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Al-Hayiyy (The Modest)

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) saw a man taking a bath in the open area without a waist-wrapper. Disapproving of this act, he ascended the pulpit and, after praising Allah, said: “Verily Allah is Modest and Concealing, and He loves modesty and concealment. So, when any of you bathes, let him cover himself.” [Narrated by Abu Dāwūd; Sahīh (authentic)]

Our Lord is the Modest. He possesses complete modesty that befits His perfection, majesty, and exaltedness. This is not like the modesty of people, which denotes weakness.

The modesty of the Almighty Lord is of a different kind that can not be grasped by our minds. It is modesty that is based on generosity, kindness, and majesty.

Out of Allah’s majesty, His modesty is to refrain from such things that do not befit His vast mercy, complete bounty, and great pardon and forbearance. For example, He is so Modest that He does not turn down a servant who raises his hands to Him in supplication.

The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Verily, Allah is Modest, Generous. He is too Modest to turn down His servant empty-handed when he raises his hands (in supplication) to Him.” [Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi; Sahīh (authentic)]

Out of Allah’s majesty, despite His complete self-sufficiency and ability, He is too Modest to expose His servants and cause their concealment to unravel.

Allah is the Modest and He does not expose His servants when they engage in sins.

Rather, He conceals their faults for He is the Concealing and the Forgiver.

Out of His Justice, Allah Almighty is not shy about the truth. In the Qur’an, He says: {...But Allah is not shy of [telling] the truth...} [Surat al-Ahzāb: 53] The more a believer heeds Allah Almighty, the greater his sense of modesty will be.

A fact:

The greater a person’s faith is, the greater his modesty will be. Hence, the prophets were the most modest among people. Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) was described as “more modest than a virgin in her private place”.

Modesty is part of faith. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Faith has over seventy branches, and modesty is a branch of faith.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhāri and Muslim]

The greatest and dearest modesty is modesty towards Allah Almighty.

When the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said to his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them): “Show proper modesty towards Allah,” they said: “O Messenger of Allah, we indeed show modesty, praise be to Allah.”

Thereupon, he said: “That is not what I mean; but he who shows proper modesty towards Allah should guard the head and what it retains, guard the belly and what it contains, and remember death and decay; and he who desires the Hereafter should abandon the adornment of this world. Whoever does that has shown proper modesty towards Allah.” [Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi; Hasan (sound)]

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “If a person feels modest and shy upon committing a sin, Allah will be too Modest to punish him on the Day of Judgment; and if a person does not feel shy to commit a sin, Allah will not be too Modest to punish him.”

How beautiful modesty is!

Modesty brings nothing but goodness. One day the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) passed by someone who was censuring another on account of his modesty and he seemed to say that modesty did harm to him. Thereupon, the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said to him: “Leave him, for indeed modesty is part of faith.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhāri and Muslim]

Modesty is a sign of chivalry, magnanimity, and good manners.

A modest person has a sense of the greatness and magnificence of Allah Almighty and he always heeds Him.

One of the righteous predecessors once said: “I knew that Allah is Watchful over me so I felt shy to let Him see me committing a sin.”

If you privately engage in a suspicious matter in darkness, and your self prods you into sinning,

be modest towards Allah and tell it: He Who has created the darkness sees me.

‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “If a person’s modesty decreases, his piety decreases; and he whose piety decreases, his heart dies.”

Ibn Daqīq al-‘Īd (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “Modesty continues to be praiseworthy, commendable, and required. It was not abrogated in the laws brought by the previous prophets.”

A last word..

Describing the women of Paradise, Allah Almighty says: {In them there will be maidens of restrained gaze...} [Surat ar-Rahmān: 56] In other words, they only look at their husbands. Then, He describes their charm and beauty saying: {As if they were rubies and pearls.} [Surat ar-Rahmān: 58] He mentions their chastity and modesty ahead of beauty and charm, since the beauty of a woman has no value without her chastity and modesty.

It is said that one of the punishments for sins is being deprived of modesty and brightness of face. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Indeed, some of what people learned from the words of the early prophets: If you feel no shame, then do whatever you wish.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhāri]

If you do not fear the future consequences for your actions or have a sense of modesty, then do whatever you want.

Indeed, a person is good as long as he adheres to modesty.

Remember that the most hated person in the sight of Allah is the one who passes the night in sins while Allah conceals him and then in the morning, he removes the cover put over him by Allah.

O Allah, endow us with modesty and help us be fearful of You in public and in secret.