New Islamic Directions

By Imam Zaid Shakir

Characterisics to be Adopted: Modesty, or Bashfulness

Posted in articles by Imam Zaid Shakir on 2009-08-31

A. Bashfulness or Modesty or Shame (Haya’) Haya’ is a constrained feeling caused by the fear of something that would impugn one’s character, or leaving that thing fearing that involvement with it would lead to one’s condemnation.

A.1. Texts from The Qur’an and the Sunnah Concerning Bashfulness, Modesty or Shame

عن ابن مسعود رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم: “استحيوا من الله حق الحياء” قال قلنا “يا رسول الله نستحيي من الله حق الحياء و الحمد الله” قال “ليس ذاك و لكن الاستحياء من الله حق الحياء أن تحفظ الرأس و ما وعى و البطن و ما حوى ولتذكر الموت و البلى و من أراد الآخرة ترك زينة الدنيا فمن فعل ذلك فقد استحيا من الله حق الحياء”    رواه الترمذي

The Prophet, peace upon him, mentioned, “Be shy before Allah as is His full right.” We said, “O Messenger of Allah! We are shy before Him, and all praise is for Allah.” He said, “That is not what I mean. Rather, to be shy before Allah as is His full right is that you guard your head and everything associated with it [ears, eyes, etc.]; and that you guard your stomach and what it consumes; and you should remember death and the time you will be decomposed. One who desires the hereafter leaves off chasing the adornment of the world. Whosoever does all of this has been shy before Allah as is His full right.” Tirmidhi #2458

A.2. Sayings of the Scholars in Bashfulness, Modesty or Shyness

قال عمر رضي الله عنه قال  من قل حياؤه قل ورعه  ومن قل ورعه مات قلبه
مكارم الأخلاق  لابن أبي الدنيا

‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, mentioned, “One who has little modesty will have little scrupulousness; [As for] one who has little scrupulousness, his heart will die.
Ibn Abi al-Dunya, Makarim al-Akhlaq


By Jason on September 6, 2009 at 2:41pm

Salaamalaikum Imam Zaid. With greatest of respect to you and to sheikh Hamza Yusuf. I have heard from a number of sources that Shiekh Hamza is a practicing Sufi. I know a little about Islam and I don't know anything about sufism or any other sect that is considered to be deviant. I have also been told that since Shiekh Hamza is a sufi and that your involved with him and teaching at the same Institute you might be a sufi too. Please do not make this comment public and please let me know via email and shed some light on this matter. Thank you and I look forward to your response. Salaamalaikum

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