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Thread: Lowering Your Gaze – Practical Steps for Getting Close to Allah

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    Default Lowering Your Gaze – Practical Steps for Getting Close to Allah

    Bismillah,
    Sometimes, as a Muslim youth in America, going through high school and college while keeping your emaan can be really difficult. I want you to recall back to the last time you were in one of the following situations:

    • You were walking on campus (or in the hallway) on a hot summer day and as you looked ahead to see where you were going, your eyes fell upon a half-naked beautiful woman (or man).
    • Or when you were reading an Islamic article or just browsing the Internet at night and a nasty popup appeared right in front of your eyes.


    At that very moment, did you immediately lower your gaze and say “astagfirullah” / “audhobillahi minnash shaytaanir rajeem”? If you did, then alhumdulillah! But if at that very moment you struggled to lower your gaze and/or didn’t feel anything in your heart telling you that you shouldn’t be looking at what you’re looking at, then you should continue reading this article…
    Wallahi, lowering your gaze as a young Muslim is very difficult, especially since you have immodesty, pornography, and such lewdness running rampant in this society. We have cable television (channels such as MTV, E!, and even the Disney channel!) openly promoting this type of behavior. Even the most popular video game out right now (GTA 4) is all about money, girls, cussing, and boosting (stealing) cars! (Ya Allah…) When our hearts aren’t affected by this type of behavior, and we wonder why it’s so hard to lower our gaze, we should realize that the root of the problem isn’t our gaze, that’s just a symptom, but the root of our problem is that our hearts aren’t lowered in front of Allah (swt). And the way to lower your heart in front of Allah (swt) is by developing a strong connection with him through some of the suggestions that will be discussed below. When we develop a connection with Allah (swt), we will find that our limbs (including eyes) will automatically reject anything that displeases Allah (swt).


    Let us now take a look at some of the things we can do to get closer to Allah (swt). Here is a list of some practical suggestions, which will later be expounded upon individually:

    • Work on performing (and perfecting) all of the obligatory acts of worship (praying 5 times a day, etc.).
    • Develop a relationship with the Qur’an.
    • Increase in the voluntary acts of worship.
    • Hang out and spend time with good brothers/sisters!


    Obligatory acts
    Aboo Hurayrah (r) narrated that the Prophet (sw), said, “Allaah said: My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties [obligatory acts] I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. 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.” (Bukhari; hadith qudsi)
    Subhannallah!
    Allah is telling us, straight up, that the best way to get close to Him is by doing what He has ordered us to do. Let’s set some practical goals for ourselves with regards to our salah (prayer). Working towards praying five times a day is the best thing we can do for ourselves (if we don’t already do it). Allah (swt) has told us that he is with us if we pray!
    Relationship with the Qur’an
    I want us to ask ourselves this question: When was the last time we actually sat down with the Qur’an, read it in a language we understand, and pondered over the meaning? For many of us, we feel that the Qur’an is too good for us to read and that we won’t be able to understand it, so we keep it off on top of our bookshelves and let it catch dust. Or, when we do decide to read it, we only recite the Arabic and have no clue about the meaning. The Qur’an was sent down for people to think about and follow (the orders in it). How can we do that if we have no idea what it’s actually telling us to do (since we don’t understand the language)?
    I can safely say that the Qur’an has had the biggest impact on my life in going back to Allah. If we don’t already read the Qur’an daily, we would be doing ourselves the biggest favor by buying an English translation of the Qur’an and getting in the habit of reading it daily.
    After you get your copy of the Qur’an, you can simply read it cover-to-cover, fifteen minutes a day. However, something that really helped me get in the habit of reading the Qur’an was that the first time around when you read the translation of the Qur’an, start from Surah 49 (second half of the Qur’an) and read it till the end. The reason is that the first half of the Qur’an (Medinan Surahs) is heavy in verses relating to law and sometimes it gets hard to read. When you start from Surah 49, the surahs are relatively short (2-3 pages long), and they are an amazing emaan booster, so you can set a goal to read one surah a day.


