Chastity and Gaze

When and how to start talking to my son about chastity and lowering of gaze

Faheem Ahmed, LA Inland Majlis

Teaching anything to a child can be a piece of cake when we act accordingly. They will copy and adopt whatever they see; daughters are reflection of their mothers and sons of their fathers. Many times we have seen little boys standing in front of a mirror, barely reaching to the sink, on their tippy toes trying to shave their beard the way their father does. Similarly they will follow every act of their father.

Age limit of teaching a son about respect of opposite sex starts as early as they start understanding the relationships around them. Respecting their mother and sister unconditionally will be the first step of the learning process. Playing with siblings and cousins should be monitored carefully. Not with the intent to watch them like a hawk, rather very politely correcting any signs of disrespect.

As soon as they start school, they should be taught about lowering of gaze. Father and son relationship should develop such friendship and understanding that they are able to discuss their concerns freely. There should not be a barrier between a son and his father. The son should be able to come forward with questions.

I personally started talking with my son regarding chastity at age seven with the basic things regarding lowering the gaze. Gradually, I spoke to him about the purpose and beauty of following the commandment of Allah and by the time he turned fourteen, he was fully aware of his surroundings.

As it is the eyes through which most evil thoughts enter the mind, therefore we as a family always reminded our son to pay special attention to this commandment of Allah. As stated in chapter 24, verse 31 in the Holy Qur’an, where Allah says “Say to the believing men that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is well aware of what they do.”

I always reminded him of the Hadith narrated by Hadrat Abu Amama (may Allah be pleased with him) that Holy Prophet (may peace and blessings of Allah be on him) stated that when a Muslim’s eye catches the beauty of a woman and he lowers his eyes then Allah gives him the ability to such worship that he taste its sweetness.” A son who will grow up knowing the importance of Ghadd al-Basar (lowering the gaze) will be aware of chastity and will have the fear of Allah to cross such line.