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Author: Subject: Islamic Modesty (al-Haia’)
Kandi1072
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alert.gif posted on 9.27.2006 at 05:00 AM
Islamic Modesty (al-Haia’)


Peace and Blessings be upon our Master, The Most Noble Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). We praise Allah, thank Him, and seek His help, guidance and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil in our souls and the sinfulness of our deeds. "He whom Allah guides, he is the rightly-guided; but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no guiding advocate".
The manner that we’ll talk about today is “Islamic Modesty” or “al-Haia’”. Haia’ is always coupled with faith, the more of it we have the more faithful we are, and vice versa.
So, what is Haia’? And what does it mean when we say that this person has “Haia’”?
Haia’ is when your soul abstains from committing sins, transgressions or misdeeds. It is when your heart cannot tolerate sin because you can’t see your own soul being humiliated in front of Allah, in front of others or in front of yourself. It is when your soul becomes too dear to you, for all such ugliness.
This is the true Islamic modesty, like a passion that lifts your soul high above these base obscenities… How can I sin?? How can I steal?? How can I lie?? I can never do that because my soul is far too lofty for all that and I, myself, am far too noble for such things. I respect myself in front of Allah, in front of others and in front of myself.
The word Haia’ comes from “Hayah” which means “Life”. So when we say that a person has Haia’, it means that with every throb of the life inside him, he has abstained from obscenities and sins. That’s why there’s a firm relation between having Haia’ and between having a heart that’s beating with life. The more alive your heart is the more Haia’ you’ll have in you.
That’s why we always hear others saying things like, “The most vital are those who have more Haia’.” When the heart dies, nothing becomes obscene or ugly… and anything will be doable in that case.
What’s the difference between shyness and Haia’?
Many people would mix both terms together, thinking that shyness or timidity is to have Haia’. They think that because they’re shy or timid, then they have Haia’, yet, as you will see, this is a misconception. To be shy is to be hesitant when facing someone who’s more learned than you, or when you’re placed under the limelight, or subjected to close scrutiny and hence you won’t be able to express yourself. In other words, shyness is a natural consequence of: cowardice, fear and a weak personality that doesn’t perceive its own true value.
Haia’ on the other hand is the exact opposite. With this trait in you, you’ll be appreciating yourself too much to stoop so low as to commit more sins. Someone is shy when he sees himself too small in his own eyes. But, someone has Haia’ when he goes high above such obscenities and refuses to humiliate his soul in front of Allah, in front of others and himself. As you can see the difference is so vast. This difference would give us more insight into many behaviors. For instance, you can’t leave what is rightfully yours and say, “I have Haia’”. This is not Haia’ because the latter is to abstain from ugliness. You abstain from insulting, you abstain from making passes at girls… etc.
Some Ahadith for the Prophet (PBUH) about Haia’
It is narrated on the authority of Abu-Huraira that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Iman has over seventy branches, and modesty is a branch of Iman.(2)”
In other words, Iman (faith) has more than seventy aspects and modesty is one of these aspects. The strange thing is that the Prophet (PBUH) did not mention these seventy or more branches! He only mentioned Haia’, why? Because this particular trait will simultaneously lead you to the others. If you administer enough Haia’ you will consequently secure all your other proper manners in addition to these seventy or more branches.
Complete your Haia’ and you’ll complete your Iman.
Another wording for the Hadith: It is narrated on the authority of Abu-Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Faith has over seventy branches or over sixty branches, the most excellent of which is the declaration that there is no god but Allah, and the humblest of which is the, removal of what is injurious from the path; and modesty is the branch of faith.(3)”
So the Prophet has actually affirmed the fact that Haia’ is a branch of Iman!
Scholars have tried to seek out these seventy or more branches. Ibn-Shayban said that most of them could be classified under branches reflecting on the heart, branches reflecting on the tongue and branches reflecting on the body.
