Even the Ugly is Made Pleasing

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


Allah سبحانه و تعالى Said:

وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الزِّنَا ۖ إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَاءَ سَبِيلًا

“And do not (even) approach Zina (illicit sexual intercourse). Indeed, it is a Faahishah and a most evil way.” [1]

Shaytan and his army try their utmost to cause two people to commit sin by being involved in a process that has very real consequences in leading towards having an illicit relationship. It’s an act that destroys families and negatively impacts communities and society at large. Shaytan makes each of them look pleasing to each other to entice this effect.

In Surah Al-Noor (30-31), Allah Commands the believing men and women to lower their gaze and guard their chastity for indeed the serious nature of zina commences with letting one’s gaze wander freely, causing sickness in the heart and leading to immoral risks. Whereas lowering the gaze is one of the primary means of keeping oneself safe from that. Yet we are told about the ease by which eyes fall into looking at the haram.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:  كل عين زانية  “All eyes are (susceptible to being) adulterous.” [2]

And he صلى الله عليه وسلم also aid:  فالعينان زناهما النظر  “… the zina of the eye is looking (at the unlawful) …” [3]

Abdullah ibn Mas’ood رضي الله عنه is reported to have narrated that the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

النظرة سهم مسموم من سهام إبليس

“Gazing (an unlawful) look are poisoned arrows of Shaytan…” [4]

Although the chain for this narration is weak, the meaning remains correct for such is the strength of the eye’s perception of the unlawful, that it readily leads to weakening of the self’s defences and allows an opening for shaytani whispering to get louder, until illicit intercourse takes place. As Anas ibn Malik narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم say:

فزنا العين النظر وزنا اللسان المنطق والنفس تمنَّى وتشتهي والفرْج يصدق ذلك كله ويكذبه

“…The zina of the eyes is looking, the zina of the tongue is speaking, one may wish and desire, and the private parts confirm that or deny it.” [5]

One of the major tabi’een, Ataa’ ibn Abi Rabaah (d.114H) said words of profound insight and self-concern:

لو ائتمنت على بيت مال لكنت أمينا، ولا آمن نفسي على أمة شوهاء

“If I was entrusted with the Muslim treasury, I would be (found to be) trustworthy. I would not however, trust myself (being left alone) with (even) an ugly woman.”

Commenting on this statement, ad-Dhahabi said: صدق رحمه الله – ففي الحديث: ألا لا يخلون رجل بامرأة، فإن ثالثهما الشيطان “He spoke the truth, rahimahullah. As we find in the Hadeeth, “No man is alone with a woman except that shaytan is the third (one present).” [6]

It was the open honesty and khashiya’ (a sense of acute fear and awareness of Allah) of our righteous predecessors that enabled them to acknowledge the ground reality surrounding them so that they could safeguard their own selves from falling into sin, as well as influencing others towards restraint. The first step in confronting a harm or doubt, is to admit that such a harm and doubt exists. Only then can the necessary steps be taken to remedy and overcome the risks associated with them.

Abu Al-Fuwaris Shah ibn Shuja’ Al-Kirmani said:

من غض بصره عن المحارم وأمسك نفسه عن الشهوات وعمر باطنه بدوام المراقبة وظاهره بإتباع السنة وعود نفسه أكل الحلال لم تخطئ له فراسة

“Whoever lowers his gaze from what is prohibited and restrains himself from worldly desires and inhabits his inner self with self-assessment and his outer self with the following of the Sunnah, and habituates himself with eating the permissible shall not err in his (decisive) insights.” [7]

The Light of Allah enters the heart of His believing slave, who complies with His Orders and avoids what He has Prohibited. This heart turns to good things from every side, and if the scourge of evil turns into dark clouds from everywhere, they are repelled for it wants nothing from blameworthiness and misguidance. This light is revealed to a heart that accepts goodness and does not want to remain blinded and wandering in the darkness (of sin).

May Allah protect us from everything that brings about His displeasure, and grant us the ability and strength to prevent our desires from taking pathways of blame and sin. Ameen.




[1] Al-Isra’ 32
[2] At-Tirmidhi, 2786, who graded it as hasan saheeh
[3] Saheeh Muslim, 2657
[4] Hilyat al-Awliya, 6/107; Tabarani and Al-Hakim
[5] Al-Bukhari, 5889; Muslim, 2657
[6] Siyar A’lam An-Nubala’, 5/88

[7] Al-Suyuti, ‘Miftah al-Jannah’


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