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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.


Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar