Who is Allah: Al Hayyee, The Shy One

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Al-Hayyee – The Shy One.

He who loves and inspires modesty and shyness in His slaves and who Himself possesses the perfect modesty, so much so that He swt feels shy to leave those who ask Him empty-handed and doesn’t like to expose the misdeeds of His Slaves.

Hayyee comes from the root haa- yaa- yaa. Linguistically, Haya refers to the attribute of modesty, shyness and humility. The word Haya is used when speaking about the creation, it means to refrain from that which is bad and shameful. The Prophet SAW told us that every religion has its own distinguishing characteristic, and the character of Islam is Haya. [Abu Dawood] Haya is the intrinsic mechanism which prevents us from doing that which is displeasing to Allah SWT.

Shyness and modesty can be perceived as weakness or lack of confidence but in reality, these are among the most beloved characteristics by Allah. Having a deep sense of Haya is a true blessing. The Prophet SAW said, “Surely Allah (is One who) has Haya and is the Protector. He loves Haya and people who cover each other’s’ faults.” [Al-Bukhaari].

So how can we live by this name?
Realise that Haya is not something to be ashamed of and rather it beautifies. The Prophet SAW said, “when lewdness is a part of anything, it becomes defective; and when Haya is a part of anything it becomes beautiful.” [At-Tirmidhi] Therefore, reflect on the way that we talk, the way that we carry ourselves, the way that we interact with people, the jokes that we make – implement Haya within these acts and recognise that everything that we do we will be accountable for.

Moreover, don’t be ashamed to tell the truth, stand up for that which Allah SWT has ordained and forbid the evil. Do not let shyness of people stand in the way of the orders of Al-Hayyee. Allah is the Shy One but ‘Allah is not Shy of the truth’ (Al Ahzab 33:53).
In doing so, strive for Haya with Allah swt. Strengthen your connection for indeed the greatest modesty you must have is with Allah swt. It is He who showers His blessings upon us, but we often use these very blessings to sin, even though modesty is the thing we need most! Know that Allah is Al-Hayy (the Ever-Living) and that every thought and act is witnessed by Him. Allah says, “- and whatever deed you (mankind) may be doing (good or evil), We are Witness thereof, when you are doing it -” (Yunus, 10:61) Let this motivate you to increase in Haya!

Lastly, raise your hands and ask Al-Hayyee. The Prophet saw said, “Your Lord is modest and generous and would never turn the hands of someone without gain when he raises them to Him [in supplication].” [At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood] This is Al- Hayyee – the One with perfect modesty, a divine attribute befitting none but Him and suits His majesty and greatness to the exclusion of all creation. This modesty is in no way similar to modesty displayed by any of His creatures, for it denotes His all-encompassing mercy, perfect grace and kindness, and great forgiveness and forbearance.

Ya Allah, Al-Hayyee, we know that You are the One who is shy and who possesses perfect modesty. Beautify us with a strong sense of Haya and guide us in being modest towards the creation and in our relationship with You. Assist us to never being embarrassed in standing up for Your Deen and make our sense of shame a way to enter Your Paradise, Allahumma Ameen♥️

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