HAYA - SHYNESS Hina Anjum(Faculty of Social Sciences - Department of Media & Communication Studies)
HAYA - SHYNESSWhat is Haya?Haya itself is derived from the word hayat which means life. This term covers a wide number ofconcepts. In English, it may be translated as modesty, shyness, self-respect, bashfulness, shame,honor, humility, etc. The original meaning of Haya according to a believers nature, refers to abad and uneasy feeling accompanied by embarrassment, caused by ones fear of being exposed orcensured for some unworthy or indecent conduct. According to Islam, Haya is an attribute whichpushes the believer to avoid anything distasteful or abominable. It keeps him/her from beingneglectful in giving everyone what is due upon them, and if for any reason he/she is not able tokeep up with his/her commitment then they will feel extremely uncomfortable and ashamedabout that he/she has displeased Allah by breaking a commitment. The reality of „haya‟ is that itis that trait which motivates you to do what is good. That same trait discourages you from doinganything shameful. It is the one quality that makes Muslims stand out.The Relationship between Iman and Haya: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 isvery weak. For as it states in the following Hadith: Narrated by Abu Huraira (RA): The Prophet said, "Faith (Belief) consists of more than sixty branches (i.e. parts). And Haya is a part of faith." (Bukhari)
We also learn from the Prophet (SAW) the importance of having haya and how it is notsomething to be ashamed of, but instead, one should be concerned and ashamed if they do notpossess it within their character. Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar (RA): The Prophet (saws) passed by a man who was admonishing his brother regarding Haya and was saying, "You are very shy, and I am afraid that might harm you." On that, Allahs Apostle said, "Leave him, for Haya is (a part) of Faith." (Bukhari)Now the above Hadith is also a form of proof that "shyness" is not just something regardingwomen but also an attribute that believing men should have, for it is an indication if their fear ofAllah and an indication of the value of their religion.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)
Types of Haya:There are two types of Haya I terms of origin:- 1. Innate, natural haya‟ that we‟re all born with(from your fitrah) o This type of haya‟ comes from Allah Subhanahu wa ta`ala; you can see it in nature and in animals. An example would be if you say “bad dog!” the dog will whimper – this is a reflection of its natural haya‟ (shame). 2. Acquired haya‟ (from your belief system, environment, etc.) o This is your code of ethics, and comes primarily from your culture and environment. If a person cultivates it, it will make him the best person he could be. If a person‟s natural haya‟ is destroyed, then it will be difficult for them to get this type of haya‟.
Areas to exercise Haya:There are four areas in which we need to exercise haya: with Allah Subhanahu wa ta`ala with the Angels with People with Yourself 1. Haya with Allah: Yastakhfuna min an-nasi wa ma yastakhfuna min Allahi wa hu ma`ahum. The hypocrites are those that hide their sins with people but not in front of Allah. (4:108) This ayah, of course, applies to all those who are dishonest and hypocritical; they act one way in front of people and another way in front of Allah. May Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala protect us from hypocrisy. Ameen! ‘Alam ya’lam bi anna Allah yara. Does he not know that Allah sees? (96:14) Are we not aware that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala sees? Do we not realize how insignificant and weak we are in the sight of Allah? When a person loses their respect of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala and does not revere Him, they will do whatever they want. Inna Allah kana ‘alaykum raqiba. Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you. (4:1) Why can‟t we fear and respect Allah subahanhu wa ta`ala as much as we fear and respect the FBI? Do we not know that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala has placed angels recording who comes to jumu`ah? Or that the angels are writing everything we do? The Prophet (s) told the Sahaba: “Have haya‟ of Allah as you should.” They replied, “We do. We even made a nasheed about it.” The Prophet (s) said, “That is not true haya‟. Rather, true haya‟ is: Preserving your head and what it contains; o This includes your mind, your senses, your thoughts, emotions, and your heart. o “And follow not that of which you have no knowledge. Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned. (17:36) Preserving your belly and that which it carries;
o This includes what people consume of food, drink, money and that which is connected to it (lust, desires). o Be modest, moderate and balanced.Remembering death and what comes after it;Preparing for the Akhirah (Hereafter). o “Say, “I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.” (18:110) The best strategy, no matter how much you have sinned, is always to run back toAllah subhanahu wa ta`ala. When Adam and Hawa ate from the tree lost their privileges,Adam (as) knew he had sinned against Allah. Adam started running away and Allahasked him, “Adam are you running away from me?” No matter how ashamed you are ofAllah, you can‟t run or hide from Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala. The Prophet (saws) was asked about people being naked and the Prophet (saws)said avoid exposing yourselves in front each other. What about when you’re alone? Allah has a greater right for you to have haya’ in front of Him.When you get too comfortable with yourself you won‟t maintain your haya‟.Prophet (s) was advising the sahabah (his companions, may Allah be pleased with themall) to conserve water. One the sahabah asked the Prophet (s) about conserving water intimes of abundance. The Prophet (saws) said conserve even if you are at a flowing river.It is all about the attitude – be shy and cautious.Don‟t be undressed or in a compromised position longer than you need to!Abu Bakr (ra) would cover his face when would relieve himself because he wouldremember that Allah is watching.Uthman (ra) would never took a shower standing upright. o We get really comfortable, we admire ourselves, and we do crazy things in front of the mirror…some people even in front of their roommate!Some of the sahabah never looked at their own private parts out of haya‟.Fudayl ibn `iyath said, “I have met a generation of people too ashamed of Allah to sleepthe whole night.” We‟re talking about qiyam here. Try to do anything that will raise your haya‟. Hold yourself more accountable,raise your standards with Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala. Yahya ibn Mu`ath said, “Who ever obeys Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala out of haya’, Allah will have haya’ of punishing him on the Day of Judgment.”
