Summer is almost here in America and with it, comes temptations and opportunities for fitnah to occur. You see, fitnah is like the weather. The hotter it gets, the more fitnah there is. You’ll see women wearing clothes that barely cover their body. You’ll see men…wearing or doing things that are attractive to women (clearly, I don’t know what causes fitnah for women. If anyone knows, please comment to this post about it. It would be greatly appreciated). I’ve made up a term to describe all this: Summertime fitnah. It’s the season of increased opportunities to sin and become friends with Satan. Question is, how does a righteous Muslim deal with all this? Well I’ve posted a bunch of tips that should be able to help you lower your gaze.
Originally, I was going to post my own tips on how to lower your gaze but I found a website that had tips that would help more than mine. However I did add some commentary to them. If you see words in between the brackets “[ ]”, then those are some of the things I’ve added in to help explain the tips better. That being said, read these tips and may Allah help us implement them.
1 –Bearing in mind the fact that Allah is watching you, that He sees you and is with you (by His knowledge) wherever you go. It may be a secretive glance of which your closest neighbor is unaware, but Allah knows of it: “Allah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the hearts conceal.”(Ghafir:19)
2 –Seeking the help of Allah, beseeching Him and calling upon Him. Almighty Allah says:“And your Lord said: Invoke Me [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islamic Monotheism) and ask Me for anything] I will respond to your (invocation).”(Ghafir: 60)
3 –You should know that every blessing you enjoy comes from Allah, and requires that you should give thanks for it. Part of being grateful for the blessing of sight means that you should protect it from looking at that which Allah has forbidden. Is there any reward for a good deed, other than good?“And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allah.”(An-Nahl: 53)
4 –Striving with your self and training yourself to lower your gaze and be patient in doing so, and never giving up. Allah says:“As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our paths.”(Al-`Ankabut: 69)
5 –Avoiding places where a person feels he will be exposed to the temptation of looking, if he can manage to avoid them, such as going to marketplaces or malls, and sitting idle in the street. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:“Beware of sitting in the street.”They said, “We have no alternative; that is where we sit and talk.” He said,“If you insist on sitting there, then give the street its rights.”They said, “What are the rights of the street?” He said,“Lowering the gaze and refraining from causing offence…”(Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
6 –You should realize that you have no choice in this matter, regardless of what the circumstances are and no matter how great is the temptation or motive to do evil, and no matter what emotions and overwhelming desires stir within your heart. You must lower your gaze and refrain from looking at forbidden things in all places and at all times. You cannot use excuses such as the environment being corrupt, or justify your mistakes by saying that you are surrounded by temptation.
7 –Doing a lot of voluntary acts of worship, because doing a lot of them whilst also regularly doing the obligatory acts of worship is a means of protecting one’s physical faculties. According to a hadith qudsi(Divine), Allah said:“… and My slave continues to draw close to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. And when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask (something) of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it.”(Al-Bukhari)
8 –Remembering that the earth on which sin is committed will bear witness for or against us. Allah says:“That Day it will declare its information (about all that happened over it of good or evil).”(Az-Zalzalah: 4)
9 –Bearing in mind some of the texts which forbid one from letting the gaze wander freely, such as the verse in which Allah says:“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things).”(An-Nur: 30) [Besides the Quran, there are also hadiths that mention these things as well. The Messenger of Allaah (saw) said: “O Ali, do not follow a glance with another, for you will be forgiven for the first, but not for the second.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 2701; see Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7953).]
10 –Avoiding unnecessary looks, so that you only look at what is needed to look at, and you do not allow your gaze to wander right and left so that it falls upon something the effects and temptation of which cannot be got rid of quickly. [A good example of this would be public transportation. Don’t let your gaze wonder around; instead, look at the ground or close your eyes or occupy your self by reading a book until you’ve reached your destination.]
11 –Marriage is one of the most effective remedies. [I know many people don’t have to means to marry early, but if you have that luxury, take advantage of it! The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:“Whoever can afford it, let him get married, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and in guarding one’s chastity. And whoever cannot afford it, let him fast, for it will be a shield for him.”(Al-Bukhari and Muslim).]
11 –Rememberingal-hur al-`een(maidens in Paradise), which will motivate you to be patient in avoiding that which Allah has forbidden, hoping to obtain this blessing. Allah said:“Companions of equal age.”(An-Naba’: 33) And the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:“If a woman of the people of Paradise were to look out over the people of this earth, it would light up everything in between and fill it with fragrance, and the veil of her head is better than this world and everything in it.”(Al-Bukhari)
12 –Bearing in mind the shortcomings of the one who attracts you. [Clearly, a woman who doesn’t cover her body has no shame and modesty and a man who isn’t a Muslim would never make a good husband.]
13 –Checking yourself from time to time and striving to make yourself lower your gaze whilst being patient, realizing that everyone makes mistakes. [Jareer ibn ‘Abdullaah said: “I asked the Messenger of Allaah (saw) about an accidental glance at a woman. He commanded me to turn my gaze away.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, who said: This is a saheeh hasan hadeeth. See al-Sunan, 2700).]
14 –Thinking of the pain and regret that will result from this looking, and the negative effects of allowing one’s gaze to wander. [Lust will build up in a man which can lead to adultery if a man can’t control himself. For women it is important not to look at any man you find attractive. Most women fail to understand that looking at a man gives them the idea that you like them and gives them the permission to confront you if they’re bold enough. And if a women isn’t strong in faith, this can lead to adultery as well.]
15 –Understanding the benefits of lowering one’s gaze, as mentioned above.
16 –Bringing up this topic during meetings and gatherings, and explaining its dangers to others.
17 –Advising your relatives, telling them not to wear clothes that attract attention and show their beauty, such as how they dress, wearing bright colors, how they walk, speaking too softly, etc.
18 –Warding off passing thoughts and the whispers of Satan before they take hold and are acted upon. Whoever lowers his gaze after the first glance will be saved from innumerable problems, but if he continues to look he cannot be certain that seeds that will be difficult to remove, will not be planted in his heart. [If you can’t lower your gaze after the first glance, then this would it would lead to a second glance and if it leads to that, then whats to stop you from looking for a third, forth, fifth, and countless more times?]
19 –Being afraid of an evil end, and of a feeling of great regret at the point of death. [Feeling afraid adultery and dieing in the act of committing a sin is a good motivation to stop committing a sin.]
20 –Keeping the company of good people, because you are naturally affected by the characteristics of the people you mix with, and a person will follow the way of his close friend, and a friend will pull you to follow his way.”
I hope this has benefited you as it has benefited me and may Allah protect us from the evils of summertime fitnah. Please share this with all your friends and people you know.