As previously discussed, lustful glances are poisonous arrows which lead to the total and complete ruin, destruction and death of the spiritual heart. A single glance, cast in a split second, leaves such an indelible impression that it is very often near impossible to thereafter resist the temptation and remain chaste. Hence, that first glance is like the first step taken on a journey down a steep and perilous path of evil, sin and shamelessness.

Zun Noon Misri (rahimahullah) was once asked, “What causes a person to fall into sin?” Zun Noon (rahimahullah) explained by saying, “Sinning commences with a lustful glance. The lustful glance causes a person to be assailed by fleeting thoughts of sin. If one treats and remedies the fleeting thoughts by turning to Allah Ta‘ala, the fleeting thoughts will cease and disappear. If not, they will progress until they are accompanied by (bombardments of) whispers and insinuations (towards evil and sin). This, in turn, causes (the flames of) carnal desires and lust (to be fanned). All of this transpires internally (in the mind), and (until this point,) the action of sin and evil has not yet manifested through the action of the limbs. If the carnal desires and lust is remedied and addressed, (one will be safe,) but if not, then it will progress until it becomes a strong, irresistible urge, and if this urge is not addressed then one’s entire mind will become engulfed (in thoughts of haraam and sin).” (Hilyatul Awliyaa vol. 8 pg. 17)

The harms and dangers of casting lustful glances are often underestimated. However, at times, the poison of the lustful glance penetrates so deeply that it even leads a person to reneging from Deen and leaving the fold of Islam (whether immediately or eventually, as is the case with many Muslim boys and girls who leave Deen for the sake of marrying a non-Muslim).

It is reported that there was once a muazzin named Saalih in the city of Baghdad. Saalih was known for his piety and was blessed to call out the azaan for no less than forty years! However, it was a single, poisonous glance that destroyed this man and rendered his forty years of calling out the azaan worthless. His lamentable downfall transpired in the following manner:

One day, while Saalih was climbing the minaret to call out the azaan, his gaze fell on the daughter of the Christian neighbour whose home was adjacent to the masjid. As soon as his gaze fell on her, he became infatuated and fell in love with her. He thus came to her house and knocked on the door. The girl called out from inside the home, “Who is there?” he replied, “Saalih, the muazzin.”

When the girl opened the door, Saalih entered the home and (immediately) embraced her. The Christian girl (was shocked and) exclaimed, “You are (supposed to be) trustworthy people, so how can you behave in this deceitful manner?” He replied, “(I want to be with you, and) if you do not agree, then I will kill you.”

The girl retorted saying, “I will only be with you if you leave your religion.” There and then, the muazzin left Islam and declared, “I disassociate myself from Islam and from that (Deen) which Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) brought.” However, the girl was still not satisfied and said, “You only spoke these words so that you can have your way with me. After you are done with me, you will return to your Deen. (To prove that you truly wish to be with me,) eat some pork.”

Without hesitating, Saalih placed the pork into his mouth and consumed it. The girl then requested him to consume wine, and he willingly did so. Finally, as the wine affected his mind and intoxicated him, he tried to approach her. However, she went into a room and locked the door. She then called out to him and said, “Climb onto the roof (of the house) and wait for my father to come. When he arrives then he will officiate our marriage.”

Saalih then climbed onto the roof, but due to his intoxicated state, he fell to the ground and died. The girl came out and concealed his body with a cloth. Later on, when her father arrived and she informed him of what had transpired, they took the body at night and dumped it in the street. Thereafter, the people learnt of the fate of the muazzin, and (since he had reneged from Islam and could not be given a janaazah or Muslim burial,) his body was dumped at a rubbish pile. (Zammul Hawaa pg. 344)

In this manner, Saalih met his end as a drunk disbeliever with pork in his belly. Forty years of calling out the azaan and a lifetime of good deeds were all obliterated – by the poison of a single glance.

Insha-Allah, in the next part, we will discuss other incidents pertaining to the harms of casting lustful glances. May Allah Ta‘ala save us all from this evil, aameen.