Lowering the Gaze: An Example of How Islamic Law Coincides With Human Nature (Fitrah)

Islam is the religion of the fitrah, which is often translated as natural disposition, nature, or innateness. In other words, Allah sent down a religion which conforms to our nature in which we are created. It is compatible with it and does not contradict it. He did not send us a religion which goes against our fitrah. As Allah Says in the Qur’an [meaning of which is]:

So stand firm and true in your devotion to the religion. This is the natural disposition [fitrah] Allah instilled in mankind – there is no altering Allah’s creation – and this is the right religion, though most people do not realize it. [Qur’an 30:30]

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Sins Which Cause Allah to Not Look Towards the Person on the Day of Judgement

DOJ

Qur’an

1

Indeed, they who conceal what Allah has sent down of the Book and exchange it for a small price – those consume not into their bellies except the Fire. And Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them. And they will have a painful punishment. [Qur’an 2:174]

Ibn Kathir’s Commentary: This is in reference to the Jews at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who concealed their Book’s descriptions of Muhammad, all of which testify to his truth as a Messenger and a Prophet. They concealed this information so that they would not lose authority and the position that they had with the Arabs, where they would bring them gifts, and honor them. The Jews feared that if they announced what they know about Muhammad, then the people would abandon them and follow him. So they hid the truth so that they may retain the little that they were getting, and they sold their souls for this little profit. They preferred the little that they gained over guidance and following the truth, believing in the Messenger and having faith in what Allah was sent him with. Therefore, they have profited failure and loss in this life and the Hereafter.

[Indeed, they who conceal what Allah has sent down of the Book and exchange it for a small price] meaning, the joys and delights of this earthly life.

[consume not into their bellies except the Fire] meaning, whatever they eat in return for hiding the truth, will turn into a raging fire in their stomachs on the Day of Resurrection.

[Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them. And they will have a painful punishment] This is because Allah is furious with them for concealing the truth. They thus deserve Allah’s anger, so Allah will not look at them or purify them, meaning that He will not praise them but will cause them to taste a severe torment.

2

Indeed, those who exchange the covenant of Allah and their [own] oaths for a small price will have no share in the Hereafter, and Allah will not speak to them or look at them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them; and they will have a painful punishment. [Qur’an 3:77]

Ibn Kathir’s Commentary: Allah states that whoever prefers the small things of this short, soon to end life, instead of fulfilling what they have promised Allah by following Muhammad (pbuh), announcing his description from their books to people [speaking about the Torah] and affirming his truthfulness, then they shall have no portion in the Hereafter.

Hadiths

1

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ ثَلاَثَةٌ لاَ يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللَّهُ، وَلاَ يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ يُزَكِّيهِمْ، وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ رَجُلٌ عَلَى فَضْلِ مَاءٍ بِطَرِيقٍ يَمْنَعُ مِنْهُ ابْنَ السَّبِيلِ، وَرَجُلٌ بَايَعَ رَجُلاً لاَ يُبَايِعُهُ إِلاَّ لِلدُّنْيَا، فَإِنْ أَعْطَاهُ مَا يُرِيدُ وَفَى لَهُ، وَإِلاَّ لَمْ يَفِ لَهُ، وَرَجُلٌ سَاوَمَ رَجُلاً بِسِلْعَةٍ بَعْدَ الْعَصْرِ، فَحَلَفَ بِاللَّهِ لَقَدْ أُعْطِيَ بِهِ كَذَا وَكَذَا، فَأَخَذَهَا ‏”‏‏.‏

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “There are three persons whom Allah will neither talk to nor look at, nor purify from (the sins), and they will have a painful punishment. (They are): (1) A man possessed superfluous water on a way [some versions say ‘in a desert’] and he withheld it from the travelers. (2) a man who gives a pledge of allegiance to a Muslim ruler and gives it only for worldly gains. If the ruler gives him what he wants, he remains obedient to his pledge, otherwise he does not abide by it, and (3) a man bargains with another man after the `Asr prayer and the latter takes a false oath in the Name of Allah claiming that he has been offered so much for the thing and the former (believes him and) buys it.” (Bukhari)

In one version of the hadith, it adds the words:

فَيَقُولُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، الْيَوْمَ أَمْنَعُكَ فَضْلِي، كَمَا مَنَعْتَ فَضْلَ مَا لَمْ تَعْمَلْ يَدَاكَ

Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘Today I withhold My Blessings from you as you withheld the superfluous part of that (water) which your hands did not create.’ (Bukhari)

