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    The Jihad of the eyes - start today!

    The Jihad of the eyes - start today!

    by Dr. Hesham Hassaballa

    As temperatures soar and sweat pours down our faces this summer, it is
    essential to remember this: protect your eyes, and I am not talking about
    wearing sunglasses.

    I'm talking about lowering our gazes.

    In our culture today, as the temperature increases, so does the amount of
    exposed skin on people's bodies. Although this is very distressing and
    disturbing, it has become a fact of life.

    In fact, those of us, especially our sisters wearing Hijab, who cover to
    guard our modesty are seen as strange!

    Yet, covering, not exposing the skin, is an advice currently being given by
    the United States Department of Health And Human Services (HHS) and the
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    They have sponsored a campaign called "Choose Your Cover", encouraging
    people to protect themselves from skin cancer.

    One of the recommended methods is wearing clothing that covers skin and
    protects against the sun's UV rays.

    The campaign's section on clothing notes that "a long-sleeved shirt and long
    pants with a thick weave provide the best protection."

    And lest we forget, before global warming and skin cancer warnings were ever
    issued, most of the Muslim and non-Muslim men and women living in the
    scorching deserts or cities and villages of Africa and Asia, which
    experience tremendous heat in the summers [if not most of the year] did NOT
    emerge from their homes virtually naked.

    In fact, they covered themselves more to protect themselves from the sun.

    Some advice from the Quran and Sunnah

    It is in this instance, surrounded by half-naked people, that we must have
    the courage to follow the command of Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (peace
    and blessings be upon him) and lower our gazes.

    Allah says:

    "Do not go near fornication and adultery, it is an abomination and an evil
    way." (Quran 17:32).

    This sin is so hateful in the sight of Our Lord, that He commanded us to not
    even go near it.

    Despite what anyone may say, looking upon that which one is not supposed to
    is going near adultery. For an illicit affair begins with a lustful glance.

    Allah wishes for us not to commit this ugly sin, and thus He commands us to
    lower our gazes:

    "Tell the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their
    modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; And Allah is well
    acquainted with all that they do.

    And tell the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard
    their modesty…" (Quran 24:30-31).

    Lowering the gaze does not mean keeping our eyes constantly on the ground
    and not looking up at all.

    It is turning our faces away when we see a less-than-decently-dressed woman
    or man walking on the street in the middle of July.

    The adultery of the eyes

    The Prophet further explained to us Allah's command. Abu Hurayrah narrated
    that the Prophet said, "…the adultery of the eyes is looking (at [that]
    which is not allowed)…" (Bukhari, Muslim).

    Also, on the authority of Jurayr who said, "I asked the Messenger of Allah
    about accidentally looking at something that is not allowed and he said,
    ‘Turn your eyes away.'" (Muslim).

    In another Hadith on the authority of Abu Sa'eed, the Prophet said, "A man
    should not look at the Awrah of another man, and the woman should not look
    at the Awrah of another woman…" (Muslim).

    Thus, our Prophet even instructed us to lower our gaze when looking at
    members of the same gender in some cases.

    Lowering for the "other" nakedness

    One common mistake is to think that lowering your gaze is only required upon
    encountering nakedness and indecency "in the flesh" or in person.

    Lowering our gaze must also be practiced when watching a film or television
    program replete with nakedness and intimate scenes of couples (actually, we
    should try to avoid watching such types of programs, period).

    Lowering our gaze includes changing the channel when "Baywatch" comes on.

    It also means changing the channel when watching the news if we feel
    attracted to the anchorperson or reporter reading or presenting the news.

    And anyway, television isn't that great of a way to spend time. See why in
    Sound Vision's unTV guide.

    Don't go to the beach

    Or anywhere else you'll find a plethora of bikini- and swimming-trunk clad
    men and women.

    Lowering your gaze there is virtually impossible. You may turn in one
    direction, thinking you're home-free, but soon enough you can't even look
    there.

    The same holds true for parks. While this doesn't mean never taking the kids
    out to enjoy the slides and see-saws or having barbecues there, it does mean
    perhaps having activities on days that are cooler, or at times when the sun
    is not as hot and intense (i.e. some time in the earlier morning or before
    Maghrib).

    This way, the prime time for sunbathing has passed, and most people either
    leave or feel cool enough to put some more clothes on.

    Make Dua (supplication)

    "Never underestimate the power of Dua," Imam Siraj Wahhaj of Brooklyn, New
    York once said. This holds true in all trying situations.

    Sometimes, despite avoiding certain places where you are more likely to
    encounter an improperly dressed person, you may find someone walking on the
    street going to the beach or the park who decided to get ready for
    suntanning or swimming beforehand.

    In these cases, lowering the gaze may be even harder. You weren't expecting
    it, so you didn't mentally prepare yourself.

    If you feel overwhelmed, one suggested Dua to read is: "Aoutho billahi Sami'
    il Aleem minash Shaytan ir Rajeem" (see Quran 41:36 for more information). A
    translation of this is "I seek the refuge of Allah who is the Hearer and Who
    is the Knower from the Shaytan the accursed."

    In general, seek refuge in Allah. It has also been suggested to say "La
    hawla wa la Quwwata illa billah" (there is no power except with Allah). If
    we sincerely make Dua, Insha Allah, we can succeed in turning our eyes away.

    Lowering the gaze doesn't mean being anti-social

    But lowering our gaze does not mean being rude or anti-social. Summer is
    definitely a time to go out, have fun, and even make Dawa (inviting others
    to Islam).

    You can, for example, hand out brochures at public places and parks.

    The Prophet used to present the message of Islam to people that had come for
    the yearly "Ukaz" festival, which did include unIslamic activities like
    drinking and gambling.

    However, this requires faith, self-control and discipline. This must never
    be used as an opportunity to indulge in these sins.

    The gaze is part of a Muslim's character

    A Muslim is decent and pure. This means all of his or her body must be
    decent and pure. A natural consequence of this is lowering the gaze.

    Allah tells us:

    "O you who believe! Do not follow Satan's footsteps: if any will follow the
    footsteps of Satan, he will command what is shameful and wrong..." (Quran
    24:21).

    Looking at another man or woman in an indecent manner is following in
    Satan's footsteps.

    It all begins with a lustful glance. Such a glance leads to lustful talk and
    flirting, then meeting…and we are all aware of what comes next.

    Let us stop Satan in his tracks and lower our gaze.

    Let us start today, during these hot summer months. Yes, it is very
    difficult and it takes discipline and faith.

    Yet, whenever we struggle to please Allah, He will reward us several times
    over in this life and the next.

    It is truly a Jihad. But, it is a Jihad worth undertaking, and we will be
    all the better for it.


    ~*~*~*~
    "If you put your whole trust in Allah, as you ought,
    He most certainly will satisfy your needs,
    as He satisfies those of the birds.
    They come out hungry in the morning,
    but return full to their nests in the evening."
    (Tirmidhi)
    ~*~*~*~

    #2
    Jazakallah khair for the reminder!

    ------------------
    "I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature, but He has a grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the straight path. (The truth)"
    (11:55-56)

    "...Indeed my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allaah, the Lord of the worlds" (6:162)

    Comment


      #3
      jazakAllah, a good article....
      may Allah give us all the courage and determination for such a Jihaad....



      ------------------
      "Our Lord! forgive us our sins and anything we may have done that transgressed our duty; establish our feet firmly and help us against those that resist faith." Quran(3:147)
      Both Halal & Haram r evident but between them r doubtful things, most ppl have no knowledge about them. So whoever saves himself from suspicious things saves his religion & honor, & whoever indulges in suspicious things indulges in Haram.

      Comment

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