Oh believers, lower your gaze!

Summary of Maulana Shaykh Nazim’s Daily Suhbah

21stMarch 2010, Sunday

Oh believers, lower your gaze!

A’uzubillah himinsh shaitan nirrajeem

Bismillahir Rahman-nir Raheem

Assalamu’alaikum wrh wbkt

  • Maulana said that whoever wanted to be Allah’s beloved, and to bestowed honour by Allah, such a Seeker must spend more time in the Divine service. Do not chase worldly honour, for such human-given titles are meaningless in the heavens. Recite A’uzubillahi minasy syaitan nirrajeem, how many times daily are you doing so? If you aren’t reciting it, is it because you feel safe, protected and immune from shaitan’s influence? So many people claim to be purified ones, clean ones, in public, but in their private lives, are they obeying Allah and controlling their horses (their egos/desires)?
  • Maulana gave the example of men who use dark sun-glasses. The ego likes these cool, dark glasses for a reason. In wearing them, no one can see where their eyes are looking, many of them are ogling at pretty women and ‘feasting’ their eyes on scantily clad ladies! Hiding behind their glasses, they feel ‘safe’ and un-noticed, they can look to their hearts’ content, without being spotted. Allah knows your secret acts, you must fear and obey Allah, both publicly and privately.

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do. (Surah An-Nur 24:30)

  • On the other hand, more and more women are choosing to work in places where they are mixing freely with men. It has become a norm for them to dress in a sexually provocative manner, wearing revealing clothes, as this is now what office-wear fashion dictates.
  • Maulana says that Scholars must speak out against these forbidden acts that are corrupting our society, for men and women are being drawn into temptation by this situation, and the effects are far-reaching, for illicit relationships damage both the individual and the society.

And come not near to the unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is a fahishah [i.e. anything that transgresses its limits (a great sin)], and an evil way (that leads one to Hell). (Surah Al-Isra' 17:32)

  • Mankind has been taught by Rasulullah (saw), to lower their gaze from looking at the opposite sex, and from turning their gaze from all that is forbidden, for that gaze is the beginning of a journey, to fulfilling illicit desires. Shaitan is always at hand, to persuade people to take that forbidden second glance, to soak up the sight of exposed flesh, to inflame the passions, to nudge one towards the evil way. Scholars must speak from the mimbar of Juma’ah, against this blatant intermingling that is unraveling the very fabric of society – the sanctity of the family unit. The Muslim Nation is regressing because learned ones are no longer advising their communities to restrain their eyes, to lower their gaze from all that is forbidden, and to recite Ta’awwuz, so that shaitan’s whisperings are negated.
  • There was once a famous Kadi (Islamic judge), who was approached by a woman, who was dressed in the jilbab, such that nothing of the face or body was exposed. He asked her, “Oh believing woman, what is your complaint?” She said, “Oh respected Kadi, I am here to lodge a complaint, by the Shariat of Allah, for I know that you are fair, and you judge by the Shariat of Allah. I am here to complain about my husband. He has hurt me, by wanting to take another wife.” The Kadi said, “It is his right to do so.” To which this lady of faith replied, “What you have said is true. By the Law of Allah, I have covered myself up, but if I had been permitted to lift my veil, and to expose myself to you, you would see the beauty of my face and body, my facial features are like the full moon. When you see what Allah has bestowed on me, and all that Allah has given me, is for him, my husband, you would be angry with my husband, for not being thankful to Allah for what Allah has given him, for, he is seeking another women, out of his unbridled desires!”
  • This incident teaches us two beautiful lessons. The first, is that it is compulsory for a woman to cover her beauty, from those who are not permitted to see it. This woman of faith did not expose her beauty to the Kadi, despite needing to save her marriage. Maulana says that many people take this matter very lightly, and he warned us not play with Shariat Allah, His Law, for it cannot be changed or lightened, there is profound wisdom in such an instruction – just look at the mayhem that is in our communities today, due to women exposing themselves shamelessly. Allah’s curse be upon women who expose their beauty and ornaments!

And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! Turn ye all together towards Allah that ye may attain Bliss. (Surah An-Nur 24: 31)

  • The second lesson here, is that many men also play with Shariat Allah, taking second, third and fourth wives, since they interpret that it is permitted, and they have roving eyes, seeking out attractive women to add to their harem. Shariat Allah has never been a tool to fulfill human desires, though it is often used as such. Men should keep the adab of believers, and lower their gaze, and they should be thankful for the wives that Allah has bestowed them, treasuring their wives’ devotion and sacrifices, instead of taking them as objects of enjoyment, and to be always be on the prowl for new wives. Maulana said that men are the caretakers of women, so men must treat them with love, kindness and understanding.

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women (Surah An-Nisa 4:34)

  • Maulana says that husbands must not be like walls – hard, inflexible and cold. They should be gentle, flexible and warm towards their wives, as these are the ingredients for a strong marriage, which in turn build a strong family, resulting in a community with values and morals. Treat wives with gentleness, honour them, as each human being has tajalli (Divine blessings) descending on him/her, so husbands must respect the blessings that Allah sends onto their wives. Praise them, treasure them, call them by loving pet names (Maulana says like, ‘Oh my darling’) and do not always be angry with them, for anger eats up faith.
  • Women on the other hand, must not cheapen themselves, by using their beauty to get men to spend on them and to treat them in a special way. Rich men and even kings are mesmerized by beautiful women, and spend lavishly on them to win their favour, being at their beck and call, just to enjoy themselves with such women. Maulana gave the example of a man who found a beautiful wild cat following him home, and because it was so attractive, he put it up for sale in the market. It was admired by many, with so many people giving the cat loving pet names, they came to fondle and play with the cat, but at the end of the day, no one wanted it, everyone said that they already had a domestic cat at home. The seller realized that he had been cheated, that despite all the pet names given to the cat, despite its beauty, despite the attention that it generated, the cat had no real value, so he chased it away. So ‘wild’ women may appear to be in demand, but in reality, they have no value, everyone goes back to the ‘domestic’ wives at home, and in the end, such women end up unwanted. So by cheapening yourself, by being ‘available’ to all, by exposing yourself to all who want to see, by dressing up in a voluptuous/sluttish way, and by seducing men – that is not the way to acquire a good husband or to build a good life. It may bring some attention to you, but the attention you get is from a breed of men who are simply looking for fulfillment of their desires – that is not the type of men who will make suitable husbands. Such women end up used, discarded and hurt, they have tried to ‘cheat’ men with their wiles, but ended up being ‘cheated’ themselves too.
  • In conclusion, Maulana says that every goodness is found in the teachings of Islam. By following the pure Islamic teachings – by practising chastity and restraint, by lowering the gaze and by reigning in your horses (ego/desires), by being responsible, loving and accommodating, husbands and wives can build a blessed household, in which to worship Him and to raise a blessed family. (The Prophet (saw) said in a Hadees, ‘My house, is my Paradise.’ So let us emulate him.)

Fatihah.


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