Islam prohibits everything which arouses one sexually -except what occurs between spouses- for fear that a person would do what is unlawful. The following thirteen steps are carried out in Islam to prevent one from becoming sexually aroused.
Separating children in their sleeping
The Prophet (S.A.W) said: ‘Command your children to perform prayers when they are seven, and beat them [if they do not perform prayer] when they are ten, and separate them in their sleeping places.’ (Abu Dawood)
This is to prevent anything that would arouse them sexually while they are asleep.
Islam orders Muslim women to wear Hijab and not to socialize with non-Mahram men, so that they can preserve their chastity and avoid arousing their sexual desires. Allah says:
O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks [veils] all over their bodies. That will be better, that they should be known [as respectable women] so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)
Islam has made it lawful for elderly women, who neither desire marriage, nor are desired by others, to take off their outer garment. Allah says:
And as for women past childbearing who do not expect wedlock, it is no sin on them if they discard their [outer] clothing in such a way as not to show their adornment. But to refrain [i.e. not to discard their outer clothing] is better for them. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.
Lowering the gaze
The Muslim is ordered to lower his gaze and not look at prohibited things; for fear that a person would stare passionately after the initial look, and then imagine, and finally do the unlawful. Allah says:
Tell the believing men to lower their gaze [from looking at forbidden things], and protect their private parts [from illegal sexual acts]. That is purer for them. Verily Allah is All-Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze [from looking at forbidden things], and protect their private parts [from illegal sexual acts] and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent and to draw their veils all over their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s son, or their [Muslim] women, or the [female] slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigor, or small children who have no sense of feminine sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you, O believers, that you may be successful.)
Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, said:
‘Since [fornication] stems from what one sees, the command to lower the gaze is given precedence over safeguarding one’s private parts [i.e. to be chaste]. All incidents stem from what one sees; similarly, a fire starts with small sparks. An unlawful look, evolves into a thought [in the heart] which leads one to action and finally to the sin itself. That is why it is said:
‘Whoever safeguards these four things preserves his Deen; his eyesight, thoughts, utterances, and actions.’
One may happen to glance at something unlawful, but it is prohibited for him to look at it intently or the second time.
The Prophet (S.A.W) said to Ali (R.A):
‘O Ali, do not look over and over. You would not be chastised on account of the first glance, but would be chastised on account of the second.’
In order to encourage Muslims to lower their gaze, the Prophet (S.A.W) stated the reward a Muslim receives when he lowers his gaze out of fear of Allah and in hope of His reward. He (S.A.W) said:
‘A glance is similar to a poisoned arrow of Iblees; whoever leaves it due to fear of Allah and to seek His pleasure receives reward; his Iman [increases], the pleasure of which he feels in his heart.’ (Haakim)
Seeking permission before entering upon someone
so that he would not see something which is Allah says:
O you who believe! Let your slaves and slave girls, and those among you who have not reached puberty ask your permission [before they come to your presence] on three occasions: before Fajr [Morning Prayer], and while you put off your clothes for the noonday [rest], and after the Isha [late night prayer]. These three times are of privacy for you; other than these times there is no sin on you or on them to move about, attending to each other. Thus Allah makes clear the verses of this Qur’an [showing proofs for the legal aspect of permission for visits to you]. And Allah is All- Knowing, All-Wise.)
And when the children among you reach the age of puberty, then let them [also] seek permission, as those senior to them [in age]. Thus Allah makes clear His Ayaat for you. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.) (24:59)
Islam prohibits men to imitate women and women to imitate
Ibn Abbas (y) said:
‘The Messenger of Allah (r) cursed men who imitate women and women who imitate men.’ (Bukhari)
Islam prohibits looking at things which arouse one sexually
Such as evil Abdurrahmaan b. Abi Sa’eed al- Khudri (t) said that his father said that the Prophet (r) said:
‘A man should not look at another man’s private parts, nor should a woman look at another’s private parts. Two men should not lay naked under one garment, and two women should not lay naked under one garment.’ (Muslim)
Listening to things which arouse one sexually
Such as Music usually provokes one to do evil and arouses the individual sexually. The scholars were truthful in their statement about music, when they said: ‘Music leads to fornication.’
The Prophet (S.A.W) forbade sitting with youth [who have no hair growing on their faces] and looking at them intensely, especially if they are attractive
Abu Hurairah (t) said that the Prophet (S.A.W) said:
‘The son of Adam will commit his due share of fornication. The eyes fornicate and their fornication is looking at prohibited things. The ears fornicate and their fornication is listening to prohibited things. The tongue fornicates and its fornication is speaking to women strangers. The hand fornicates and its fornication is to touch unlawful things. The feet fornicate and their fornication is walking to the prohibited. The heart wishes and desires; thereafter, one may actually fornicate or come close to doing it.’ (Muslim)
The Prophet (r) forbade secluding oneself with a woman [stranger].
For a person may fall prey to satanic desires and fornicate with The Prophet (r) said:
‘Let not one of you seclude himself with a woman [stranger], for Satan would be their third.’ (Ibn Hibban)
Free intermingling between both sexes is prohibited in Islam, for prohibited relationships may result; all that leads to the prohibited is prohibited as well.
