What Are the Benefits of Lowering the Gaze?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul Sami‘ al-Yaqti


What are the benefits of lowering the gaze?


All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and blessings and peace be upon the Master of the Messengers, his family, and all his companions.

The Sacred Law commands lowering the gaze for significant wisdom and numerous great benefits, including realizing the meaning of servitude and obedience, gratitude for blessings, especially sight, purifying the soul and heart, preserving one’s modesty and honor, freeing the heart from sorrow and the captivity of desires, illuminating it with light and joy, strengthening it with knowledge and faith, remaining steadfast in the face of trials, not succumbing to the temptations of Satan, keeping the servant away from heedlessness and elevating them to the rank of guardianship, love, and excellence, among other things mentioned in the noble verses and noble hadiths. And Allah knows best.

Detailed Answer

Allah (Most High) commands His believing male and female servants to lower their gazes, saying:

“(O Prophet!) Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their chastity. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is All-Aware of what they do.” [Quran, 24:30]

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their chastity.” [Quran, 24:31]

This is purer for their hearts and more virtuous for them in the sight of Allah.

Burayda (Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)  said to ‘Ali (Allah be pleased with him):

“O ‘Ali, do not follow a glance with another, for you are forgiven the first, but not the second.” [Tirmidhi; Abu Dawud]

Based on these texts, it is prohibited to look at what they desire to look at, from those things which Allah has forbidden them to see, such as the ‘awra (private parts) or men looking at women, or vice versa.

This prohibited looking may occur in the physical real world or in the virtual world through websites, channels, social media platforms, and others.

Undoubtedly, lowering the gaze has great legislative wisdom and many benefits, as clarified by the texts of the Sacred Law and as mentioned by scholars, including Ibn al-Qayyim, who listed ten benefits in his book, Rawdat al-Muhibbin. I will mention them with some elaboration and add others:

1. Servitude and Obedience

It actualizes the meaning of servitude to Allah (Most High), obedience to Him and His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), and adherence to what they have commanded, as mentioned in the Quranic verses and hadith.

2. Soul Purification

It purifies the soul and cleanses the heart from its ailments. Therefore, Allah, after commanding to lower the gaze, says:

“(O Prophet!) Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their chastity. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is All-Aware of what they do.” [Quran, 24:30]

He also says:

“And when you ask (his wives) for something, ask them from behind a partition. That is purer for your hearts and their hearts” [Quran, 33:53]

3. Liberation from Desires

It liberates the heart from the captivity of desires and the pain of regret. For whoever indulges their gaze, their regret persists, and their heart remains captive to it, enabling their enemies. A glance acts upon the heart like an arrow does to its target. If it does not kill it, it wounds it. It is like a spark in dry grass; if it does not burn it entirely, it burns some of it. Like the poet said:

كلُّ  الحوادث  مَبْداها  من  النَّظر … ومُعْظَمُ النَّار من مُسْتَصْغَرِ الشَّررِ
كم نظرةٍ فتكَتْ في قلبِ صاحبها … فَتْكَ  السِّهام  بلا  قَوْسٍ  و لا  وَتَرِ
يَسُرُّ  مُقلتَه  ما  ضرَّ   مُهجتَه    …    لا  مرحبًا  بسرورٍ  عاد  بالضَّرر

“Every event has its inception in the gaze, and most of the fire is caused by the smallest spark.
How many glances have fatally struck the hearts of their owners, like arrows without bows or strings?
His pupil rejoices at what harms his heart, welcoming no joy that returns with harm.”

4. Heart Illumination

It bestows light upon the heart, the effects of which manifest in the eyes, the face, and the limbs, as mentioned in the hadith:

“The glance is a poisoned arrow from the arrows of Satan. Whoever lowers his gaze from the beauty of a woman, Allah will bestow light upon his heart.”

From the fruits of this light in the heart:

It bestows the health of insight. Shaqiq al-Balkhi said, as reported by Ibn al-Qayyim and others: “Whoever adorns his outward appearance with following the Sunna, his inward with perpetual mindfulness, lowers his gaze from the prohibited, restrains himself from desires, and consumes what is lawful, his insight will not err.”

