Part 17 – Series on the Shamaa’il (the noble character and sublime conduct) of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)

The High level of Hayaa in the Life of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and His Respected Wives

عن مولى لعائشة قال: قالت عائشة: ما نظرت إلى فرج رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أو قالت: ما رأيت فرج رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قطّ (الشمائل المحمدية للترمذي رقم: 342)

Translation:

Hazrat Aa’ishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) reports, “(Due to excessive hayaa and modesty for Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam),) I never ever (had the courage to) turn my glance towards the private parts of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam),” or she said, “I never ever looked at the private parts of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).”

Commentary:

It is well known that from among the wives of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), Hazrat Aa’ishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) was the most dear and beloved to him. However, despite her close and informal relationship with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), the high level of hayaa she adopted with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) can be understood from this Hadith. In actual fact, this high level of hayaa in her was acquired through the blessed company of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

Hazrat Sheikh Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya (rahimahullah) mentioned:

“When Hazrat Aa’ishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) would refrain from looking at the private parts of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) out of shame and hayaa for him, then where would Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) look at the private parts of Hazrat Aa’ishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) (as his level of hayaa was far higher than the level of hayaa which Hazrat Aa’ishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) possessed). It is natural that when one is in the presence of a person with an extremely high level of hayaa, then one feels compelled to also conduct with hayaa.”

In another narration, Hazrat Aa’ishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) clearly stated that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), throughout his life, had never looked at her private parts. Hazrat Aa’ishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) says, “Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) never ever looked at my private parts, nor did I ever look at the private parts of Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).”

When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) adopted this extremely high level of hayaa with her, despite her close relationship and special position in his sight, then one can understand that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) also adopted the same level of hayaa with his other respected wives.

It is reported from Hazrat Ummu Salamah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) that when Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would be intimate with his wife, then (out of his extremely high level of hayaa,) he would close his eyes and lower his head. He (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would also emphasize to his wife to remain calm and dignified.

Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) reports, “Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would go behind the rooms in a secluded area to perform ghusl. No person ever saw the private parts of Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).”

It is recorded in the books of Hadith that at times, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would make ghusl with his wife. Both would draw out water from a bucket to rinse their body. At that time also, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would conceal his private parts through wearing a lungi while performing the ghusl.

Before the advent of nubuwwah, when the Ka’bah was being rebuilt, Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) also assisted in carrying the stones for the construction. According to the norm of the Arabs at that time, no importance was shown to hayaa and concealing the private parts. Hence, his uncle, Hazrat ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), advised him, “Son! Undo your lower garment and place the large stone on it. Thereafter, you may place it on your shoulder so that your shoulder will be protected from being grazed by the large stones and boulders.” On the advice of his uncle, he began to open his lower garment when he immediately fell unconscious. (Saheeh Bukhaari #364 and Saheeh Muslim #340).

It is narrated from Abu Tufail that a voice from the unseen was heard by Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) saying, “O Muhammed (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! Cover your satr!” This was the first voice from the unseen that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) heard.

According to the narration of Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma), Abu Taalib asked Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) what transpired. He replied, “A person dressed in white clothing appeared before me and said, ‘O Muhammed (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! Conceal your satr!’” (Mustadrak Haakim #7356 and 7357)

In this way, through Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) falling unconscious, he was protected from people seeing his private parts.

Even after Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) passed away, the clothes that he was wearing were not removed and his satar area was not exposed before anyone.  It is reported in the Hadith that after the demise of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) were not sure in regard to whether they should remove his clothing to give him ghusl. Allah Ta‘ala caused the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) to fall into a daze and they heard a voice from the unseen saying that the clothing of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) should not be removed. Rather, he should be given the ghusl with his clothes on. Thus, Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was given the ghusl with his clothes on, and thereafter they were removed (for the shroud to be put on).

Note:

It is permissible for the spouses to look at the private parts of each other. However, this extremely high level of hayaa adopted by Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and his blessed wives reveals to the ummah the purity of their souls and their lofty position in the sight of Allah Ta‘ala. It is on account of the purity of these blessed women that Allah Ta‘ala had divinely selected them to be the respected wives of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in this world and the next, and Allah Ta‘ala had chosen them to be the mothers of this ummah.

When this was the level of hayaa which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) upheld between himself and his blessed wives, then we can imagine the high level of hayaa which he upheld before Allah Ta‘ala and the creation.

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