Islam Promotes Modesty and Pure Living

By Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman (Grand Mufti of Pakistan), translated by Musharraf Hussain

Last week I wrote about why this free mixing culture is detrimental to modesty and promotes indecency and is unislamic and , here is an article by a senior Pakistani Mufti on the same subject. I have translated it from Urdu, it’s an excellent explanation of the moral value of modesty, Haya. Simply, living a pure life.


Fuhsh and Fahashi are Arabic words that mean indecency, vulgar and lustful behaviour. “You shall not go near adultery it is indecency and an evil way of life” (Bani Israel: 32). Fuhsh includes indecency, nakedness, obscenity, shameless, using filthy words. It also includes being involved in those activities, watching rude films and dramas. The exposure of men and women’s bodies, and unfitting mixing of men and women also fall in this category.

Say! My Lord has forbidden acts of indecency, openly and in secret; likewise, any sin; unlawful rebellion; associating with Allah anything for which He has revealed no authority; and saying things that you have no knowledge about Allah” (Araf: 33).

People who want to spread obscenity among believers will have a painful punishment in this life and the Hereafter. Allah knows what you do not know. Imagine, the consequences if it wasn’t for the grace of Allah on you and His kindness, Allah is Compassionate, Kind. Believers, do not follow in the footsteps of Satan. Anyone who follows Satan’s footsteps will be directed to commit indecency and evil. Were it not for Allah’s grace and kindness none of you would ever be purified, but Allah purifies all He pleases, Allah is the Hearer, Knower of all things” (Nur: 19-21).

Islam Promotes Modesty

Here the spreading of slander is called ‘fahisha’. It shows that in the sight of Allah, publicity of evil is a big sin. Islam prohibits the promotion and advertisement of indecency. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said “All my followers will be forgiven except those who commit sins openly; A person sins at night but Allah covers it up. But in the morning, the person reveals his evil to other people” (Bukhari).

When a person commits a sin repeatedly it becomes a habit, so he doesn’t care about it. Islam promotes modesty and chastity, urging people to live a pure life, and purity in thoughts and actions. The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked his disciples “be modest with Allah as He deserves. The disciples replied, “Messenger, we are modest with Allah and thankful to Him for this.” He (peace be upon him) replied “Modesty isn’t as you explained to me, modesty is to guard your thoughts, the food you eat, the remembrance of death, when the bones will degenerate, the day you will have to give account in the hereafter. If you want the hereafter, then you must abandon the luxuries and the comforts of the world. Whoever has done so will have been modest with Allah” (Tirmidhi).

Modesty is Hardwired into us.

Modesty is a moral value, a high standard of living and a sign of clean conscience. In another hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “When modesty is lacking, you are likely to fall into sin” (Bukhari). In another hadith it is reported, the Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Modesty is part of faith and the faithful will be in paradise, indecency is an injustice and the unjust will be in hell” (Tirmidhi).

Allah instilled modesty in human beings from the day of their creation. It is engraved in the human conscience and hard-wired into the brain. When Satan deceived Adam and Eve, he caused them to become naked. The Quran tells the story of the fall of humans, “So, by deception, he brought about their fall. On tasting the fruit of the tree, they became aware of their nakedness and began to stitch together a garment for themselves made with the leaves of Paradise. Their Lord called out to them, “Did I not forbid you both from going near that tree and tell you that Satan is your open enemy?” (Araf: 22).

Many forms of Indecency

Indecency can take many forms. The Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “When a community publicly commits indecency, they will suffer plague and disease, which no previous communities had” (Ibn Majah). He (peace be upon him) then went on to say, “This nation will not be destroyed until indecency becomes widespread in society such that a woman would be raped openly, and the so-called ‘good people’ will say we wish you had done this in a private place” (Abu Y’ala).

We humbly request to the media companies, the policymakers and the programme directors. Please respect decency and stop the shocking obscenity. Understand the value of modesty for individuals and society, the future of humanity is dependent on this. In Sharia, there is the principle of ‘blocking the means’. This is a way of preventing wrong things from happening, and evil from spreading in society. Once the prophet (peace be upon him) said, “When your children are 7 teach them to pray and when they are 10 separate their beds” (Abu Dawood). Notice how much care the Prophet (peace be upon him) exercised with regard to sexual purity and to prevent free mixing. He (peace be upon him) wanted to see a pure society.