The heat of the sun… the chill of ice… the wetness of water…

All these are natural elements that Allah Ta‘ala has created in this world. Every person accepts the existence of these elements and accordingly takes precautions around them to save himself from harm. Thus, when venturing out beneath the glaring rays of the sun, a person will wear a sun hat, apply sunscreen lotion and limit his exposure to the sun’s rays to avoid suffering from sun burn or a sunstroke.

Another ‘element’ which Allah Ta‘ala has created in the world is the force of gravity. The force of gravity is such a concrete, undeniable reality that every person is affected by it and no person can deny its existence. Whether big or small, short or tall, everything is attracted to the earth due to the force of gravity.

Accordingly, people understand that due to gravity, if they slip, they will fall and will suffer an injury. In certain cases, the fall may even result in death! Therefore, to create a safe environment and save people from falling and plunging to their peril, all potentially dangerous areas are secured. Handrails are installed at staircases and railings along balconies, etc.

The importance of creating a safe environment for one and all is greatly emphasized and rigorously enforced. Thus, if a person does not install a railing at his business premises, and one of his staff or a customer thereafter slips and falls, he faces the risk of a lawsuit. Likewise, if some maintenance work was being carried out and the area was not cordoned off, and a passer-by was then injured by some falling debris, then there is a high chance that he will sue the people conducting the maintenance work.

In these examples, though it is possible that the people injured were not cautious and attentive enough – we find that those who were responsible for compromising the safety of the environment are also held responsible and are regarded as blameworthy. When they understand the risks caused by gravity and knew that their actions could impact on others and lead to them being harmed, they should have shown more concern and consideration to those around them.

In the very same way, another ‘element’ that Allah Ta‘ala has created is that of the ‘gravity’ or natural attraction that exists between males and females. Just as gravity brings with it certain risks, such as falling and suffering an injury, the natural attraction between males and females shares the same risk – the risk of slipping and falling into fitnahs and sins.

The sharee‘ah of Islam is most perfect and practical, and it has taken into account this element of natural attraction between males and females. Accordingly, just as safety railings are placed in areas where one may slip and fall, sharee‘ah has placed certain ‘safety railings’ to prevent males and females from slipping and falling into fitnahs which will lead them to Jahannam.

These ‘safety railings’ are the laws of purdah (niqaab and hijaab), and through these laws being upheld, the purity and chastity of the environment will be preserved and people’s imaan will be safeguarded.

Unfortunately, there is a concept among many people today that a woman is free to dress (or undress) as she pleases, and it is the sole responsibility of the man to guard his gaze, refrain from casting lustful glances and protect his purity. However, just as a person who fails to erect a railing will be held liable for those who slip and fall, such women undoubtedly share the blame for the rampant increase in immorality that continues to plague society.

Hence Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “The example of the woman who struts in attractive garments (proudly displaying her beauty) among others besides her family (i.e. before non-mahram males) is that of darkness on the Day of Qiyaamah with no light (i.e. she will be a personification of darkness).” (Sunan Tirmizi #1167)

With the rise of immorality in society, a host of other evils has begun to surface, such as an increase in the rape rate, sexual harassment, etc. While rape will never be condoned, and the rapist will never be absolved of his liability, it must be stated that a woman leaving the home, scantily clad, and then marching through the streets, is simply tempting the force of ‘gravity’.

A jewellery store owner understands the ‘gravity’ and attraction that exists between his gold, silver and jewels and the thieves who wish to wrongfully acquire them, and he thus keeps them secured behind multiple safety measures. Never will he be so foolish and naïve as to leave them out in the open, and after they are stolen, sit and wring his hands in remorse, lamenting the plight of society’s criminals. Rather, being a realistic and practical person, who values his jewels, he keeps them behind the ‘purdah’ of security barriers, armed guards, etc.

Thus, we find that every gravity is acknowledged in society today, and safety measures are initiated to save people from falling into harm. It is only the ‘gravity’ of the natural attraction between men and women that is conveniently overlooked and wilfully ignored, and the reason for this is that the values of purity, chastity and hayaa, which are integral to Islam, are not at all valued by Western society today.

Hence, co-ed schools are introduced, women are urged to enter the workplace, nudity is normalised, and pre-marital relationships are encouraged – but thereafter, when marriages begin to shatter, teenage, out-of-wedlock pregnancies occur, the rape rate escalates, AIDS and other STDs spread and other similar evils commence, then people blame any and every factor BESIDES the root cause – the abandonment of hayaa and purdah.

May Allah Ta‘ala open our eyes to the beauty and perfection of Islam, may He bless us with the noor of the sunnah in our lives, and may He make our hearts pleased with the sharee‘ah of Islam, aameen.