Madrasah rounds… school rounds… cooking and cleaning… home chores… children’s homework…

With the constant and relentless demands of today’s fast-paced lifestyle, it is of little surprise that every person eagerly anticipates a brief period of rest in which he/she may simply ‘switch off’ by relaxing their mind and recharging their batteries. However, we must remember that not everything can simply be switched off…

Tired feet and tired arms may have a switch off, but there will never be a switch off for the heart, brain, lungs and other vital organs. These vital organs provide life support, and thus switching them off will result in the entire body shutting down and one’s life being lost.

In the very same way, when a person is on holiday, then though he may relax his body and mind, he cannot relax his Deen. His Deen and imaan are the life support system for his soul, and one of the most vital organs in this critical system is the vital ‘organ’ of hayaa.

It is no secret that in the holiday season, certain places are holiday hot-spots and become crowded with non-Muslims and people who are not committed to Deen. Beaches, shopping malls, holiday resorts and other similar places are filled to capacity, and the people filling these places have only one goal in mind – fun and entertainment. Central to the non-Muslims’ concept of fun and entertainment is zina, music, alcohol, gambling, nudity, picture-making and other similar sins which constitute the very worst of evils.

If a Muslim possesses any sense of hayaa, then as soon as he comes close to this evil-infested environment, he will immediately begin to feel an acute sense of discomfort and unease. However, if a Muslim ignores this warning sounded by his hayaa and insists on entering this environment, then in a short while, his hayaa will be so overwhelmed that it will collapse.

With the life-support system of imaan compromised in this manner, he will soon find himself falling deeper and deeper into sins and evils. Thus, it is absolutely imperative that we avoid all such places – especially during the holiday season.

Sometimes, we become victim to the false notion that from time to time, we need to relax our hayaa a little. We feel that for us to maintain a high level of hayaa at all times, even during the holidays, is overdoing it. At times, it may be others who whisper these thoughts into our ears. However, a Muslim must understand that there is no such thing as ‘too much’ hayaa. Rather, the more hayaa a person has, the stronger his imaan will be and the closer he will become to Allah Ta‘ala.

On one occasion, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) passed by a person who was criticizing his brother for having too much of hayaa, and was advising him to lessen his level of hayaa a little. On hearing this, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) addressed him saying, “Leave him, as hayaa is part of imaan.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #24 and Mirqaat vol. 8, pg. 799)

In essence, we may rest our minds and relax our bodies, but we cannot put our imaan to rest and relax our hayaa. We may be on holiday, but our hayaa will never be on holiday.