Musa and the Rock


Allah is the One who loves and commands hayaa, so we shouldn’t be affected by the words of those who mock it!

When we think of role models for hijab or hayaa, who do we usually think of? We tend to think of women we know or have heard about: our moms, sisters, aunts, daughters, friends; the Sahaabiyaat, or the Wives of the Prophet, may Allah be pleased with them.

But what about a Prophet, a man, a slave of Allah, as a role model for hayaa? Hayaa is the defining characteristic of Islam, and it was a characteristic of all the Prophets of Allah. Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah’s Messenger Muhammad salla Allahu alayhi wasallam said:

Musa alayhi assalam was a shy person (a person of hayaa), and used to cover his body completely because of his extensive shyness. One of the Children of Israel hurt him by saying, “He covers his body in this way only because of some defect in his skin, either leprosy or scrotal hernia, or he has some other defect.” [The Children of Israel were in the habit of bathing in front of each other, but Musa’s hayaa prevented him from doing this, so he would bathe in seclusion, and this is why the rumors started.]

Allah wished to clear Musa of what they said about him, so one day while Musa was in seclusion, he took his clothes and put them on a stone and started taking a bath. When he had finished the bath, he moved towards his clothes so as to take them, but the stone took his clothes and fled. Musa picked up his stick and ran after the stone saying: “O stone! Give me my garment!” until he reached a group of the Children of Israel who saw him naked, and found him in the best shape of what Allah had created, and Allah cleared him of what they had accused him of.

The stone stopped there, and Musa took and put on his garment and started hitting the stone with his stick. By Allah, the stone still has some traces of the hitting, three, four, or five marks. This was what Allah the Almighty refers to in His saying:

O you who believe! Be not like those who annoyed Musa, but Allah cleared him of that which they alleged, and he was honorable in Allah’s sight!” [33:69]

[Sahih Al-Bukhari]

Subhan Allah, Musa ‘alayhis salaam lived thousands of years before us. Yet, for practicing hayaa, the innate quality of every Muslim, he was made fun of. Take a look again at what they said: “He covers his body in this way only because of some defect in his skin, either leprosy or scrotal hernia, or he has some other defect.”

Subhan Allah, how many times has someone in hijab been told something similar – that they must wear it because they’re ugly, or have a defect, or a million other reasons. Even the Prophets of Allah dealt with the same kind of situations, with the cruel words and the mockery of the people. However, look at how the Prophets of Allah dealt with it – not by showing off or giving in, but by relying on Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala alone to show the truth – however it may be.

Obviously, Prophet Musa’s situation was unique – but for us, as hard as it may get, as much as people may ridicule us, ignorantly, for practicing our deen – always know that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is on your side because you chose to obey Him. Just as it was for Prophet Musa, a believer himself, it is the same for us. And know this:

The Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wasallam said, “Islam began as something strange, and it shall return to being something strange, so give glad tidings to the strangers.” [Muslim]