Those reflecting on the heart are: Believing in Allah, his angels, his books, his messengers, the day of judgment, resurrection, raising the dead, the jannah, hellfire, fearing Allah, repentance, being self-satisfied and thanking Allah.
Those reflecting on the tongue are: abstaining from fowl language, learning and educating oneself, reading Qur’an, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, Dhikr and supplications to Allah.
Those reflecting on the body are: praying, fasting, Jihad, Hajj, Umrah, calling for Allah and Islam… etc.
Yet, with all this the Prophet has never mentioned but Haia’, because, as we said, it will automatically lead to all the others.
I can never reach the stage of “gratitude and kindness to parents” unless I have Haia’ from them. I can never repent unless I have Haia’ from Allah. I can never perform Umrah or Hajj unless I have Haia’ that keeps me from sinning and at the same time propels me to seek purgation. All manners, somehow, reflect on Haia’.
The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Haia’ and Iman are intertwined, if one is lacking the other one will follow”.(4)
It is narrated on the authority of 'Imran B. Hussein that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Modesty brings forth nothing but goodness.”(5)
The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Haia’ comes from Iman and Iman leads to Paradise, whereas obscenity is from antipathy and antipathy leads to Hell”.(6)
The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Once Allah wants to perish a servant, He would remove Haia’ from him. Once Haia’ is removed from him you’ll find him nothing but despicable. Once you find him despicable, honesty is removed from him. Once honesty is removed from him you’ll find him nothing but a treacherous person. Once you find him nothing but treacherous, mercy will be removed from him. Once mercy is removed from him you find him nothing but a damned and a cursed person.”(7)
Don’t we meet such people as we go? Men or women, you’d be ashamed out of your wits from what they’re doing, as if they have no shame at all, then you look at their faces and you find them despicable. According to this Hadith, the first thing that was removed from them was Haia’.
In Malik’s Muwatta it has been mentioned, “Yahya related to me from Malik from Salama ibn Safwan ibn Salama az-Zuraqi that Zayd ibn Talha ibn Rukana, who attributed it to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “‘Every Deen has an innate character. The character of Islam is modesty.’”(8)
What does this Hadith mean? Does it mean that there’s no other innate character in Islam except Haia’? No, it means that the most magnificent character in Islam is Haia’.
The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Out of what has survived of the past sayings of all preceding Prophets we have this, “‘If you have no Haia’, then you can do as you wish’”.(9)
What does this saying mean? It carries two meanings:
1. A threat: Do what you wish and you’ll be punished.
2. Look at what you’re doing; are you ashamed of it in front of Allah, others and yourself? If you’re not, then go ahead and do whatever you’re doing. Nothing can deter you from committing sins.
Patterns for “al-Haia’”
From the Qur’an and the stories of the Prophet’s companions (RA), and their Haia’:
• “Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, reported, “Allah's Messenger (PBUH) was more modest than the virgin girl behind her curtain on the day of wedding, and when he disliked anything, we recognized that from his face.”(10) Can you imagine how modest and shy a virgin would be on her wedding day, can you seek any better examples? Where’s your modesty? Do you become so red with shame, when you see indecency that you have to look away?
•In Malik’s Muwatta it has been mentioned, “Yahya related to me from Malik from ibn-Shihab from Salim ibn-Abdullah from Abdullah ibn-Umar that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, passed by a man who was chiding his brother about modesty. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “‘Leave him. Modesty is part of Iman.’”(11)
• I present this Hadith to all my brothers and sisters here with us now. “Fatima Bint-Utba came to the Prophet (PBUH) to declare her Islam, Aisha (RA) was witnessing the incident when the Prophet (PBUH) asked Fatima to take the oath of fealty not to associate in worship any other thing whatsoever with Allah, not to steal and not to commit adultery… etc. At that last word the woman was so shy that she lowered her eyes and placed her hand on top of her head. The Prophet (PBUH) liked her Haia’ and Aisha (RA) told her, ‘take the oath Fatima, all the women have taken that oath’. So she took the oath.”(12) I just want you to compare this Hadith to what’s happening these days. Sometimes you’d turn red just listening to what girls say to each other. This lady felt so shy hearing just this word.
• Aisha (RA) said, “I used to go into my house, where the Prophet and Abu-Bakr were buried saying my husband and my father so I used to be free in what I was wearing. When Omar Ibn al-Khattab died and was buried next to them I felt too shy to be free about what I wore so I used to cover myself properly out of Haia’ from Omar, even though he was dead.”(13) Please compare this to what’s happening these days.
•Aisha (RA) reported, “Allah's Messenger (PBUH) was lying in the bed in my abode with his thigh or his shank uncovered and Abu-Bakr sought permission to get in. He was granted permission and he conversed in the same very state (the Prophet's thigh or shank uncovered). Then 'Omar sought permission to get in and it was granted to him and he conversed in that very state. Then 'Othman sought permission to get in; Allah's Messenger (PBUH) sat down and he set right his clothes. Muhammad (one of the narrators) said, “I do not say that it happened on the same day.” He ('Othman) then entered and conversed and as he went out, Aisha said, “Abu-Bakr entered and you did not stir and did not observe much care (in arranging your clothes), then 'Omar entered and you did not stir and did not arrange your clothes, then 'Othman entered and you got up and set your clothes right, thereupon he said: Should I not show modesty to one whom even the Angels show modesty.”(14)
I wonder which one of you the Angels would show modesty to? Is it that man screeching with his car, turning his car cassette on so loud and making passes at the girls? Or is it that lady wearing tight pants, revealing her figure that you’d wonder how she ever managed to put it on, not that just but she also wears it with a tight and short top! Could these be the sons and the daughters of Othman, Fatima and Aisha? Are we that far from Haia’ to be named the followers of these virtuous companions?
When we talk about Haia’ we always think about the girls since we expect it more from them. Look at the girl with whom Musa (Moses) met at Surat al-Kasass, “So he watered (their flocks) for them, then he turned back to shade, and said: "My Lord! truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me! Then there came to him one of the two women, walking shyly. She said: "Verily, my father calls you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us." So when he came to him and narrated the story, he said: "Fear you not. You have escaped from the people who are Zâliműn (polytheists, disbelievers, and wrong-doers).” (TMQ, 28:24-25)(15).
There have been two readings reported for this particular verse. The first reading talks about the way she walked (as above) and the second one combined “shyly” with “she said” to denote that she spoke shyly. If that meant anything it would mean that she was a token of shyness in every part of her. I wonder, are our girls so keen on the way they walk? Are they keen on the way they speak? Honestly I have to tell you that many girls have lost all trace of modesty and decency these days.
The most supreme degree of Haia’ is that which we show towards Allah. All sins, minor or major, from men or from women, from kids or from adults, share one basic feature: Having no Haia’ from the fact that Allah sees you while committing your sin. If you realized completely that Allah sees you, you would never commit any sins.
For that reason sometimes a person would commit a major sin, but with the Haia’ he feels afterwards it becomes a minor sin and sometimes a person commits a minor sin but feels no Haia’ whatsoever and hence it turns into a major sin… If you advice him against it, he would just tell you, “it’s none of your business”. Allah says, “When it is said to him, "Fear Allah," he is led by arrogance to (more) crime…” (TMQ, 2:206).
Can you see now why this particular trait is important? A sin is considered to be either major or minor by the amount of Haia’ you feel afterwards. Listen to what Ibn al-Qayem said here, “Your happiness with committing a sin is far more condemned by Allah, than the sin itself, because of your lack of Haia’”. So the fact that you’re happy with your sin is more intense than the sin itself.
You might commit sins in fear and with great Haia’ without any real enjoyment, that’s why Allah would undoubtedly help you to repent and ask His forgiveness and hence He would forgive you. On the other hand, others would go seeking sins, wishing them, plotting for them and when they fail, they become depressed and sad. All this depression and sadness will be placed in their credit of bad deeds on the Day of Judgment and they’ll be even heavier than the sins themselves. These people deserve it, since they had no Haia’ from Allah.
