Looking at women in the Haram

Reference: Fataawa ash-Shaykh Muhammad as-Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen – Volume 2, Page 848

Question: Will a man be accounted for looking at women in the Haram (al-Masjid al-Haraam, Makkah), considering he is not doing so out of his desires or seeking pleasure from this, keeping in mind that the women themselves are the ones who are attracting attention towards themselves?

Response: In actual fact, the issue of the women in this place is a major problem, because there are amongst the women those who come to this place which is a place of worship and contemplation in a manner which causes fitnah. So the woman comes all dressed up and perfumed, and quite possibly she moves in such a manner as to flirt with the men – and this is a detested act in other than al-Masjid al-Haraam, so how is it in al-Masjid al-Haraam itself?!

And my advice to those who are [prepared] to listen from [amongst] them is to fear Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) in regard to themselves and to respect the House of Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) by not falling into any sin within it[‘s boundaries], and it is upon the men that if they see a woman in a manner which is not permissible, then they must advise and rebuke them or inform those who are able to prevent and rebuke them. And [generally], and all praise is due to Allaah [alone], the people have good in them.

However, having said this, we say: It is obligatory upon the man to lower his gaze as much as he is able, [as Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says]:

{Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things)…}, [Soorah an-Noor, Aayah 30]

So it is upon him to lower his gaze as much as he can, especially if he notices any desirous affect within himself, then it is obligatory upon him to lower his gaze more and more, and the people differ in this regard in a big way.

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

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