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The definition of modesty

Question

What is the definition of haya/modesty?

 

Answer

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.