Also, caring to hide from the eyes of people while committing a sin is even more intense than the sin itself. Are you so afraid that people might see you while you’re not afraid from Allah?
One man went to “Ibrahim Bin Al-Adham” and said, “O, Imam, I would like to repent and permanently stop all the sins that I have been committing. Give me advice that would help me never to disobey Allah and would protect me during any moments of weakness”. The Imam answered, “If you want to disobey Allah, then do not disobey him on his land”. The man asked, “Then, where would I disobey Him?” The Imam said, “Outside His land”. The man asked, “How can I do that if Allah, the Glorious, is the Master of all the lands?” So, the Imam answered, “Do you not feel ashamed, then, to disobey Him on his Lands! If you still want to disobey Him, then at least stop eating of his bounties.” The man asked, “How can I survive if I do not eat of his bounties?” The Imam answered, “Do you not feel ashamed, then, to eat of His bounties and disobey Him! But if you still want to disobey Him, do that in a place where He cannot see you.” The man asked, “How can I do that and He is with us wherever we are?” The Imam answered, “Do you not feel ashamed, then to disobey Him while He is with you wherever you are! But if you still want to disobey Him, then tell the Angel of Death, if he comes to get your soul, to wait until you repent.” The man asked, “And who has any power over that?” The Imam answered, “So, the Angel of Death will get your soul while you are sinning. But if you still want to disobey Allah, then tell the Angels who are the keepers of the Hellfire, when they come to take you there, “I will not come with you”, if you can. Do you not feel ashamed?”
And I am addressing you: You eat of Allah’s bounties, and disobey Him on his land while He can see you, while you can very possibly die while sinning. You have no power to reject Death or to stop the Angels of Hellfire from taking you there. Do you not feel ashamed? Yet, if, after all this, you still want to disobey Allah, I would like to remind you of His great mercy on you and His great protection to you, hoping that this might make you feel ashamed for disobeying Him.
In the Hadith Qudsi (Sacred Hadith), the Prophet (PBUH) mentioned that Allah (SWT) said, “Myself, Mankind and Jinn are in a great serious state. I create them, then they worship other gods that they make for themselves; I bless them with my bounties, then they thank someone else for what I sent them; My Mercy descends to them while their evil deeds ascend to Me; I endear them with my gifts even though I have no need to any of them while they alienate themselves from Me with their sins even though they are desperate for my help. Whoever returns to Me, I accept him no matter how far he is; and whoever turns away from Me, I approach him and call on him. Whoever leaves a sin for my sake, I reward him with many gifts and whoever seeks to please Me, I seek to please him. Whoever acknowledges My Will and Power in whatever he does, I make the iron bend for his sake. My dear people are those who are with Me (i.e. whoever would like to be with Me, let him supplicate to Me and remember Me). Whoever thanks Me, I grant him more blessings; whoever obeys Me, I raise him and endear him more. Whoever disobeys Me, I keep the doors of My Mercy open for him; if he returns to Me, I bestow him with My Love since I love those who repent and purify themselves for My Sake. If he does not repent, I still treat him by putting them in hardship to purify him. Whoever favors Me over others, I favor them over others. I reward every single good deed ten times over or seven hundred times over to countless times over. I count every single bad deed as one unless the person repents and ask for My Forgiveness in which case I forgive even that one. I take into account any little good deed and I forgive even major sins. My Mercy supersedes My Anger; My Tolerance supersedes My Blame; My Forgiveness supersedes My Punishment as I am more merciful with My slaves than a mother with her child.”(16)
Do you not feel ashamed after all that you have just read? Do you still look with lust at someone who is unlawful to you? Do you still eat the food that Allah has forbidden you to eat? Do you still refuse to wear Hijab (Muslim head cover for women)? Do you still lie? Are you still dishonest? Do you still not observe Allah in all your deeds? Are you still not performing the ritual prayers as you should? Do you still not pay Zakat? Do still refuse to live for Allah’s sake?
