Shyness in Piety


عَنْ أَبِي السَّوَّارِ الْعَدَوِيِّ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ عِمْرَانَ بْنَ حُصَيْنٍ، قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ الْحَيَاءُ لاَ يَأْتِي إِلاَّ بِخَيْرٍ ‏”‌‏.‏ فَقَالَ بُشَيْرُ بْنُ كَعْبٍ مَكْتُوبٌ فِي الْحِكْمَةِ إِنَّ مِنَ الْحَيَاءِ وَقَارًا، وَإِنَّ مِنَ الْحَيَاءِ سَكِينَةً‏.‏ فَقَالَ لَهُ عِمْرَانُ أُحَدِّثُكَ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَتُحَدِّثُنِي عَنْ صَحِيفَتِكَ‏.‏

Narrated Abu As-Sawar Al-Adawi from Imran bin Husain who said:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Haya’ (shyness from committing religious indiscretions) does not bring anything except good.” Thereupon Bashir bin Kab said, “It is written in the scrolls of wisdom that haya’ leads to solemnity and haya’ leads to tranquility (peace of mind).” `Imran said to him, “I am narrating to you the saying of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and you are speaking about your scrolls?”

Narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari 6117
Grade: Sahih (authentic)
Translation adapted from

1. Haya’ (shyness in piety) leads to only good. It encourages one to adorn oneself with noble characteristics and shed disliked ones.

2. Shyness that is encouraged in Islam is that which is due to Allah and averts a person from committing odious, bad deeds.

3. However, shyness that should be avoided is that which is due to low self-esteem, to the point that it deters a person from doing good deeds. This includes

a) being embarrassed to frequent the mosque out of deeming oneself unworthy,
b) feeling embarrassed to correct oneself and learn new knowledge lest others view one as ignorant, and
c) feeling embarrassed to pray when riding public transportation.

Let us practice haya’, of which nothing comes but good!


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Author: Aarif Billah

Those who matters would know, and those doesn't know won't matter

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