HAYÂ – حَيَا
Literally: Rain, abundant rain. The abundance of vegetation.
As an Islamic term: A feeling of shame, modesty, shyness or bashfulness. To feel ashamed of. To be modest or bashful. To abstain from sins due to shame from Allah. The feeling of hayâ is a great obstacle to committing sin. The source of hayâ is îmân. In the absence of this feeling, sins are committed freely and openly.
Below are some hadiths with regards to hayâ:
اَلْحَيَاءُ مِنَ الْاِيمَانِ وَالْاِيمَانُ فِى الْجَنَّةِ وَالْبَذَاءُ مِنَالْجَفَاءِ وَالْجَفَاءُ فِى النَّارِ
Abu Hurairah narrated that Rasûl of Allah (ﷺ) said:
"Hayâ is from îmân and îmân is in Jannah. Obscenity is from rudeness and rudeness is in the Fire."1
وفي رواية لمسلم "الحياءه خير كله" أوقال: "الحياء كله خير"
In a narration of Muslim: Rasûl of Allah (ﷺ) said, "All of hayâ is khayr."2
وعن عمران بن حصين، رضي الله عنهما، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: " الحياء لا يأتى إلا بخير"
'Imran bin Husain (ra) reported: Rasûl of Allah (ﷺ) said, " Hayâ does not bring anything except khayr."3
وعن ابن عمر رضي الله عنهما أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم مر على رجل من الأنصار وهو يعظ أخاه في الحياء، فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: "دعه فإن الحياء من الإيمان"
Ibn 'Umar (ra) reported: Rasûl of Allah (ﷺ) passed by a man of the Ansar who was admonishing his brother regarding hayâ. Rasûl of Allah (ﷺ) said, "Leave him alone, for hayâ is from îmân."4
اِسْتَحْيُوا مِنَ اللهِ حَقَّ الْحَيَاءِ قُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ اِنَّا نَسْتَحْيِى وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ
قَالَ لَيْسَ ذَالِكَ وَلَكِنَّ الْاِسْتِحْيَاءُ مِنَ اللهِ حَقَّ الْحَيَاءِ اَنْ تَحْفَظَ الرَّاْسَ وَ مَا
وَعَى وَالْبَطْنَ وَمَا حَوَى وَلْتَذْكُرِ الْمَوْتَى وَالْبِلَى وَمَنْ اَرَادَ الْاَخِرَةَ تَرَكَ
زِينَةَ الدُّنْيَا فَمَنْ فَعَلَ ذَلِكَ فَقَدْ اِسْتِحْيَا مِنَ اللهِ حَقَّ الْحَيَاءِ
'Abdullah bin Mas'ud narrated that Rasûl of Allah (ﷺ) said: " Have hayâ for Allah as is His due." [He said:] We said: "O Prophet of Allah! We have hayâ and Alhamdulillah." He said: "Not that, but having the hayâ for Allah which He is due is to protect the head and what it contains and to protect the insides and what it includes, and to remember death and the trial, and whoever intends the âkhirah, he leaves the adornments of the world. So whoever does that, then has indeed fulfilled hayâ, meaning the hayâ which Allah is due."5
"Even though there are great evils underlying some, it is necessary that they are not attacked. For there are such evils that as long as they remain beneath the veil of goodness and the veil is not torn and they are unheeded it remains circumscribed and confined and its owner works for ameliorating himself under the veil of shame and hayâ. But when the veil is torn, hayâ is thrown away; and if it is attacked the evil spreads vastly.” Münazarat (42)