It opens up the pathways of knowledge and its gates, for knowledge is a light that Allah casts into the heart, and sin extinguishes that light. When Imam Shafi‘i sat before Malik and recited to him, he was amazed by the rapidity of his understanding, the fervor of his intelligence, and the perfection of his comprehension. Malik said to him: “I see that Allah has cast light upon your heart, so do not extinguish it with the darkness of sin.” And Shafi‘i said:

شكوتُ إلى وكيعٍ سوءَ حفظي … فأرشدَني إلى ترك المعاصي
و قال  اعلَمْ  بأنَّ  العلمَ  فضلٌ … و فضلُ  الله  لا  يؤتاه  عاصِ

“I complained to Waki‘ of my poor memory
So he instructed me to abandon disobedience

And he said, ‘Know that knowledge is a grace
And the grace of Allah is not bestowed upon a sinner.’” [Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Da‘a wa al-Dawa‘a]

Ali ibn Khushram used to say: “I complained to Waki‘ about my poor memory, and he said, ‘Seek help in your memorization through reducing your sins.’” [Bayhaqi, Shu‘ab al-Iman ]

5. Strength Amid Trials

It bestows strength and steadfastness upon the heart when facing trials and temptations. Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

“Seven will be shaded by Allah under His shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His… and a man who is seduced by a woman of beauty and position, but he says, ‘I fear Allah.’” [Bukhari; Muslim]

6. Joy Beyond Sight

It brings joy and relief to the heart greater than the pleasure and happiness attained through mere sight, because by resisting temptation and desires, Allah compensates with a joy and pleasure greater than that. Abu Umama (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

“No Muslim looks at the beauty of a woman and then lowers his gaze except that Allah records for him worship whose sweetness he finds.” [Haythami, Ghayat al-Maqsad]

7. Prevention of Sin

It prevents the believer from falling into major sins and following in the footsteps of Satan, as stated by Allah:

“Do not go near adultery. It is truly a shameful deed and an evil way.” [Quran, 17:32]

For indeed, one glance leads to another until the viewer falls into the pit, as mentioned in the hadith narrated by Hudhayfa (Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

“Temptations are presented to the hearts, one by one, and any heart that absorbs them will have a black spot engraved upon it. But any heart that rejects them will have a white mark put on it. The result is that hearts will be of two kinds: one white like a white stone, which will not be harmed by trials as long as the heavens and the earth endure, and the other dark and dusty, like an overturned vessel, not recognizing what is good or rejecting what is abominable, but being impregnated with desires.” [Muslim]

Also, as the poet Ahmed Shawqi says:

نَظرَةٌ فَابتِسامَةٌ فَسَلامٌ … فَكَلامٌ فَمَوعِدٌ فَلِقاءُ

“A glance, then a smile, then a greeting,
Then words, then a rendezvous, then a meeting.”

8. Strengthening Intellect

It strengthens the believer’s intellect, increases it, and establishes it. For letting the gaze roam freely and sending it forth stems only from a lack of intellect, recklessness, and a failure to consider consequences, leading to falling into what is prohibited.

9. Deliverance from Negligence

It delivers the heart from the intoxication of desire and the negligence of heedlessness. For letting the gaze roam freely leads to deepening heedlessness and preoccupation with worldly matters, and the preoccupied mind does not truly engage. Allah says:

“And do not obey those whose hearts We have made heedless of Our remembrance, who follow (only) their desires and whose state is (total) loss.” [Quran, 18:28]

10. Modesty and Chastity

Lowering the gaze leads to modesty and guarding one’s chastity. As Allah says:

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their chastity.” [Quran, 24:31]

Indeed, Allah has made the eye a mirror of the heart, so when a servant lowers their gaze, their heart also restrains its desires and intentions, and when one releases their gaze, their heart also releases its desires. [Ibn al-Qayyim, Rawdat al-Muhibbin]

