Every society has some cultural norms and values, due to which it remains intact and functions properly. These common set of principles are obligatory to act upon for everyone, and deviating from them results in severe consequences. Morals define a particular civilization, and one standard which is strictly followed in one social order may not be applied in another. Nevertheless, there are some merits that are considered as vital for the survival of any societal structure, which include justice, honesty, humbleness, truthfulness, and modesty etc. All the religions have had some common ideology circling around morality and uprightness. As Islam is a continuation of previous spiritual beliefs, so it also emphasizes on keeping humility in every matter.
Ibn Masood (R.A) narrates that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:
“Among that, which reached the people from the words of the earlier Prophet Hood: If you feel no shame, then, do whatever you wish.” [Bukhari]
The above mentioned Hadith directs us to acquire Haya` in our actions, an expression that is derived from Arabic word Hayat, meaning life. It is often restrained merely to shyness and bashfulness, which could also include negative aspects like timidity and cowardice; rather it has wider implications, e.g. being restrained, upright, virtuous, faithful and just etc. It is an indispensable part of one`s disposition which is why Hazrat Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) has regarded shameless person as free of obligations. Because if someone is not adhering to core doctrine of morality (which is taken as Haya` here), then it cannot fulfill its purpose of existence. Just like a car runs on gas, same way self consciousness is the catalyst of one`s character, which makes one to work for decency, and avoid what is detrimental.
MODESTY BEING PART OF FAITH:
The foremost meaning that could be inferred from Hadith under discussion is that the one with lack of belief is a person who would not undergo any kind of embarrassment while committing transgression from Islamic teachings. While those Muslims who know difference between right and wrong, would think hundreds of times before indulging in wrongdoings. Abu Hurrerah (R.A) describes Rasulullah (PBUH) saying as:
“Faith is some seventy odd parts and shame is one of the parts of faith.” [Muslim]
So, the completion of Islamic fervor requires a lot more than just having belief in Oneness of Allah SWT and Prophet Hood of Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam), and modesty is one of these essential constituents. Since, instructions of the Almighty are to be observed in every matter, so realization of ethical behavior in each issue of life automatically strengthens one`s faith.
SOURCE OF GAINING INCREASED RIGHTEOUSNESS:
Modesty has two parts: external and internal. The former deals with having decency in one`s dressing, speech and overall behavior, while the latter is purification of soul by being mindful of Allah all the times. Unfortunately, majority of us take it only as a symbol of shyness, (like Hijab for women), when actually it should be regular ingredient of everybody`s routine, so that it might lead to uprightness. Hazrat Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) has regarded modesty as:
“Haya does not bring anything except good.” [Bukhari]
So, it means that one can get amplified goodness in its routine through this act. When one fortifies its inner decorum of heart and soul, it also helps in achieving outer decency in its dealings. For example, once the believer understands that Allah SWT is aware of us all the time and we will have to respond to Him for every move we make in this world, he would not neglect any Islamic commandment. So the stronger this wisdom of haya becomes, the more it motivates one to make sure that the Almighty doesn’t see him doing anything forbidden.
A MESSAGE OF THREAT FOR THOSE DISOBEYING:
The phrase “then do whatever you wish” in Hadith under consideration relates to the notion that if someone has no sense of shyness while doing anything, and does not act upon defined rules, then there is a great misery for that person. Such acts would take it nowhere but towards failure. The same concept in elaborated in the Holy Quran as:
faith and modesty
“Indeed, those who inject deviation into Our verses are not concealed from Us. So, is he who is cast into the Fire better or he who comes secure on the Day of Resurrection? Do whatever you will; indeed, He is Seeing of what you do.” (Quran, 41: 40)
So, the Almighty Lord has indicated towards deviating from Islamic instructions as a means of entering hell on the Final Day, as the ones who do not feel any shame in diverging from their responsibilities will definitely be asked, and punished for their actions.
In short, modesty is the hub of a person`s personality, which starts from cleansing of internal thoughts and beliefs, being mindful of right and wrong, and eventually reflects in its behavior through execution of ideologies. Just like we do not speak anything ill in front of someone we adore, same way the love of Allah also calls for His obedience in all matters. And, since humility is a segment of conviction, so this act can eventually lead to implementation of one`s faith.