all praise and thanks be to almighty allah and peace and blessings be upon the prophet muhammad, his family, his wives and his companions.
in the past, the enemies of our ummah said, “alcohol and a prostitute can destroy the ummah of mohammed (peace be upon him) more than any cannon or gun, so drown them in materialistic desires.”
the prophet of mercy muhammad (peace be upon him) warned us against the temptation of women. he (pbuh) said, “i have not left behind me any fitnah (temptation) more harmful to men than women.” (narrated by al-bukhari, 5096; muslim, 2740)
the cure of this temptation that qur’an offers is so creative and effective. the mean that islam encourages muslims to follow to protect themselves from the dangers of lewdness is sticking to virtue. the qur’an urges them to adhere to virtuousness and calls them to purify their hearts, souls and bodies.
what does virtuousness mean?
virtuousness is the quality of being abstersive and pure. it is abandoning what is not permissible like prohibitions, worldly desires and asking for charity, namely begging. it is a high manner of faith that brings goodness and blessings for the virtuous in the present life and the hereafter. yet, it does not mean not to enjoy worldly pleasures according to the commands of allah and the teachings of islam. for example, it is a command to be virtuous and avoid fornication, but it is encouraged to get married and satisfy one’s desires with the spouse.
the merit and status of virtuousness:
* almighty allah praises the people of virtue as they are the successful and prosperous in the day of judgment. allah says: “the believers have already prospered, the ones who in their prayer are submissive, the ones who from idle talk are veering away, the ones who at giving the zakat (i.e., paying the poor-dues) are active (literally: are performers), and the ones who are preservers of their private parts- except from their spouses and what their right hands possess, then surely they are not blameworthy. (literally: other than being blameworthy)” (al-muminun: 1-6)
* virtuousness is the quality of prophets (peace be upon them). all meanings of virtue is embodied in the story of prophet yusuf (peace be upon him) when he refused the temptation of the wife of the governor of egypt (the wife of al-aziz) who solicited yusuf about himself.
* ibn al-qayyim, may allah have mercy on him, said about virtuousness: “virtue gives a stronger pleasure than satisfying the sexual desire. virtue starts with prevention then ends with pleasure. as for satisfying the sexual desire, it is the other way around.”
kinds of virtuousness:
1- virtuousness of the organs:
the muslim keeps his hand, leg, eye, ear and private parts from prohibited actions. he/she should not be beaten by his desire, namely to satisfy it in the right and permissible way.
2- virtuousness of the body:
the muslim covers his body, and does not show his awrah (). the muslim woman should wear a hijab to be modest and virtuous.
3- virtuousness towards people’s money:
the muslim is virtuous and pure as he does not take the money of others, unless he has the right to do so. also, the muslim should never take from the money of the orphans for himself if he is the guardian and trustee on the orphan’s money. allah says: “and try the orphans until they reach (the) marriageable age. so, in case you perceive in them right-mindedness then pay over to them their riches, and do not eat them up extravagantly and in anticipation of their (attaining) majority. and whoever is rich, then let him keep abstaining, (i.e. let him abstain generously) and whoever is poor, then let him eat (of it) with beneficence. so, when you pay over to them their riches, then take witnesses over them; and allah suffices as ever-reckoner.”
4- virtuousness in eating and drinking:
the muslim is virtuous in terms of consumption of food too; this means he does not eat any food from an impermissible source. the prophet muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “hellfire is more deserving of every flesh that grew from unlawful consumption.”
5- virtuousness of the tongue:
the tongue of the muslim has to be pure from any cursing or fowl language. he should only talk in goodness and never utter a bad word. the best role model to learn from is our beloved prophet (peace be upon him). he was the most virtuous human on earth. narrated by anas bin malik: the prophet (pbuh) was not one who would abuse (others) or say obscene words, or curse (others), and if he wanted to admonish anyone of us, he used to say: "what is wrong with him, his forehead be dusted!" (sahih al-bukhary, the book of good manners, hadith number 6100)
abdullah ibn masoud narrated that the prophet (pbuh) said: “a believer is not a slanderer, a curser, an abuser, nor an impudent man.” (recorded by at-tirmidhi, no. 1977 and corrected by al albani)
6- virtuousness of self-sufficiency:
the muslim does not seek charity or ask for handouts. he does not beg for money, but rather works for it. hakim bin hizam narrated: the prophet (peace be upon him) said: “the upper hand is better than the lower hand (i.e. he who gives in charity is better than him who takes it). one should start giving first to his dependents. and the best object of charity is that which is given by a wealthy person (from the money which is left after his expenses). and whoever abstains from asking others for some financial help, allah will give him and save him from asking others, allah will make him self-sufficient.” (al-bukhari, muslim)
fruits of virtuousness:
1- almighty allah describes the virtuous believers as: “they are those (who are) the inheritors, who will inherit paradise. they are therein eternally (abiding).”
2- the virtuous believer will be among the seven under the shade of allah (swt) in the day of judgment. abu hurairah narrated that the prophet (peace be upon him) said: “there are seven whom allah will shade in his shade on the day when there is no shade except his shade: a just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of allah, the mighty and majestic; a man whose heart is attached to the mosques; two men who love each other for allah's sake, meeting for that and parting upon that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but he says: 'i fear allah', a man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and a man who remembered allah in private and so his eyes shed tears.' (saheeh al-bukhari, no. 629 & saheeh muslim, no.2248)
3- avoiding serious diseases that people who do fornication might catch, such as hiv and syphilis.
4- virtuousness and abstinence protects society and preserve it. indeed, who avoids unlawful and unreligious acts will protect his household as well.
means of virtuousness:
1- lowering the gaze by not staring to what allah prohibits, as looking to impermissible desires is one of the biggest reasons to commit obscenity.
2- abiding to wearing modest clothes and hijab by muslim women. it isn’t only protection for muslim women, it is also a mean to spread the qualities of chastity and virtue in society.
3- abstinence and virtue promote marriage and stability in society; this is why the prophet (peace be upon him) called the youth to marry in an early age if they can to protect themselves. allah's apostle (pbuh) said: “o young men, those among you who can support a wife should marry, for it restrains eyes from casting (evil glances) and preserves one from immorality; but those who cannot should devote themselves to fasting for it is a means of controlling sexual desire.”
4- knowing and realizing that almighty allah sees us and knows the secrets and what is hidden in chests, he is the all-knowing.
may allah purify our hearts, ears and sights! we ask allah for guidance, piety, chastity and virtue.
() awrah: parts of the body that are not supposed to be exposed to others, but this is not to be confused with the english meaning 'private parts', because a woman's legs, for example, is an awrah.