Different societies, religions and groups of people have different features and qualities which are inherent to their culture and by which they are distinguished from others.

In the blessed hadeeth, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Indeed every religion has a distinguishing characteristic, and the distinguishing characteristic of Islam is hayaa (shame and modesty).” (Sunan Ibni Maajah #4181)

Hence, hayaa should be the hallmark and cornerstone in every aspect of a Muslim’s life, be it his/her life in or out of the home, and whether in seclusion or among other people.

Hayaa when Taking a Bath

In one hadeeth, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Indeed Allah is modest (i.e. He deals with His servants with the highest level of modesty and respect) and He is concealed (from the eyes of His servants). He likes (His servants to adopt) hayaa and concealment (when relieving themselves or bathing, etc). Hence, when any one of you performs ghusl (takes a bath), he should conceal his body.” (Sunan Abi Dawood #4012)

Such was the level of hayaa of Sayyiduna ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), who was known to be a personification of hayaa, that he would be in his home, and the door would be locked, yet he would not remove his clothing entirely at the time of bathing and would not stand up completely straight as well due to his modesty. (Musnad Ahmad #543)

If one is in an enclosed area (e.g. bathroom) and performs ghusl without the satr covered, it will be totally permissible. However, it is better for one to keep the satr area covered (e.g. through wearing a lower garment, etc.). This has also been mentioned regarding the manner in which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) used to perform ghusl. (Awajazul Masaalik vol. 3 pg. 227, Fat-hul Baari – Ibnu Rajab vol. 1 pg. 334(

Hayaa with the Spouse

Though the husband and wife enjoy an intimate relationship, they should ensure that they uphold some degree of hayaa as well. Even when they are in seclusion and privacy, they should conduct themselves with a degree of modesty.

In the blessed hadeeth, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has taught us that at the time when the husband and wife share the bed, they should conceal their bodies (e.g. beneath the sheet, duvet, etc.). Explaining the level of hayaa that the husband and wife should uphold, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “When any one of you comes close to his wife (for intimacy), then he should ensure that he covers himself (and his wife), and they should not be bare (without any covering), thereby resembling two wild asses (mating).” (Sunan Ibni Maajah #1921)

Another important aspect is that the time spent in intimacy between the husband and wife should not be discussed with others. It is extremely shameless and indecent and a severe sin for either spouse to speak to others about this.

In one narration, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Indeed the greatest (betrayal of a) trust and secret in the sight of Allah Ta‘ala on the Day of Qiyaamah is (the betrayal) of a man who is intimate with his wife, and she is intimate with him, and he thereafter reveals her secret.” (Saheeh Muslim #3543)

May Allah Ta‘ala bless us all with true hayaa, in every dimension of our lives, aameen.