Gender Series #6 – Heritage, Identity, Modesty

Muhammad West

Channel: Muhammad West

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25 Sep 2020

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Why hello James Miller Amanda Rahim al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa Salatu was Salam ala Shara mousseline syedna Mohammed in water only was off the edge Marian and beloved brothers and sisters and so they want a Kumara De La Habra Gatto Alhamdulillah Ramadan I mean always and forever We'll begin with the praise of Allah insha Allah Allah hi lolly be witnessed again as the right of worship besides the last panel data. And we see now greetings and love to our beloved Nabi Muhammad Sallallahu Sallam who is pious and pure family to his companions, and all those who follow Him until the end of time. Last Panthera bliss has to be amongst them. Meanwhile, hamdulillah Al Hamdulillah

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is the 25th of September and yesterday we enjoyed our public holiday in South Africa Heritage Day or bridey. For those of us who barbecue a few not in South Africa, and that was pantalla Bless you. I'm sure many of you are on leave, you took the Friday off and you have a nice long weekend mela keep you safe, and I hope you enjoy the day. Today inshallah, we want to continue and join our discussion. So we talking about heritage, identity and modesty today. Insha Allah, so we we have a series on gender. And last week in particular, we're very excited discussion, if you will, on intimacy, on six, on sexualization, all those things sexuality, we spoke about it last week, and we

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sit on the other side of it is modesty, that Islam is very open when it comes to the discussion of intimacy. But at the same time, on the other side of it, there is this concept of modesty. And when we look at Heritage, we talked about our identity, what are the values? What are the things that makes us a Muslim? What is the message I want to put out to the world, what I stand for, and Islam has this wonderful balance of different things on the one side, for example, in once you to strive for the dunya it wants you to Macedonia, that if you are a student, I strive to be number one in the class that if you have a business thrive, that your business is the best business that if you're

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making money, try to make as much money as possible. And the other side, Islam wants you to have no attachments to the dunya, that your attachment is only to Allah Subhana Allah that you have, for example, as they say, you have the world in your hand, but you only have a law in your heart that the dunya does not attach itself to the heart. Another example is Islam wants us to be stern and strive and to make jihad against all that is evil. At the same time, we are a peace loving peaceful people. And so it's about the balance, knowing when to use which value in the right environment. And that is what is called Hickman wisdom. And so in the context of our discussion, on the one hand,

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Islam is all about being confident, especially when it comes to even intimacy to be mature about it. At the same time. Islam wants us to be modest, and have a sense of morality, when it comes to the these methods and infecting all methods. And so let's talk a little bit about higher end models see the word higher. It is derived from the Arabic term hierarchy, which actually refers to having something is alive, something which is living. So modesty goes hand in hand with with being alive, and having a sense that we know this thing is alive, because there's a sense of modesty. And we want to translate the word higher, as with many Arabic terms, there is no English equivalent that gives

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the full meaning. But rather, it has the concept of being modest, having a sense of morality, having a sense of self respect, acting in a dignified way. It's a sense of shyness or shame, a sense of honor of humanity, it's about acting in a certain way speaking in a certain way that is dignified. And many of these English terms, for example, have a negative connotation. And one of the reasons why we talked about this today is because the dominant ideology or the dominant way of acting, though the Western philosophy is one that doesn't value modesty very much it might even actively criticize, acting in a modest fashion. modesty is old fashioned modesty is is akin to, to being

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insecure, lacking self confidence. And this is not the modesty that Islam is talking about a person of higher is very confident, is high performing is not to shy in any way, is not limited in any way. But of course, there is a sense of decorum in the way they act. And so the English word of modesty doesn't fully give the meaning of what higher is. And if we to ask. So what is this thing of modesty from an Arabic context, the Arabs, when we spoke about higher, it was having this innate nature, that I want to act in a way that if others were to see me, it would not bring shame upon me. I'm just a very simplistic example, that if you pick your nose, you wouldn't want anyone to see you do

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that you'd feel very shy. If people saw you took a picture online, it will make you feel very shy, it will make you feel embarrassed in a certain way. And so hyah is this internal compass that keeps you from doing something which will bring embarrassment in the future. And that is really a very simplistic way of thinking of hire. And from an Islamic concept. We understand that living creatures have two types, we are the animals which act on instinct. And when people have a higher level of consciousness, then we keep our instincts and our knifes in check. And one of these gates which locks your nerves is higher than if you have a sense of dignity. You will not allow your nerves to

