By Alveena Salim
Hey, check him out! He must be the fittest boy I’ve ever seen… let’s sit closer to get a better view. Gwaan check him out, but don’t be too obvious…"
"Phwoarrr! Did you see her walk by? I swear she was eyeing me up, innit! My mate reckons she's well easy!”
Sound familiar? Rating the ‘fitness’ of others is one of the most common time-pass in most schools, colleges, uni's and work places. “We’re only looking - it’s minor” is the defensive response of most. So the question arises “Is it really not a big deal?”
“Lowering the gaze” is an Islamic command. Why? Coz a lustful glance can lead to wrong thoughts. These thoughts then turn into desires, the desires become firm intentions and then these firm intentions are transformed into actions which lead to the flirty conversations, the lies, the deceit, the sneaking about, and then the secret meetings. A Muslim poet once said “First a look, then a smile, then the nod of the head, then a kiss, then a hug, then the warmth of the bed." In other words prevention is better then cure.
The Holy Prophet said,
“The adultery of the eyes is looking (at [that] which is not allowed)." (Bukhari, Muslim)
This does not only refer to those people you may encounter in person. It also means lowering your gaze when viewing members of the opposite sex that you may see on films, adverts or billboards. It means changing the channel when you come across images of nakedness or intimate scenes (even though you shouldn’t be watching such programmes in the first place), and if you find yourself bogging at the fit news reporter or weather girl-change the channel!
Temptations, temptations... Obviously, this is not easy. After all, it seems shameless behaviour amongst youth today is almost a competition. We are confronted with many tempting situations such as the endless choice of cable/satellite channels, dirty billboards that are plastered all over the place and the minimal clothing that women adopt as soon as temperatures increase. But, you need to remember that moral degeneration of society is an excuse that will not be valid on the Day of Judgement in the court of Allah (swt).
Over the years attitudes towards promiscuous behaviour has somewhat changed. The 60’s brought about the sexual revolution where the widespread availability of birth control led to dramatic changes in attitudes towards sex and marriage. The connection between sex and pregnancy was finally broken, which meant that many women were now able to pursue the same desires and enjoy the same opportunities as men.
‘Am I bovvered?’
Today’s society encourages equality between men and women in all aspects of life: including immorality. This has also given birth to the ‘Am I bovvered?’ ladette culture, where girls as young as 13 are smoking, swearing, fighting, drinking, disrupting lessons and some are even sexually active.’ The ‘anything you can do, I can do better’ mentality is the main reason why in the UK 15-16 year old girls for the first time ever have overtaken boys in levels of binge drinking. 
Men and women are different. That’s a fact. Men by nature can walk away from a sexual encounter and not give it a second thought. However, the emotional make up of women makes it impossible for them to have an indifferent attitude towards sex. The women who act as if they can separate sex from emotion are just fronting it, as it’s biologically impossible to do so. So, when a woman sleeps around, the one she harms the most is herself. So, just because a girl can, it doesn’t mean she should or that it’s right.
This doesn’t mean that in Islam only women should keep their behaviour in check, whilst men can do as they please. Both men and women are ordered to be modest in their dress and behaviour, the Prophet (pbuh) was described as being “Shyer then a virgin behind a veil”. Islam is not full of double standards, the verses in the Qur’an refer to the “believing men AND women”.
Playa V’s ‘Ho
Even though we have now moved to a more liberal and sexually ‘equal’ society, some things have still not changed. Men and women are still treated differently when it comes to sleeping around. The guy is still bigged up as a ‘playa’, whilst the girl is regarded a ‘ho’. However, in the eyes of Allah (swt) the punishment for premarital and extra marital sex is equal. In the West strong emphasis is placed on ‘looks’, and women are valued for their shape, size and beauty: a woman’s sexuality is used to sell cars, clothes and even cat food! In Islam, women are required to dress modestly, so that they aren’t judged on their beauty.
Many girls and guys dress to impress. They pass off signals that seem to imply that they WANT people to check them out. Even so, we are only accountable for our own actions and we will be held accountable for every single forbidden glance; regardless of how t the guy/girl was looking.
And girls, come on. When you get decked up like Bollywood heroines and go out, guys check you out. You KNOW that. It’s irrelevant whether or not you’re a decent girl. Most people judge others based on their appearance, and do you really want to be judged on your size, shape and beauty? Guys will not wake up one day and have a new sexual orientation and how you dress can either put off or encourage unwanted attention from guys. So, why play the game?
If you are involved with someone, then make your situation Halal by asking your man to come to your house with his parents with a proposal of marriage. If he refuses or makes lame excuses then you should know that he doesn’t give a damn about you and only considers you as a time-pass. You’re worth a lot more than that; don’t allow yourself to be messed about.
And guys, honking or whistling at girls, making incoherent noises at them and driving round and round the same block at least 20 times in order to get a better view of girls makes you seem pathetic. No decent girl can respect such a guy. Would you like it if some guy leered at your mother or sister like that? I doubt it. So don’t try it on with other people’s sisters.
So what happens when you do fall in love with someone?
It’s true that you cannot control your feelings, but you CAN control your actions. Do not ring up, or chat on msn, or secretly meet the person you have fallen for. Trust me; no good can come out of sneaking about behind your parents back. You may initially get your kicks out of your undercover relationship but when you get clocked (which you will, sooner or later) and you relationship comes out in the open; you’ll feel disgusted and ashamed with yourself. On top of that, people in the community may treat you differently and it could put off someone who had genuinely wanted to marry you.
Staying on the straight path is not easy of course, but we weren’t put on this Earth to behave like spoilt teenagers. Keeping away from temptation may be difficult or even frustrating at times but trust me, it’s well worth it in the end. As Muslims we try to live modestly and fulfil our lusts and desires only in Halal manners… and that is through marriage.