Lowering the Gaze

Al-ʿAllāmah Abū ʿUways

Our brother gives a short khuṭbah on lowering the gaze and protecting oneself from falling into sin.
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Allāh tabāraka wa taʿāla has ordered us to do certain things and has forbidden us from certain things. That which he has ordered us to do, we must do as much of it as we are able to do, and that which we are forbidden from doing, we are not to do it at all.

Allāh says:

  • “Say to the believing men that they must lower their gaze” (24:30)
  • “Say to the believing women that should lower their gaze” (24:31)
  • “Verily the hearing, the sight and the heart, about all these matters you will be asked about” (17:36)

Do we eavesdrop on peoples’ conversations? Do we listen to backbiting? Do we look at the thing we are forbidden to look at?

Allāh says:

  • “He knows the deceit of the eyes and what is hidden in the hearts” (40:19)
  • “Verily your lord is ever watchful” (89:14)

Abū Hurayrah (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (ṣalla Allāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, “Allāh has written the very portion of Zināʾ which a man will indulge in. There will be no escape from it.

  • The Zināʾ of the eyes is to look at that which is forbidden
  • The Zināʾ of the ears is to listen to that which is forbidden
  • The Zināʾ of the tongue is illicit forbidden speech
  • The Zināʾ of the hand is to touch that which is forbidden to touch
  • The Zināʾ of the feet is to walk to wards that
  • The heart yearns and desires and the private parts approve all that or disapprove it.(Al-Bukhārī and Muslim)

If you don’t look, you won’t see it, if you don’t see it you won’t desire, if you don’t desire, you won’t seek to make contact. It all starts with the glance.

It is narrated from Abū Saʿīd (radhī Allāhuʿanhu) that Allāh’s Messenger (ṣalla Allāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said: “Beware of sitting in the pathways.” They said: “O Messenger of Allāh, we have necessities which we address in our gatherings.” He replied: “If you must have your gatherings, then give the road its right.” They said: “O Messenger of Allāh, and what is the right of the road?” He said:

  • Lowering the gaze
  • Refraining from harm
  • Returning the salām
  • Commanding good and Forbidding evil(Al-Buhārī and Muslim)
Abū Ṭalḥah Zayd ibn Sahl (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: We were sitting and talking on a platform in front of our house when the Messenger of Allāh (ṣalla Allāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) stopped by us and said, “Why do you sit on roads? Avoid sitting in them.” We replied: “We sit there intending no harm. We only sit and discuss (religious) knowledge and talk.” He said, “If you have to sit, you should fulfill the rights of the road: lower your gaze, respond to greetings, and talk in a good manner.”
[Muslim].
Jarīr ibn ʿAbdullāh (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: I asked the Messenger of Allāh (ṣalla Allāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) about the unintentional glance (i.e., at a woman one is not allowed to look at) and he ordered me to turn my eyes away.
[Muslim].
The foolishness people propogate that the first glance is permissible is a false notion.
Umm Salamah (may Allāh be pleased with her) said: I was with the Messenger of Allāh (ṣalla Allāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) along with Maymūnah (may Allāh be pleased with him) when Ibn Umm Maktūm (may Allāh be pleased with him) (who was blind) came to visit him. (This incident took place after the order of hijāb). The Prophet (ṣalla Allāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) told us to hide ourselves from him (i.e., observe hijāb). We said: “O Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam), he is blind and is unable to see us, nor does he know us.” He replied; “Are you also blind and unable to see him?”
[Abū Dāwūd and Al-Tirmidhī]
Published: December 21, 2014
Edited: July 6, 2022

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