GUARDING THE EYES
One of the principles the Shari‘a has established to help create a virtuous society and to protect it from sexual anarchy is to safeguard the gaze as the eyes serve as a messenger [to the heart]. Not guarding the eyes is the first symptom of moral decay.
عن عبدالله بن مسعود رضى الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم الإثم حواز القلوب وما من نظرة إلا وللشيطان فيها مطمع
‘Abd Allóh ibn Mas‘ñd narrates that the Blessed Prophet said,
“The sins sway the hearts; and Satan has high hopes of the eye which is raised to look at a non-maúram.” ( al-Mu‘jam al-Kabīr, 9/149)
In a úadīth al-qudusī, (úadīth al-qudusī- Sayings of Allah u narrated by the Blessed Prophet s al-Mustadrak, 4/349 | al-Mu‘jam al-Kabīr, 10/173)the Blessed Prophet narrates that Allah u says, “Gazing at a non-maúram is one of the poisoned arrows of Satan. Whosoever will leave it [looking at non-maúram] out of fear for Me, I will bless him with such õmón, the sweetness of which he will feel inhis heart.” (al-Mustadrak, 4/349 | al-Mu‘jam al-Kabīr, 10/173)
At the same time, this hadith also indicates that Allah u punishes the believer who gazes at a woman by removing the sweetness of õmón from his heart.
In another hadith, the Blessed Prophet s said, “On the Day of Judgement, molten lead will be poured into the eyes of one who looks at a woman’s beauty lustfully.” ( Fatú al-Qadīr, Faül fi al-Waø’a | Naüb al-Róya, Faül fi al-Waø’a)
The Blessed Prophet s said in one hadith, “Lower your gaze and protect your private parts, otherwise, your faces will be eclipsed.” al-Mu‘jam al-Kabīr, 8/208 66 Muslim, min ûaqq al-Julñs ‘ala al-ùarīq)
In another hadith he said, “Don’t sit and wait on the roadside; but if you must, then fulfill the right of the path. One such right is to guard your gaze [from looking at the non-maúram passersby].” (Muslim, min ûaqq al-Julñs ‘ala al-ùarīq)
Guarding the gaze and controlling the desire at the time [a nonmaúram passes by] is a continuous good deed which the Blessed Prophet s encouraged in different ways. In one hadith he says, “There are three kinds of men whose eyes will not see the hellfire. First, the eye which looks out for the enemy while in the path of Allah u; second, the eye which cries out of fear of Allah u; and third, the eye which lowers its gaze from what Allah u has forbidden.” ( al-Mu‘jam al-Kabīr, 19/416)
Another hadith states, “Every eye will cry on the Day of Judgment except: the eye which refrained from looking at things forbidden by Allah u, the eye which is denied sleep because of surveillance at the time of war, and the eye which shed tears the size of a kernel of corn out of fear of Allah u.” ( ûilyat al-Auliyó)
In another hadith, the Blessed Prophet s said, “A Muslim who mistakenly sees the beauty of a woman and then lowers his gaze instead of looking at her continuously will be rewarded by Allah u with such worship the sweetness of which he will feel clearly.” ( Aúmad, 36/610)
One hadith states, “The adultery of the eyes is to watch, the adultery of the tongue is to speak, the adultery of the ears is to listen, the adultery of the hands is to touch, the adultery of the feet is to walk and the adultery of the heart is to desire.” ( Bukhórõ, Zina al-Jawóriú)
The Blessed Prophet s also said, If you guarantee me six things, I guarantee you Paradise:
- When you speak, do not lie,
- Do not breach your trust,
- Do not break a promise,
- Lower your gaze,
- Guard your hands against oppression,
- Protect your private parts. ( Mustadrak, 4/399)
In another hadith, the Blessed Prophet s said, “Understand clearly that Allah u curses the person who looks at non-maúram and also those who reveal themselves in front of others.” (Mishkót, al-Naþr ila al-Makhøñba)
This hadith covers a range of subtopics on this issue [of the forbidden gaze] while establishing the rule that the forbidden gaze deserves the curse of Allah u. It [this hadith] not only condemns the person who gazes wrongfully but also the one who willfully reveals him or herself for the forbidden gaze. Both the person who reveals any such part of his/her body that is impermissible for others to look at and also the one who looks at it deserve the curse of Allah u.
WILLFULLY GOING TO A PLACE WHERE HIJAB IS NOT OBSERVED
In further explanation of the above hadith, the following circumstances also invite the curse of Allah .
- Any woman who goes out to the marketplace or any other public place without hijab; the non-maúram men who gaze at her will also be cursed.
- A woman who stands at her balcony, window or deck without hijab where she can see and be seen by non-maúram men. She is cursed because of her evil gazes and also for facilitating non-maúram men to look at her.
- In weddings, the bridegroom who walks into the ladies section where he can see and be seen by non-maúram
- A woman who uncovers any part of her body between the navel and the knees in front of another woman. Similarly, a man who uncovers these parts of his body in front of another man.
- A woman who uncovers any part of her body [that is part of her satr] in front of her maúórim, such as her father, brother, etc. One of the many tragedies of our time is that many of the Muslim women from modern homes in blind following of women in the West will put on trendy short dresses with panties underneath. This leaves their thighs and legs visible to every man in the home including the male servants [it is forbidden to keep them at home]. In this way, all the men and women in that home deserve the curse of Allah .
Lastly, it should be understood that ghaðð al-baür (lowering the gaze) means that it is not permissible to look at non-maúrams intentionally and that if it happens, he/she should break the gaze and not raise the head for a second look. Thus, we find in a hadith narrated by Jarīr ibn ‘Abd Allóh al-Bajalī g that he asked the Blessed Prophet s about the sudden [unintentional] glance [at a non-maúram]. He replied “Turn
your gaze away [i.e. do not look again].” In another hadith, the Blessed Prophet s said to ‘Alõ g, “O ‘Alõ! There is a treasure for you in Paradise and you are it’s Zu al-Qarnain. Do not follow the first gaze with the second. The first gaze is [forgiven] for you but the second is not.”