Harm No. 5: Causes Pain to the Heart
If someone says that we accept that the head experiences grief and sorrow when looking at beauties, but grief and sorrow is also felt when protecting the eyes. A person feels regret in his heart saying, "O how pretty that face may have been." So what is the difference? One will be causing pain to the heart either way, by looking and not looking. The answer to this is that the pain experienced by looking at the beauty is more severe than the pain felt when guarding the eyes.
When a person casts evil glances at any beauty then one comes to know of her shapes and features. "Her eyes are like this, her nose is like that and she has a model face..." This grief is termed as "grief of known and recognized beauty" which is more severe and causes more restlessness and uneasiness in the heart. However, if one guards his eyes then this will be "regret of unknown and unrecognized beauty." When a person does not look, then the regret, pain and grief will also be light and minimal. The effect of this pain and grief will fade away quickly. The sweetness of faith which one attains from the' regret of not attaining the "unknown and unrecognized beauty" will be so enjoyable that it will surpass all the combined enjoyments of the world. On the other hand, by casting evil glances and making oneself go through regret and grief of "known and recognized beauty," the anger and wrath of Allah Ta'ala descends.
As a result of this, the heart becomes restless and uneasy. One does not have a moment of contentment in the heart and life also becomes bitter. Therefore, there is a world of difference between the two pains. One is a world of mercy and the other is a world of curses and wrath. The difference between the two griefs and pains is like the difference between Paradise and Hell-fire. Hence, the command of lowering the gaze is a great favor of Allah Ta'ala upon the believers. By making us go through the pain of "unknown and unrecognized beauty," He saved us from the pain of "known and recognized beauty." Just like the example of a person who gets stung by a mosquito and another gets bitten by a snake.
The one who got stung by the mosquito thanks Allah Ta'ala that he did not get bit by the snake. Similarly, the pain and regret of guarding the eyes from "unrecognized beauty" is like the stinging of a mosquito, And the pain and regret of "known and recognized beauty" is like the biting of snake.