In another Hadith the Prophet (PBUH) told us that Allah (SWT) said, “ O, Dawood (David), if those (people) who stay away from Me know how much I love them and long for their return, they would have rushed back to Me flying (i.e. unable to wait). If this is My Desire towards those people who are not on My Path, how much do you think is My Desire towards those people who are steadfast on My Path?” Glory be to Allah the One.
How could you still persist on disobeying Allah instead of loving Him and trying to please Him?
“Abu Mu'sa reported Allah's Messenger (PBUH) as saying that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, Stretches out His Hand during the night so that the people repent for the faults committed from dawn till dusk and He stretches out His Hand daring the day so that the people may repent for the faults committed from dusk to dawn.”(17) It is as if Allah is the one looking for you and calling you to return to Him.
If, after you learned all this about Allah’s Mercy, you still insist on not feeling ashamed of your sins, then how could you not, at least, show some Haia’ to Him with all the blessings and bounties he has bestowed on you? Allah is the one who created you as He said in Surat Qaf, “It was We Who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein.” (TMQ, 50:16). Allah is the one who created your eyes so you would see, your ears so you would hear, your heart which you are now using in keeping unlawful relationships and forgetting Him, He who bestowed these emotions and feelings on you. Allah is the one who created your brain which you are now using in taking the decision to disobey Him. Try to think of all these gifts as Allah instructed you in Surat Al-Infitar (The Cleaving), “O man! What has seduced thee from thy Lord Most Beneficent?- Him Who created thee. Fashioned thee in due proportion, and gave thee a just bias; In whatever Form He wills, does He put thee together.” (Qur’an, 8-6)
Allah instructed us again to think of his gifts in Surat Abasa (He Frowned), “Then let man look at his food, (and how We provide it): For that We pour forth water in abundance, And We split the earth in fragments, And produce therein corn, And Grapes and nutritious plants, And Olives and Dates, And enclosed Gardens, dense with lofty trees, And fruits and fodder, For use and convenience to you and your cattle. (TMQ, 80:24-32)
In order for you to learn Haia’ towards Allah, bring a paper and a pen and draw a line in the middle of it, then start to write Allah’s blessings in the first half (i.e. your eye-sight, hearing, hands, physical strength, emotions, feelings, beauty, ability to think, father and mother, Islam, …etc) and write in the second half your sins. Then, compare and think. I swear before Allah that the least thing that you can do then is to cry.
If you still cannot have Haia’ from Allah even though He is with you everywhere listening (to whatever you say) and looking (at whatever you do) as He said to Moses in Surat Taha, “He said: "Fear not: for I am with you: I hear and see (everything)” (TMQ, 20:46), then at least remember how submissive you will be before Allah on the Day of Judgment. Imagine how you will stand naked, weak and bare-footed, before Allah to be judged. You will be standing there holding your book (in which all your good and bad deeds are recorded). Many people are not even able to imagine this situation although it is closer to us than we think as the Prophet, (PBUH), said, “ The difference (in time) that is between my time and the Day of Judgment is as little as this (and he put two of his fingers close together).
Remember the shame you will feel before Allah as “there will be people on the Day of Judgment whose flesh will fall off their faces out of shame when their sins are presented before Allah” as Imam Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said.
On that Day, an announcer will call us one by one: such person (your name), the son (or daughter) of such person (your parent’s name). Frightened and ashamed, that person will not be able to move but the Angels will know him from the state of terror that will show on him. Then the Angels will take him and place him before Allah who will address him as the Prophet (PBUH) told us in the Hadith, “My slave, have you become so arrogant as to disregard me? Did you not think that you will meet me today or did you forget that? My slave, were you not ashamed when I was looking at you while you were gazing at forbidden pleasures, while you were walking to forbidden places, and while you were touching forbidden things? My slave, did you take me so lightly? Have I been so unimportant to you? Did you keep your best attitude for the people and come to me only with the ugliness of your sins?”
