30 Things Worth Doing to Help Lower Your Gaze
You just found this post.
And you intend to read it to the end.
Your gaze will likely scan or skim through the content first. Then you will decide whether to read through again or save for later. That’s just one of the pleasures your eyes afford you – reading.
Others include looking at your dear and loved ones; admiring the beauty of Allah’s creations around; communicating with your children, spouses and students; and engaging in many creative pursuits.
Your sight is a gateway to developing your mind and soul. But….
And it’s a big B.U.T, your eyes do not have unrestricted 24/7 rights to glancing at everything that comes into your view. Your gaze, along with all other actions you perform as a Muslim must be aligned with a meaningful purpose.
Imaam Ibn Kathir commented on Surah an-Nur [24:30], saying: This is a command from Allah (swt) to His believing slaves to lower their gaze and refrain from looking at that which is forbidden to them. So they should not look at anything except that which they are permitted to look at, and they should lower their gaze and refrain from looking at forbidden things. If it so happens that a person’s gaze accidentally falls upon something forbidden, he should quickly avert his gaze.
[Tafseer Ibn Kathir, 3/282]
Lowering your gaze therefore is restraining it from looking at what is forbidden.
That is easier said than done.
Living in today’s world where you are faced with explicit content – at the workplace, in school, on the streets or even at family gatherings such as weddings or in forms such as billboards, TV and Internet. You name it, the tech world has made things even more fast and furious.
Going to the masjid and Islamic events are not fitnah free.
What can a striving brother or sister do in this case?
Below are 30 ideas for you to consider. They are simple but worthy acts to help you lower your gaze.
Remember every new habit starts with a simple effort, so you can pick just one idea or two to get started. Then stick to it and keep practicing from day to day. In sha Allah you will get there.
1. Purify your Heart
The heart is the seat of intention (niyyah). When your heart is pure and sound, your intention will equally be pure and and firm – anchored by sincerity. This will affect the actions of the rest of your organs including your gaze.
A pure heart is filled with love and remembrance of Allah (swt) and His Rasul (saw). Such a heart will nurse a firm intention to gaze at only what is pleasing to Him, while guarding against what is displeasing to Him – whether at home, work or while out with friends.
2. Put the Reward in Mind
Visualise the great reward and compensation for your restraint. Allah (swt) rewards His slave for good deeds with something similar and if he gives up something for His sake, He will compensate him with something better than it.
Therefore, if he lowers his gaze and refrains from looking at things that Allah (swt) has prohibited, Allah (swt) will compensate him for restraining his gaze for the sake of Allah (swt) and put light in his heart.
3. Devote Yourself to Allah (swt)
Engage in a lot of involuntary (naafil) acts of worship, because this in addition to your regular obligatory acts of worship will serve a means of protecting your senses & intellect.
Obey Allah (swt) and keep doing good deeds.
4. Purify your Sight
Keep your sight pure to earn Allah’s Pleasure in this dunya and in anticipation of seeing Him in jannah.
Allah (swt) said: “… and My slave continues to draw close to Me with supererogatory (naafil) 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.” (Bukhari, Hadith Qudsi)
5. Supplications (Du’a)
Make supplications for patience, self control, discipline and true surrender as you struggle to remain consistent on keeping your gaze pure.
Just as Luqman the wise advised his son, ‘be regular in your prayers’, so must you be regular in your prayers for it is a protection and shield for you.
”Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.” [al-‘Ankaboot 29:45]
Make every effort to get married to guard your chastity as prescribed by Prophet Muhammad (saw).
He said: “Whoever can afford it, let him get married, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and in guarding one’s chastity…” (Bukhari & Muslim)
In continuation of the above hadith, he (saw) said: ”… And whoever cannot afford it, let him fast, for it will be a shield for him.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
9. Keep Good Company
Your friends make or mark you. Choose good companions who will help you devote yourself to Allah (swt) and develop yourself spiritually, morally and mentally.
Drop the friends who encourage you to engage in immoral activities and disobedience of Allah (swt). Or keep a distance from them and do not ask them for advice.
10. Fight your Nafs
Set yourself a goal of winning against your nafs. Strive hard against your innermost desires.
”And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good” [al-‘Ankaboot 29:69]
11. Turn away Physically
Avoid the second glance.
It was narrated that Jareer ibn ‘Abd-Allaah said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah (saw) about a sudden glance, and he commanded me to avert my gaze.” (Muslim)
12. Recall Judgement Day
You will be accountable for your actions. The earth and your senses will testify to your activities. Your eyes, limbs and private parts will be witnesses on judgment day.
”That Day, it will report its news” [al-Zalzalah 99:4]
Be grateful for the gift and blessings of your eyes and other senses; Internet and other tech. tools, Islam and your intellect. If you are truly thankful, you will utilise your gifts in ways pleasing only to the Giver of the gifts.
14. Remember Allah (swt) is All-Seeing and All-Knowing
Recall Luqman’s advice to his son, ”Allah (swt) will bring everything to light”?
