Home Family Matters Home Rules of a Muslim Home (#11) - Hayaa (Modesty)

Rules of a Muslim Home (#11) - Hayaa (Modesty)


Amongst the extremely important rules and etiquettes of a Muslim home is hayaa (modesty/shame).

Hayaa entails the shunning of indecent behaviour and adopting of bashfulness and shame. Allah Ta‘ala blesses a believer with this wonderful quality which prevents him from committing sins. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has said, “Every religion has a distinct quality and the distinct quality of Islam is modesty.” (Sunan Ibni Maajah #4182) This means that a Muslim will be clearly identified and recognised from the hayaa that he possesses.

Presently, living in a western society, we are beset by a host of social problems that are tearing apart the fabric of our society. The reason for most of these problems can be mainly traced down to one aspect – the loss of hayaa. In many cases it appears that hayaa has almost completely disintegrated. Thus the problems that have engulfed our society continue to escalate.

The first thing that must be done is to cut off the avenues that propagate and spread immorality. The following are some of the avenues in our society that have contributed significantly to the destruction of hayaa.

Newspapers: Many articles and pictures in the general newspapers would have been regarded as shameless and obscene even by most of the Western world a few decades ago. To view, read or even bring into the home such obscenity can only result in the destruction of hayaa in our homes. It will be a great favour to oneself and one’s family if the subscriptions to these immoral newspapers are cancelled. One will only miss the propaganda and obscenity in them. The correct news, however, will still reach one in any case.

If for any rare need the newspaper has to be brought into the home, censor it before it comes in. Rip off the filth and obscenity in it before it rips off the hayaa of your family.

Magazines: The same applies to magazines, novels and other such material. Under the pretext of recipes, patterns, fashion and other “skills”, a host of hayaa destroying pictures and articles are thrust onto the reader. These magazines, etc. should be forsaken entirely and replaced with good Islamic literature.

The Internet:  Unsupervised usage of the internet is disastrous. It has, in many cases, replaced the television, and perhaps contains much more harm than the television. At the press of a button a person is able to view the most indecent pictures in the solitude of his room. He is still able to maintain his outward show of piety and maintain his reputation yet destroy his hayaa completely from within.

The Cell Phone: The use of the cell phone, especially by the youth, has to be carefully controlled, if its use is at all necessary. The same filth and indecency found on the internet can be accessed very easily on the cell phone as well. This little weapon of Shaitaan has become the greatest destroyer of morality in present times. It has wrecked many a marriage and has involved a large part of the Ummah in the gravest of sins. It has brought back music not in our homes only but even into the house of Allah Ta‘ala, the musjid. Keeping a simple phone is ‘smarter’ than a smartphone.

Intermingling: As Muslims, we have to maintain the laws of hijaab even within our own homes. Those who live in the same homes together with brothers-in-law should take special care about maintaining their distance from them and observing the laws of hijaab. Being one’s brother-in-law or even one’s cousin, is not a license for being informal with them. The laws of hijaab apply to all non-mahrams. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has mentioned that the male relatives of the husband should be treated like death. (Saheeh Bukhaari #5232)

Keep in mind the following important points;

1. Remove all items of immodesty from the home such as the television, newspapers, magazines, adverts with pictures, etc. The head of the home should take full responsibility for this, otherwise he will also bear the sin of those who have committed zina of the eyes or any other evil due to these newspapers, magazines, etc.

2. Do not undress in front of children even little babies.

3. Women should not wear immoral clothing at home, such as tight garments, short skirts, open tops, clothing which are revealing or very thin, etc. Appearing in front of one’s children with such clothing is very immoral.

Insha-Allah, if we once again bring the teachings of the Quraan and hadeeth into our lives, we will be safe from the decay found in society such as illicit behaviour, infidelity, intimate contact between teenagers in and out of schools, youth and adults addicted to porn and immodest dressing of women in public.

May Allah Ta‘ala bless us all with this valuable quality of hayaa. Aameen.