How will you respond when Allah asks you, “My slave, did I not bestow the gift of marriage on you? Did I not give you wealth? My slave, read your book.” And you take your book and start reading: you get to a good deed and your face brightens up, then you get to a bad deed and your face blackens, and you continue like this.
Would you believe that some people will not feel ashamed even on the Day of Judgment? Such a person will say to Allah: “I do not accept the testimony of any other person or the Angels; I do not even accept the testimony of this book.” Then, Allah will say, “So, what do you want?” That person will reply: “I only accept my own testimony.” Allah will say, “Yes, your own testimony will be good enough”. Then, Allah will seal this person’s mouth and He will order his eyesight, hearing, hands and feet to testify, as mentioned in Surat Ya-Sin: “That Day shall We set a seal on their mouths. But their hands will speak to Us, and their feet bear witness, to all that they did.” (TMQ, 83:65).
The same meaning is repeated in Surat Fussilat, “On the Day that the enemies of Allah will be gathered together to the Fire, they will be marched in ranks. At length, when they reach the (Fire), their hearing, their sight, and their skins will bear witness against them, as to (all) their deeds. They will say to their skins: "Why bear ye witness against us?" They will say: "Allah hath given us speech, He Who gives speech to everything: He created you for the first time, and unto Him were ye to return.” (TMQ, 41:19-21).
Imagine your own hands testifying to what you did with them; imagine your feet testifying to where you walked; imagine your heart testifying to what you wished! Will you be ashamed then? Then imagine Allah, with all his anger, telling you, “Go away you evil slave; my curse is on you and nothing will be accepted from you.”
Have Haia’ from Allah before you hear these words when it will be too late.
Do you want to know how a good believer is treated on the Day of Judgment? The Prophet (PBUH) told us that Allah will command this person to come closer and closer to Him and He will cover him to conceal him from others and ask him, “Do you remember such and such sin? Do you remember such and such sin?” Until the person thinks that he is doomed but Allah, then says, “I did not disgrace or uncover you in the worldly life and today, I forgive you.”
Muslim scholars classified Haia’ from Allah into six types
1. Haia’ of the sinner: whoever commits a major sin, then feels ashamed as a result of this. Similar to Adam’s Haia’ when he ate of the forbidden tree and kept running in Paradise. Allah asked him, “Are you running away from me?” Adam replied, “No, Allah; I am running out of shame.” Did you ever experience this feeling after committing a major sin? Were you ever sleepless and kept running down the streets trying to find a poor person to give him the last couple of pounds in your pocket, hoping for Allah’s forgiveness? This is the sinner’s Haia’.
2. Haia’ of the person who feels that he is never doing enough: This feeling is experienced when someone realizes that, no matter how good his deeds are and no matter how steadfast he is on Allah’s path, he is still far from reaching the kind of worship that Allah deserves. This type of Haia’ is similar to that of the Angels; it continues even after hundreds of years of sincere worship to Allah. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The heavens became so heavy (i.e. full) and they have every right to be as such since there isn’t a single spot as small as a footstep except with an Angel prostrating, kneeling or standing in prayers to Allah. And when the Day of Judgment comes, they will get up and say, “Glory be To Allah, we have not worshiped you as we should have, befitting your Glory.”
