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Islam- lower your gaze?

(10 Posts)
Ricekrispiesquare Tue 13-Dec-16 22:27:53


I am not a Muslim, but may I please ask a question?

I just watched a programme where a woman commented to a male who would have commented on her previous days outfit that 'if you lowered your gaze you would not have known what I wore yesterday'.

What does this mean? Are men not allowed to directly look at women?

I tried googling but it's coming up with quite confusing answers. Must a man avert his eyes if he desires a woman... or all women in general? Is it about lust or respect? Must women also lower their gaze?

I'm not asking to be remotely goady. I'm genuinely very curious smile

WyfOfBathe Tue 13-Dec-16 22:36:06

I'm not a Muslim either, so I may not be completely right. So from what I understand, it just that men shouldn't stare at women (especially at women's breasts/upper legs or other parts which are often sexualised). So it's about not lusting after or sexualising women's bodies.

There's an online Quran here, you can see that 24:30 says "Say to the believing men that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts; that is purer for them; surely Allah is Aware of what they do." but 24:31 starts "And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts" so yes, it applies to women as well.

FrancesHaHa Tue 13-Dec-16 22:40:25

Was the programme 'Muslims Like Us?.

If so I thought it was reference to the mans particular beliefs about men and women not mixing. Seemed to be very out of step with the rest of the group.

Ricekrispiesquare Wed 14-Dec-16 12:55:41

Thank you

Yes it was Muslims Like Us. I only caught it from the argument in the kitchen over the onion but it was just that which caught my attention.

And yes he did seem very out of touch with the rest of the group!

labouroflove13 Wed 14-Dec-16 13:08:36

I thought it was a good pithy rejoinder on her part to his comments on her clothing. By quoting the famous quranic verse it takes the emphasis on correct behaviour back on the one gazing not on the one being gazed at.

whataboutbob Sun 18-Dec-16 14:28:52

It's also worth remembering there are many branches in Islam- sufi, sunni, shia and within those there are certain movements which vary in strictness. So for example many Pakistani origin Sunnis belong to the Deobandi movement, which forbids men looking at any woman who is not their wife or close female relation (mother, sister, basically anyone who is not a potential marriage partner, so that would exclude their female cousins). The way they see it, by looking at a woman they are already committing adultery. Contrast that with an educated , urban (say Turkish) muslim, they'd be likely to think that was ridiculous.

Ricekrispiesquare Sun 18-Dec-16 18:19:09

Thank you for your responses.

Suppermummy02 Sun 18-Dec-16 19:05:05

Is this belief compatible with British values? I feel uncomfortable about this going on.

ACubed Thu 29-Dec-16 11:09:20

Supermummy - I can't tell if you're taking the piss about British Values..?

perfectlybroken Tue 03-Jan-17 11:12:36

The answer given by wyth was a good one. I'm Muslim and my understanding of this is that men and women should not stare at eachother when it's not necessary, but it's perfectly OK to look at eachother as part of normal communication. In this country looking people in the eye is a sign of respect, whereas in Muslim countries it would be considered rude between the sexes. I think there is a reasonable balance to be found, without threatening British values!

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