Islamic Perspective on Modesty

“Indeed from the teachings of the first prophets which has reached you is, ‘If you do not have shyness, then do as you please.” (Al-Bukhari)

Modesty as a sense of shame or shyness in human beings is a shrinking of the soul from foul conduct, a quality that prevents one from behaving badly towards others or encouraging others to behave badly towards you.

The attribute that protects from the act that is disliked in the sight of Allah Almighty and His creation is called ‘modesty’. (Ba Haya Naujawan, pp. 7)

Islamic ethics considers modesty as more than just a question of how a person dresses and more than just modesty in front of people; rather it is reflected in a Muslim’s speech, dress, and conduct: in public in regard to people, and in private in regards to God. Any talk of modesty, therefore, must begin with the heart, not the hemline, as the Prophet of Mercy said, ‘Modesty is part of faith,’ and that part of faith must lie in the heart.

“Tell believing men to lower their glances and guard their private parts: that is purer for them. God is well aware of everything they do. Say to the believing men that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely, Allah is well aware of what they do.” This verse rebukes forced laws on women that claim “women must cover otherwise men are distracted”( The Quran 24:30-31)

The verse then mentions the people before whom one is exempted from veiling; the ones who cannot be called ‘strangers’. Also, the command is relaxed as one matures: an aged woman who has no hope of marriage can discard the overcoats that screen what they are wearing underneath.

An example of modesty is when you are a great violin player and you simply say “I enjoy playing” when someone asks you if you are any good or not. An example of modesty is when you wear a shirt over your bathing suit because you don’t want to show off too much of your body.

Take reservation in speech. As with everything in Islam, speech should be moderate. Raising one’s voice in venting anger simply shows one lacks the ability to contain it, and only damage will ensue from it. Uncontrolled anger, for example, can lead one to verbally abuse and physically assault another, both of which take off the veil of bashfulness one is endowed with, exposing the shameful ego within. The Prophet said:

“A strong person is not the person who throws his adversaries to the ground. A strong person is a person who contains himself when he is angry.” (Saheeh al-Bukhari)

A strong person who believes feels shy in front of God and His creation since God knows and sees everything. He feels shy to disobey his Lord and feels shame if he sins or acts inappropriately, whether in private or public. This type of modesty is acquired and is directly related to one’s faith, where one’s awareness of God increases one’s “shyness” in front of Him.

“I advise you to be shy toward God, the Exalted, in the same way that you are shy toward a pious man from your people.”

Concept of Haya:

The concept of Haya is considered a major Islamic virtue and an integral part of human character.

The Code of Satar:

Satar is an Arabic word. The word addresses the thing that is hidden or which shall necessarily be made hidden. Usually, the word is used to refer to those parts of the body that shall be covered up by Muslims.

The Etiquettes of Hijab:

Hijab is an Arabic word meaning barrier or partition.

The Prophet responded:

“God is more deserving than other people of shyness.” (Abu Dawood)

Early Muslims used to say, “Be shy toward God when you are in private in the same way you are shy in front of people when you are in public.” Another one of their sayings is, “Do not be a devoted slave of God in your public behavior while you are an enemy to Him in your private affairs.”

Modesty In Other religions:

Modesty, According to the biblical idea, modesty is an inner spiritual grace that recoils from anything unseemly and impure, is chaste in thought and conduct, and is free of crudeness and indecency in dress and behavior (Ephesians 4:25, 29, 31; 5:1–8; 1 Timothy 2:9, 10).

Books Recommendations:

1. Islamic Modesty

by Umm Assad Bint Jamil

2. Why Not Cover Your Modesty:

by Abdul Hameed Al Balali

3. Hands Off Our Hijab:

by Farhat Amin

4. Islamic Journal — Be You:

by Aimen Publishing

Final Thoughts:

Every religion has a morality, and the morality of Islam is Modesty! Modesty is undoubtedly the true essence of beauty in Islam. It is not a fashion trend or a fad, nor is it a burden or oppression, it is precious and truly priceless.

Hazrat Khadija continues to inspire people to this day who revere her for taking great care of the Prophetﷺ of Islam and for showing the world, through her behavior, what a pious, modest and courageous woman can accomplish.

May Allah bless you with happiness, success, guidance, health, and knowledge Ameen

Verily good deeds do away with evil deeds.

And that is a reminder for those who remember.

Be patient with yourself. And Keep learning!!

I will be calmer, I will spread love as long as I can, I will live a spiritual life, I will do what I please no matter what and I will prove my theories.

Always start your day by renewing your intention that everything you do for yourself and your community, whether it be your acts of worship or daily chores. It all has to be merely for the sake of Allah (SWT) and also, I ask Allah (SWT) to make my work dedicated only to him and forgiveness from Allah (SWT), if I have got anything wrong. It is He who is the Hearing, the knowing.

Finally, I pray to Allah to benefit those who read this article and others, grant me truthfulness in what I say and do, preserve my thoughts and my pen from deviation and guide me in all my affairs.

And all praise and thanks are due to Allah, without Whose help and guidance nothing can be accomplished.

Yeah, don’t forget to follow me for more amazing content. Happy Reading!!!

If you enjoyed reading, learned anything interesting, or know anyone who should read this, please feel free to recommend or write a response. I’m always excited to hear from others and learn.

You can read my most popular medium stories here.



Writer | network engineer | Traveler | Biker | Polyglot. I’m so deep even the ocean gets jealous

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Raja Muhammad Mustansar Javaid

Raja Muhammad Mustansar Javaid


Writer | network engineer | Traveler | Biker | Polyglot. I’m so deep even the ocean gets jealous