May 9, 2011

Ghaddul basar only for men?

Contrary to popular belief, the command to lower one's gaze (ghaddul basar) in the Quran is not exclusively directed to men only. Surah An-Nur: 31 clearly states that the believing women should also lower their gaze and guard their modesty, using the same phraseology as the previous verse which is directed to men.

So, it is equally obligated to both men and women to abstain themselves from seeing or looking at something which is not permissible in Islam.

It is quite inaccurate then to say that 'men have to lower their gaze, and women have to help men to lower their gaze', by wearing appropriate clothing and not uploading their pictures online etc.

It's a sexist remark, if you ask me. It appears as if men are all sex maniacs and women have to take precautions for that. And as if women has no role whatsoever in lowering their gaze as well.

Don't think for a second that women don't get aroused by visual stimuli too. They do.

The true concept of ghaddul basar in Islam is that both men and women are responsible to guard their visions and help each other to do so. If women can't upload indecent pictures to Facebook, it is only fair that men also don't do the same.

The concept of 'men and women are equal but not the same' in Islam has become a cliché, and sometimes not properly used, like in this case. Don't let it be a license to practice sexism!~

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