What is the definition of haya/modesty?
The linguistic meaning of ‘Haya’ is ‘Restraining one’s self from something and abandoning it out of fear of rebuke’
‘Allamah Jurjani (rahimahullah) writes, ‘Modesty is of two types:
- Nafsani [i.e. Intrinsically/Naturally], Allah Ta’ala has created this natural shyness/modesty in humans like not exposing one’s private areas in public etc.
- Imani [i.e. The modesty that comes about due to Iman], Iman stops a person from carrying out sins due to the fear of Allah Ta’ala
(At Ta’rifat, pg. 83)
Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) writes, ‘Haya’ in Islam is a characteristic that enables one to abstain from undesirable acts and prevents a person from falling short in fulfilling the rights of others’
(Fathul Bari, Hadith: 9)
See Hadiths on modesty here.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar,
Modesty is a trait that is an exclusive, distinctive feature of humans.