Episode 8: Shyness
Definition: It is a moral that motivates [a person] to abandon hideousness, and prevents [him] from negligence in [his] duty towards Allah or [his] duties towards [Allah's] servants(1).
The difference between shyness and shamefulness
Shyness is evidence of self purity and observance of Allah (glory be to Him), since it prevents a person from doing or saying hideousness, in order to avoid criticism and blame, and it does not prevent him from saying what is right, seeking knowledge and promoting virtue or preventing vise. As for shamefulness, it does prevent a person from promoting virtue, preventing vise or asking [questions pertaining] to knowledge [about Islam especially].
The place of shyness in the Sharia'
Shyness is part of faith. According to Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him), he said: The prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: (Faith exceeds seventy branches, the best of which is 'La ilaha illa Allah' [(There is no deity except Allah)], and the least of which is removing harm [away] from the path, and shyness is a branch of faith)(2), and the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: (Shyness is part of faith, and faith is in [(i.e. leads to)] Heaven, and foulness is part of estrangement and estrangement is in [(i.e. leads to)] hellfire)(3). Because of its great effect on a Muslim, since it draws him to every good [thing] and keeps him away from every evil [thing], the prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has informed in a hadeeth narrated by Imran ibn Husain: (That shyness is all good)(4), also in his hadeeth: (Shyness only brings good)(5).
The effect of shyness
Shyness draws [a person] to [perform] good [deeds] and deters [him] from [doing] evil and leads [him] away from it. It prevents a person from being negligent in thanking [Allah] the Almighty and Magnificent who bestows [good things], and from being negligent [in his duties] towards those who are entitled to it. It also prevents a person from doing or saying hideous things. It drives [a person] to be adorned with every graceful and pleasant trait. Whenever a person loses the moral of shyness he becomes a brazen libertine who openly commits hideous actions without any regard to anyone and without being heedful to what people say about him or what they mar him with(6).
1) See Madarij al-Salikeen by Ibn al-Gayyim 2/260.
2) Produced by: al-Bukhari and Muslim, and was recently produced.
3) Produced by al-Tirmithi #2010.
4) Produced by Muslim #61.
5) Produced by: al-Bukhari #6117 and Muslim #37.
6) See al-Akhlag al-Islamiah wa Ususuha 2/19.