Sister Qismah bint Faisal
Allah 'azza wa jal says when narrating the story of Musa (alayhi salaam) when he had arrived in Madyan after fleeing from the tyranny of Fir'awn,
"Then there came to him one of the two women, walking shyly. She said: "Verily, my father calls you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us." So when he came to him and narrated the story, he said: "Fear you not. You have escaped from the people who are Zalimun (polytheists, disbelievers, and wrong-doers)." (Al Qasas, Verse 25).
Surely, the stories of the prophets contain many lessons, and this verse of the Quran is a perfect example of the how modesty should be displayed in the actions and speech of the righteous. This woman that approached Prophet Musa (alayhi salaam) serves as an example for the women living today, for truly the speech of Allah stands witness to her level of modesty.
In the explanation of this verse, Ibn Katheer (rahimahullah) mentions that The Commander of the Faithful, Umar ibn al Khattab (radiaAllahu anhu) said: "She was covering herself from them with the folds of her garment." In another narration, Ibn Hatim recorded that 'Amr bin Maymun said that Umar (radiaAllahu anhu) said, "She came walking shyly, putting her garment over her face. She was not one of those audacious women who come and go as they please." As for when the woman said, "Verily, my father calls you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us." The mufassireen(scholars of Tafsir) have said that this is example of good manners: she did not invite him directly lest he have some suspicious thoughts about her. Rather she said: "My father is inviting you so that he may reward you for watering our sheep," (i.e., give you some payment for that)
Modesty has become a thing that seems to be no longer existent in the lands of the kuffar and if one adorns their character with haya, they are shunned and thought to be "living in a shell". This distorted mindset has become so widespread that it is even seen among the Muslims of today. It's a norm for Muslim men and women to sit with each other in gatherings while jesting and joking with one another. Today, it's fine for Muslim men and women to talk to one another in seclusion in a study room or a chatroom, while their only excuse is that "nothing immoral is being discussed". However, one with true understanding will know that the immorality is not only limited to the topic of discussion, but rather its root is based in the setting in which people put themselves in.
My words are directed to myself and the sisters of this ummah, that inshaAllah we may be reminded of the words of Allah and His Messenger (salaAllahu alayhi wassalam) in a time where the 'aariyyaat have become many in number and the filthy kaafir women have become the primary examples for the Muslim women. When is it that we will take for role models, 'Aaishah and Khadijah? My sisters, let us be counted among those who guard themselves from the excess fitnah that we are living in today lest Allah may grant His abundant mercy on His needy slaves. When is ti that we will abandon the temptings of shaytaan so that we may be able to pursue the pleasure of Ar Rahman?
Allah (subhnahu wa ta'alla) says:
"O Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover yourselves (screen your private parts, etc.) and as an adornment, and the raiment of righteousness, that is better. Such are among the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, that they may remember (i.e. leave falsehood and follow truth )." ( Surah A'raaf V. 26)
Sisters, the external hijab is not enough. These jilbabs that we wear must be accompanied with the jilbabs of piety and modesty that adorn our mannerisms. Al haya must become a thing that we embrace wholeheartedly until it becomes the earth that we walk on and the determining factor for our actions. In the obedience of Allah is where true satisfaction exists, so let's arm ourselves for this battle against shaytaan (may the curse of Allah be upon him) and ask Allah (subhnahu wa ta'alla) to we count us among the victorious.