Opinion 4 January ,2021 issue by Suhaib Ashraf

“Lesson from the life of Musa Alihisalam”By Suhaib Ashraf Bhat

Then one of the two women came to him walking with shyness. She said, “Indeed, my father invites you that he may reward you for having watered for us.” So when he came to him and related to him the story, he said, “Fear not. You have escaped from the wrongdoing people.” (Al-Quran 28:25).Why did Allah swt mention the way she walked?The sense of shyness and humility we get from this woman is something for the Muslim to reflect on. In an era where such shyness or introversion is seen in some quarters as a possible manifestation of anxiety, lack of self-confidence, or even a social disorder, taking a moment to reflect on why Allah swt chose to mention this noteworthy trait of these women is of great benefit. A simple “Google” search reveals the characteristic of shyness being associated with apprehension, awkwardness, low self-esteem and so on; characteristics that any individual of integrity would want to avoid. But as Muslims, do we see shyness in the same way? If Allah swt chose this word to describe this woman as she walked towards Musa (Alihisalam), did He mean it in a complimentary or blameworthy manner? Is it bad to be shy?! A saying of the Prophet Muhammad Salalahualihiwasalam sheds light on the matter, where we are told that “shyness does not bring anything except Good.“ Elsewhere we are told even more emphatically that “shyness is a branch of faith!” Furthermore, we hear that the exalted character of the beloved Prophet Salalahualihiwasalam was described to be “more shy than a virgin in seclusion.” In an age where arrogance, immodesty, brashness and sometimes outright disrespect can be often looked upon fondly by some, the sincere Muslim remains firm in the knowledge of what characteristics please his creator. The young Muslim boy who emulates his favourite footballer’s ‘cocky’ traits, or the young Muslim girl who sees the ‘prettiest’ women on TV as those who wear very little and show far too much, or even the highly qualified Muslim academic who holds an esteemed position, or the affluent and successful Muslim businessman who is blessed with great riches and wealth, must remember that modesty and humility is an honour for the true slave of Allah swt. Never should a Muslim feel that being humble will hamper their progress in this pretentious world. Rather our focus is on our hereafter, attributing importance to that which will lead us to gardens of bliss and delight. Social vices such as outlandish dress sense, vulgar language and sexual openness and obscenity unbecoming of human beings, all combine to make that ‘shy’ trait even more difficult to hold on to. Very rarely does the media present to us a humble role-model for us to look up to and learn from. Shyness is slowly unfortunately becoming that ‘black sheep’ characteristic. Amongst all of these tribulations, the Muslim holds firm to his faith, and the characteristics it brings with it. The Muslim is humble yet firm, concise yet polite, modest yet confident, and shy yet totally and utterly content. As related to us by the best of all creation, Prophet Muhammad Salalahualihiwaslam “if you do not have any shame, do as you wish.” Look at your heart. As related by Ibn al Qayyim (Rahimullah) “the strength of one’s modesty and shyness relies on the strength of one’s heart.”May Allah swt grant us the blessing of embodying these beautiful traits and save us from that which incurs his wrath upon us. Aameen.Suhaibbhatt85@gmail.com