2

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ ثَلاَثَةٌ لاَ يَنْظُرُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلَيْهِمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ الْعَاقُّ لِوَالِدَيْهِ وَالْمَرْأَةُ الْمُتَرَجِّلَةُ وَالدَّيُّوثُ وَثَلاَثَةٌ لاَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ الْعَاقُّ لِوَالِدَيْهِ وَالْمُدْمِنُ عَلَى الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَنَّانُ بِمَا أَعْطَى ‏”‏ ‏

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “There are three at whom Allah will not look on the Day of Resurrection: The one who disobeys his parents, the woman who imitates men in her outward appearance, and the cuckold [husband of an adulterous wife]. And there are three who will not enter Paradise: The one who disobeys his parents, the drunkard, and the one who reminds people of what he has given them.” (Nasa’i)

3

النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ ثَلاَثَةٌ لاَ يَنْظُرُ اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَلاَ يُزَكِّيهِمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ الَّذِي لاَ يُعْطِي شَيْئًا إِلاَّ مَنَّهُ وَالْمُسْبِلُ إِزَارَهُ وَالْمُنَفِّقُ سِلْعَتَهُ بِالْكَذِبِ ‏”

Prophet (ﷺ) said: “There are three at whom Allah will not look on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He sanctify them, and theirs will be a painful torment: the one who does not give anything except that he reminds (the recipient of his gift), the one who drags his garment (below the ankles), and the one who sells his product by means of false oaths.” (Nasa’i)

Commentary: There is a difference of opinion among the scholars regarding having clothes below the ankles with the majority holding the view that it is only forbidden if done out of arrogance. There is a detailed beneficial discussion on this issue here.

4

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ ثَلاَثَةٌ لاَ يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَلاَ يُزَكِّيهِمْ – قَالَ أَبُو مُعَاوِيَةَ وَلاَ يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهِمْ – وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ شَيْخٌ زَانٍ وَمَلِكٌ كَذَّابٌ وَعَائِلٌ مُسْتَكْبِرٌ ‏”‏ ‏

Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) observed: “Three (are the persons) with whom Allah would neither speak, nor would He absolve them on the Day of Resurrection. Abu Mu’awiya added: He would not look at them and there is grievous torment for them: the aged adulterer, the liar king and the proud destitute.” (Muslim)

5

In some hadiths, the following crime is also mentioned as a cause for the person to be not looked at on the Day of Judgement by Allah:

رَجُلٌ حَلَفَ عَلَى يَمِينٍ بَعْدَ صَلاَةِ الْعَصْرِ عَلَى مَالِ مُسْلِمٍ فَاقْتَطَعَهُ

“A person who took an oath on the goods of a Muslim in the afternoon and then broke it.” (Muslim)

Spending Extravagantly or Paying for High Priced Brand Names is Not Beneficial to Society

Allah tells us in the Qur’an [meaning of which is]: And give the relative his right, and [also] the poor and the traveler, and do not spend wastefully. [Qur’an 17:26]

Wealth is considered a blessing from Allah in Islam. We have been prohibited to waste it on superficial things or those things which are out of our means. Unfortunately, today people spend their money on things of luxurious nature, that they cannot afford in the first place, just to look rich and successful in front of others and to boost their own egos. This type of mentality is not in accordance to Islamic principles. We have been ordered to be humble and spend within our means. As the wise statement goes, “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”

I came across the following video from Khan Academy, which explains the waste of wealth and how it has no benefit for society:

Get the Most Out of Your Ramadan

ramadan

Ramadan Mubarak everyone! So blessed to have reached one more Ramadan. May Allah make us get the MOST out of it.

When it comes to virtue, Allah has decreed some people to be above others, some places to be above others, and some months to be above others. Ramadan is one of those months which Allah has favored over other months with regards to its virtues. It is a month full of blessings and opportunities to get closer to Allah.

Gates of Paradise Opened and the Gates of Hell Locked and the Devils are Chained Up

One of the greatest blessings of this month is that our archenemies, Iblis and his supporters among the devils, are locked up. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said, “When the month of Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell Fire are closed, and the devils are chained” (Bukhari). Perhaps, it is due to this reason that we feel more tranquility and peace in this month than any of the others. Some of the scholars said that the devils are locked up to prevent them from harming the believers and agitating them. This is a form of mercy from Allah in order to make it easy for the believers to focus on worshipping their Creator. Some scholars also said that the devils being chained is only meant to be metaphorical and the meaning is that there is abundance of reward and forgiveness in this month. And the temptations and harms of devils are diminished to such an extent that it is as if the devils are chained.

Removes Sins

Another virtue of Ramadan is that it acts as expiation for our minor sins. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “The five (daily) prayers and from one Friday prayer to the (next) Friday prayer, and from Ramadan to Ramadan are expiations for the (sins) committed in between (their intervals) provided one shuns the major sins” (Muslim).

