Prohibition of gazing at women and Beardless Handsome Boys except in Exigency

 

Allah, the Exalted, says:
"Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things).'' (24:30)
"Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those ones will be questioned (by Allah).'' (17:36)
"Allah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the breasts conceal.'' (40:19)
"Verily, your Rubb is Ever Watchful (over them).'' (89:14)
 
1622. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "Allah has written the very portion of Zina which a man will indulge in. There will be no escape from it. The Zina of the eye is the (lustful) look, the Zina of the ears is the listening (to voluptuous songs or talk), the Zina of the tongue is (the licentious) speech, the Zina of the hand is the (lustful) grip, the Zina of the feet is the walking (to the place where he intends to commit Zina), the heart yearns and desires and the private parts approve all that or disapprove it.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
This is the wording in Muslim; Al-Bukhari wording is a bit short.
Commentary:  Seeing, listening, walking, etc., are means of committing the sin of fornication and adultery, but they have been termed so metaphorically so that every Muslim saves himself from them. If he does not try to save himself from them, his desires will find support from the private parts of his body; that is, he will incline to immoral acts. If he keeps himself away from the means of fornication and adultery, his private parts will crush his desires, that is to say he will be saved from immoral acts. This is the reason it is said that one should avoid glances, smiles, salutation, conversation, promises and then meetings which occur by stages on one's way to fornication and adultery.
 
1623. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "Avoid sitting on roadsides.'' His Companions said: "O Messenger of Allah (PBUH), there is no other alternative but to sit there to talk.'' Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "If you have to sit at all, then fulfill the rights of the road.'' They asked: "What are their rights?'' Thereupon he said, "Lowering the gaze (so that you may not stare at unlawful things); refraining from doing some harm to others, responding to greeting (i.e., saying `Wa`alaikumus-salam' to one another) and commanding the good and forbidding the evil.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: Since roads, streets, lanes and all thoroughfares are the common property of public, it is unfair to use them for private meetings and gatherings because such assemblies create inconvenience for people, especially women, who hesitate appearing before men. But if for some unavoidable reasons, one has to sit on them, then he should do such things there which should on the one side, save one from committing sins (like glazing at women who pass from there), and on the other, one should take care of the public welfare and make use of his presence for preaching religion.
 
1624. Abu Talhah Zaid bin Sahl (May Allah be pleased with him) said: We were sitting and talking on a platform in front of our house when the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) 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].

Commentary:  This Hadith also tells us that we should avoid sitting over passages which are used by the public. If at all one has to use them, then one must observe the Islamic etiquette mentioned in the Hadith.
 
1625. Jarir bin `Abdullah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: I asked the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) about (the Islamic ruling on) accidental glance (i.e., at a woman one is not Islamically allowed to look at) and he ordered me to turn my eyes away.
[Muslim].

Commentary:  If one suddenly sees a woman who is not a Mahram, he must at once turn away his glance from her. One should not gaze at her because then his intention is also included in his look which is a sin and constitutes the fornication of the eye. Some religious scholars have also forbidden looking at beardless handsome boys in the same way as is the case with women whom one is not allowed to see.
 
1626. Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) said: I was with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) along with Maimunah (May Allah be pleased with him) when Ibn Umm Maktum (May Allah be pleased with him) (who was blind) came to visit him. (This incident took place after the order of Hijab). The Prophet (PBUH) told us to hide ourselves from him (i.e., observe Hijab). We said: "O Messenger of Allah (PBUH), 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?''
[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].

Commentary:  One of the subnarrator of this Hadith is An-Nabhan, the freed slave of Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with him)u, who is Majhul (unknown). (This is the opinion of Sheikh Al-Albani). Thus this Hadith is not correct. Against this there is a reliable Hadith according to which the Prophet (PBUH) ordered Fatimah bint Qais (May Allah be pleased with her) to spend her `Iddah (probation observed on divorce or death of the husband) in the house of `Abdullah bin Umm Maktum and said that "Since he is blind, you will be in a position to your veil there.'' Thus it is clear that keeping the veil from the blind is not ordained in Islam.
 
1627. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "A man must not look at a man's private parts nor must a woman look at a woman's private parts; neither should two men lie naked under one cover, nor should two women lie naked under the same cover.''
[Muslim].

Commentary:  This Hadith tells us how Islam has closed all doors of immodesty and obscenity. When Islam does not allow a man to sleep without any clothes on with another man, and also does not permit a woman to sleep without any clothes on with another woman, how can it possibly let the gents and ladies mix freely? Free mixing of men and women is a common evil in the West and is now being projected through television in Muslim countries. May Allah guide Muslims to the Straight Path!.

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