May 17, 2002

Watch out for the Arrow!

Oh, what a beautiful day: Twenty-two degrees Celsius; a clear
sky; the sun passionately declaring its warmth to the land
below.? I put on my cap and decide to go out for a walk.?
Moments later, I come across two scantily dressed girls, ?enjoying?
the wonderful weather.? Nervously, I look down towards the
cement sidewalk and walk past them.? I look up, only to encounter
a couple, rollerblading towards me in the most fashionable,
spandex exercise gear.?

?I fidget with my cap using it to shield myself from obscenity
and continue walking.? With my head down and cap covering
my view, it was bound to happen some time:? I walk into a
lamppost and hit my head!? As I lay on the sidewalk recovering
from the accident, I hear a male voice asking me, ?Are
you alright??? As I open my eyes to figure out what is
going on, I see a bare-chested man, jogging in position, offering
his hand to help me get up.? Subhan-Allah, what a day!?
I get up, run home, go to my room, and close my door.? How
am I expected to survive in such a filthy environment? Am
I supposed to isolate myself from the society to escape such
temptations?

?No. Obviously, with every trial and difficulty Allah always
provides us practical defensive tools. Keep in mind, though,
that the command to control our eyes is not just a ?fatwa?
of some ?conservative? scholar ?from the East?.
It is explicitly expressed in the words of Allah and the Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him).

What?s Wrong With A
Lustful Gaze?

 Many of us who are used to watching Sinbad or Temptation
Island, or are addicted to Bollywood movies, or enjoy the
company of people of opposite gender, may wonder what?s
wrong with lustfully staring at the attractive features of
the opposite gender??? Perhaps one saying of our beloved Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him) sums it all:

??The furtive glance is one of
the poisoned arrows of Shaytan, on him be God’s curse. Whoever
forsakes it for the fear of Allah, will receive from Him (Great
and Gracious is He) a faith, the sweetness of which he will
find within his heart
.? (al-Haakim.)

Therefore, a secret lustful look at a person of opposite
gender has been compared by the Prophet (pbuh) to an arrow
from Shaytan that:

  1. poisons our hearts
  2. ruins our intentions
  3. gives rise to false hopes and desires
  4. distorts our perception of ‘reality’
  5. deprives us from enjoying and concentrating in Prayers
  6. gives rise to constant feeling of guilt and depression
  7. sometimes leads to sleepless nights
  8. renders our heart weak for continuous Shaytanic attacks
  9. promotes hypocrisy
  10. weakens our memory
  11. eventually leads to Zina (adultery)
  12. above all, diminishes our love for and fear of Allah

Allah commands us: “Say to the believing men that
they should lower their gaze and guard their private parts;
that will make for greater purity for them…

[24:30.] In the verse following this one, Allah commands ?the
believing women
? in the similar manner.

5 Secret Benefits Of Jihad Against
Temptation

  1. Perhaps the greatest secret reward of resisting the temptation
    is the increase in your Faith (Iman), the sweetness
    of which could only be sensed by you! This empowering force
    of renewed Iman will help you suppress the desires
    in unimaginable ways.
  2. Right when you are urged, if you remember Allah?s
    mercy, commandments, and displeasure, He will make it easy
    for you to get out of the situation without regrets, stress,
    or pain. Allah reassures us: ?And the one who fears
    Allah (has Taqwa), He will make a way out
    .? [65:
    2.]
  3. It will also have a remarkable impact on your character,
    since the heart is like a mirror and the base desires are
    like rust upon it. When the mirror is polished and cleansed
    of the rust, it reflects the realities as they actually
    are. Your family and friends will see the difference!
  4. Frequent gazing at unlawful scenes of sexuality tire and
    wear down both the heart and the eyes.? The heart becomes
    ?bored? and depressed after a while. However,
    when your eyes are prevented from looking around, the heart
    finds relief from the arduous task of vainly desiring something
    it does not possess.
  5. As the Prophet (pbuh) once said to his Companion: ?By
    Allah! Whosoever gives up something for the sake of Allah,
    Allah will replace it with something better than it!”

    If you remain patient in this world, Allah will bless you
    with joys in ways you could never imagine!

?18 Ways To Survive In Temptation
Island!

?Yes, it?s hard, especially when you?re constantly
bombarded with obscene images: that hot, scantily clad guy
or gal in the magazine luring you; or the persistent emphasis
on sex in the movies (even Toy Story or Spider Man!); or the
pervasive links to pornography while you may simply be checking
your e-mail. How can you protect yourself from all of this?