    Increasing in voluntary acts of worship
    The most important goal that we need to set for ourselves right now is to start praying (and yes, fajr is part of the five daily prayers too!). But after we are consistently praying five times a day, we should increase the voluntary acts. If you recall back to the aforementioned hadith, after Allah (swt) mentions that the most important step in going back to Allah is by performing the obligatory acts, He says: “…and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory (extra) works so that I shall love him.”
    We can start off by performing the sunnah prayers before/after each of the five daily prayers.We should also make an effort to remember Allah (swt) throughout the day, by making the du’as that the Prophet (sw) would make daily.


    Spending time with good brothers/sisters
    If you feel like you’re having a really hard time trying to strengthen your emaan, look at the three closest people that you hang out with. I read an interesting article a while ago, which said that your habits are the same as the culmination of 3 or 5 of your closest friends’ habits. Seriously though, how do you plan on getting close to Allah (swt) when you’re hanging out with Mo(hammed) or Fatty(Fatima) who has a boyfriend/girlfriend and is constantly influencing you towards things that displease Allah? Find a good group of friends who will keep you in check when you start slipping.
    Some ahadith (sayings of the Prophet (sw)) relating to the company one keeps:

    • “You will be with those you love.” (Bukhari)
    • “A man’s religion is that of his friends, so let each of you consider whom you befriend.” (Abu Dawud)
    • And one of my favorite ahadith: “A virtuous companion is like the merchant of musk (perfume). Either he will offer you some, you will buy it from him, or you will find him pleasant to smell. But an evil companion is like the bellows-blower, either he will scorch your clothes or you will receive a rotten smell from him.” (Bukari and Muslim)


    Action items:

    • Start praying five times a day!
    • Read one page (or one short surah) a day of Qur’an in the language that you understand.
    • Stop hanging out with friends who are a bad influence on you (and don’t lie to yourself and pretend like they’re not!). Wallahi, I know it’s very hard to stop hanging out with people you have become close friends with, but remember, “All friends will be enemies of one another on that Day (Day of Judgment) except those of the virtuous.” (al-Qur’an 43:67)
    • Finally, beg Allah, make dua, and ask him to allow you to get close to Him and to guide you to the straight path.


    Ya Allah, please forgive us of our sins, guide us to the straight path, and allow us to lower our heart (and our gaze) in modesty. O Allah, please save us from the punishment of the grave and the Hell-Fire. Ameen.

    http://www.suhaibwebb.com/relationsh...h-zubair-khan/


    O Allah, I seek refuge in You from misleading or being misled or oppressing or being oppressed or from being ignorant or bearing the result of ignorance.


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    Full Member Array Jalal~'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Lowering Your Gaze – Practical Steps for Getting Close to Allah

    Great post bro! This topic definitely needs to be addressed to the Muslim youth not just in America, but countries across the globe.
    Anyways, not only should we lower our gaze in public, but also on the internet. It's difficult surfing through the web and looking at innocent websites, only to see an advertisement to the right with pictures of half covered women or a Youtube video talking about video games, but with a picture of a woman in a bikini in the thumbnail picture :/ It's sad to see what the world has come to, but that doesn't stop us from moving foward right?
    What I do to protect myself on the Internet is to just block all the pictures. In google chrome, you can just go to your settings and block all images. So whenever you go to a website, the images are blocked! And if you know that this website isn't going to have any bad images (Wikipedia, Islamicboard, etc.) then you can unblock certain websites with the click of a button. So you won't have to worry about the first glance anyways! I'm glad you posted this, this will really help the Muslims out a lot.
    Last edited by Jalal~; 11-05-2012 at 01:16 AM. Reason: Forgot to finish the sentence, lol

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    Default Re: Lowering Your Gaze – Practical Steps for Getting Close to Allah

    Jazak Allahu Khairan for this post man! It helped me out a lot, and I'm sure it'll help many others too.

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    Default Re: Lowering Your Gaze – Practical Steps for Getting Close to Allah

    Assalamu-alaikum,

    JazakAllah khair for sharing these excellent advises.

    We are all facing this problem - even as women, we dont know where to look anymore :/
    Unfortunately as soon as summer approaches, animals shed their fur and women too begin to shed their clothes......which makes one wonder if we are really the higher species :P

    For those who go to gym, may also experience unpleasant surprises.......where im from, it seems to be quite normal for ladies to walk around the change-rooms (for long periods of time), topless or completely nude. Which makes going to the gym very difficult as well.

