tree.h1The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: “… If you do not have shyness, then do as you please.” [al-Bukhari]

Abu Hatim:

"It only befits the wise one to have haya’ (shyness) because it is the foundation of intellect and the seed of goodness, and abandoning it is the foundation of ignorance and the seed of evil. Haya’ signifies intelligence just like the lack of it signifies ignorance."

Abu al-Ahwas narrates from ‘Abdillah that he said:

“The most painful (worst) trait in a believer is al-fahsh (shamelessness, obscenity etc).”

Abu Hatim: Al-Haya’ (shyness) is a name which gathers the meaning of ‘keeping away from disliked characteristics/mannerisms’. And haya’ is of two types:

• Haya’ which the servant has of Allah jalla wa ‘ala, concerning matters which He has cautioned against.

• Haya’ of the creation in not delving into matters which they dislike of speech and deeds.

Both types of haya’ are praiseworthy but one of them is fardh (compulsory) whilst the other is fadhl (virtuous). Adhering to haya’ by keeping away from what Allah has prohibited is fardh and adhering to haya’ by keeping away from what the people dislike is fadhl.

Muhammad ibn Khalaf al-Taymi said, ‘A man from Khuza’ah recited to me (the poem):

If you do not fear the outcome of nights

And you are not shy, then do as you please

By Allah, there is no good in life

And no good in the world if haya’ is absent

A person lives in goodness so long as he is bashful

For the ‘oud fragrance remains so long as its bark remains

Al-Zuhri narrates that Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (radhiallahu ‘anhu) said in his khutbah one day:

“O People! Be shy of Allah, for I swear by Allah, since I gave my pledge to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), I have not gone out to the bathroom except with my head lowered out of shyness to Allah.”

The poet said it best when he said:

Perhaps there’s some evil act

And nothing prevents me from it except my haya’

So it becomes a cure against it

But if there is no haya’, then there is no cure

Zayd ibn Thabit (radhiallahu `anhu):

“Whoever does not have haya’ (shyness) from the people, cannot have haya’ (shyness) from Allah.”

Abu Hatim:

"If a person’s haya’ is strengthened, his honour becomes fortified, his bad deeds become buried and his goodness becomes widespread. But when a person’s haya’ goes away, his very happiness goes away. And if his happiness leaves him, he becomes belittled in front of the people and is detested. And whoever is detested, is harmed (by people), and whoever is harmed becomes afflicted by sadness, and whoever is saddened, loses his mind and intellect, and whoever is afflicted in his mind and intellect, then most of what he says goes against him and is not for him. There is no therapy for the one without haya’ and there is no haya’ for the one who does not have wafa’ (fulfilment of word), and there is no wafa’ for the one who does not enjoin brotherhood (and keep friends). Whoever has little (or no) haya’, then he ends up doing whatever he wants and saying whatever he likes."