In truth, modesty and faith are companions

In truth, modesty and faith are companions

Dear readers,

today’s topic is an important one, so get ready!

We will talk about and reflect on our behaviors and learn ways to improve ourselves in order to lead a better life.

More often than not, people see modesty as a symptom of inferiority or low self-esteem, but we all know that’s not true. Modesty is a great virtue that can shield us from evil and increases our faith in Allah. And even more so, people use this term with a negative connotation, but if we truly think and ponder on it, modesty is not a negative thing, rather it fills our lives with positivity. Let’s see how:

Abdullah Ibn Umar narrated that Prophet Muhammad* said:

“In truth, modesty complements faith. When it is lost, everything is lost.”

In Islam, modesty is placed high on a pedestal to guarantee success in this life and in the hereafter.

When we keep this in mind, we start to panic and get fixated on correcting our behavior, without deeply analyzing the reasons why we should adopt one behavior rather than another. Knowing the true reason why we should hold a certain behavior can help us internalize with certainty the notion that Allah has always the best of intentions for us.

When we rely on Allah and follow his commands, our faith automatically increases and we inter a state of serenity.

How much do we love ourselves? How much do we value ourselves? These are the questions that allow us to reflect upon and improve our behavior.

In the Qur’an, there are many verses where Allah commands both men and women to uphold modesty and maintain a good behavior.

The following is an example:

“And tell the believing men (that) they should lower their gaze and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is all acquainted with what they do. And say to the believing women (that) they should lower their gaze and guard their private parts, and not (to) display their adornment except that which is apparent (of it). And they should draw their veils over their bosoms, and not (to) display their adornment […]”(Surat Annûr 24: v .30-31)

This verse shows how men and women are equal in the eyes of the Creator. It also invites people to behave well when interacting with one another.

Modesty is like an alarm bell, a thrilling sensation that what we are about to do is wrong in the eyes of Allah, and inevitably damage ourselves.

Modesty is not to be confused with shame, because the latter is a weakness that puts us down when we are trying to stand up for an ideal; for example, whether to wear the hijab or not, whether to pray in front of non-Muslims or not, or it could even leads us to fear the negative judgment other people may have towards us.

In our current society, it’s often difficult to comprehend the true meaning of modesty, because people tend to automatically and instinctively associate it with the traditional patriarchal way of life, where women were submissive. But we all know that’s not the case, the more we fear Allah the more our faith and courage increase; on the other hand, the more we neglect ourselves, the higher the risk of distancing ourselves from Allah.

On this account, the Prophet* said:

Faith consists of more than sixty branches (i.e parts). And Haya (Modesty) is a part of faith.” [Bukhari]

(The Arabic term “Haya” covers a range of meanings such as self-respect, modesty, scruple, bashfulness)

Modesty can be understood as self-respect and it can help strengthen our faith. Most importantly modesty is seen as a form of protection that Allah bestowed upon men and women.

As human beings, we often lose precious time trying to convince ourselves of our strengths and our pseudo-immortality, and fail to see our weaknesses when staring death in the eye. But when we cultivate modesty, we instinctively resize our ego and become more conscious of our feebleness and inevitably realize the greatness of Allah.

Modesty is not a synonym of perfection, it’s rather the awareness of having committed a sin and seeking refuge in the endless mercy of Allah.

Modesty is unconditional love for Allah.

This triggers reminiscence of our childhood; when our moms used to warn us not to do a certain thing but of course we would end up doing it anyways, as if to challenge her. When we finally realized our mistake, we would ask her for forgiveness with the best “cute baby-face” we could put on. And (as only a mother knows how to do) she would hug and kiss us, bringing us back to cloud nine, from the epic fall we took. Once we understood our mistake, we would conceal ourselves in modesty and try not to repeat it again.

That is true modesty towards Allah.

Being afraid of Allah even in the smallest of actions and intentions. That’s the best way to insure Allah’s protection and achieve inner peace.

May Allah increase our faith and a modesty, and protect us from all evil. Amin!


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