Guard your actions because no affair is hidden from Allah (swt), even if it’s equivalent to the weight of a mustard seed or scattered around. He is The Subtle and Informed and He will bring all matters to light – for reward or punishment in the hereafter.
15. Recall Death
Death is inevitable and it isn’t marked on any calendar for you to be warned about. Therefore seek a good end, for you will be raised on what you died upon.
Imagine the possible end result of an unrestrained gaze. It could lead to great immoral acts such as zina. Why lead yourself down that path with such heavy consequences when a simple lowering of gaze can bring you happiness and joy beyond measures?
16. Seek Forgiveness
Be humble, admit you are weak but remain repentant. Don’t feel helpless or make excuses for not repenting.
17. Set and Visualise an End Goal
Set your ambition for the highest station in Jannah then imagine the promised pleasures within. What will you give to achieve such a goal and gain all of the pleasures?
Do not aim for anything less, because you are worth it and you have the opportunity to go for it.
18. Consider it Worship
It may be a difficult personal battle especially where your work environment, school or family gatherings are mixed and with little or no Islamic ethos. Mark it as part of your worship acts.
Just as it is not easy to wake up for Fajr, attend congregational prayers or give charity but you do it anyway because it is worship and you crave for the rewards. Lower your gaze and crave for the sweet rewards.
19. Be Prepared
Have a copy of the Quran, kindle, ipad, ipod etc with you while traveling, waiting for an appointment, standing at a queue etc. That way, your sight and mind will be engaged productively while you develop yourself with every passing minute.
20. Safe Environment
Avoid or limit your visit to places where your gaze will be affected – because you will most likely be tempted to gaze around. Malls… check; beaches… check; streets… check.
Prophet Muhammad (saw) 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 offense…” (Bukhari and Muslim)
21. Remember your Recording and Guardian Angels
Even those stolen glances or clear focused looks will be recorded.
”And indeed, [appointed] over you are keepers, Noble and recording; They know whatever you do” [al-Infitaar 82:10-12]
22. Seek Beneficial Knowledge
Study from the authentic teachings and use what you learn to remind yourself to focus on your purpose on earth.
After reminding yourself and taking action, send reminders to your friends and loved ones to benefit, gain rewards and safeguard against negative consequences.
23. Be Yourself
Avoid popular culture. Your intention and actions may be pure and sound originally, but due to weak faith or low self esteem you may try to imitate *that* rich and popular musician, footballer or actor who looks at non-mahrams, mixes freely with them and gains attention of the world.
Mind you, its negative attention with huge consequences. Your model should be the Rasul (saw), so follow his example and you will prosper and command attention of the Angels and noble beings.
24. Have a Conversation with Your Nafs
Tell your nafs what you desire of success in this dunya and akhirah and how badly you want it. So you welcome no negative distractions from those success goals. Thank your nafs for its anticipated co-operation. Write a letter to your nafs if possible.
25. Organise Halaal Fun
Spend time with your righteous sisters or brothers in Islam. Or with your spouse and children. Play sports, games, share stories and take walks if you can.
Set some time for relaxing after productive work. Use your energy in permissible entertainment so you are not driven to utilise it via an impermissible outlet.
26. Seek Refuge against Shaytan
Shaytan is ruined. He is focused on doing the same to you and your pals so beware of his plots. Seek refuge with Allah (swt) against his plots and evil inclinations. Do not partner with him in disobeying Allah (swt).
”O you who have believed, do not follow the footsteps of Satan. And whoever follows the footsteps of Satan – indeed, he enjoins immorality and wrongdoing…” (an-nur, 24: 21)
Keep your tongue moist and busy in the remembrance of Allah (swt).
For it is light on the tongue but heavy on the scales. And it is a means of of keeping your heart calm and at rest so you feel no undue attachment to the blings of the dunya including seemingly attractive non mahrams and other prohibited materials.
28. Consider it Jihad
Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (saw) said: “…the adultery of the eyes is looking (at [that] which is not allowed)…” (Bukhari and Muslim)
When you restrain that gaze, thank Allah (swt) for the strength he gave you then give yourself a thumbs up for engaging in jihad – by moving away from zina.
29. Modest Interactions with Members of the Opposite Sex
Do not feel you are above temptation. Interact modestly with non-mahrams in necessary situations and refrain from excessive and unnecessary mingling.
Be modest, decent and sincere in your actions – including your speech and what you gaze at.
30. Improve your Personality
Make it a goal to improve your character and relationship with others. Strive to strengthen and showcase your Islamic identity. This includes what you look at and what you do not look at.
Having a true Islamic personality will help you interact with kindness, humility and with a smile while calling to the truth and forbidding the wrong.
For any of the above ideas you choose to practice with, you will be developing many aspects of your spirituality, personality and relationships. You will be improving yourself and making the Ummah a much better place in sha Allah.
Lower your gaze, it is worth it!
”But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from [unlawful] inclination, Then indeed, Paradise will be [his] refuge”
Did I leave out any ideas? Please share below. And which of the ideas above do you find most beneficial in your situation?