|Imam Zijad’s Corner: A Goodness Through and Through
Muhammad (S) said:“Modesty is a virtue through and through, or said: Modesty is a goodness complete.” Source: Muslim
Transliteration: “Al Hayau kulluhu khairun.”
Once the Prophet (S) passed by a man who was admonishing his brother regarding Haya and was saying, ‘You are too modest (bashful), and I am afraid that might harm you.’ On that, Allah’s Apostle said, ‘Leave him, for Haya is (a part) of Faith.’ [Bukhari]
This hadith tells us that there is nothing bad about modesty. Therefore, if something is purely good, then however much you have of it, it can only be good for you. This is something to especially remember in these times when ‘moral’ and ‘modest’ are portrayed as ‘backward,’ ‘oppressed’ and ‘under-confident.’
A person with Haya does not show off his mind, body, or anything else. Haya is translated as modesty but it includes all of the following meanings as well: self-respect, bashfulness, having scruples, having awareness of Allah. This word is a prime example of how much is lost in translation from Arabic to any other language.