Ataa’ ibn Abu Rabaah narrated that he said,

Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, said to me, “Shall I show you a woman from the people of Paradise?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “A black woman came to the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and said, ‘I get attacks of epilepsy and my body becomes uncovered; please supplicate to Allah for me.’’ The Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said (to her): “If you wish, be patient and you will have (i.e., enter) Paradise; and if you wish, I will supplicate to Allah to cure you.” She said, “I will remain patient,” and added, “But I become uncovered, so please supplicate to Allah for me that I may not become uncovered.” So, he supplicated to Allah for her. [Al-Bukhari]

Dear Muslim woman, you should reflect on this woman’s stance. She suffered from attacks of epilepsy and during these attacks her body unintentionally became uncovered. Thus, she was careful to be covered even though she was blameless. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {There is not upon the blind any guilt or upon the lame any guilt or upon the ill any guilt.} [Quran 48: 17]

This is instinctual natural bashfulness and also indicates that faith is something that can fill the heart. Reflect on the meaning of the Hadeeth in which the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Bashfulness and faith are inseparable; if one of them is missing, the other will be missing as well.” [Al-Haakim]

Chastity and bashfulness are the noblest, the most beautiful and the most sublime characteristics with which a righteous woman beautifies herself. Femininity is a composition of bashfulness and chastity. The Muslim woman is chaste and bashful, and these are her essential characteristics.

It was narrated in another Hadeeth that bashfulness is part of faith, and faith is the most important thing in the Muslim woman’s life. The Messenger of Allah, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Faith has over seventy or sixty branches, the best of which is the testimony that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and the humblest of which is the removal of what is harmful from the way; bashfulness is also a branch of faith.” [Muslim]

Why is bashfulness a branch of faith?

Bashfulness is a branch of faith because each branch advocates goodness and turns a person away from evil. Faith urges the believer to do acts of obedience and avoid acts of disobedience. Similarly, bashfulness prevents one from being negligent in thanking the Bestower for his favors or denying the rights of others. Bashfulness also prevents one from doing or saying immoral things to avoid dispraise and blame. Hence, bashfulness is good and brings only goodness. In a Hadeeth, the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Bashfulness brings only goodness.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] The wording of another narration reads: “Bashfulness is all good.” [Muslim]

It was narrated that once the Messenger of Allah, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, passed by a man who was admonishing his brother who seemed to have suffered harm due to his (excessive bashfulness), so the Messenger of Allah, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said to him: “Leave him for bashfulness is a part of faith.” [Saheeh (Authentic)]

One of the two women came to him walking with bashfulness:

The noble Quran refers to the characteristics of chastity and bashfulness in a real-life scenario when it describes one of the two women that Moosa (Moses), may Allah exalt his mention, met when he came to the well of Madyan and he watered their flocks for them. Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {Then one of the two women came to him walking with bashfulness.} [Quran 28: 25]

Commenting on the verse, some scholars said,

The invitation was delivered by “one of the two” who came “walking with bashfulness,” as a chaste, virtuous and pure woman should walk, displaying no adornment and attempting no temptation. She delivered the invitation in the briefest and clearest manner that the Quran expressed as: “Indeed, my father invites you that he may reward you for having given water to our sheep for us.” With bashfulness, she spoke clearly and precisely, without hesitation, and delivered her message in full. This is, again, a reflection of a pure and sound nature which the young woman displays as she feels bashful when meeting men and talking to them. Yet, her bashfulness does not overcome her, because she is confident of her chastity and uprightness. Rather, she talks clearly and as much as is required.

What bashfulness should not prevent one from:

Bashfulness should not prevent the Muslim woman from saying the truth, seeking knowledge, enjoining good or forbidding evil. Here are some examples:

* Bashfulness did not prevent Umm Sulaym Al-Ansaariyyah, may Allah be pleased with her, from saying, “O Messenger of Allah, Allah is not bashful of the truth. If a woman has a wet dream, is it essential for her to make Ghusl (ritual bathing)?” To which he replied: “Yes, if she sees a discharge.” [Al-Bukhari]

* Once ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, delivered a Khutbah (sermon) and objected to giving expensive dowries. Thereupon, a woman said, “What Allah gave us, will you prevent us from, O ‘Umar? Did not Allah The Almighty not say (what means): {But if you want to replace one wife with another and you have given one of them a great amount [in gifts], do not take [back] from it anything. Would you take it in injustice and manifest sin?} [Quran 4: 20]” Bashfulness did not prevent this woman from defending the rights of women. Likewise, bashfulness did not prevent ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, from apologizing and saying, “Everyone is more knowledgeable than ‘Umar. The woman is right and ‘Umar is mistaken.”


The Muslim woman’s role model in bashfulness is the Messenger of Allah, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Abu Sa‘eed Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that he said, “The Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was more bashful than a virgin in her room. If he saw a thing which he disliked, we would recognize that (feeling) in his face.” [Al-Bukhari]

To sum up:

When a wise person hears the word “woman”, he immediately thinks of the fine morals of bashfulness and chastity. The Muslim woman indeed enjoys bashfulness and chastity. The scholars of Sharee‘ah define bashfulness as a moral characteristic which urges avoiding evil matters and preventing negligence of the others’ rights. Bashfulness is also defined as forbidding the self from doing evil things (what displeases Allah The Almighty). Abu Al-Qaasim Al-Junayd said, “Bashfulness is the recognition of favors as well as of negligence and this creates a moderate position which is bashfulness.” In a Hadeeth, the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Allah is indeed Haleem (which implies tolerance and forbearance), Hayyiy (which implies bashfulness) and Sitteer (which implies concealing sins). He loves bashfulness and concealment.” [An-Nasaa’i]

This means that when there is bashfulness, there is covering and chastity. On the contrary, when one is not bashful of doing evil things, this leads to uncovering and scandal.

Just as the Muslim woman feels bashful of people, she also feels bashful of Allah The Almighty and therefore she shows neither negligence in obeying Him, nor in thanking Him for His countless favors. It was narrated on the authority of Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, once said to his companions, may Allah be pleased with them all: “Be truly bashful of Allah. The one who is truly bashful of Allah should preserve his head as well as what it contains (his hearing his sight and his words) and his abdomen and what it includes (i.e., should eat and drink only what is unlawful) and should constantly remember death and perishing.”

In another Hadeeth, the Messenger of Allah, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Allah is worthier that one is bashful of Him more than of the people.” [Abu Daawood and At-Tirmithi]

May Allah The Almighty grant the Muslim woman the success to be bashful in order to win His satisfaction and His Paradise.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here