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Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|How to Lower Our Gaze?|
|06/30/02 at 07:43:46|
By Sabeel Ahmed
"If I were not a Muslim, I would have contracted AIDS" proclaimed my friend. "The ayats in Sura Nur about lowering our gazes doesn't affect me anymore," expressed another youth, talking about the intense temptations felt by today's young. Difficulty in lowering the gaze by both the young and old is readily perceived on the street, weddings, parties and even in the mosques.
What has gone wrong? How can Muslims, called by Allah, our Creator the model community, the custodians of Truth and the upholders of morality
behave this way? Why are we adopting the attitudes and routes of the
kuffar? How can we rectify ourselves? What follows is a series of practical, though graphic advises which can work for us and set us free from Satan's stronghold, Insha`Allah.
Prophet Muhamad (pbuh), by way of warning and as a reminder said,
"There is nothing left after I go more dangerous to men than the
temptations of women." Being optimistic, a ray of hope was also wisely
provided during the prophet's Last Sermon "If the Ummah holds on to the Qur`an and Sunnah, it will never go astray."
When Allah created humans with all our desires and urges, he also
revealed to us sufficient and complete guidance to properly channel these desires, both in the midst of Dar-ul-Kufr or Dar-ul-Islam. All we need to do is seek it, contemplate on it and pursue it. "This day I have perfected your deen for you, completed my favors upon you and chosen Islam as your deen." (Maida 4)
We should realize that the fact the great sahabas were human beings
also. Biologically there were no different from us. They had desires and temptations but yet, they controlled themselves in the best of ways. We can do the same, Insha`Allah. To possess sensual passions is human, to control them is Muslim.
When confronted with an alluring situation like passing by a non-mahram on the street, office or school, Satan is constantly tempting us to glare at her/him with evil thoughts. Satan is probably excitingly saying, with a big smile, 'yes, yes, yes,' when we steer into the bait he is setting. During these situations, immediately and consciously realize that when we give a second or following glances, we are obeying Satan. "O you who believe, follow not the footsteps of the devil " (24:21). By immediately averting our gazes and disobeying Satan, we are giving him a one-two punch in the face and leaving him frustrated and accursed.
Satan rebelled and was expelled by Allah, so let's all rebel against
Satan and expel him from our hearts. Satan intends to fight a war
against Muslims, so let's gather our forces behind the Qur`an and the
Sunnah and defeat him. Remember that even if no human eye is watching
us, the Ever-Watchful Allah is constantly monitoring the innermost
regions of our hearts. Our eyes, limbs, tongue and private parts will be witnesses on the Judgment Day and not an atom's worth of deed will
Our minds are conditioned to associate thoughts of stealing clothes from a store to being in handcuffs and hauled into a police van. Likewise we should condition our minds to bring the verses of Surah Nur in front of our eyes during any tempting situations and imagine that Allah is speaking to us directly "Say to the believing, men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty .O you believers! Turn you all together towards Allah that you may attain success" (24:30-31) If the Qur`an contained only these two ayats, it would be enough to convince me that it is the book of Allah.
With practice, these associations and the remembrance of Allah during
tempting situations will prevent us from getting stuck by devilish
arrows. Successfully controlling our gazes also deadens our avoidance of sinful situations. An Islamic idiom says, "Anything that leads to haram is haram in itself." To do a pious deed is a reward; to avoid a sin is a reward too.
One of the biggest culprits in this class is movies. In the name of
entertainment, to please our peers and children and an excuse to do
something together as a family, we astonishingly allow un-Islamic
pictures and dialogues in front of our eyes and ears. Can we ever
imagine (aozubillah) any sahaba renting the latest hit from Blockbuster Videos, or listening to music with alluring lyrics at high volume?
Likewise we watch news on TV and stare at the anchor women, adorned in
heavy make-up, scanty clothing and seductive smile. Prophet Muhammad
(pbuh), was once approached by a woman with a proposal for marriage. He took a single glance at her face and turned his face away. Jabir bin Abdullah reported: I asked Allah's messenger about the sudden glance on the face of a non-mahram. He commanded me that I should turn away my eyes. (Muslim) Thus, we are not supposed to stare at faces of
non-mahrams, be they are our fellow students, our elders, saleswomen or someone on TV.
