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Lowering the Gaze

The Order

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allâh is All-Aware of what they do.

And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of hands or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husband’s sons, their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islâm), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allâh to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful. “ [Qur’an 24:30]

The Prophet said, “Beware! Avoid sitting on the roads.” They (the people) said, “O Allah’s Messanger ! We can’t help sitting (on the roads) as these are (our places) where we have talks.” The Prophet said, “If you refuse but to sit, then pay the road its right.” They said, “What is the right of the road, O Allah’s Messanger” He said, “Lowering your gaze, refraining from harming others, returning greeting, and enjoining what is good, and forbidding what is evil.” Hadith – Sahih Bukhari 8.248, Narrated Abu Said Al Khudri Similar narration in Sahih Muslim]

I asked Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) about the sudden glance (that is cast) on the face (of a non-Mahram). He commanded me that I should turn away my eyes. Hadith – Sahih Muslim 5372, Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: A man should not look at the private parts of another man, and a woman should not look at the private parts of another woman. Hadith – Sunan of Abu Dawood, #4007, Narrated Abu Sa’id al-Khudri


Marriage helps to Lower the Gaze

 We were with the Prophet while we were young and had no wealth whatever. So Allah’s Messanger said, “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power.” Hadith – Sahih Bukhari 7.4, Narrated Abdullah, r.a.

Show thanks to Allah

1. By refraining from the forbidden use of sight

Have We not made for him a pair of eyes? [Qur’an 90:8]

Say it is He Who has created you, and endowed you with hearing (ears), seeing (eyes), and hearts. Little thanks you give. [Qur’an 67:23]

Allâh knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the breasts conceal. [Qur’an 40:19]

Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (15/414):

Allaah, 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 and refraining from looking at the site of desire.

The former refers to a man refraining from looking at the ‘awrah of another person.

The second refers to looking at uncovered parts of a non-mahram woman. This is more serious than the former, just as alcohol is more serious than dead meat and blood and pork, and the hadd punishment should be carried out on the one who drinks it, because these haraam things are not as desirable as alcohol may be. End quote.

2. Refraining from looking into people’s houses and things that are behind closed doors

 Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) says in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (15/379)

 Just as lowering the gaze includes not looking at the ‘awrahs of other people and other haraam things, it also includes refraining from looking into people’s houses. A man’s house conceals his body just as his garments conceal him. Allaah has mentioned lowering the gaze and guarding one’s private parts after the verse about asking for permission to enter, because the house covers a person just as the clothes on his body do. End quote.

 Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Madaarij al-Saalikeen (1/117):

Haraam kinds of looking include looking at ‘awrahs, which is of two types: the ‘awrah behind a garment and the ‘awrah behind doors. End quote.

3. Refraining from looking at what people have of wealth, wives, children, worldly goods and so on

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Look not with your eyes ambitiously at what We have bestowed on certain classes of them (the disbelievers), nor grieve over them. And lower your wings for the believers (be courteous to the fellow believers)” [Qur’an 15:88]

Benefits in lowering the gaze

1.) It is obedience to the command of Allaah, which brings happiness to man in this world and in the next. There is nothing more beneficial to a person in this world and in the next than obeying the commands of his Lord, may He be blessed and exalted, and those who are happy in this world and the next can only attain that happiness by obeying His commands, and those who are doomed in this world and in the next are only doomed because they ignore His commands.

2.)It prevents the poisoned arrows (of the shaytaan), which may lead to his doom, from reaching his heart.

3.) It creates a heart that is devoted to and focused on Allaah. Letting the gaze wander distracts the heart and keeps it far from Allaah. There is nothing more harmful to a person than letting his gaze wander, as it creates alienation between a person and his Lord.

4.)It strengthens the heart and brings it peace, just as letting the gaze wander weakens it and makes it sad.

5.) It brings light to the heart, just as letting the gaze wander brings darkness to it. Hence Allaah mentioned the verseof light immediately after the command to lower the gaze, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

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



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