View Full Version : Lowering the Gaze

04-11-2007, 09:42 PM
Bismillaah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem

Assalamu'alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa baraakatu,

We spoke in class about the virtue of lowering your gaze to safeguard oneself from fitnah - here's a beneficial piece about this matter by Imaam Ibn al Qayyim rahimuhullah.

Lowering the Gaze

by: Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (rahimuhullaah)

Allaah, the Exalted said,

"Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their private parts; that will make for greater purity for them. Indeed Allaah is well acquainted with all that they do." [an-Nur (24):30]

So Allaah made purification and spiritual growth to be the outcome of lowering the gaze and guarding the private parts. It is for this reason that lowering ones gaze from (seeing) the prohibited things necessarily leads to three benefits that carry tremendous value and are of great significance.

The First: experiencing the delight and sweetness of faith.

This delight and sweetness is far greater and more desirable that which might have been attained from the object that one lowered his gaze from for the sake of Allaah. Indeed, "whosoever leaves something for the sake of Allaah then Allaah, the Mighty and Magnificent, will replace it with something better than it." {1}

The soul is a temptress and loves to look at beautiful forms and the eye is the guide of the heart. The heart commissions its guide to go and look to see what is there and when the eye informs it of a beautiful image it shudders out of love and desire for it. Frequently such inter-relations tire and wear down both the heart and the eye as is said:

When you sent your eye as a guide

For your heart one day, the object of sight fatigued you

For you saw one over whom you had no power

Neither a portion or in totality, instead you had to be patient.

Therefore when the sight is prevented from looking and investigating the heart finds relief from having to go through the arduous task of (vainly) seeking and desiring.

Whosoever lets his sight roam free will find that he is in a perpetual state of loss and anguish for sight gives birth to love (mahabbah) the starting point of which is the heart being devoted and dependant upon that which it beholds. This then intensifies to become fervent longing (sabaabah) whereby the heart becomes totally dependant and devoted to the (object of its desire). Then this further intensifies and becomes infatuation (gharaamah) which clings to the heart like the one seeking repayment of a debt clings firmly to the one who has to pay the debt. Then this intensifies and becomes passionate love (ishk) and this is a love that transgresses all bounds. Then this further intensifies and becomes crazed passion (shaghafa) and this a love that encompasses every tiny part of the heart. Then this intensifies and becomes worshipful love (tatayyuma). Tatayyum means worship and it is said: tayyama Allaah i.e. he worshipped Allaah.

Hence the heart begins to worship that which is not correct for it to worship and the reason behind all of this was an illegal glance. The heart is now bound in chains whereas before it used to be the master, it is now imprisoned whereas before it was free. It has been oppressed by the eye and it complains to it upon which the eye replies: I am your guide and messenger and it was you who sent me in the first place!

All that has been mentioned applies to the heart that has relinquished the love of Allaah and being sincere to Him for indeed the heart must have an object of love that it devotes itself to. Therefore when the heart does not love Allaah Alone and does not take Him as its God then it must worship something else.

Allaah said concerning Yusuf as-Siddeeq ('Alayhis Salaam),

"Thus (did We order) so that We might turn away from him all evil and indecent actions for he was one of Our sincere servants." [Yusuf (12): 24]

It was because the wife of al-Azeez was a polytheist that (the passionate love) entered her heart despite her being married. It was because Yusuf ('Alayhis Salaam) was sincere to Allaah that he was saved from it despite his being a young man, unmarried and a servant.

04-11-2007, 09:44 PM
The Second: the illumination of the heart, clear perception and penetrating insight.

Ibn Shujaa` al-Kirmaanee said, "whosoever builds his outward form upon following the Sunnah, his internal form upon perpetual contemplation and awareness of Allaah, he restrains his soul from following desires, he lowers his gaze from the forbidden things and he always eats the lawful things then his perception and insight shall never be wrong."

Allaah mentioned the people of Lut and what they were afflicted with and then He went on to say,

"Indeed in this are signs for the Mutawassimeen." [al-Hijr (15): 75]

The Mutwassimeen are those who have clear perception and penetrating insight, those who are secure from looking at the unlawful and performing indecent acts.

Allaah said after mentioning the verse concerning lowering the gaze,

"Allaah is the Light of the heavens and the earth." [an-Nur (24): 35]

The reason behind this is that the reward is of the same type as the action. So whosoever lowers his gaze from the unlawful for the sake of Allaah, the Mighty and Magnificent, He will replace it with something better than it of the same type. So just as the servant restrained the light of his eye from falling upon the unlawful, Allaah blesses the light of his sight and heart thereby making him perceive what he would not have seen and understood had he not lowered his gaze.

