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Lowering your Gaze- A Guide for Dummies


Everything that Islam tells us to do or not to do is for our benefit and many a times we can see the wisdom in those rulings. So is the case with this beautiful ruling, which is especially very relevant and crucial in these times when immodesty and lewdness is that common, and whose wisdom is so obvious – lower your gaze.

Sometimes, as a young Muslim, going through high school and college, or even afterwards, keeping your faith intact can be really difficult. I want you to recall the last time you were in one of the following situations:

You were walking on campus or in the street on a hot summer day, your eyes fell upon a half-naked beautiful woman (or man). Or you were randomly flipping through the channels on TV and came across that stunning girl in the advertisment.

At that very moment, did you immediately lower your gaze? Because if you had a problem doing so, my advice is you read this article till the end.

1. Why should we do it anyway?

Allah says:

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts…” [al-Noor 24:30]

Ibn Taymiyah said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (15/414):

Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, has enjoined us in His Book to lower the gaze, which is of two types: refraining from looking at ‘awrahs (body parts that should be covered) and refraining from looking at the site of desire.

2-  Why so much stress on it?

Because a real man doesn’t check out girls. A real man pursues a WIFE, not a girlfriend and he goes about it the right way. A real man works on lowering his gaze when beautiful women walk by. A real man keeps his interactions with women short, cordial and to the point. A real man doesn’t leer at woman – and that includes the TV, the internet and magazines. A real Muslim does not talk freely to non-mahrams just because “Hey, we’re friends”! And yes, the rules that apply to the real world apply to the virtual world also.

3- What about the sudden, unintentional glance?

It is narrated by Muslim that

Jareer bin Abdullah said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah (sallalhau alaihi wasallam) about a sudden glance, and he commanded me to avert my gaze.”

Imam Nawawi explained:

What is meant by a “sudden glance” is when a person’s glance unintentionally falls upon a non-mahram woman. There is no sin on him for the first glance, but he must avert his gaze immediately.

4- It’s not easy. Any tips?

Lowering your gaze as a young Muslim is very difficult, especially since you have immodesty, pornography, and such lewdness running rampant in this society. Even the most popular video games out there are all about money and girls!

What we need to know is that not being able to lower our gaze is not a problem, it’s just a symptom. Our problem is that of the heart; we need to lower our hearts in front of Allah before our gazes.

Here is a list of some practical suggestions to help us with us protecting our eyes:

> Work on performing the obligatory acts of worship.

> Develop a relationship with the Qur’an.

> Increase in the voluntary acts of worship.

> Keep in mind that ogling at the opposite gender is the adultery of the eye, and that should be sufficient to put us off.

> Stay away from the company that encourages you to do so.

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