Muhammad Qutb said in his book ‘Man between Materialism and Islam’:
‘Innocent coeducation was a great myth that originated from the West. When the West headed to secularism [and lost its ideals] and aimed to treat sexual tension, the sociologists and psychologists presented the pros and benefits of coeducation. Thereafter the West realized the fallacies of these values and benefits. Psychiatrists and psychologists withdrew their opinions regarding coeducation, and stated that slow dances, innocent parties, mixed tea parties and picnics even under the supervision of parents arouse one’s desire. If these desires are suppressed due to social circumstances or shyness, this creates mental and nervous anxiety after the calmness one feels during these occasions. In this case, the youth resorts to one of two things; either to go to a place where he can do these things without the barriers present, or reside in this state of anxiety which leads to certain disorders. Therefore, what kind of innocence and nurturing is this?’
Islam prohibits a woman to describe another woman to her husband
For fear that he may dislike his wife on account of Some qualities which his wife tells to him about her may be preferable to him and are not present in his wife. Satan may even provoke him to seek this woman. Abdullah b. Masood (R.A) said that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) said:
‘A woman should not sit with another woman in order to describe her to her husband as though he is looking at her.’
Women are forbidden to leave their homes while they are perfumed and beautified
For this would cause people to look at them, and lead to fornication, Allah says:
And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance.
She is also prohibited to speak softly in a submissive tone; this safeguards her from weak men who desire fornication. A woman should talk to men (strangers) when needed only, and when she does, she should not talk in a flirtatious manner.
Be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease [of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery] should be moved with desire, but speak in an honorable manner.
And when you ask [the Prophet’s wives] for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen: that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts.
Islam forbids nudity and the displaying of woman’s adornments. Allah says:
O Children of Adam! We have indeed bestowed upon you clothing to cover your shame [i.e. private parts] and as [a thing of] beauty and the clothing of piety is the best of all. That is one of the signs of Allah that they may remember.
Abu Hurairah (R.A) said that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) said:
‘There are two types of people who belong to Hell-Fire, whom I have not yet seen; people, who have whips similar to cattle’s ears, with which they hit people. And women who are clothed yet unclothed; and walk in a seductive way, and do not obey Allah. Their heads are similar to a limp Bactrian camel’s hump. They will not enter Jannah, and its scent can be smelt from a distance.’
Islam clarifies with whom the woman is allowed to uncover her apparent adornment. Allah says:
And tell the believing women to lower their gaze [from looking at forbidden things] and protect their private parts [from illegal sexual acts] and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent and to draw their veils all over their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers or their husband’s fathers or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brothers sons, or their sister’s sons, or their Muslim women or the female slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigor, or small children who have no sense of feminine sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you, O believers, that you may be successful.
It is prohibited for the woman to travel alone, without
Mahram (male guardian) such as the husband, father, brother, or relative who is prohibited for her to marry. The Messenger of Allah said:
‘A man should not sit in seclusion with a woman [stranger], nor should she travel without Mahram.’ A man then asked the Prophet (S.A.W) : ‘O Messenger of Allah I have enlisted to go in such and such battle, and my wife has left to make Hajj!’ The Prophet (S.A.W) said: ‘Go make Hajj with your wife.’
The wisdom behind this is to preserve and safeguard the woman’s chastity, for usually traveling is not easy, and requires many things, and the woman is weak in this regard due to the fact that she menstruates, becomes pregnant, and breast-feeds her child. Furthermore, a woman may be deceived easier than a man, for she may be affected by her surroundings. Therefore, during travel, she is in need of a person who safeguards and protects her from those who wish to harm her in any way, or take her money. She is also in need of someone who provides her with her needs, and ensures her total comfort. The Mahram is obliged to do all this, so she would not require the assistance of a stranger.
The Prophet (S.A.W) commanded Muslims to approach their wives if they see a woman who stimulates their sexual desire, in order to relieve themselves from this desire in a lawful
By doing this, he safeguards himself from falling into evil, and rids himself of the whispering of Satan. The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) said:
‘The woman comes in a shape similar to Satan, and goes in a shape similar to Satan.’
Islam commands both spouses to satisfy each other’s sexual desire
It is prohibited for a woman to refuse her husband’s request when he wants to satisfy his sexual desire; since this would lead him to evil. He may search for other methods to satisfy his desire, or develop mental pressure, and both are detrimental to health. The Prophet (S.A.W) said:
‘If the husband calls his wife to sleep with him, and she refuses; and he sleeps that night angry with her, the Angels curse her until the morning.’
The husband must also satisfy his wife’s desires in order to protect and safeguard her from evils. Imam Ibn Hazm, may Allah have mercy on him, said:
‘It is a duty of the husband to have intercourse with his wife, when she becomes purified if he is capable of doing so; otherwise, he is a sinner. The proof of this is in the words of Allah:
And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah has ordained for you.
Due to the severity of this matter, if the husband does not fulfill the wife’s desire, she can raise her matter to the Shari’ah courts – if needed – so that she can take her due rights. This maintains the safeness of society from all evils.
Those who love to see evil become widespread in community have indeed been threatened by Allah with a most severe punishment. He says:
Verily, those who like that [the crime of] illegal sexual intercourse should be propagated among those who believe, they will have a painful torment in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allah knows and you know not.)
If this is the punishment of those who like illicit relations to become apparent (in society), what is the punishment of those who engage in it and help spread it in society?