Should Women Lower their Gaze?
In the age of modernity, it seems that the days of lowering one’s gaze have dissipated along with multi-levels of modesty. The young are found strutting about in competition to catch the eye of the opposite gender rather than to conceal their beauty. The islamic perspective has been watered down.
So who is supposed to lower their gaze?
The man or the woman?
The girl or the guy?
“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest. That is purer for them. Lo! Allah is Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest.” (An-Nur: 30-31)
Are these verses applicable to real life only ? What about online situations?
We often divide up roles and duties without stepping back to reflect that in actual fact, both genders should not be staring at each other.
As there is Hijab for the woman, there is also appropriate dressing for the man. One of the common practises on social media is the ‘Male Appreciation’ pictures of male actors and models that women share with each other.
Social media portals with the likes of Facebook are spattered with pictures of men who are parading their torso’s and posing for the delusion of the ‘Perfect Avatar’, And often the pictures do not cover the satr. This leaves women in a situation where they need to identify the boundaries of what it permissible. It is not permissible for her to be staring at a ghair mahram man, let alone drooling over the pictures.
These boundaries and Islam appropriate practices need to be instilled long before the age of maturity in children, so they may grow knowing what to conceal, and what not to look at.
The concept of lowering the gaze is often chalked up to being the man’s duty, but sisters, its your duty as well – It’s your duty to conceal yourself, as well as maintain your modesty.