Modesty Is from Faith

Abu Mas’ud ‘Uqbah bin ‘Amr al-Ansari al-Badri(ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah(sas) said:

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: ‘Among the early prophetic teachings that have reached people is this: if you do not feel shame, do what you wish.

The statement, “If you do not feel shame, do what you wish,” can be understood in several ways. The scholars give several explanations. It is interesting to consider that all of these meanings are true, and all of the meanings are possible simultaneously.

One way to understand it is as a threat. Do whatever you want, but be prepared to face the consequences. Those who do not have a sense of shame may as well do whatever they want, since that haya’ is an indispensable condition of good character and piety. It can also be understood as a statement of fact. People who lack haya’ will simply do as they please. They have no internal limitations or barriers to engaging in whatever they want. This problem can manifest on two levels: on an individual level where someone is openly indecent and sinful, and on a community level where society as a whole normalizes and embraces immorality.

May Allah (swa) be our guide!