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overrun you, you would not just do whatever you want your own equal if we want to eat you wouldn't dress in any way you wouldn't speak in a certain way because you know it's not dignified. And so this is something which

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Islam says, is part of being a human and acting at a higher level, from an Islamic perspective as well. Providence along beautifully he links a man with higher than if you have a sense of morality and modesty of higher is an indication of your emotion. And therefore if you lack modesty is an indication that your email is deficient a certain way the prophets Allah says that modesty and email are interrelated. When the one is taken out the and the other one is diminished, the more your sense of morality is taken away from you, your Eman also diminishes and the stronger your morality, the stronger your Eman would be in another Hadith, which is very explicit as I am Heidi and Muslim has

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mentioned both books, the problems is a man is around 70 pieces a man faith has so many different branches of it, the highest level, the best of it is the law, and the lowest love it is to remove something harmful from the road. So to have a sense that you know, this thing here, this phone or branch in the road can harm someone. So I take it out of the way is an indication that you have you have consciousness concerns for other people for the environment. This is an indication of your Eman, having faith. And then he says that's also that one of the branches of email is having a sense of modesty that he that if you're if you're if you lack modesty, in other words, then the something

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deficient in your in your Eman that the reason also says modesty brings about does not bring about anything except goodness, or a personal, excellent, dignified way, he will find that it will bring about goodness to him that if you act in a certain way, then the world the universe will respond to it in a positive manner. And it's just something to think about that if you speak in a dignified way, you act in a dignified way, you do not indulge in certain things which are which are not appropriate, you would find your family, your co workers, your neighbors, they will respond to you and act in a manner which is also dignified, they will give you that same treatment of dignity

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SubhanAllah. And what is what is amazing about hire, even if you do not have it, even somebody that lacks higher, they can recognize a sense of decorum. They can recognize a sense of dignity in a person who doesn't have it. And we refer back to the story of not be useful when he was in jail and the prisoners around him. When they saw him. They said that you look like a good person before even they spoke to him. before they even had a conversation with him. They said just by looking at the way you carry yourself, we know that you don't belong in prison, you're not meant to be around all of us, all of us are criminals, we did something wrong, you are a good person. So even a person who

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does not have does not act with with higher, they can recognize this as a person of dignity. And so naturally, they will respond to you in that way. And they'll take you with that dignity. baps the most important Hadeeth for our discussion and what I mentioned in terms of heritage, heritage and identity goes hand in hand. It is about who I want to be, who do I want to be known as how do I want society to view me What are the things I take out, and I share with the universe and the resources. Every religion has a distinct characteristic, he has a homework, it has a marker, which people can identify them with, then from the outside those who are not of the faith, when they look at the

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people of this religion, they will say that this quality is is unique to them, or this quality personifies who they are. And so what is this quality for us as Muslims. And abiko says the characteristic of Islam that stands out is the quality of modesty of hire, of morality, of dignity of acting in a manner which is dignified panela. Now this is saying that a Muslim, always keeps with him this garb of self dignity. And in this in the past, most societies, most religions acted in a dignified way. Today the dominant, you know, ideology. This is not a very important concept. And so therefore, it's very clear, you can very distinctly see a person, whereas the sense of, of morality,

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versus people that go with the flow. And so more than you know, it's very clear now, when someone has this quality, and so as a Muslim, it must be ingrained in our image as who we are. And we carry ourselves with us with this level of dignity and decorum. And now many times when I talk about modesty, the first thing that comes to mind is perhaps a picture of someone a clothing that we wear, you know, in our mind, we think about modesty and what is modest and not modest. Immediately clothing comes to mind and it goes beyond the external Allah spondylosis into our office 26 you have any adult children of item we have bestowed upon you clothing, to conceal your private parts to

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conceal your nakedness and as a normal as an adornment, meaning something to beautify yourself with. But then Allah says, the clothing of taqwa the clothing of righteousness, that is based that is better. And so as Muslims, we didn't only cover ourselves with clothes, we cover ourselves with a sense of, of values and virtues, a sense of higher that keeps us protects us and gives us a sense of of

