A trademark quality of our religion, haya encapsulates the very spirit of Islam. It is a means for all human beings to become acquainted with themselves and their Lord, allowing them to join the highest ranks of humanity.
The Arabic term haya’, often translated simply as shyness, has a meaning that transcends modesty or shame; it is more than simply dignity or pride. It draws from the nectar of all these qualities, yet it is not blemished by even the slightest negative connotations that these terms may carry. Hayâ’ is pristine and pure, and as flawless as faith, for hayâ’ and faith go together. The Prophet (sa) said:
“Hayâ’ is from faith, and faith is in paradise.” (an authentic hadith recorded by Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Hibbân)
This in-depth study describes the various categories of hayâ’, provides examples of those who exemplified it, and warns of the consequences for those who reject it.