Lowering your gaze applies to women too!

Living in America (and in the West in general) is pretty tough for Muslims. Not only are we faced with increased scrutiny about our faith, but there is a lot of fitna and chances to commit sins as well. For a Muslim to go through all of this and at the same time, still wake up early for Fajr prayer, praying all the 5 required prayers, and go to Jummah prayer, I believe that a Muslim should pat himself on the back. Believe it or not, there are Muslims that don’t pray all their daily prayers and some don’t pray Jummah unless it is convenient to do so. And although we are light years behind the people of Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him), I still believe that a person who at least prays all his prayers and reads Quran is being blessed by Allah.

Now about the topic of this article, we all know that we should lower our gaze when it comes to looking at the opposite sex. Most Shaykhs and Imams when they talk about this, they usually talk to men. Even with women in the audience, although the speaker may have intended it for everyone, the atmosphere always seems to be that lowering your gaze applies more towards men than to women. And for some brothers, they always feel ashamed or feel bad when this topic gets brought up in a lecture (especially with women around) because it makes them feel like they are animals that can’t control their desires or sometimes they feel that sisters think of them in this way. Whether sisters really do think of the brothers in this way or not is another story but the fact is, it is much harder for men to lower their gaze than it is for women. Here’s an example,

A man and a women are sitting in a bus. Both are reading their favorite book. They both just happen to look at each other at the same time and both of them are reasonably attractive. In this situation, the man is more likely to look at the women more than the women will look at him. She’ll be able to concentrate on her book longer than he will and might probably even forget about him unless she senses him looking at her or just happens to look up and remember the man. For any feminists reading this, this is where men and women can’t be equal. A man’s psychology is different than a woman’s psychology. The simple fact is, men are more into sex while women are more into establishing relationships (this is a topic I plan to write about inshaAllah some time in the distant future).

With this fact in mind, it is very hard for a brother to lower his gaze when a sister isn’t doing her part and lowering her gaze. It is bad enough for a man to go outside seeing women hardly dressed in anything everywhere he goes. The best place he can hope to relax from all this is at his school’s MSA or an Islamic center (and of course his house). But if there are sisters there that from time to time don’t lower their gazes, not only does his mind start to think whether or not a sister may like him but he is also further frustrated by the fact that he feels it is wrong whenever he doesn’t lower his gaze yet its ok for sister to not lower her gaze.

Of course I am not saying that all sisters don’t lower their gaze. In fact, they lower their gazes a lot more than men do. However, there are certain sisters that do not lower their gaze for certain reasons. For example, a sister may look at a brother just to wait until he looks at her so she can say Salam to him or she may look at him but be lost in thought, thinking bout something else. Or she is just being nice and wants to show that she acknowledges his presence. And of course, there are some sisters that look at other brothers with desire as well. Whatever the reason, most brothers don’t think about it in this way. Most men when they look at women, they look at them with desire so when a women looks at a man, that man will most likely think that she is also looking at him with desire. A lot of brothers don’t understand that there are differences when it comes to these things.

A brother may look at a sister thinking she is attractive yet the sister may be looking at him because he has some food stuck in his beard. Then the brother runs to his friend saying “OMG this sister looked at me, she must like me!” Then the other clueless brother says “MashaAllah!, you should definitely marry her!” Like cmon guys…..

The point I want to make is, for the sisters who don’t lower their gazes for the reasons I may have said above or for other reasons, please be considerate to your brothers in Islam. Don’t do it for us. In fact, you shouldn’t even think about doing it for us since we brothers tend to view sisters as people that only stay in the kitchen and clean the house. But at least do it for the sake of Allah (SWT). And for every time you lower your gaze, the more reward you will get by Allah (SWT) inshaAllah. Oh and by the way, for the sisters that actually do think of brothers as animals that can’t control their desires, think of us as animals that are being tamed by the mercy of Allah (SWT).

May Allah give us whats best. Ameen.

One response to “Lowering your gaze applies to women too!”

  1. Lol, actually, women also find men attractive and can have problems controlling themselves from looking. Did Allah say men are different biologically in that verse? No, God told both women and men to lower their gaze. Simple. We both have desires. But men sometimes tend to act like they're some kind of sexualized dogs that can't control themselves. We are all responsible for our own actions and we are supposed to remain modest regardless of what the opposite sex is wearing.