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Chastity

 Hadrat Yusuf (Alaihis Salam) was loved very much by his father Hadrat Yaqub (Alaihis Salam). He did not tolerate that Yusuf was away from him even for a moment. This love of father for the son created envy towards Yusuf (Alaihis Salam) in the hearts of his brothers. One day, as they got chance they pushed him into a dark well. A caravan happened to take him out of the well. They sold him in the market of Egypt. The governor of Egypt found the child very beautiful, promising and of good nature, so he bought Yusuf (Alaihis Salam). He instructed his wife to take good care of him. There, the young Yusuf (Alaihis Salam) grew into a young man. Yusuf (Alaihis Salam) possessed a unique and unparalleled beauty and charm. Youth, dutifulness and good morals, all these added to his dignity. The governor’s wife thought evil of Yusuf (Alaihis Salam). She looked for an opportunity and when found once she called upon Yusuf (Alaihis Salam) in her private room, shut the door behind him and invited him to indulge with her. Hadhrat Yusuf (Alaihis Salam), the embodiment of chastity and modesty rejected her offer and said:

« قَالَ مَعَاذَ اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ رَبِّي أَحْسَنَ مَثْوَايَ إِنَّهُ لا يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَ (23) » [يوسف:23]

Translation of Meaning: “He said: I seek refuge in Allah! Lo! He is my lord, who hath treated me honourably. (I cannot do this!) Lo! Wrong−doers never prosper.” [Yousuf:23]

Among the men who got trapped in the cave, one had fallen in love with his cousin and wanted illegal involvement with her. But the girl was God-fearing. She escaped. The time passed. The economic condition of the girl’s family grew bad and deteriorated despite efforts for stabilization. The girl under pressure requested his financial aid. He accepted to give her money only on the condition of committing sin with her. The sin was about to be committed when the girl reminded him to fear Allah and suggested that he practice chastity and modesty. The girl’s words touched his heart and he felt ashamed of what he had intended. He sought Allah’s forgiveness and handed the amount to the girl unconditionally. Now when in the cave, he prayed to Allah, “O Allah! If I had done this just for Your sake, remove this stone from the cave’s opening.” The prayer was accepted and the trio came out of the death’s cave alive. [Bukhari and Muslim]

Meaning of chastity: Chastity is to avoid haram and disliked deeds. This is a basic quality which makes the life of its possessor a live example of purity and modesty. From his organs to thoughts, wishes, desires, sight and to soul, everything becomes purified.

The chastity of the organs is that a man avoids lying, backbiting, and speaking ill through his tongue; from his private organs he does not commit adultery and from his eyes he does not see non-allowed things.

Allah says in the Qur’an:

« وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفْ الَّذِينَ لا يَجِدُونَ نِكَاحاً حَتَّى يُغْنِيَهُمْ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ » [النور : 33]

Translation of Meaning: “And let those who cannot find a match keep chaste till Allah gives them independence by His grace.” [Al-Noor: 33]

The Prophet (ﷺ) has persuaded the youth to marry. If anyone is unable to marry for any reason whatsoever, he has been instructed to keep fasts, as many as one can do, and do as much other deeds of worship as one can. So the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

««يَا مَعْشَرَ الشَّبَابِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمُ الْبَاءَةَ فَلْيَتَزَوَّجْ ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَيْهِ بِالصَّوْمِ فَإِنَّهُ لَهُ وِجَاءٌ » [بخاري و مسلم]

Translation: “O young people! Whoever among you is able to marry, should marry, and whoever is not able to marry, is recommended to fast, as fasting is a shield for him.” [Bukhari & Muslim]

A Muslim must hide his/her private parts. A male should wear the dress that hides his body from the naval down to the knees. And a woman should be in hijab (veil). Her nature is to live with dignity. Allah (Ta’ala) Says in the Holy Quran:

« وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ [النور: 31]

Translation of Meaning: “And to draw their veils over their bosoms.” [Al-Noor: 31]

«يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلابِيبِهِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَنْ يُعْرَفْنَ فَلا يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَحِيماً (59) » [الأحزاب:59]

Translation of Meaning: “O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.” [Al-Ahzab: 59]

Allah (Ta’ala) has declared it haram to even see the non-mahram women. And if such an opportunity comes, one should keep his gaze low.

« قُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ » [النور:30]

Translation of Meaning: “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest.” [Al-Noor: 30]

Similarly Muslim women have been ordered:

« وَقُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ » [النور:31]

Translation of Meaning: “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest.” [Al-Noor: 31]

The organs will be questioned by Allah about whatever has been done through them. The Qur’an has it:

« إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُوْلَئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولاً (36)» [الإسراء:36]

Translation of Meaning: “Lo! the hearing and the sight and the heart − of each of these it will be asked.” [Al-Isra’a:36]

Here is a Qudsi hadith:

«إِنَّ النَّظْرَةَ سَهْمٌ مِنْ سِهَامِ إِبْلِيسَ مَسْمُومٌ، مَنْ تَرَكَهَا مَخَافَتِي أَبْدَلْتُهُ إِيمَانًا يَجِدُ حَلاوَتَهُ فِي قلبــه [المعجم الكبير للطبراني]

Translation: “Verily looking [non-allowed things] is an arrow from the Satan’s poisoned arrows. Whoever abjures the sighting I will give him faith in reward the sweetness of which he will feel in his heart.” [Al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer by Tabrani]

As for the sudden sight, when the Prophet (ﷺ) was asked about it he had replied, “Turn it away.” [Abu Dawood]

People uncontrollably look with greed at others’ wealth. The chastity in this context will be to avoid acquiring wealth through wrong means. One should always care that he does not benefit from other’s’ wealth improperly. A worker came to Hadrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz at night. He started talking to him about the affairs of the sultanate. When the worker had finished talking about the sultanate affairs, he began talking privately, Hadrat Umar stood and turned off the lamp and lit another lamp. When the worker asked the reason for doing so, he replied, “We talked about the government affairs in the light of the lamp burning with bait-ul-mal oil. Now we are having a private talk, which is not right to do in the light of bait-ul-mal’s lamp. Now I have lit my own lamp.” This is a great example of avoiding taking benefit from others’ wealth. This example shows how much care we should take regarding trivial issues. About wealth of the orphan we should do the same. If their guardian is wealthy, he must avoid taking anything whatsoever from their wealth. Instead, he should present his service voluntarily. Allah (Ta’ala) says:

« وَمَنْ كَانَ غَنِيّاً فَلْيَسْتَعْفِفْ » [النساء:6]

Translation of Meaning: “Whoso (of the guardians) is rich, let him abstain generously (from taking of the property of orphans). [Al-Nisa’a:6]

Hadrat Abdur Rahman bin Auf (Radhi Allahu Anhu) is a great companion of the Prophet (). His behaviour regarding wealth is ideal.

He is one of the companions who migrated to Madinah. When they came to Madinah as emigrants, Allah’s Apostle established a bond of brotherhood between him and Sad bin Ar-Rabi’’. Sad bin Ar-Rabi’ said (to him), “I am the richest among the Ansar, so I will give you half of my wealth and you may look at my two wives and whichever of the two you may choose I will divorce her, and when she has completed the prescribed period (before marriage) you may marry her.” Hadrat Abdur Rahman said lauding the spirit of generosity and brotherhood, “May Allah bless your riches and the family. I am not in need of all that. Thanks a lot. Just guide me to the market-place. This is enough for me.” So he was told about the market of Qainuqa. He went to that market and started trading. It is known to all that just within few days he grew very wealthy.

Man is naturally greedy for eating and drinking. Here, he frequently fails in practicing restrains.  Seldom does he refuse delicious and tasty food; he fails here in caring for halal or haram. The proverb goes that with the free items before, even a qadi (judge) becomes incautious. Remember, it is a great test. A body nourished with haram food is not granted its worships for 40 days. Allah said:

« يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُلُوا مِنْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِلَّهِ إِنْ كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ (172) » [البقرة:172]

Translation of Meaning: “O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you, and render thanks to Allah if it is (indeed) He Whom ye worship.” [Al-Baqarah:172]

The Prophet (ﷺ) urging to eat halal said that the best food for a man is which he earns by himself. Allah’s prophet Hadrat Dawood (Alaihis Salam) would earn by his hands. [Bukhari]

In another hadith the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

«مَن أمسٰى كالًّا مِن عملِ يَدَيهِ أمسى مَغفُوراً لهُ» [طبراني]

