This indicates that all these women wanted to guard their modesty which is why they followed out the orders of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). Yet, another Aayah talk about the level of modesty in Aaishah:
Hadhrat Aaishah narrated: "I used to enter my house where Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) was and take off my garment, saying that only my husband and my father were there; but when Umar was buried along with them, I swear by Allah that I did not enter it without having my clothes wrapped round me owing to modesty regarding Umar.” (At-Tirmizi and Ahmed)
If women in today’s society choose not to wear the veils, but some belief in their hearts, than they might be categorized as Muslim women but not Mumineen. The truth is that Hayaa is a special characteristic of a Mumin (believing, practicing Muslims). People who are ignorant of the teachings of the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) do not concern themselves with Hayaa and Honor. Hayaa and Imaan are interdependent; therefore either they both exist together or they both perish. Thus, the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) has said in one Hadith: "When there is no Hayaa left, then do as you please.”
Today vulgarity and all its ingredients have become a common place even among well-known Muslims in the zeal of imitating the disbelievers. It is these people who have been struggling to bring Muslim women out of Hijaab and pushing them into immodesty and indecency. They have adopted the lifestyles of the disbelievers more than the traditions of the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam). Such people are in a dilemma. On the one hand, they desire to freely look at the half-clad bodies of their wives and daughters of other Muslims on the streets; and on the other hand, they do not have the courage to deny the teachings of the Holy Quraan and the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam). Neither can they say they have given up Islam, nor can they bear to see Muslim women wear Hijaab and showing some Hayaa. Actually the fact is, indulging in indecency for so long has killed the sense of modesty (Hayaa) which Islam had commanded them to preserve. It is this natural desire of maintaining one’s honor which compels men to protect the respect and honor of their women. What these men and women do not understand is that if the women do not observe Hijaab and do not develop Hayaa inside of them, they will be entertaining those who have taken the path of Shaitaan. Such as the following Hadeeth:
It is reported that the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: "Allah will not accept any good deeds or worship of an immodest and vulgar person.”
We asked: "Who is a vulgar and immodest person?”
He replied: "A man whose wife entertains Ghair-mahram men.”
Now the word "entertains” implies that she is showing off her beauty instead of keeping herself covered up. If the Muslim brothers of today’s society knew the benefits of Hayaa and Hijaab they would definitely not tolerate the opposite. At the time of our beloved Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) the husbands could not even imagine their wives leaving the houses un-veiled let alone go out and beautify themselves for other men to get "free looks”. The following Hadeeth shows this fact clearly:
Hadhrat Mughirah narrated that Hadhrat Sa’ad bin ‘Ubaadah said: "I will not hesitate killing my wife with a sword if I see her with another man”.
This news reached Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) who then said: "You people are astonished at Sa’ad’s Ghairah (Self-respect, Honor). By Allah! I have more Ghairah than he, and Allah has more Ghairah than me, and because of Allah’s Ghairah, He has made unlawful shameful deeds and sins done in open and in secret. And there is none who likes that the people should repent to Him and beg His pardon than Allah, and for this reason He sent the warners and the givers of good news. And there is none who likes to be praised more than Allah does, and for this reason, Allah promised to grant Jannah (Paradise) (to the doers of good).”
The Prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: "No person has more Ghairah than Allah.” (Bukhari)
So this should be enough to understand why Hijaab is so important for women to establish Hayaa in themselves and live the lives of true Mumineen. Sometimes the situation becomes such that people will have done wrong / sins for such a long period of time that they will not be able to differentiate between right and wrong. Another way to put this is that, a person’s exceeding indulgence in indecency results in the loss of wisdom and the ability to see good deeds from bad deeds. As the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: "I have a sense of Honor (a part of Hayaa). Only a person with a darkened heart is deprived of Honor.”
So one wonders…..what if this observing of Hijaab and maintaining Hayaa is so important then why is it we have nothing to show us the merits? Well the answer to that question clearly lies in the Quraan and Ahaadeeth. There are many merits of Hayaa if one wants to know. Here are some just to list a few.
Firstly, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) loves Hayaa. We know this by the following Hadeeth: "Surely Allah (is One who) has Hayaa and is the Protector. He loves Hayaa and people who cover each other’s’ faults.” (Bukhari)
Secondly, Hayaa itself is a Greatness of Islam as our Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) indicated: "Every way of life has an innate character. The character of Islam is Hayaa.”
Or it was told: "Every Deen has an innate character. The character of Islam is Hayaa (Modesty).” (Abu Daawood)
Thirdly, Hayaa only brings good and nothing else. Our Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: "Hayaa does not bring anything except good.” (Bukhari)
Fourthly, Hayaa is a very clear indication of our Imaan. As the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) had mentioned to the Ansar who was condemning is brother about being shy: "Leave him, for Hayaa is (a part) of Imaan (Faith).” (Bukhari)
Fifthly, last but not least, Hayaa leads us to Jannah. As the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) told us: "Hayaa comes from Imaan; Imaan leads to Jannah. Obscenity comes from antipathy; and antipathy leads to the fire.” (Bukhari)
As discussed earlier, the actual word Hayaa is derived from Hayaat which means life. It is only obvious that when someone has Hayaa in them, they will live a life of Islam. On the other hand if they do not have Hayaa they are living a life that is dead "Islamically” but alive according to this Dunyaa.
The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: "Hayaa and Trustworthiness will be the first to go from this world; therefore keep asking Allah for them.” (Baihaqi)
In conclusion we must understand that Hayaa is important for both men and women. Men are to control themselves by getting married as young as possible or if they cannot afford that, they should observe Sawm (Fasting). Women are told to conceal themselves so that the men will not be over taken by the whispers of Shaitaan and will not disrespect or take advantage of the women. There are many Aayaat in the Quraan that have clearly explained how we have to behave and Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is All-Knowing therefore He knew that we would face these problems living in this society, and that is no excuse to change Islam and only practice what we feel is right. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) has told men how to guide their modesty and has told women how to guide their modesty. If either one of them refuse to follow the commandment of their Lord, may Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) have mercy on them and may He guide them to the straight path.
قُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ[النور: 30] وَقُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ [النور: 31]
“Tell the believing men that they must lower their gazes and guard their private parts; it is more decent for them. Surely Allah is All-Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women that they must lower their gazes and guard their private parts, and must not expose their adornment……….” (Al-Noor 24:30-31)