Allah is so generous and so gracious, He will be too shy to punish or reject that individual too ashamed to do a sin EVEN if He will forgive you. And if you do it, your haya‟ will let you know that He will forgive you no matter the sin (except associating partners with Him – shirk). There are people that lose their haya‟ with Allah subahanhu wa ta`ala and Allah covers it up for them. When someone‟s haya‟ is TOTALLY lost, then they‟re willing to expose their own sins.2. Haya with Angles: The second type of haya‟ is that which is with the Angels. There are angels with us always, recording what we do. Wa inna ‘alaykum lahafithin, kiraman katibin. And indeed, [appointed] over you are keepers, Noble and recording. (Quran, 82: 10- 11) We are always “tapped” by the angels. Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private conversations? Yes, [We do], and Our messengers are with them recording. (Qur’an, 43:80) Be shy of the angels, never do things or be an environment that would hurt the angels or bother them. Angels are commanded by Allah to wait before they write down the evil things humans do, so that we are given a chance to repent. So keep in mind, even when you go to the restroom, the angels are with you. Avoid things like bad smells, or crass language, or sexually illicit activity.
Inna al-malaikata tata’atha min man yata’atha minha bani adam. The Prophet (s) said, “He who eats onion and garlic and leek, should not approach our mosque for the angels are harmed by the same things as the children of Adam.” (Muslim) Myths when dealing with the Angels and Shaytan: Angels do not wait outside when you go to the bathroom. Do not worry about leaving the Qur‟an open – if Shaytan reads it, that is good for him. Spaces between salah are not filled with Shaytan, but they can be used by Shaytan to sow seeds of discord or distrust. 3. Haya with People: There are three types of haya: i. Sincere Haya: Those who have haya‟ naturally, and have haya‟ in public as well as private; this is authentic, sincere haya‟. This is the best type of haya‟.ii. Haya Deficiency: Those who have selective haya‟ – haya‟ in public, with certain people, but they do not have this haya‟ in private.iii. No Haya: There are those who don‟t care and will act in any way in front of people – they do not have haya‟ at all. Your natural, instinctive haya‟ was killed. It is better to have haya‟ in front of certain people and work towards haya‟ with everyone, then to have no haya‟ at all. We need to adjust our level of haya‟ and recognize what is needed and what is not. The worse of people are those who broadcast their sins, who have no shame in front of people or in front of Allah. In Marriage Between a husband and a wife, there is little haya‟ because they know each other so well. But in private, you are supposed to still maintain a minimum level of haya‟. You also do not share your personal relationship with others. Gender Relations This is for people who are not married or related through blood; a level of haya‟ is meant to be exercised between them. Some of the gender relations you will never understand until you are married. There is a level of haya‟ that you won‟t be able to connect to until you are married or you grow more mature. Once you get married you will see the wisdom of Islam. There was a sister that said she didn‟t have a problem talking to guys, even married ones, and then she got married. One year after she got married she got bothered
with sisters that talked to her husband. She would see things that she would say or do being done with her husband and she couldn‟t believe it. Personal Beauty Haya‟ is also being content with who Allah made you AND how He made you. If you are beautiful, you should not be ashamed of your beauty but you should humble because it is a blessing from Allah. Sh. Faqih: “I personally think everyone is beautiful. Since the beginning of creation, there has been no one like you. Something that is unique must be beautiful.” When you look into the mirror, make the du‟a: Allahumma anta Hassanta khalqi fa-hassin khuluqi, waharrim wajhi ‘al-an-naar. Alhamdulilahil-lathi sawwa khalqi fa’adalah, wakarrama suurata wajhi fa’ahsanaha, waja’alna minal-Muslimeen. O Allah! You made my physical constitution good so make my disposition good too and keep my face safe from the hellfire. Praise be to Allah Who fashioned and made me proportionate, and honored my face and