Protect your Eye

Islam concentrates on preserving the individual soul and the society as pure as possible in order to reach the ultimate goal we were all brought into this world for. The eye is a part of our body we value the most and it’s a door between the outer material world and our inner self and heart.

Our eye can be used to witness and see wonders, even above and beyond this physical realm, by removing the veils and opening our “inner-eye”.[1] Our beloved Prophet (s.a.w.) has said:

غُضُّوا اَبْصارَكُم تَرَوْنَ الْعَجائِبَ.

Lower your gaze and you will see wonders.[2]

With pure eyes we will see things others don’t. We will have access to greater spiritual powers, as long as we control our eyes. The sad thing is our eyes are extremely difficult to control. We do not really estimate how ungrateful our eyes can be, or how out of control they are. Maybe because they don’t do anything physically but look, and we think “looking” won’t harm anyone, and it’s just innocent and natural. Imam Ali (a.s.) says:

لَیْسَ فِی الْبَدَنِ‌ شَیءٌ اَقَلَّ شٌكراً مِنَ الْعَیْنِ فَلا تُعطوها سٌؤلَها فَتَشْغَلكُم عَنْ ذِكْرِ اللهِ‌ عَزَّ وَجَل.

There is nothing in the body less thankful than the eye, so do not give it what it asks for, as it will occupy you from remembering Almighty God.[3]

We undermine the harmful sin of our eyes, even though it is referred to as “adultery of the eye”.[4] As simple as it is our eye can not only distract us from God, it will lead us to pits of fire and vile sin.

 

Our eyes can drag us to places we would never want to be. They are like traps. Imam Ali (a.s.) says:

             الْعُیونُ مَصائِدُ الشَّیطانَ.

                                                         Eyes are Satan’s snares.[5]

We will also be miserable, seeing things and not having access to what we look at. That’s why inner-peace can be achieved by monitoring what we look at. Imam Ali (a.s.) has said:

مَنْ غَضَّ طَرْفَهُ اَراحَ قَلْبَهُ.

Whoever lowers their gaze they are putting their heart at ease.[6]

Our beloved Prophet (s.a.w.) has said:

اَلنَّظَرُ سَهْمٌ مَسموُمٌ مِنْ سِهامِ اِبْلیسَ‌ فَمَنْ تَرَكَها خَوْفاً مِنَ اللهِ اَعطاهُ اللهُ ایماناً یَجِد حَلاوَتَهُ فی قَلْبِهِ.

A [haram] gaze is a poisoned arrow from the arrows of Iblis. Whoever stays away from this out of fear of Almighty God, He will give them faith they will be able to taste in their hearts.[7]

That’s why we have to show the highest level of nobility and righteousness. We must be courageous, and Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) tells us what courage is:

اَشْجَعُ النّاسِ مَنْ غَلَبُ هَواهُ

The most courageous of people is one who overcomes their desires.[8]

So, we protect our eyes and keep them pure by exposing them to good things. What we look at will have a positive and spiritual effect on us; looking at the Quran, looking at our parents, looking at a scholar, looking at the Ka’bah, and so on.

Of course, there is a difference between seeing and looking, between haram and halal, lustful and unlustful, and so on. Sin of the eye is not just looking at a non-mahram with lust, or watching pornography, it also includes looking with envy, jealousy, anger [at parents], and other cases.

How can we avoid sins of the eye?
  1. Always remember the world is the Kingdom of God that He reigns and oversees. The holy Quran says:

وَقُلِ اعمَلوا فَسَيَرَى اللَّهُ عَمَلَكُم وَرَسولُهُ وَالمُؤمِنونَ

And say, ‘Go on working: Allah will see your conduct, and His Apostle and the faithful [as well].[9]

  1. Do not belittle the power of the eye and what you see, even though it might seem to be harmless or insignificant.
  2. Have a serious and solid will to stay away from sin, and continue you monitor yourself in everything you do.
  3. Staying with God means staying away from disobeying Him, so ask God to assist you and make you successful in this path.
  4. Anytime you think of a sin or whispers come into your mind, occupy yourself with something else, with noble thoughts, and good deeds.
  5. Read and learn about the bad and dangerous outcome of sin, especially polluting your eye.
  6. Avoid places where you know there will be high chance of your eyes wandering and falling into haram gazes.
  7. Exercise your will-power and strengthen it.

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[1] Also referred to as a “sixth sense”, our “third-eye”, or our “barzakhi eye”.

[2] Bihar al-Anwar, vo. 101, p. 41.

[3] Bihar al-Anwar, vo. 101, p. 35.

[4] The Prophet (s.a.w.) has said: Every limb has a portion of adultery; the adultery of the eye is looking [with haram lust]…. Mustadrak al-Wasa`il, vol. 14, p. 269.

[5] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 77, p. 294.

[6] Sharh Ghurar al-Hikam, vol. 5, p. 449.

[7] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 101, p. 38.

[8] Nahj al-Fasahah, p. 58, h. 299.

[9] Quran, 9: 105.

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