Pious ladies of the prophet's household were ordered to observe purdah
(separation) in front of a blind sahabah. Asking the curious questions
as to why cover/separate when the blind sahabah could not see them, the prophet (pbuh) wisely answered, "But you could see him." In our wedding ceremonies and parties and even in many Islamic fundraising dinners, there is heavy free-mixing between brothers and sisters. Often the chairs of males and females are arranged facing each other, knowing that about 90 percent of our sisters do not wear hijab. It is often noticeable
to see males and females peeking glances at each other from the opposite ends of the hall. A big curtain is not my intention, but a big iman and befitting Islamic manners is.
"A woman who applies perfumes and goes to a gathering is like an
adulteress" the prophet said Muhammad. Compare this with our sisters who clad themselves with expensive perfume, one kilogram of makeup, and the come to mixed gatherings. Will this not attract the attention of males? Let's be real. We have lowered our moral guards so low that a humble word of truth often seems so awfully strange.
Let us contemplate the above humble advices and constantly make the
supplication, "O Allah help us control our sensual desires until we get married, and even after we marry, let our desires be only towards our spouses.
Jazak Allahu Khairun
Your sister in Islam
|Re: How to Lower Our Gaze?|
|06/30/02 at 11:46:05|
|A big curtain is not my intention, but a big iman and befitting Islamic manners is.|
hee heee this made me laugh - it's such a good way of putting it. it's a good way of
reminding us where the responsibility for our actions always lies.
i have one question that might perhaps just result from an error in translation:
When confronted with an alluring situation like passing by a non-mahram
on the street, office or school, Satan is constantly tempting us to glare at
her/him with evil thoughts.
the verb glare means to give an angry, hard, almost mean look -- that doesn't sound like what was
meant here. since "alluring" is used earlier in the sentence, it seems unlikely that
anger is the emotion behind the look given the passing person - is this just a mixed
up sentence, or did i miss something? could "glance" be the word that was meant here?
and, again, i'll express my concern about one outlook that i hope is not a prevailing
one, as in this sentence:
Our minds are conditioned to associate thoughts of stealing clothes from a store to
being in handcuffs and hauled into a police van
i know that many people here wouldn't agree with me on this, but i think fear of
punishment as the motivation to right action is a weak approach to life. i would
hate to think that this is the way anyone would teach their children. "no, no honey,
don't steal that, you'll end up in jail" sounds kind of crazy next to guiding our
children, by our example, to not having greed or envy as underlying feelings.
offering our children a boundless sense of security and a limitless amount of love
and kindness, and affection, is what will instill in them the feeling that they don't
need more than they have, that what they have is sufficient, and, well,that it's even
more than sufficient no matter how little or how much they have of anything
a child can't learn based on fear - an adult who was taught based on fear will have
no deep sense of groundedness, no stable base from which to view the world.
|06/30/02 at 13:14:51|
|Re: How to Lower Our Gaze?|
|06/30/02 at 13:24:27|
| [slm] sis mswishka,|
I think the writer meant 'stare' or something to that effect. But we know what she meant from the context of her sentence.
I agree with ur second point. I think a better approach would be to have a strong foundation. I.e work on getting a strong or sound iman. Like the writer said, one with a strong iman, would not be as easily distracted with the temptations in this world as oppose to one who is weak in iman.
Allah has mentioned something about this in the Qur'an, where He liken a true believer as a tree with strong, firm roots. This tree would not be easily swayed and even positively, it would bear fruits. I think it means that having a strong foundation would touch other aspects of the believer's life, yielding positive results and contributions.
About punishments. I'd rather work on prevention (which is all abt the foundation, etc) rather than solving the problem after it happened. But punishments in a way is good. Because it serves as a reminder to go back on track.
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