made me of the Muslims. [at-Tabarani] When anyone of us dies, we won’t refer to your body except as the body of so and so.4. Haya with Yourself: The fourth type of haya‟ is that which is with you. We need to adjust our level of haya‟ and recognize what is needed and what is not. When you get too comfortable with yourself you won‟t maintain your haya‟. Don‟t be undressed or in a compromised position longer than you need to! We get really comfortable, we admire ourselves, and we do crazy things in front of the mirror…some people even in front of their roommate! What is Not Haya’? There is a type of haya‟ that is not really haya‟ – is it negative, it comes from shyness. This haya‟ is the type of haya‟ that prevents you from doing what is right or from seeking knowledge. This can be cowardice, riyaa‟ (showing off), lack of confidence, ignorance or low self-esteem. When it is the truth, you should not shy from it, you should learn about it and share it. Inna Allaha la yastahyi min al-Haqq. “Allah does not have haya’ from the truth.” (33:53)
Exploiting Haya’Do not take advantage of another person‟s haya‟. Someone who has haya‟ will besensitive and considerate of others, and will be shy of making fun of others. An exampleof this is when you compliment something of another and they offer it to you out ofhaya‟, you should not take it. If you obtain something using the sword of haya‟, it isharam.Haya’ vs. Being Firm?Haya‟ does not mean weakness. The Prophet (s) was not weak, but he had haya‟. Anexample of this is the Battle of Uhud, where the majority of Companions wanted to dosomething, and the Prophet (s) disagreed but went with the shura (general consensus).Afterwards, some of the companions were worried that they pressured the Prophet (s),but he (s) said: Fa ‘itha ‘azmata fa tawakal ‘ala Allah. If you make a decision, have reliance and faith in Allah. The Prophet (s) taught the companions to be self-dependent and not rely on otherpeople. If someone would drop his siwak, or his horsewhip, they would get down and getit themselves.Conclusion:Today vulgarity and all its ingredients have become a common place even among well-known Muslims in the zeal of imitating the disbelievers. It is these people who have beenstruggling to bring Muslim women out of Hijab into immodesty and indecency. Theyhave adopted the lifestyles of the disbelievers more than the traditions of the Prophet(saws). Such people are in a dilemma. On the one hand, they desire to freely look at thehalf-clad bodies of their wives and daughters of other Muslims on the streets; and on theother hand, they do not have the courage to deny the teachings of the Holy Quran and theProphet (saws). Indulging in indecency for so long has killed the sense of modesty (haya)which Islam had commanded them to preserve.The Prophet (saws) said: "Haya and Trustworthiness will be the first to go from this world; therefore keep asking Allah for them." (Baihaqi)In conclusion, the Muslim community has implemented the modest attire for a Muslimahbut has bypassed the mannerisms to go with it, their speech vulgar and infused with foul
words and brimming with sexual innuendo. The social media generation has exploded,obliterating the ounce of decency left in the Muslim society, now shamelessness hasreached a all new height, in front of family members, who „like‟ such actions, and eventhe surprised gasp has disappeared.If the core of the subject is analyzed there is a deeper issue of lack of self worth, lack ofself respect to throw yourself into the path of a strange man and lure him into sinfulactivities, to make yourself look and feel better if another is enjoying the carnal nature ofyour beauty,So value your decency, your modesty, your manners, it‟s what beautifies a woman, it‟sone of the core necessities of a girl to make her a lady. Do not indulge in vain or immoraltalk, do not inject foul words to make yourself more acceptable to the modern society, ifthey do not appreciate your decency, then it is them at fault and you need to find newfriends who do appreciate the value of modesty, decency, and good manners. Changeyour friends, not your good habits, because bad friends, can become bad habits and canlead to destruction of the soul.Narrated on the authority of Anas bin Malik, the Prophet (saw) said: When lewdness is a part of anything, it becomes defective; and when haya is a part of anything it becomes beautiful. (Tirmidhi)