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have dignity and self worth and that all of this is based to walk with a garment of taqwa upon yourself. And in another Hadith or another statement, so I've been on your course or the line before he passed away, he gives some dying words to his son and he says, My son, I want to give you some advice, and I am the most sincere no one's gonna give you more sincere advice than me right now. When I'm dying. First thing is is advice number one, take when you make smaller make make an effort to take you will do perfectly and when you make Salah. Keep it in mind as if though this is my final Salah if this were my final solo, how would I make Salah every Salah, make it as if though it is

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your final solar. Number two, he says, Oh, my son, don't be greedy, because greed is is is another form of poverty, the man who is not satisfied with what Allah has given him, he's actually poor on the inside. And so do not do not be attached to the dunya too much. And when he says number three, and this is the context of our discussion, he says, Be wary of doing anything, which will bring embarrassment upon you to the extent where you will need to apologize if you want to know whether I should say this thing, this in this comment, send this email, comment on this picture, put this online, it will bring me some form of embarrassment if my you know my uncle, or my grandmother or my

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mom saw this thing, and I would be shy about it, then avoid it rather than rather it is something which you should you should avoid. And similar to this Hadeeth and abuse also mentions powerful Hadith, he says amongst the wisdoms of the words of the previous MBR meaning some of the wisdoms that we still have applicable to us of all the MBR before us. Amongst that is is what the MBR had said to the people. If you feel no shame, then do as you wish if you feel no shame in Do as you wish, what does this hadith mean can be interpreted in a number of ways. Number one, it is that internal barometer again, that if you want to know is this, is this good for me or bad for me,

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should I be in this company, should I go to this party should I go to this place, if it will bring me a sense of shame. If it's something which disturbs my internal compass of what is right and wrong, then avoid it is bad for you. Another way of saying author's Hadeeth and other interpretation, Allah protect us saying that if you don't have the sense of right and wrong, and you don't have the sense of modesty of what is shameful, when you will just do as you want, then you will really be like that that animal that acts on instinct, when you dress in a certain way you would speak in a certain way you would, you would have no limits in, in how you act. And so the MBA

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or the MBAs teaching us that if you have no sense of higher than the really, you would be at your lowest level, your lowest level would be in the driving seat. And this is how you would acknowledge Mandela protect us. And so if we were to think about this practically waiters modesty, show up, there's a hadith that speaks about to understand this concept of modesty, act in a certain way, that if a man of honor, if you were in the company of an honorable person, so maybe someone that you hold in high esteem, you're the CEO of your company, maybe your boss, your, your, your grandparents, your mom, hopefully he'll your mom's panel, and you act in a certain way that you don't want them to be

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seen. As Pamela we see this, you know, as an Imam, you notice this, you walk by someone, and the music is blasting away smoking, and all this, you know, talking to a certain way, and the mom comes in automatically that you know, the music is done. Often, the secrets are hidden away, it's a sense of I don't want to be, I don't want people to see me acting like this. I know. And what I'm doing is not appropriate or the best, I shouldn't be doing this thing. At the very least I don't want a person of esteem or honor to see me in this undignified manner, I have the sense of higher. And so this is what it is all about hearing the sense of decorum of propriety acting with a sense of virtue

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in everything that you do not just to say, the dress, the way you talk. So give me an example. You have an email, someone sends you an email, maybe it's not the best, the person at least spoke to you in a certain way, which is not appropriate. And you think if I were to respond, and this email will be made public, what I what I feel what I feel bad about it, and so respond in that manner. If I were to

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be in a group of people, I always think I'm going to share a joke or a comment. If this was to be made public, how would that wouldn't bring embarrassment upon me If so, then avoided rather, another example of higher is there are certain matters, Islam says which are matters that are private, and there are things that are public and that which is private, that which is not meant to be made known, should not be made known that we shouldn't be made, publicize, should be kept hidden. Another very strong concept of hire is the way you talk that if people of hire do not use vulgar language, for example, they're trying to stay super sweet or to make a joke that is, you know of a

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inappropriate nature, they would find it against the grain to speak in this manner, and you would Subhanallah you we all know people that you know, minds. This person has sense of higher, we would not speak like that in front of them. And one of the signs that maybe you is a lackey

