Haya (Modesty): Lets bring it back in our Lives

By Syed Viqaruddin, Word for Peace

Haya (Modesty) is an integral part of a peaceful and progressive society. For a civilized society, it is imperative to keep moral degradation in check, lest it walks backs, rather dart, to the Jahiliyaa days. Although, group of people form a society, but character of the society is define by individual actions of the people. Every act we do, personal or professional, has an effect on the society. Old and Young, Weak and Strong, Men and Women, You and Me, every one of us contributes to the society in our own ways, sometimes positive and beneficial, and sometimes deleterious and negative.

Modesty is the character of Islam. It is the building block of Islamic society. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) spent a great deal of his time in disciplining Sahabah (companions) and helped them become people of great personal characteristics with best of the manners. He (pbuh) perfected his companions to an extent that their every action reflected teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Every Sahabah is an exemplary character. It was the result of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) teachings that even on the deathbed they cared for others. When death came knocking, they did not fear it, rather they were worried and sad for not being able to quench thirst of others. Talking about the modesty, Usman (ra) the third Caliph of Islam, was so humble that even angels did Haya with him.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) knew as along as a person is modest and has Haya, he will not fall prey to Satan. Explaining the importance of modesty, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, Haya (Modesty) and Imaan (faith) are two that go together. If one is lifted, the other is also lifted. On another occasion, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) admonish people on the ill effects of moral degradation. He said, If you feel no shame, then do as you wish.

Satan has his own ways of tricking people into his trap. He never does a full on frontal attack on our Imaan. He first makes us vulnerable by robing us of our modesty, making us unmindful of our actions, so much that we cease to differentiate between Halaal (right), and Haraam (wrong). He first entices us to feast on things that Allah has forbidden looking at. Once we fall prey to his tricks, he arouses desires in our heart and then takes complete control of it.

Today, internet is one of the most potent weapons of Satan. With so much of access to technology, people, especially youth, are increasingly succumbing to dating, illicit relationship, and pornography. That is why may be the condition of Muslims is fast deteriorating from bad to worse to ugly.

Smartphones with high speed unlimited internet is slowly proving to be another tribulation plaguing us. Children as young as 10 years are now active on social media, wasting their time playing violent video games. One can imagine the effects of violence on such tender minds. Our teenagers and youth too do not lag behind, a big part of our youth are now porn addicts, so much that many parents are forced to send their children to rehabilitation centers.

People now are increasingly using social networking sites like Facebook to stay in contact, relatives and friends exchange messages and bond over it. What is however, a matter of concern is how people connect to each other in ways that are not sanction by Quran. Many strangers come in contact and develop illicit relationship. Millions of people now live dual lives Online and Offline. Once online, people don a new personality, shedding what they actually are, putting even chameleon to shame. They fail to realize that even if they are sitting comfortably ensconced in homes, away from the public view, they can never be far from Allahs eye. Allah is always aware of our doings. We are never alone. Every act, both good and bad, small and big, is duly recorded and brought forth on the day of judgement.

The same God that orders women to practice hijab also commands men to lower our gaze and preserve their chastity. Men are accountable if they do not refrain looking at forbidden things, both in private and public. Allah says in Quraan (24:30), Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is acquainted with what they do.

It is the responsibility of parents, teachers, clerics, and elders to impart children teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It is now even more important than ever to teach our new generation the importance of Haya. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, Every religion has a character and the character of Islam is Modesty. If we are to leave good manners, ethics, and modesty then a society devoid of any good awaits us in future.

The author of this article, Mr. Syed Viqaruddin is a Technical Writer and is currently working with Ministry ofHealth, Kuwait. He has contributed this article to wordforpeace.com

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