  1. Don’t forget the power of Allah?s Remembrance
    (Dhikr)!
    It is the most powerful of all the defenses.
    Regular reading of prescribed Du’as will develop
    your Taqwa (consciousness) and keep you mindful of
    what thoughts you entertain.
  2. Remember your Accountability to Allah. In Islam,
    you’re fully accountable as soon as you understand and feel
    such temptations. Your eyes will testify about what you
    looked at on the Day of Judgment.
  3. Always walk with your gaze lowered. But make sure
    not to bump into a hydro post! Lowering the gaze does not
    mean that you cannot have any ?eye contact? as
    you walk or during a conversation. It means that you keep
    your eyes under control.
  4. Take the Right Seat! In a public place (e.g. caf?),
    choose a seat that minimizes your view-frame and avoid mixed-crowds.
    It is precisely about such comfortable gazing at the attractive
    features of the passers-by that the Prophet (pbuh) advised
    ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib: “Ali, do not let a second look
    follow the first. The first look is allowed to you but not
    the second.
    ”(Ahmad, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi.)
  5. Hangout with those known for noble character and modesty.
    When you are around good people, they can remind you to
    abstain from that which Allah dislikes. As the Prophet (pbuh)
    said, ?A person is likely to follow the faith of
    his friends, so be careful about who you make your friend
    .?
    (Ahmad.)
  6. Avoid friends that are into immoral movies, music,
    dirty jokes etc.
    Such activities are the tools of Shaytan
    that promote the idea of ?love based on looks?
    or ?love at first sight?. Such friends would take
    you into an artificial world of fantasies and false hopes,
    away from reality, before it?s too late! Therefore,
    either you help your friends change through gentle advice,
    or abandon frequent contact with them. As Allah warns us:
    If anyone withdraws himself from Allah’s remembrance,
    Most Gracious, We appoint for him an evil one to be his
    intimate companion
    .” [43: 36.]?
  7. Avoid visiting malls and parks alone. Always try
    to go out with a family member or a good friend, whose company
    may help you avert your eyes from the objectionable billboards
    and inappropriately clothed people. In summer, step out
    only when you have to.
  8. Surf or Watch TV when others are around. The temptation
    to sneak a look at dirty pictures is heightened when you’re
    alone in your room watching TV or surfing the internet.
    Shaytan‘s primary target is always a lonely person!
    Try to avoid late night TV and internet surfing.
  9. Never have ‘nothing to do’! Shaytan loves
    ‘bored and idle’ people. If you are feeling bored, do the
    dishes, or take out the garbage, or read some book. Allah
    says, “Do not throw yourself into destruction with
    your own hands.
    ” [2: 195.]
  10. Volunteer for Islamic Organizations. Your Jihad
    against immorality in the society is one reason for you
    to join Muslim youth groups in your community. Your involvement
    with such activities, along with the love of helpful brothers
    or sisters struggling for a good cause, will keep your mind,
    energies, and thoughts focused away from the Haram.
  11. Read, Read, and Read! Yes, read as many Islamic
    books and articles as possible. Reading keeps your mind
    and eyes busy! It keeps you motivated to live your Islam
    and strengthens your relationship with Allah.
  12. Always remember that the beauty of this world is temporary
    and the life hereafter is everlasting.
  13. Observe voluntary fast to strengthen your willpower
    and to cool your passions. The Prophet (pbuh) strongly recommended
    the youth to make it a habit.
  14. If you are able and responsible then get married for
    the sake of Allah.
    It may be one of the most effective,
    yet challenging, defense mechanisms against such temptations.
  15. For Brothers, remember your Mom and Sister. Disgusting
    right? Exactly! No sane person would look at his mom or
    sister the way many of us examine the girls on TV shows
    or stare at our Muslim sisters in social gatherings. This
    thought should sicken you enough to stop, In-sha-Allah.
  16. Remind yourself of the Death and Hereafter often.
    Remember often the terminator (or destroyer) of
    all the pleasures [i.e. death]
    ,” the Prophet (pbuh)
    once reminded us. (at-Tirmidhi.)
  17. Increase your Good Actions. Try following the advice
    of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): ?Remain
    conscious of Allah and fear Him wherever you are. And follow
    a bad deed with a good deed which will wipe it out, and
    behave well towards people
    .? (at-Tirmidhi.)
  18. Repent and Return to Allah. Allah is All-forgiving
    and loves those who return to Him, promising not to repeat
    their sins. ?Ask forgiveness from your Lord, then
    turn towards Him in repentance; He will loosen the sky over
    you in abundance, and He will add strength unto your strength.
    ?
    [11: 52].

?For further information
on this topic, please read the following articles:

?The
Virtue of Lowering the Gaze
? by Imam Ibn
al-Qayyim
?Tips for
Teens on How to Handle Pornography
? by Sound
Vision
?Watch out
for that Arrow
? by Morshed Abul Ala

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