The main axes of the subject:
1- Determining the meaning of association
2- Association causes gazing
3- How do we regard a man’s gaze at a woman?
4- How do we regard a woman’s gaze at a man?
5- Association leads to destructive corollary
We will shed the light on the gravest social harm to man, woman and families. This is the forbidden association. We will explain some of its effects. Since we will not address the gravity of the actual effects that are taking place, a word to a wise man is enough.
Exporting the subject:
Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Nothing in the body is more ungrateful than the eye. Therefore, do not give the eye its lusty desire because it will take your attention away from praising Allah (The Exalted).”
– Determining the meaning of association:
Association means mixing relations, gathering contradicting genders at one time in one place. Association means blending in action. This leads us to the term gathering, several males and females meeting in one place. On the other hand, there is no problem in the situation, where members of the one family of the unmarriageable persons meet together, such as brothers and sisters, parents and children, and their branches. However, when marriageable genders mix together in one place, the situation can result in several paradoxes.
Association can result in gazing:
Two opposite genders exceeding the proper boundaries by sitting adjacent to each other, each sensing the temperature of the body of the other, this issue is definitely and undoubtedly forbidden.
The least issue that can take place during such meetings is that each party of the two genders will stare at the body of the other, at the face, hair, hands and legs, let alone the other parts the body.
Yes, this is the least that can happen when two opposite genders react, especially if we consider that association, the subject of our discussion, is the companionship that takes place often on purpose such as visitations and staying late as well as other meetings in different places.
At this point, we are not talking about the meetings that take place by coincidence or accidentally in places such as waiting rooms, bus stations, public places, etc…
– The verdict on a man’s gazing at a woman:
Islamic jurisprudents agree that it is forbidden for a man to gaze at any part of a woman’s body if it associates pleasure and suspicion. This also includes the face and palms and relates to both Muslim and non-Muslim women, civilized and uncivilized. This prohibition applies also to the women who ridicule the laws of veiling and in the cases where gazing is acceptable or unacceptable by the woman and her parents or guardians.
In summary, gazing that associates pleasure and suspicion is not allowed regarding any part of the body although, as we all know, a woman is allowed to reveal only her face and palms to strange men.
Moreover, man is not allowed to sense any part of the body of a foreign woman – the one marriageable to him but unmarried – and shaking hands with her is also forbidden.
– The verdict on a woman’s gazing at a man:
The aforementioned rules apply also to a woman’s gazing at a man. She is not allowed to look at any part of his body other than the face and palms providing there is no associated pleasure and suspicion.
– Association brings along collateral destruction
The longer a man spends time with a strange woman the more mutual gazes will reoccur, let alone them taking part in common conversations and interesting discussions.
When common conversations find their way towards interesting arguments and discussions, this will cause more and longer observations. Moreover, as time goes by and the conversation lengthens further, each one will become accustomed to looking to the other, to the face, palms, and other parts. The transmitted speeches of the inerrant Imams warned us about the outcomes that can be destructive and devastating for each man and woman as well as the family and community.
The least harm that can result is distraction from praising Allah.
Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Nothing in the body is more ungrateful than the eye.”
This is the issue that leads the woman to be distracted from praising Allah (The Exalted). Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w) was quoted as saying: “Beware the inquisitive observation; it is the seed of lust and can generate inattentiveness.”
This issue encourages the religious people to wish for loss of vision should it lead to loss of religiousness. Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Loss of vision is better than a lot of staring.”
When gazing intensifies and man become accustomed to staring at the other, boldness will increase. At this point, the eye can fill the heart by looking at the other party. This is one of the issues that Allah (The Exalted) warned its doers about. For example, Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w) was quoted as saying: “Anyone who fills his eyes with forbidden issues, Allah (The Exalted), on the Day of Judgment, will fill his eyes with fire, unless he repents.”
This is because extensive gazing leads to lust, suspicion, and to moving the instinct. Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “If the eye sees lust, heart will be blinded to the outcome.”
Imam al Sadiq (a.s.) was quoted as saying in his commandment to Ibn Joundob: “Oh Ibn Joundob, Jesus the son of Mary (a.s.) said to his companions: ‘Beware the gaze, it can seed the heart with lust and infatuate its owner. Blessed be he who sees with his heart, not with his eyes.”
When the eyes of two opposite genders meet recurrently without any deterrent that can deter them away, this issue will seed lust inside the heart, as we have mentioned earlier quoting Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w). This issue can lure the woman and make her fall into the trap of bewilderment, leading to sin. Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Observation leads infatuation.”
This is one of the ways of Satan. Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Eyes are the traps of Satan.”
Imam Ali (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “He who unleashes his vision will enervate his intelligence. He whose gazes repeat his unfortunate will continue.”
1- (a.s.): Abbreviation for alaihis-salam, which means peace be upon him.
2- Al Khisal, by Sheikh al Sadouk, P. 629, H. 10.
3- Al Khisal, By Sheikh al Sadouq, P. 629, H. 10.
4- Bihar al Anwar, by Ibn Shebah al Harrani, P. 95.
5- Tuhaf al Oqoul, by Ibn Shebah al Harrani, P. 95.
6- Al Bihar, Vol. 76, P. 234, H. 1.
7- Ghorar al Hekam wa Dorar al Kalam, by Al Qadi al A’midi, wisdom 4063.
8- Tuhaf al Oqoul, P. 305.
9- Ghorar al Hekam, wisdom 1047.
10- Ghorar al Hekam, wisdom 950. Especially in such similar meetings that last for long.
11- Al Bihar, Vol. 104, P. 38, H. 33.