This is a matter that the person can physically sense in himself for the heart is like a mirror and the base desires are like rust upon it. When the mirror is polished and cleaned of the rust then it will reflect the realities (haqaa`iq) as they actually are. However if it remains rusty then it will not reflect properly and therefore its knowledge and speech will arise from conjecture and doubt.

04-11-2007, 09:45 PM
The Third: the heart becoming strong, firm and courageous.

Allaah will give it the might of aid for its strength just as He gave it the might of clear proofs for its light. Hence the heart shall combine both of these factors and as a result, Shaytaan shall flee from it. It is mentioned in the narration, "whosoever opposes his base desires, the Shaytaan shall flee in terror from his shade." {2}

This is why the one who follows his base desires shall find in himself the ignominy of the soul, its being weak, feeble and contemptible. Indeed Allaah places nobility for the one who obeys Him and disgrace for the one who disobeys Him,

"So do not lose heart nor fall into despair; for you must gain mastery if you are true in faith." [Aali Imraan(3): 139]

"If any do seek for nobility and power then to Allaah belongs all nobility and power." [Faatir(35): 10]

Meaning that whosoever seeks after disobedience and sin then Allaah, the Might and Magnificent, will humiliate the one who disobeys Him.

Some of the salaf said, "the people seek nobility and power at the door of the Kings and they will not find it except through the obedience of Allaah."

This is because the one who who obeys Allaah has taken Allaah as his friend and protector and Allaah will never humiliate the one who takes his Lord as friend and patron. In the Du`aa Qunut their occurs, "the one who You take as a friend is not humiliated and the one who You take as an enemy is not ennobled." {3}

04-11-2007, 09:46 PM

{1} Reported by Ahmad [5/363], al-Marwazee in 'Zawaa`id az-Zuhd' [no. 412], an-Nasaa`ee in 'al-Kubraa' as mentioned in 'Tuhfah al-Ashraaf' [11/199] from one of the Companions that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "indeed you will not leave anything for the sake of Allaah except that Allaah will replace it with something better than it." The isnaad is saheeh.

{2} This is not established as a hadeeth of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam)

{3} Reported by Abu Daawood [Eng. Trans. 1/374 no. 1420], an-Nasaa`ee [3/248], at-Tirmidhee [no. 464], ibn Maajah [no. 1178], ad-Daarimee [1/311], Ahmad [1/199], ibn Khuzaymah [2/151] from al-Hasan from Alee (RA). The hadeeth is saheeh. The isnaad has been criticized by many, however none of the criticisms hold. Refer to: 'Nasb ar-Raayah' [2/125] and 'Talkhees al-Habeer' [1/247]

Wa salaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa baraakatu

umm imarah
04-12-2007, 09:45 AM
Very beneficial post, ma shaa Allah. Jazakillah khayr.

04-12-2007, 02:05 PM
jazaakiAllah khairan katheerah insha'Allah

Osob Mohamud
04-14-2007, 04:57 PM
jazaakiAllah khairan insha'Allah, very well done bintamina masha'allah. may allah reward you for this.

04-23-2007, 05:59 AM
Salam claikum wa rahamtullahi wa baraktu. I say Allahumdillah that summer is here but at the same time i already miss winter because at least in the winter the man and woman are forced to cover their awarah, but now its a free-for-all and lowering the gaze gets really hard when your on a bus or train filled with people who have no shame, modesty, or respect for themselves. Subhanallah sometimes the only way to aviod it is by literally closing your eyes. May Allah help us .

04-26-2007, 01:25 PM

omg..i have a funny story to share..well it was told to me by a sister who was in this brothers class...

anyways...theres is practicing brother mashallah...so in this big lecture room there are like atleast 1000 seats...if not more...
this brother is wearing his chamiss, grows his beard mashallah ..the whole nine yards never takes his eyes off the ground..

its just the beginning of the semester and its hot you know...everyone is wearing their lil tiny tiny t-shirts and everything and den out of all the seats this girl whose wearing a tank top and everything..could have chosen to sit next to ..she chooses to sit next to the chamiis wearing brother....

and he gets up not looking even once..picks up his bag angrily and walks and sits on the other side of the lecture room..and the girl is just LIKE CONFUSED..

anyways dis same brother...Lets hope he doesn't have an almaghrib account..

is one day on the bus with this other brother...they are facing each other on the ttc not sitting right next to each other..the bus is pretty empty...so obviously one would expect no one would sit next to them..since dere are soo many empty seats available..

anyways dis lady comes on the bus and wants to sit next to this brother...the same brother from the lecture room..mind you

he lifts up his hand to her..and says excuse me ma'am hold on a second..he looks at his friend and says "Ahmed" would u mind if u sat next to me please...and his friend gets up and sits next to him..

the lady was bewildered...and sat on the seat the other brother got off of..

anyways dis shows u mashallah...how much some of our brothers are doing to stay out of fitna..and may allah (swt) help them and guide them towards jannah inshallah