In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

“For every son of Adam, there is a share of adultery, and the eyes commit adultery by looking. The hands commit adultery by touching, and the feet commit adultery by walking. The mouth commits adultery by speaking, and the heart desires and yearns. Then the private parts either confirm that or deny it.” [Ahmad]

11. Gratitude to Allah

Lowering the gaze is a form of gratitude to Allah for the blessing of sight and fulfilling its rights. As Allah (Most High) says:

“Say, (O Prophet,) ‘He is the One Who brought you into being and gave you hearing, sight, and intellect. ˹Yet˺ you hardly give any thanks.’” [Quran, 67:23]

12. Sign of the Righteous

Lowering the gaze is a sign of the righteous. For uprightness is the eye of honor, and a sign of Allah’s love for His servant. Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

“Allah (Most High) said: ‘Whoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, I shall be at war with him. My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have imposed upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory actions so that I shall love him. When I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask (something) of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it.’” [Bukhari]

13. Mastery Over Desires

Lowering the gaze signifies domination over the commanding self inclined towards evil and sincere striving against it. Allah (Most High) says:

“And as for those who were in awe of standing before their Lord and restrained themselves from (evil) desires, Paradise will certainly be (their) home.” [Quran, 79:40-41]

14. Preserving Society’s Dignity

Ghad al-Basar (lowering the gaze) is fulfilling the right of society, preserving it from encroachment upon dignity and sanctity, and preventing the spread of corruption. Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

“Beware of sitting in the roads!” They said: “O Messenger of Allah, we have no alternative but to sit in our gatherings and converse therein.” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “If you insist on sitting there, then give the road its rights.” They asked: “What are the rights of the road, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied: “Lowering your gaze, refraining from causing harm, returning greetings, enjoining what is good, and forbidding what is evil.” [Bukhari; Muslim]

15. Noble Character Traits

Lowering the gaze is among the noble traits of character and the actions of those with integrity, which Islam came to complete. The people of ignorance used to boast about lowering their gazes. As their poet said:

أَغُضُّ طَرْفِيَ إِذْ مَا جَارَتِي بَرَزَتْ … حَتَّى يُوَارِيَ جَارَتِي الْخِدْرُ

“I lower my gaze when my neighbor’s wife appears,
Until she covers my neighbor with her veil.” [Zarqani, Sharh al-Muwatta]


In conclusion, I commend you and pray for Allah’s blessings upon you and your ethics and religion. I advise both you and myself not to be lenient in the matter of gazing, as a glance is the first step towards falling into immorality and prohibitions. It is a poisoned arrow from Satan. I recommend avoiding places or streets where such scenes are prevalent as much as possible, according to necessity. This advice extends to the virtual world of social media, channels, and others.

May Allah guide you and us all.
[Shaykh] Abdul Sami‘ al-Yaqti

Shaykh Abdul Sami‘ al-Yaqti is a Syrian scholar born in Aleppo in 1977. He obtained his degree in Shari‘a from the Shari‘a Faculty of Damascus University, a Diploma in Educational Qualification from the Faculty of Education at Aleppo University, and a Diploma in Shari‘a and a Master’s in Shari‘a from the Faculty of Sharia, and Law at Omdurman University in Sudan. He is currently writing his doctoral thesis.

He studied under esteemed scholars such as Shaykh Abdul Rahman al-Shaghouri, Shaykh Mustafa al-Turkmani, and Shaykh Dr. Nur al-Din Itr, among others. Shaykh al-Yakti has worked in teaching and cultural guidance in orphanages and high schools in Aleppo. He served as an Imam, Khatib, and reciter at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and as a certified trainer for Khatibs in Abu Dhabi’s Khatib Qualification Program.

He is involved in developing and teaching a youth education program at Seekers Arabic for Islamic Sciences.

Among Shaykh al-Yaqti’s significant works are “Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni: Bayna Ilm al-Kalam Wa Usul al-Fiqh” and the program “The Messenger of Allah Among Us (Allah bless him and give him peace).”