Your eyes…. and lowering the gaze

Written by: Dr. Muhammad El Saqqa Eid

Specialist and Master's degree holder of Ophthalmology

Member of the Egyptian Association of Ophthalmology

Allah says in the Quran {Say to 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 say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty} (Surat Al Noor <24:30-31>)

And He also says:{Have We not given him two eyes, And a tongue and two lips, And pointed out to him the two conspicuous ways?} (Surat Al Balad <90:8-10>)

Eyes are the precious pearls that no price can afford. Allah has called them "The beloved things", or "the dear things", as came in the Hadith narrated by Al Bukhari, Al Tarmizi, and Ibn Habaan, that the prophet sala Allah alyh w salam said:"Allah said, 'If I deprive my servant of his two beloved things (i.e., his eyes) and he remains patient, I will vouchsafe him the Paradise in compensation for them.'''

The creation of the eye is one of the greatest secrets of God's powers, and an evidence thereto. Despite their small size in comparison with the whole organs around them, their scope of vision encompasses the whole wide universe including the sky, the earth, the sea, and all creatures.

The sense of sight comes in second in importance after the sense of hearing, as God says in the Quran in this concern what means :{Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: So We gave him (the gifts), of Hearing and Sight} (Surat Al Insan <076.002 >).

The sight is the mirror or a reflection of the body and its tool of distinction. It is the window though which we have see the surrounding world, and by which we can probe shapes, sizes and colors. The sight is man's means of identifying God's creatures and contemplating them. Allah says <<Say: "Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things>> (Surat Al Ankabout <29:20>>).

And, as we have already said, because the eyes are the most precious things that we have, we should take good care of them and protect them against any potential and possible harm.

And among the many things that should help us protect our eyes and preserve their health and strength, is refraining from using them in what Allah forbids, because they are one of Allah's several bounties upon us. One of the acts that tire the eyes is watching pornographic films. Allah says in His Holy Book in this concern what means {surely the hearing and the sight and the heart, all of these, shall be questioned about that} (Surat Al Israa < 17:36>). Therefore, a Muslim should divert his/her senses from what displeases Allah, and should not consume them in what is not useful. Letting the gaze roam freely at what arouses the desire and causes fitah (temptation) contradicts completely with the healthy fitrah (innate nature of human) that Allah has given us.

Al Tabarany and Hakim reported from Abdu Allah Ibn Masoad, May Allah be pleased with him that he said: The prophet of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) reported from Allah Almighty that He said: "The glance is a poisoned arrow of shaytaan (Satan). Whoever lowers his gaze for Allah, He will bestow upon him a refreshing sweetness, which he will find in his heart on the day he meets Him."

Lowering the gaze and its health benefits

The question is: Does lowering the gaze have any benefits to the human health? Scientific research and studies proved that repeated desirous looking at the opposite sex, and the ensuing need to fulfill the suppressed and unfulfilled desires, lead to many problems as serious as productive system diseases, such as the cognition of prostate, the sexual inability, or total infertility.

Some social studies have also proved that, in western societies, not lowering the gaze leads to depression and other psychological disorders. Such studies also indicate that moral disintegration and sexual promiscuity in those societies are some of the results of the inexistence of a religious doctrine or ethical and moral restrictions that regulate such a noble sense and channel it into what conforms to the human physical and psychological health.

The sense of sight is absolutely the strongest of the senses as far as responding to sexual excitement is concerned. Using this sense unconsciously and indiscriminately in looking at what arouses the desires simply means that its owner is wasting it unknowingly, and consequently is wasting his/her own psychological balance in vain and in no return except for an illusion of enjoyment and pleasure. The best remedy for the desirous looking at the opposite sex is to remember that Allah is always there seeing us all the time, and is watching over our deeds.Remind yourself that Allah sees you but you can't see Him, so where on earth could you be able to commit a sin without being caught? Where would such a place be?. Also remind yourself of Allah's (thawab) forgiveness and reward for those who lower their gaze in fear and obedience of Him, as the prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said, as narrated by Ahmad and Al Tabarany, <<Whoever( Muslim) looks at the beauties of a woman, then lowers his gaze, Allah will reward him with an act of worship that he feels its sweetness in his heart>>.

An anonymous from one of the coastal cities says "When I was young, my only pastime was to hang out with my friends in the streets and on the beach to look at beautiful women and girls and harass them. It used to give me great pleasure at first, then, over time, it turned to be something like addiction. I started to fall back in my studies, and the pictures of the girls and women I looked at, would stick to my mind and never left me when I was awake nor when I was asleep".

"And they came to me in my dreams. I started to live a strange life; a mixture of reality and dreams. Unlike all my peers , I failed to form any successful relation with any of my female colleagues.. My spirits were so low, and I started to go to psychiatrists, and to take sedatives, until someone advised me to get married, Which I did. I thought, like everyone did, that, with marriage, my problem would come to an end, and that my suppressed desires would be vented out naturally. Easier said! I realized that I suffered from sexual frigidity to a degree that I couldn’t imagine. Life turned dark in my eyes and I cried every night like a child".

"Day after day, and as I started to pray and read Quran regularly, peace returned to my soul. One day, I read that verse from surat Al Noor, in which God says what means (Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze), and it was such a great day in my life. I became sure that this Book (The Quran) can not be the words of anyone but the Creator of this universe. I have loved Allah so much since that day, and loved His Book too. That Book ,whose letters and words touches every part of the human soul, and guide it to the light, purity and righteousness. And after obeying Allah, I recovered and came back to my previous normal state ".


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