clean and decent society, which is based on modesty being its basic quality and virtues. Modesty is the vital part of all virtuous manners and is one of the branches of faith. By virtue of modesty, religion is complete, life is appropriate, good morals are dominant and vice is eliminated.
Modesty is the title of Islam, the authentication for the faith, and the guide to achieve righteousness and guidance. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
“Al-Haya (modesty) does not bring anything except good.” (Al-Bukhari 6117)
If a person is blessed with such great moral, it will be a sign of his good attitude and behavior, goodness, and completeness of his faith. It prevents one from many bad and evil morals. So, it is highly regarded in Islam. It is narrated from Anas (RA) that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
“Every religion has its distinct characteristic, and the distinct characteristic of Islam is modesty.” (Sahih Ibn Majah, Albani 3389)
The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Modesty (Al-Haya) is a branch of faith.” (Muslim 35)
Modesty is the whole religion:
Qurrah bin Iyas (RA) said that:
Modesty for Allah as is His due:
Abdullah Ibn Masud narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Have Haya (modesty) for Allah as is His due.” We said: “O Prophet of Allah! We have Haya, and all praise is due to Allah.” He said: “Not that, but having the Haya for Allah which He is due is to protect the head and what it contains, and to protect the insides and what it includes, and to remember death and the trial, and whoever intends the Hereafter, he leaves the adornments of the world. So whoever does that, then he has indeed fulfilled Haya, meaning the Haya which Allah is due.” (Sahih Tirmidhi, Albani 2458)
This hadith points out the sense of shyness or modesty. It is a natural human trait that plays an important part in building our character. It is modesty that prevents us from indulging in acts that are lewd and evil. Only those who can guard their minds against evil thoughts, protect their bellies from unlawful food and drink, and are mindful of what conditions await them in their graves after death could truly have modesty. And only those people can have real modesty who put no value on the ostentatious and luxuries of the world and reject the temptations of this world in favor of a happier life in the Hereafter.
Some benefits of modesty:
There are many tremendous benefits of modesty, the following are some:
- Allah, our Lord loves modesty. The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Allah is modest and concealing, and He loves modesty and concealment.” (Abu Dawud 4012).
- Modesty itself is the glory of Islam as it is mentioned in hadith. The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Every religion has its distinct characteristic, and the distinct characteristic of Islam is modesty.” (Sahih Ibn Majah, Albani 3389)
- Modesty is the source of goodness. The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Al-Haya (modesty) does not bring anything except good.” (Al-Bukhari 6117)
- Modesty is a sign of Faith and it leads us to Paradise. The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Al-Haya (modesty) is from faith, and faith is in Paradise.” (Tirmidhi 2009).
In Islam modesty is one of the basic branches of faith. It is freedom from arrogance and show off. It is politeness and moderation in speech, manner, dress and all attitudes and behaviors in our life. It is shyness, straightforwardness, and humility about our abilities and accomplishments. Modesty is for both male and female. It is not only for females as many of us think and have a misconception. It is an Islamic morality and it has so vast sphere that encompasses all walks of our life. The Prophet (PBUH) said: “If you feel no shame then do as you wish.” (Al-Bukhari 3484).
We ask Allah (SWT) to bless us with modesty and to enable us to have it both inwardly and outwardly. Ameen!