Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Hadith #20 --------- (PartI)
The concept of Al-Haya' (modesty)



Abu Mas'ud 'Uqbah bin 'Amr al-Ansari al-Badri, radiyallahu 'anhu, reported that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, said:

"Among the things that people have found from the words of the previous prophets was: 'If you feel no shame, then do as you wish.'"

[Al-Bukhari]

* * * * *

Background

Haya' can be translated as: modesty, shame, shyness or bashfulness, as pointed by Ustaz Jamaludin Zarabozo.
The word haya' is derived from the word "al-hayah", which means life, as if the person who has no haya' (modesty) is like a dead person.

Islam encourages and treasures al-haya' or modesty. It is one of the most important characteristics that each and every Muslim should acquire and posses.

The following are some hadiths which emphasize this great quality:

"Haya' (modesty) and Iman (faith) are two that go together. If one is lifted, the other is also lifted."
[Recorded by al-Hakim]

"Al-Haya' is part of Iman."
"Haya' does not produce but goodness."
[Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Possible interpretations of the text

Due to the form of the text, it may be interpreted in many possible meaningful ways. Imam Ibnu Rajab pointed out two interpretations of the text according to early scholars:

First interpretation: If you have no modesty, then do whatever you wish and Allah will punish you for what you do.

This mode of expression is well known in the Arabic language, and it is used for threatening someone. This mode is used by the Qur'an in Surah Fussilat: ayat 40.

Second interpretation: If you are contemplating an act and it is an act such that there is no reason to be ashamed of doing it before Allah or the people, then you may do that act.

Modesty is used as a criterion over whether or not to do a certain act. The command here is in the form of displaying permission.

However, there is a valid third interpretation given by Ibnu al-Qayyam who is a scholar from the eighth Hijrah century. He is in the view that the command is not what is meant by this statement. Instead, it is a statement of fact. The meaning is: If a person does not have any modesty, then there is nothing to prevent him/her from doing anything.

Haya' is one of the most important factors that keeps a person from committing a sinful act. If a person has no haya', he/she will do almost anything.

(to be continued in part II)

Source : http://fortyhadith.iiu.edu.my/


3 Comments:

At 8:07 AM , Blogger asbah said...

GENDER RELATIONSHIP

Specific disciplines required
The gender relationship we are talking about here is the interaction between people of the opposite sex. This issue is very critical in our Muslim communities. Demographically speaking, Muslim communities can be divided into two main categories in terms of how male and female interact.
1- A liberal or free mix. You see this clearly in our marriage ceremonies, fund-raising dinner environments and other activities.
2- A conservative or total separation between the genders. Sometimes, the separation between the two is effected by curtain, sometimes by wall or something else.

Before discussing this sensitive issue, the following questions should be asked: Is there any need for the genders to interact? If the answer is no, why ? If on the other hand, the answer is positive then, the next logical question is who legitimizes such relationship and how should they interact ? Are there rules, regulations and disciplines that should be observed? Furthermore, should parameters be set for communication between the two?

Before answering those questions, I think the following remarks would be helpful.

• Out of His infinitive wisdom, Almighty Allah created a single male and female (Adam and Hawa’) and made them the first grandfather and grandmother for mankind in general. Unquestionably, from Adam and Hawwa’ mankind evolved into nations, clans, families, tribes and as a race. We read in Qur’an 49: 13 (O mankind, We created you from one man and one woman then divided you into nations and tribes so you may recognize one another).

• It’s out of His infinite wisdom that He created both male and female from the same soul and entity, being equal in responsibilities and different in shape physically and emotionally. Having prefaced the subject with the afore-mentioned remarks, let me state three facts that one should bear in mind when discussing the gender relationship from the Islamic point of view.

1-Allah knows His creatures more than they know themselves.
2-Allah loves His creatures more than they love themselves
3-The law of Allah (‘Shari‘a) is first and foremost for the benefit of mankind

Two basic Qur’anic verses underlining the relationship between the two opposite genders:
• 1- In chapter 9, verse 71, Allah says “The believing men and the believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong”
• 2- In chapter 24, verses 30-31, Allah says “Enjoin (O Muhammad (pbuh) the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their private parts——And enjoin the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts—”

The first verse in particular constitutes the legality of relationship between Muslim men and Muslim women. Both are mutually supposed to protect one another in all aspects of life just as both are equally responsible for DA”WA. Obviously, you cannot be protected by someone without having interaction with him/her in one way or the other. The second verse deals specifically with one of the most important disciplines required when talking with the opposite sex. That is, to lower your gaze, which means to restrain your eyes from looking and gazing at sensitive parts of the body.

Two key elements needed to be observed while male and female are interacting or talking to each other:

1-Haya’.
2-Specific Adab.

Haya’ is translated as modesty. However, the meaning of the word Haya’a has a deeper implication than that of modesty. It will be practically difficult if not impossible to define it in one term. However, we can describe the concept of haya as the behavior that Islam considers not only as being good but also as one representing part of true attitude of a Muslim. The opposite of haya’a is of course, what Islam regards as a shameful act.

Some hadith on Haya’

The prophet (pbuh) was quoted to have said: Fa-innal haya’ minal-iman. ( verily, haya is a part of belief) 2. al-haya laa ya’ti illa bi-khayr ( haya brings nothing save good) 3- Inna mimma ad—idah lam tastahi fasna’ ma shi’t. (surely, among that which has come from the previous teachings of the prophets is, “if you feel no shame doing whatever you desire”)

2-Specific Adab.

Here are some indispensable disciplines needed to be observed while interacting:

• 1- Avoid unnecessary talk, such as talking about sex, and romantic manner.
• While talking, make your voice as moderate as you possibly can. We read in Qur’an 33, verse 32 where Allah says: “ — do not talk in a soft voice lest, men of diseased heart should cherish false hopes from you, but speak in unaffectionate manner.”
• 2-No hand shaking and touching of the shoulders
• 3- Avoid being in the state of “khalwa” a place where male and female are alone and no one else can see them
• 4- Avoid being in a state of suspicion. For example, giving a ride to a female by herself or vice-versa.
• 5- Both should observe Islamic dress code. We are not talking about wearing “Jalbab and Jallabiyyah”.
• 6- Avoid putting on inciting fragrance

Source: http://www.reliefonline.org/mfs/NewsLetter2rdQuart2002.htm

 
At 5:21 PM , Blogger Wabuki said...

Can someone provide more clarification regarding the "do not speak in a soft voice lest...." part?

Jazakallahu khayran katheera

 
At 6:53 PM , Blogger Jawad said...

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