My question revolves around fitna. As far as I understand, fitna means temptation. What is confusing me is this. For some people, it is easier to fall into temptation than it is for other people to fall into temptation. Why is that?

At the moment, the only logic I can associate to this difference between people is that the easier it is for one to fall into fitna, maybe the more perverted/desperate they are? That would explain why some people fall into fitna easier than others.

However, the only problem with this assumption (even though it seems logical to me) is that other people say that there is something wrong with a person who does not fall into fitna easily... The problem here is that, to me it seems that such people are suggesting that it is normal and healthy for a man to be highly perverted/desperate and it is expected for a man to be highly perverted/desperate in islam. I hope this is not true, but this is what I have been told by certain people..

For example, I have been told that if a man sees a woman's ankle by accident (and then he looks away and does not look again and lowers his gave). After that, if the man is unable to concentrate for the rest of the day, because he can’t get the ankle he saw earlier in the day out of his mind, that is the level of perversion/desperation a healthy man should have in islam. Which to be honest, I find quiet repulsive that anyone would suggest that that is how a man should be...

Whereas, the same people have said, if a man accidentally sees a woman's ankle (and then looks away/lowers his gaze), and is able to go about his day without thinking about the ankle again, such a man has problems as he should have been tempted by that ankle, as in, he is not perverted/desperate enough. Personally, such a man seems more sane to me.

Is this true? All very confusing, and any clarification would be great. So if the question is not clear, does Islam recommend and expect men to be highly perverted/desperate to the extent that if they see an ankle by accident and then lower their gaze, they should not be able to concentrate for the rest of the day because they should be fantasizing about that ankle if they are healthy... As in, a healthy man should fall into temptation quickly and easily...

The 3 dots ... after certain sentences are to emphasize that I find such a thought disturbing.

I typed this to post to islamqa, but when I clicked submit question, I received a message saying "this page does not exist", which is the reason why I am posting here instead.

  • Fitna is a very difficult expression temptation is only one single meaning of it. An other meaning is historically used for what happened between the sahaba after the death or killing of 'Othmane...
    – Sassir
    Jun 4, 2017 at 17:04
  • 2
    I think that what one describe as "fitna" really is pretty subjective. It would depend a lot on where a person is from, what kind of environment and culture, and so on. Therefore someone who for instance is born and raised in a non-muslim country, who mostly has seen women since childhood without hijab and throughout his life, would not necessarily get aroused just by seeing a womans hair. While another person in another culture might get really caught up. And he would likely think you are crazy who don't get aroused by seeing her. So its is very subjective.
    – Kilise
    Jun 6, 2017 at 14:32
  • @Kilise That's a strange reading from an Islamic perspective; it suggests that hijab is counterproductive in preventing fitna.
    – G. Bach
    Jun 6, 2017 at 18:17
  • @G.Bach I don't think most islamic scholars has anything against what I've said about (most) fitna/temptation being subjective, I am sure most of them have the same understanding. The question is, how they would balance that view within the scope of the texts.
    – Kilise
    Jun 6, 2017 at 22:11
  • @G.Bach, apparently this might sound weird, but I have heard that some individuals have a hijab fetish. I assume some have an ankle fetish too, I've definitely heard of of the weird foot fetish people seem to commonly have. So maybe it's a fetish thing. I guess a side question is, how can hijab help if a person has a hijab fetish? Jun 8, 2017 at 15:43

3 Answers 3


Islam doesn't recommend men to be highly perverted/desperate, but it is expected. Allah says in Qura'n Surat Ali Imran 3vs14

زين للناس حب الشهوات من النساء والبنين والقناطير المقنطرة من الذهب والفضة والخيل المسومة والأنعام والحرث ذلك متاع الحياة الدنيا والله عنده حسن المآب

Zuyyina linnasi hubbuashshahawati mina annisa-i walbaneenawalqanateeri almuqantarati mina aththahabiwalfiddati walkhayli almusawwamati wal-anAAamiwalharthi thalika mataAAu alhayatiaddunya wallahu AAindahu husnualmaab

Means in english

Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return.

So, Women are one of the things which men desire, but Islam doesn't recommend to be perversion/desperation, and if we read the story of the prophet Yusuf peace be upon him we'll understand that he rejected the women who tried to temp him.

وراودته التي هو في بيتها عن نفسه وغلقت الأبواب وقالت هيت لك قال معاذ الله إنه ربي أحسن مثواي إنه لا يفلح الظالمون Warawadat-hu allatee huwa fee baytihaAAan nafsihi waghallaqati al-abwaba waqalat haytalaka qala maAAatha Allahi innahu rabbee ahsanamathwaya innahu la yuflihu aththalimoon


And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him. She closed the doors and said, “Come, you.” He said, “[I seek] the refuge of Allah . Indeed, he is my master, who has made good my residence. Indeed, wrongdoers will not succeed.”

And when she imprisoned him, he just said:

قَالَ رَبِّ السِّجْنُ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا يَدْعُونَنِي إِلَيْهِ ۖ وَإِلَّا تَصْرِفْ عَنِّي كَيْدَهُنَّ أَصْبُ إِلَيْهِنَّ وَأَكُن مِّنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ (33) He said: "O my Lord! Prison is dearer to me than that to which they invite me, Unless You turn away their plot from me, I will feel inclined towards them, "I will feel inclined towards them and be one of the ignorant.

and here is a full description about this Aya

Hope my answer be helpful for you.

  • He asked : does Islam recommend and expect men to be highly perverted/desperate to the extent that if they see an ankle by accident and then lower their gaze
    – Glory
    Jun 9, 2017 at 13:33

I think it comes down to "will" it doesn't matter what you saw or think it's what you do with what you feel and think. Act upon it and look desperate or be a man. Look away; she's someone's daughter or sister and if you have a sister or a mother, then you understand. She could be your sister another man looking desperately at her, how would you feel!!!? I personally wouldn't let it slide. I don't allow myself to be that person, staring at your sister/mother!! to be desperate and perverted. And that because I have a mother and sister and I care if a man looks her direction in such. Have higher consciousness and build you mind state to think Islam and your desperation may fade away and you may Allah gift you with a beautiful bride. Salam alaykom!


Firstly, fitna doesn't mean temptation in Arabic as far as I know. It has a specific means and it disorder in a society. A very specific type of disorders. For example it can be like people being afraid and killing each other or fighting each other, Because of something (like poverty or bad rulers..). Or it can also be sexual disorder where everybody is confused and perverted.. This the sense you refer to, where fitna is caused by temptation, but it doesn't it self mean temptation.

As for your question about temptation. I don't understand these people who told you, you must have temptation. Your feelings are intrinsic to you and if you have more or less feelings towards something or another it's not your choice.

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