Reward of ‘Umrah in Ramadan is Multiplied

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “’Umrah in Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj” (Ibn Majah). The meaning here is in reward and not that the obligation of Hajj is lifted from the one who performs ‘Umrah in Ramadan. There is a consensus among the Muslim scholars on this.

Laylah Al-Qadr (The Night of Power)

The night of power is said to be better than a 1000 nights (83+ years). Allah Says in the Qur’an [meaning of which is], “And what can make you know what is the night of Power? The night of Power is better than a thousand months” (Qur’an 97:2-3). So if you catch it and worship Allah during it, you will be rewarded as if you worshiped Him for a 1000 nights. This blessed night is in the last 10 nights of Ramadan but we do not know which one. Allah has hidden it from us. Some scholars said that it shifts every year to a different night within the last ten. The Prophet (pbuh) used to say, “Look for the Night of Qadr (power) in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan” (Bukhari).

Reward of Praying Taraweeh in Ramadan

There is a consensus of Muslim scholars on standing in prayer during the nights of Ramadan. This prayer specifically is called Taraweeh. Prophet (pbuh) said, “Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven” (Bukhari). This prayer is not obligatory but recommended. The word taraweeh (تَرَاويحُ) comes from the word tarweeh (تَّرْوِيْح), which means resting or relaxation. The word taraweeh originally meant any sort of sitting to take rest, however, over time it came to be known as the sitting which occurs after four rak’ahs in the nights of Ramadan. Hence, the name “Taraweeh Prayer” or the prayer in which the people take rest every four rak’ahs.

Unfortunately, some people in this month get sucked into the irrelevant debate of 8 vs. 20 units of prayer. They fail to realize that it is only nawafil and the number does not matter as many scholars have pointed out. You will be rewarded for praying the whole night as long as you finish the prayer with the imam regardless of how many units of prayer the imam prays. There is a legitimate form of difference of opinion on the matter among the scholars and it should be respected not attacked and ridiculed.

I’tikaaf

It is recommended to spend the last ten days in the masjid to do I’tikaaf (staying overnight at the masjid worshiping and remembering Allah). If you cannot stay awake the whole night, then try to do the second half of the night, if you are unable to do that as well, then at least the last 1/3 of the night, which is the most blessed part of the night. It is reported by Aisha that, “Prophet (pbuh) used to practice I`tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan till he died and then his wives used to practice I`tikaf after him” (Bukhari). The purpose of the I’tikaaf is to focus on Allah and connect with Him through dhikr, prayer, recitation of the Qur’an, supplication, etc. and to turn away from everything else. For those ten days, the believer becomes detached from the world and focuses exclusively on his afterlife.

Another purpose of the I’tikaaf is to try and catch Laylah Al-Qadr (night of power) because it occurs in the last 10 nights of Ramadan. This is why mosques all around the world increase their qiyaam-al-layl during the last ten nights of Ramadan. Thus, they do an extra qiyaam following taraweeh prayer. It is all based on the whole idea of catching the night of power, which is better than a 1000 months.

Revising the Qur’an

It is recommended (and not obligatory) to revise the whole Qur’an in Ramadan. It is reported that the, “Angel Gabriel used to meet the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) every night during Ramadan to revise the Qur’an with him” (Bukhari).

It is important to revise it with understanding and not just parroting away without much thought. Quality of your reading trumps the quantity. So if you read less of the Qur’an but with understanding, this is more important than reading lots of it without understanding. This is because the purpose of the Qur’an is to be understood and acted upon. How can you act upon something you do not understand? Ibn Rajab, a great scholar from the past, said, “The greatest thing by which the love of Allah is attained from the nawafil actions is recitation of the Qur’an especially recitation with contemplation [over its meaning]”.[1]

Being Extra Generous in Charity

It is reported that, “Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) was the most generous of people in charity, but he was generous to the utmost in the month of Ramadan” (Muslim). The reward of deeds in Ramadan is increased and multiplied more so than other months, therefore, it makes sense to increase in charity in this month. Shaykh Ibn Baaz said, “Obedience [to Allah] in Ramadan is more rewardable with Allah than outside of it”.[2] Also, this is a month of mercy, forgiveness, and emancipation from the fire of Hell. Additionally, Allah is merciful to those who are merciful to others as the Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said, “Allah is merciful only to those of His slaves who are merciful [to others]” (Bukhari).


[1] http://library.islamweb.net/newlibrary/display_book.php?bk_no=220&ID=240&idfrom=213&idto=222&bookid=220&startno=8

[2] http://www.binbaz.org.sa/fatawa/638