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I like higher is when people feel ashamed to joke in a certain way in front of me, people have no shame to use obscenities in front of me because they feel Oh, I'm not gonna offend your sensibilities because you yourself, don't act in that way. And so it's okay for us it's par for the course amongst amongst us. And so be very careful looking at how people speak to you also indicates the level of higher, a very important area we hire can easily be lost is of course interacting with members of the opposite sex and in particular to mean Allah subhanaw taala not only sees that your private parts must be modest, your hands must be modest, your tongue must notice, the vision must be

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modest, irrespective of what's happening around in society, it is fitting what she's wearing or not wearing, your eyes must have a sense of higher. And that is why when we talk about sexual modesty, the first dress is done to the main that you all mean need to act in a manner which is which is appropriate, which is as dignified as Panama V for a dignified Muslim, can never, you know, do things like catcalling can never do things like objectifying a woman can ever do something so undignified to use vulgarities that even when he's pursuing a woman in a in a in a in a romantic capacity. So, of course you want to get married, it is to act in that way of dignity to act in a

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sense, we have to show a sense of self worth it's part of life, you act in that manner, it also tells you that you respect the system, it also tells you that I'm I'm I value you in such a way I wouldn't speak about you in that in that manner. And so very importantly, in how we engage with members of opposite sex sex, of course, this as well, is an indication of modesty. And then what is shown on the outside is a reflection on what is on the inside. And perhaps here again, the Quran addresses is more to the sisters because you have a higher requirement of hijab via seams of covering. And so Islam wants us in has given us guidelines how what we should we in the public

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arena, what we can do in the private arena, and that should not be broken down. And if we do not dress in the manner as prescribed by the Sharia, it may be something which is lacking, you know, sense of morality. And it also speaks to a deficiency in our email. And this is what our last panel data wants us to continuously work on and try and be better. Your Online personas panela. You know, people come to me and they say,

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you know, I'm looking for a husband, I'm looking for a wife. And this is about me. I'm a decent family person. I know. I want a good Muslim man, good Muslim woman, can you please share my contact details with anyone? And so how do I you know, obviously, we know what happens I share the contact detail with a potential brother or sister, husband wife. And the first thing you do is what you Facebook stalk the person this is natural, you take the person's name, and let's see who she is online who is online. And then I get the call and say she gave me this, this guy's number, this girl's number. I look online. And I'm really shocked and what I see the the pictures, the comments,

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the jokes. This is not what I had in mind of someone that I want to get married with. Get married to and Subhanallah look at your online profile. What you put out there is how people will judge you whether you like it or not, whether it's to say no, that's not really who I am. I just shared certain things. I just liked certain things. I just put some comments suddenly Why am let them get to know me. People are going to judge you based on that. So would you want your high school, your principal, your Imam to go through your parents to go through your your online profile and the things you put up on the even will bring you a sense of shame. And it's not appropriate for me as a

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Muslim, when it shouldn't be even clean up your Facebook's panel updated up removing so I know sometimes things are there from 2010. You know 20 years ago, when we were not so much were removed those things are not meant for the world to see. And we cover up our mistakes of the past. Being to that the Prophet Solomon says the most wicked of people in the sight of Allah on the desk Yama is a is a man who I was intimate with his wife. And then he publicizes has secrets, he makes it public. Now many things on this Hadees number one, that which is private, should remain private, the western context does not have this concept of private and public, then you can this speak, do whatever you

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want, public or private, it's up to you, you decide what is appropriate, inappropriate instances No, there are things which must be made left in the in the private sphere. It should not be it should not be in the public arena number two that you have now why is this so bad? Because you have brought your own self dignity down and you have tarnished the dignity of your wife. She didn't do anything wrong. Obviously you didn't do any harm your husband wife, but do you really want people thinking of her in that manner? How would she feel to be objectified in her in your in your friends minds like that? And so what is very scary is these two people with it's on the huddle, they did something

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which was permissible. And so the husband in shared this thing which was may not need to be shaved and so he is of the most wicked people in the sight of Allah. You

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Now what if you did something wrong? You know, you were intimate with someone you shouldn't have been not your wife. And then you see, it's quite a lot. And then you make it known how much worse upon worse is that. So to do something which is permissible, but it's private, should remain private. So if you do something, how long, even more so important for you to keep it keep it hidden. And so, as we mentioned, we live in a in a world, which is a tension between our concept of morality, from an Islamic perspective, we use the concept of higher, and this is being, you know, a tarnished all around us, what we see on TV, what is shared on social media, what we listened to on