3. Haia’ of the slave: you have to understand that you are a slave to Allah, and this compels you to completely submit to him and follow his commandments. This is similar to the type of Haia’ of the Prophet, PBUH. One example to illustrate this is when Allah ordered the Kiblah (where a Muslim directs his face for prayers) to be towards Bait AL-Maqdis (The Qubba Mosque in Jerusalem) while the Prophet (PBUH) wished for it to be towards Al-Haram Mosque (the Sacred Mosque in Makkah). Nevertheless, his Haia’ kept him from calling Allah to change the direction. Allah acknowledged this in the Qur’an in Surat Al-Baqara (The Cow): “We see the turning of thy face (for guidance to the heavens: now Shall We turn thee to a Kiblah that shall please thee. Turn then Thy face in the direction of the sacred Mosque:” (TMQ, 2:144)
4. Haia’ of the grateful to Allah’s blessings: Again, the Prophet (PBUH) was an example of this type of Haia’ as expressed clearly in the following Hadith as he supplicated to Allah saying: “I could never thank You or describe Your kindness enough; You are as You described Yourself”. This Haia’ emerges from gratefulness of all the blessings Allah has bestowed on us regardless of the fact that we could never thank Him enough.
5. Haia’ out of love: If you love Allah so deeply, you would experience this type of Haia’ towards Him. Your eyes will overflow with tears, your heart will shake and all your body members will surrender to Him. This feeling could never be described; only the person whose love of Allah is so strong would know what it feels like. One touching supplication that the Prophet (PBUH) used to say is: “ O, Allah, bestow on me the ability to love You, love anyone who loves You and love everything that pleases You.”
6. Haia’ out of acknowledgment of Allah’s Glory and Power (the Master of the Worlds): This is similar to the Haia’ of Jibril “Gabriel” (PBUH) when he accompanied the Prophet (PBUH) in the Journey of Al-Isra’ and Al-Mi’raj(18). When they reached the seventh sky and approached Sidrat Al-Muntaha (the Lote tree of the utmost boundary beyond which no creation may pass), Jibril stopped. The Prophet (PBUH) turned towards Jibril who seemed to him like a worn rag (like a worn garment, indicating shyness and complete submissiveness) out of Haia’ to Allah. Jibril could not step any closer and he acknowledged Allah’s Glory and Power.
Have you ever experienced any of these types of Haia’ that I just mentioned?
Muslim Scholars said: “Whoever shows Haia’ towards Allah rises to the level of “Awlia’ ” (righteous people whom Allah loves and protects).
I urge you to learn Haia’ towards Allah and observe the fact that He sees whatever you do and hears whatever you say.
(1) In the English language the word “Modesty” is used mostly to denote “freedom from conceit and arrogance” and in more limited usages it denotes “propriety in clothing, speech and conduct”. No other word in the English dictionaries or culture could come closer to the Arabic term “Haia’” because this particular word in Arabic has its own significant particularity that matches nothing in the English culture. This particularity is mostly connected to the Islamic culture because Islam has greatly manifested the value of such a trait in the manners of true Muslims. For that reason the translator has chosen to use the term “Islamic Modesty” to convey the closest meaning. This lesson delves deep into this particular trait and explains a lot about it, so the reader will get further ideas about true “Islamic Modesty”. The term Haia’ covers a large number of concepts which are to be taken together, amongst them are; self-respect, modesty, bashfulness, and scruple, etc.
(2) Sahih Muslim: Book 001, Number 0055
(3) Sahih Muslim: Book 001, Number 0056
(4) Al-Albany: 2636
(5) Sahih Muslim: Book 001, Number 0059
(6) Al-Albany: 495
(7) Ibn-Majah.
(8) Book 47, Number 47.2.9
(9) Sahih Bukhari: 3483
(10) Sahih Muslim: 4284
(11) Book 47, Number 47.2.10
(12) Sahih al-Masnad: 1636
(13) Al-Albany: 1712
(14) Sahih Muslim: Book 031, Number 5906
(15) TMQ=Translation of the Meaning of the Qur'an. This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah:Ayah) of the Qur'an. Reading the translated meaning of the Qur'an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.
(16) From “Madarij Al-Salikeen” by Ibn-Qayem Al-Gozyia
(17) Sahih Muslim: Book 037, Number 6644
(18) Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) night journey from the Sacred Mosque – Al-Haram Mosque in Makkah - to the Farthest Mosque – Al-Aqsa Mosque - in Jerusalem.




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