Haya & other words…

This time on we take a closer look at some Islamic Terminologies which carry immense significance in maintaining a system of piety in the society.


Simply translated as Modesty or Shame, Haya has been referred to as one of the branches of faith by the Prophet(saw). At another moment he said:

“Modesty and belief are together. If one of them is removed, the other is removed.” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad]

As with all ideas, there exist antithesis to Haya too. Check them juxtaposed in these ahadith:

“Al-Haya is from faith, and faith is in Paradise. Obscenity is from rudeness, and rudeness is in the Fire.” [Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2009]
“Al-Fuhsh is not present in anything but it mars it, and Al-Haya is not present in anything but it beautifies it.” [Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1974]

One doesn’t necessarily have to imbibe obscenity. Even the absence of Haya is enough reason to be rebuked.

The Prophet said: “Among the early prophetic teachings that have reached people is this: if you do not feel shame, do what you wish!” [Bukhari 6120]
Compare this to the largely prevalent ‘My Body My Rules’ that is used to justify every kind of immodesty today!


A woman’s mahram is a person whom she is never permitted to marry. These are of 3 categories:
1. Mahrams by ties of blood
These are the ones mentioned in Soorat al-Noor (24:31)
The scholars include the following in this category:
i.The woman’s forefathers, no matter how far back the line of ascent goes.
ii.Her sons, which includes her children’s children, no matter how the line of descent goes.
iii.Her brothers, whether they are her brothers through both the mother and father, or through one of them.
iv.The children of her siblings, whether they are descended through the males or females.
v.Paternal uncles and maternal uncles.
2.Mahrams by radaa’ah (breastfeeding)
It also says in the Sunnah: “The same things are made haraam by radaa’ah as by ties of blood.” This means that the people who are mahram to a woman because of blood ties are also mahram because of radaa’ah. It is permissible for her mahrams by radaa’ah to see whatever of her body is permissible for her mahrams by blood ties to see.
3. Mahrams by marriage
A woman’s mahrams by marriage are those whom it is forever forbidden to marry “… and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons…” [TMQ 24:31].


Ghairah means protective justifiable jealousy of a spouse against the other, largely of man against his wife. The concept is not just limited to wife but extends to womenfolk of his family. One who has ghairah feels uncomfortable when someone engages with his wife in an inappropriate manner.
Saad bin Ubada, a companion of The Prophet, said, “If I saw a man with my wife, I would strike him (behead him) with the blade of my sword.”This news reached the Prophetsaw who then said:
“You people are astonished at Saad’s Ghairah. By Allah, I have more Ghairah than he, and Allah has more Ghairah than I, and because of Allah’s Ghairah, He has made unlawful shameful deeds and sins done in open and in secret…” [Bukhari 97/44]

Often considered in our ‘educated’ circles as a ‘patriarchal’ concept, this foremost sunnah of the Prophets and the Sahabah – is due for a revival.


A Dayooth is the man who permits women for whom he is responsible (mother, wife, sister etc.) to engage in illicit sexual relations, or to display their beauty to strange men, thereby stimulating their sexual desires. Characteristics of a Dayooth, according to scholars:
• He doesn’t have jealousy of his Mahrams. He would show off his wife, her beauty and style to non-mahrams.
• He doesn’t protect her from the eyes of non-mahrams.
• He accepts that his wife go out with him wearing perfume, putting make-up, wearing attractive clothes.
• He is pleased by the admiring glances from strange men toward his wife.
• He would let his sister/daughter go out with tight clothes, without her Hijab.
• He doesn’t care that his sister/daughter has a boyfriend or wife is having an affair.
The Prophet said: “The woman is object of concealment, when she leaves the house, Shaytaan beautifies her.”
At a time when public display of physical beauty is the new cool and not doing it renders you ‘backward’, it’s important for men to make sure they are not entering the category of a dayyuth.
Note to sisters: Do not be contempt with Dayooth amongst your mahrams! The Prophetsaw said:
“Three people will not enter paradise, and Allaah will not look to them on the Day of Judgement: the one who is disobedient to his parents, the woman who imitates men and the ad-Dayooth.” [Ahmad]


Tabarruj is to display ones adornment in a way which draws attention. Allah commands muslim women to not wear or do anything (besides the physical hijab) that draws attention of people not wanted to be attracted to (na-mahram).

What ‘draws attention’ can be and is played upon by ‘enlightened’ scholars.

But it can be known by the circumstances and reality of the milieu in which the woman lives, and knowing that generally is not a problem. It usually includes provocative body movements, voice tone, fragnance and the colour and design of the hijab itself.
The narrations pertaining to Tabarruj are very severe and require introspection. The Prophetsaw has called mutabarrija (adjective) as the most evil of women, cursed, those who would not even perceive the smell of Jannah, those who have broken the shield between them and Allah.


Ikhtilat refers to intermingling of the sexes. The meeting together, mixing, and intermingling of men and women in one place, the crowding of them together, and the revealing and exposure of women to men are prohibited by the Law of Islam (Shari’ah). These acts are prohibited because they are among the causes for fitnah (temptation or trial which implies evil consequences), the arousing of desires, and the committing of indecency and wrongdoing.

The Prophet(saw) enforced separation of men and women even at Allah’s most revered and preferred place, the mosque. The importance of preventing any such intermixing at other places can be easily comprehended.

“There is no doubt that enabling women to mix freely (ikhtilat) with men is the root of every calamity and evil. It is one of the biggest reasons for general punishment (from Allah) to befall (a society). It is also one of the reasons of corruption of general and specific matters. Free-mixing between men and women is also the reason for increase in immorality and illegal sexual intercourse (zina).” – Imam Ibn Qayyim.

In the lifetime of the Prophet, men and women did actually mix sometimes. (Muslim) Feminists use these incidents to justify their own agendas. Of course, this was if/when there was a purpose. Not for ‘socialising’ or ‘hanging out’!

Aa’ishah(ra) for instance, taught Sahabah from the males about jurisprudential matters. Muslim women treated Mujaahideen injured from fighting in the Jihaad. And then their were Mujaahidaat themselves: women who fought in the Jihad.


Khulwa simply means seclusion. Islam does not allow non-mahrams of opposite sex meet in seclusion. Meeting of opposite sexes in Khulwah, where any other person is not expected, can be a conducive condition to Zina. The Prophetsaw once said:
“A (non-Mahram) man shall never keep alone with a woman except that the third between them is the devil.” [Tirmidhi]
Interestingly, men and women today don’t need to meet physically. There’s always chatting, calls and video calls which are quite ‘private’. Scholars consider this e-khulwa in the same ruling as physical khulwa.


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