Looking at Forbidden Women and Men (Na-Mahram)
In Islam there is great emphasis on virtue and piety. This is demonstrated by the importance of Hijab.
Hijab does not mean to wear black all the time, it is a form of cover which protects BOTH men and women from staring at each other and help to maintain their dignity (Forbidden Women).
Hijab allows men and women to talk on equal terms, since the man does not get distracted by the lady’s beauty, and maintains a respectful distance from her so that he concentrates on what she says.
The actual presence of the hijab causes the man to lower his glance.
Hijab comes in 2 Stages:
1. The first stage, which applies to both men and women is the most important.
This stage is to LOWER THE EYES. This means that a man should not look at a woman who is Na Mahram (forbidden) to him.
This does not mean that you are not allowed to see or talk to a lady, but means that you should confine your gaze within the boundaries of modesty, ie you should not STARE at her face, you should avoid looking directly into her eyes.
2. The second stage applies to ladies only, and is the covering of the hair, and wearing of loose clothes which do not reveal the shape of her body.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has said that, the first look you take is for you, and the second look is against you.
This means that when you look at something, ie a lady without Hijab, or anything else haraam, the first look is for you to see what it is, so that you know whether it is good or bad.
If it is bad and you look a second time, then it is against you, and you are committing a sin.
This shows that to stare with desire at a lady is a sin which should be avoided.
You cannot just say that you are enjoying the view, because your Niyyat will be corrupt (bad).
Why is it forbidden to look at Na-Mahram women?
ALLAH has told us that to enter heaven, we must control two things,
1. Our Appetite (what we eat)
2. Our Desires (what our nafs wants)
We control our appetite, by refraining from haraam food.
In the same way we control our soul by refraining from haraam scenes.
The way Haraam food is bad for our body, Haraam scenes are bad for our soul.
The soul is like pure clean water, and that which holds it (our body), is like a vase.
Whatever we see through our eyes enters the water of our soul. If we look at bad things, then we are polluting (making dirty) the water and so our soul becomes dirty and this makes us do other things even worse.
We have to keep our soul clean by only allowing those things which are clean to enter our soul.
Not only should men avoid close contact with women who are unrelated to them, but the women should also avoid such contact with men, whether it is at school, university or on the street.
Whenever two people are present together, then Shaytan quickly becomes the third person, and starts trying to plant his evil thoughts.
May ALLAH guide us and forgive us all.