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the radio, it damages, it corrodes our sense of higher. And even though we don't pay any attention in the background, it is constantly working to diminish our sense of modesty, morality, even our children's panel, they are born kids are born with this innate sense of what is right and wrong, what is appropriate or inappropriate, you know, all of us back in the day will be sitting with our parents, and a kissing scene would come on TV and children automatically, instinctively, they look away, in fact, all of us should not be looking. And the children have the sense that this is awkward. But as time goes on, you know, the what we consume from this is from society around us, it

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diminishes the level of, of morality. And so we must be aware that the sense of higher is, is being challenged all the time. And therefore, as Muslims, we need to make the extra effort to inculcate this in our life, and especially in the lives of our kids.

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signs that your moral compass that is a deficiency in our hire, how do I know if there's something wrong, for example, not feeling bad anymore, that you're doing something wrong? One of the big, big things that there's something wrong is when you do sin, it doesn't bother you anymore, not being affected, or you see how wrong so a person of morality when they see something wrong when they hear something haraam, the year some juicy gossip, it actually disturbs them, they don't want to see it, they don't want it to be known. They were like, why did you even tell me? Why did I see this, it bothers me, it hurts me. And of course, you know, you can think of, you know, all people, you know,

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you have a sense of morality, certain certain sense certain times, that will be so big, it actually disturbs you when you need it. And so it's a sense of your hire, that people do not feel bad to sit in front of you. And I said, if people have no no worry in how they speak, in your company, it's a sign that your your dignity, they do not dignify you, because you don't act in a dignified way. I'm not being shy to be seen in places to hide out. In the past, people would go secretly to certain places, I shouldn't be here. But I go, I don't want anyone to know, I don't want my parents to know, today, people go to those places, they take pictures, they put it online, they put it on these

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things I was here I was raised to handle law, I don't worry anymore, that I'm seeing that this is not appropriate for me as a place for a Muslim, no alcohol is being consumed a free mixing which shouldn't be done. And so this is really very bad. And it's an indication that your your your your moral compass is lacking in some way. And what is said, this will in naturally it will impact the way in which will make you better, our connection with Allah will be diminished, our Salah will become heavy, our ability to make our ability to do ibadah will be taken away. And if we find that Ebola is difficult is part of all of us. We you know, we do not enjoy the sweetness of Ebola, then

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one of the signs is that our sense of higher our sense of morality is diminishing, because a lot of handle is pure. And the the poorer you are, the easier it is to connect to Allah. And the less pure you are, the more difficult it is. And your Eman as we say goes hand in hand with that. So the last hand Allah protect us.

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The prophets Allah tells us something about morality, that Sins of many types. One of the types of sins, especially those called fascia are lewd sins or sins which are in decency sins, which are, which offends the sensibility. And so we should avoid these sins. But of course, we are all sinners, we all have a side of us, which we do not want others to know about. And so the promises will says, refrain from the sins, the sins, especially of an indecent manner, refrain from what Allah has made forbidden. But if one of you is tied by committing any one of them in beautiful places, you are tested by committing this and meaning meanings, and a lot of the word tribe is beautiful here, that

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you committed the sin, you still have an opportunity to pass the test by making this default, you still have an opportunity to to fix that mistake. So the problem was, is any of you committed that sin, when at least at the very least, he should try to conceal that sin as Allah has concealed it for them. So part of having a sense of of higher is that if I commit to the sin, I do not want it to be publicized. So if you're going to send some online we all commit sins and all the things that we know we shouldn't be doing. We should then try very hard to keep it covered. Not to shame not to tell people not to tell others and

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even worse than that, to put it online and to see I've been here I was the I did this

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Allah, Allah, may Allah protect us, Allah, Allah covered your sin, Allah, Allah protecting you. And then Subhanallah, you went out and you and you share that one, one scholar beautifully he mentions that if sins had an odor, if your sins, if my sins carried an odor, we would not want to interact with people around us because we will stink. And so that is how we should avoid doing sin. But if we did do so, try our best to conceal it and to cover it up. And, and you know, it really is a progression, that once you have the sense of higher and modesty, you will try not to commit the sin. But if you did commit the sin, you try it, you will be shy or ashamed for people to know it. And so

