Question: Although I do my best not to look at those women who go out wearing indecently, I sometimes give in to the temptation. What should I do not to be entrapped by this sinful act?
You should bear in mind the following tips to avoid looking at non-mahram women (non-mahram women/men are those whom Shariah has not prescribed as a man’s/woman’s close relatives):
1. Looking at non-mahram women weakens your vision and blackens your heart. For this reason, you must strive not to look at them so that your vision may not weaken and your heart may not blacken. Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani said, “Forbidden things are like impurity that has been gilded.” They appear fancy on the outside, when in reality they are awful. If you occupy your mind with this fact, it will be easier for you to avoid looking at them.
2. Remind yourself about the hadith-i sharif that says, “May Allah curse a person who exposes his awrah and the one who looks at it.” Keep it in mind in order not to be an object of this curse.
3. Think about the hadith-i sharif that says, “If a person, upon seeing a non-mahram woman, fears Allah’s torment and turns his face away from her, Allahu ta’ala will make him enjoy the taste of worship.” Think about this hadith-i sharif and avoid looking at non-mahram women in order to attain the taste of acts of worship.
4. Take heed of the hadith-i sharif that says, “Whoever looks at a non-mahram woman lustfully, molten hot lead will be poured into his eyes, and then he will be thrown into Hell.” Fear that you may be thrown into Hell with molten hot lead in your eyes.
5. Looking at a non-mahram woman is an unchaste act. Why do you get into a situation where you are considered an unchaste person?
6. The women you are looking at are someone’s mother, sister, daughter, or wife. If a man looks at your mother, sister, daughter, or wife, will it please you? A chaste person will not be pleased with it. A hadith-i sharif says, “O men! Be chaste, so that your wives and daughters will be chaste, too.” Is it not idiocy to cause your wife or daughter to be unchaste?
7. As the proverb goes, “You reap what you sow.” If you do not want bad things will happen to you, you should not cast a sinful, evil glance at a non-mahram woman.
Question: Is it impermissible for a woman to look at a non-mahram man simply with no sexual desire or enjoyment?
It is permissible for a woman to look at a non-mahram man, if necessary, without lust provided that his awrah is covered. If a woman is secure of lust, her looking at a non-mahram man is like a man’s looking at another man or like a man’s looking at those women who are his mahram, which is permissible and is not sinful. However, her looking at him with feelings of sexual desire is haram. Note that it is not right for a woman, even if it is without lust, to make a habit of looking at non-mahram men. She should not look at them if there is no need.