Allah say in the Quran:
"Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty……." (Qur'an Nur, 30-31)
What is Haya? This term covers a wide number of concepts. In English, it may be translated as modesty, shyness, self-respect, bashfulness, shame, honour, humility, etc. Islamically Haya is an attribute which pushes the believer to avoid anything distasteful or offensive.
Modesty (haya) is an essential ingredient for being a true Mulsim.
Haya plays a huge role in the lives of Muslims because it is a very important part of our Iman (faith/belief). If we do not have any form of haya within us then it is most likely that our Iman is very weak. For as it states in the following hadith:
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:, "Faith (Belief) consists of more than sixty branches (i.e. parts). And Haya is a part of faith." (Bukhari)
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Every faith has an innate character. The character of Islam is modesty." (Hadith)
The Prophet(pbuh) also said: "Haya does not bring anything except good." (Bukhari, Muslim)
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Indeed haya (modesty) and Iman are Companions. When one of them is lifted, the other leaves as well." (Hadith-Baihaqi)
The Prophet(pbuh) also said: "Haya comes from Iman; Iman leads to Paradise. Obscenity comes from antipathy; and antipathy leads to the fire." (Bukhari)
The beloved Prophet (may Allah's blessing and peace be on him) said :"Haya" (modesty) and Iman (faith) are two (things) that go together. If one is lifted, the other is also lifted. [al-Hakim]
" deen has an innate character. The character of Islam is modesty." (Muwatta)
The reality of haya’ is that it is that trait which motivates you to do what is good. That same trait discourages you from doing anything shameful. It is the one quality that make Muslims stand out.
The Relationship Between Iman and Haya’
What does haya’ have to do with iman?
- Your conviction determines how you see things and how you react to things
- Whatever you have faith in will produce haya’ in relation to that thing
- The stronger your belief in Allah, you realize you’re always in the presence of Allah subhaanhu wa ta’ala. The connection is there and thus that triggers haya’
- The more haya’ you have and exercise the stronger your iman becomes
- Haya’ will encourage the things that strengthen your iman and discourage things that weaken your iman
- They increase each other all the way until you reach a level that Allah is pleased with you (i.e. no limit)
The Prophet (s) said, “Iman and Haya’ are like twins, they go hand in hand .” (Hakim)
Various types of haya’ that we should have:
- Innate, natural haya’ that we’re all born with(from your fitrah)
- Acquired haya’ (from your belief system, environment, etc.)
Areas to Excercise Haya’
There are three areas in which to exercise haya’:
- With Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala
- With people
- With yourself