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you keep it hidden, when that is lacking, and you have no way anymore that you begin to send openly. When you send unrestrictedly, your sent wherever it is and with whomever you want, and they will be no limits. And when will they even be worse than that? Once people asked you, but you know, I saw your year you put this up, I don't think it's appropriate, you'll begin to justify that some of you may even encourage others, why don't you come and join? Why don't you and you actually become a color to that sin. And so it is a progression as one goes down this rabbit hole of of lacking hire, it becomes worse and worse. And of course the county still, as you start acting in a more moral way,

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a virtuous way. It builds up in your demand increases, and goodness will come it's a cycle of goodness, malice, panthella predictors is also of the signs of Kiana and we living in these times to handle the problems is a times close to kiama morality, modesty will be so lacking in society, that something which is very private, which is of course being intimate between a man and a woman in the past, excluding the last maybe 50 years, this was a very private thing people could not be seen walking in with the clothing that is available or be seen acting a certain way this was not known from Muslims to the whole world, I did not have the sense of of the court of economic forces as we

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get closer to Kiana things will become so bad, and what it will be so lacking, that people would openly fall neatly on the sleet and fallow we have places that have nude beaches, places where it's okay to completely be exposed and there's no problem people come there is no shame in that. So there is a time will come when people 40 feet on the street, and they the fornicators will not feel bad. And there will be people walking up and down going to school going to work, they will see them. And we don't bother anyone people to walk around. This is normal. This is what happens every day. And then a man of morality, the man with the highest level of higher in the society will come and it'll

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bother him a little bit. And he will say you know what guys, can you just do this around the corner. And the Prophet says this is close to when kiama is, is happening. And we're very, very close to that and Allah protect us and preserve us. But what is important for us when we talk about heritage and identity, and because society acts in a certain way, it doesn't mean I need to act in a certain way, because society lacks these things, I as a Muslim will ensure that it is part of my identity, that I will act in that way. And you will find society will respond to you in that last Hadeeth into something very beautiful something which gives us a lot of hope. The provinces will says and this is

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like hate even party and Muslim, have the most authentic hadith you can get. He says all of my Omar will be forgiven, Allah will forgive all your sins, irrespective how big how small how many, all of it will be forgiven, except the one who sins openly, except the one who commits a sin and then publicize it. Or he does it in the public arena without any shame or any restriction. So Allah will forgive those sins that you feel. I committed the sin I can't stop sinning, but at least I don't want anyone to know about it. At least I have that sense of shame to Allah and society. Please do not make it public. I'm not going to do it in front of my parents in front of my Imam in front of

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all in the world. And so we still hope for the one who sins but he sins privately. So the promise of this is part of sinning, exalt and he gives an example what does it mean? What does he mean by sending openly it is a man who committed a sin at night. Then the following morning, no one knew you got away with the sun. No one knew he committed the sun, meaning Allah keep it quiet for him or keep it hidden. When he goes out himself. And he publicize it. He tells someone I did this and I did that last night I was here I was the and so even though Allah has conceal the sun, he made it public. And so now Subhan Allah, now he has really translates to a level where you know forgiveness is something

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which melas Mandela is further away from the forgiveness of Allah and Allah Subhana Allah have mercy upon us. We also we all do things which we know are Haram. Allah grant us to be to be people are awkward, both in our public and our private lives that since which we do a lot conceal, and then you move my my our sons, our dirty laundry, never be exposed like that almost want to protect us. By Allah God has to be people that have a sense of morality, a sense of modesty, that when people look at us whether we are standing in the queue in the bank, whether we are in the shop, whether we are in our in traffic, we act in a certain way, online offline, in a way which people know of us I

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dignified people that the people of Islam that they

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have the sense of of dignity and they act in a certain way, which is they will never belittle themselves to act in an inappropriate manner. There's always be people like that that a part of our heritage we talk about heritage is not just about aku sisters, it is not just about obreon you know acne, it is our morals, our values is what we put out with our neighbors, our colleagues at work at home and our grant is to be people of virtue in everything that we do, and we fall short and Allah forgive us and God is to be better and keep it concealed. I mean, Zack love hate it was a loss and I'm humbled well and you also have your Salaam Salim al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen. salaam aleikum

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wa rahmatullah.