    The following may also be of benefit, insha Allah:

    - Engage in as much zikr during the day - even as you are walking through your campus, waiting for a lecture to begin, etc. recite zikr.
    And if you are finding difficulty in actually remembering to make zikr - try wearing a finger-counter initially, which looks like this:





    Having it present on your finger is a means of helping you to remember to make zikr.......and eventually, insha Allah, you will not even need this tool.


    - Whenever your gaze falls on something impermissible, remember there and then - that my ALLAH is watching me. And that the second glance is not only a means of destroying my aakhirah, but it is causing displeasure to my ALLAH.....for I am transgressing HIS commands.
    And how can I continue to do so - when HE has given me this blessing of sight, which I am using against Him?

    If you avert your gaze bearing this in mind, insha Allah, He will grant you such rewards for your obedience to Him.....and you will experience such sweetness in your ibadaat to Him.

    - As far as possible, avoid areas/ situations where you know that there will be much inter-mingling between sexes.
    e.g. go to the malls early in the morning - just as shops are beginning to open......so you can miss the crowds of semi-clad people, and as an added bonus - the queues are much shorter : )
    During breaks at campus, perhaps spend more time in the jamaat khana or with other like-minded brothers.
    And dont linger too long when everyone else is engaging in useless and vain conversation.

    - It may be worthy to become a bit of a 'snob' - esp. to the opposite sex.
    Do not become too friendly with non-mahrams - speak only what is required of the situation, and then move on.

    And finally, remember your purpose for actually being on campus - to seek knowledge, that will be of benefit to this ummah, insha Allah - and not to incur the wrath of Allah while doing so.
    And remember your purpose on this dunya - everything that surrounds us is temporary.....including that beautiful face and smile.

    If we can stay away from all that is displeasing to Allah, surely He will reward us with even better, both in this dunya and the aakhirah.






    يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِى عَلَى دِينِكَ

    Ya Muqallib al-Quloob, Thabbit Qalbi Ala Deenik
    "Oh Turner of Hearts, keep my heart firm on Your Deen."



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    Limited Member Array Always Learning's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lowering Your Gaze – Practical Steps for Getting Close to Allah

    Even as a non-Muslim I'm disturbed by the degree to which our culture is sexualized nowadays. Advertisers and the like use pictures of scantily clad women to sell things (even when their presence is wholly illogical), hire women in low cut tops to serve food (even in restaurants that are not primarily "bars" - I mean, why do I need a woman in a revealing outfit to serve me food in a restaurant?), etc. It's just a cheap attempt to manipulate men into purchasing/endorsing things. And of course there is the general attitude that "sex feels good", therefore we should pursue it as often as we have the chance. Well food tastes good, but eating too much of most foods can be a problem.

    There were once times when it was an insult to a man if he was told he allowed his sexual desires to rule him. Now it is seen as the "proper and masculine" thing to do. To be honest this attitude kind of sickens me. Most men can easily give in to our sexual desires; it's not a challenge for us. What's the point of socially rewarding someone for doing something that comes so easy? So that people who have no self-control have an excuse not to control themselves, I suspect.

    A traditional part of masculinity is also not being "weak", and giving in to your desires in the cheap and often manipulative way men are encouraged to is weakness in my eyes, plain and simple. After all, sexual pleasure is so fleeting. Why risk diseases, give resources (on a woman who is just using her body to manipulate you and doesn't deserve them), and fall to riduculous behaviour in the hopes of convincing someone to have sex with you...for something that is over so quickly? The hope of sex can influence many people (more particularly men) to do incredibly stupid things and encouraging men to be manipulated in this way is one of the cheapest things someone can do, in my opinion. But people do it...because it works.

    I guess I'm just emotionally bothered by the whole trend. To be honest I am kind of offended by the idea that they would think that men would be manipulated so easily, but sadly most of us seem to be...

    Obviously since I'm not Muslim I'm coming from a different perspective, but I would imagine that there are Muslims who agree with my feelings to some degree (though obviously for a Muslim the highest justification for avoiding sexual temptation is their religious obligation to do so).

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