Translation: “Whoever returns home while he is tired due to working, and he spends the night in this condition, he is forgiven.” [Tabrani]

Earning halal (lawful) increases one’s respect and dignity while earning haram (unlawful) leads to degradation and humiliation.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

«إِنَّهُ لَا يَرْبُو لَحْمٌ نَبَتَ مِنْ سُحْتٍ إِلَّا كَانَتْ النَّارُ أَوْلَى بِهِ» [ترمذي]

Translation : “There is no piece of flesh that nurtures on the unlawful but the fire will claim him.” [Tirmidhi]

There is a part of human body which if used in a good way the society becomes an abode of peace and tranquility. And if it is used in a wrong way it leads to mischiefs, clash, envy, jealousy, enmity etc. If the tongue is pure, man is safe from countless evils. The chastity of the tongue is that a man abstains from falsehood, lying, cursing, kidding, taunting, talking nonsense, exaggeration, backbiting, speaking evils of others etc. Allah (Ta’ala) says:

« وَقُولُوا لِلنَّاسِ حُسْناً » [البقرة:83]

Translation of Meaning: “And speak kindly to mankind.” [Al-Baqarah:83]

The Prophet () said:

«لَيْسَ الْمُؤْمِنُ بِالطَّعَّانِ وَلَا اللَّعَّانِ وَلَا الْفَاحِش وَ الْبَذِيءِ » [ترمذي]

Translation : “A Believer does not taunt or curse or be immoral or rude (with anyone).” [Tirmidhi]

In another hadith the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

«مَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلْيَقُلْ خَيْرًا ، أَوْ لِيَصْمُتْ» [متفق علیہ]

Translation: “Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day speak good, or keep silent.” [Bukhari & Muslim]

«مِنْ حُسْنِ إِسْلَامِ الْمَرْءِ تَرْكُهُ مَا لَا يَعْنِيهِ » [ترمذي، ابن ماجه]

Translation: “Of the excellence of a man’s Islam is that he shuns that which does not concern him.” [Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]

Another aspect of chastity is that a man does not beg others. This results into a person losing his honour. A man with chastity is one that can bear the hardships and difficulties, but he never asks others openly. Allah has praised such needy persons who do not ask others out of chastity and shyness. He said:

« يَحْسَبُهُمْ الْجَاهِلُ أَغْنِيَاءَ مِنْ التَّعَفُّفِ تَعْرِفُهُمْ بِسِيمَاهُمْ لا يَسْأَلُونَ النَّاسَ إِلْحَافاً)» [البقرة:273]

Translation of Meaning: “The unthinking man accounteth them wealthy because of their restraint. Thou shalt know them by their mark: They do not beg of men with importunity. [Al-Baqarah:273]

 

Virtue of Chastity:

The Prophet (ﷺ) has said:

«وَمَنْ يَسْتَعْفِفْ يُعِفَّهُ اللَّهُ ، وَمَنْ يَسْتَغْنِ يُغْنِهِ اللَّهُ» [متفق علیہ]

Translation: “Whosoever would seek chastity and modesty; Allah will make him chaste and modest, and whosoever would seek self-sufficiency, Allah will make him self-sufficient.” [Bukhari& Muslim]

Therefore the Prophet (ﷺ) would pray:

«اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّى أَسْأَلُكَ الْهُدَى وَالتُّقَى وَالْعَفَافَ وَالْغِنَى » [مسلم]

Translation: “O Allah! I ask You for guidance, piety, chastity and self- sufficiency.” [Muslim]

The Prophet (ﷺ) said that Allah will shade those on the Doomsday who refuse the call of a charming woman of noble birth for illegal sexual intercourse with her and says: I am afraid of Allah. [Bukhari & Muslim]

Allah has praised His slaves who protect their private parts and avoid haram. So He said:

« وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَافِظُونَ (5) إِلاَّ عَلَى أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ (6) فَمَنْ ابْتَغَى وَرَاءَ ذَلِكَ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمْ الْعَادُونَ (7)» [المؤمنون:5-7]

Translation of Meaning: “And who guard their modesty −Save from their wives or the (slaves) that their right hands possess, for then they are not blameworthy, But whoso craveth beyond that, such are transgressors.” [Al-Mu’minoon:5-7]

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