A spiritual seeker and religious scholar wrote, there is strong involvement in the spiritual malady of seeing the unlawful. The Satan deceives by reassuring me that you are not going to actually commit the acts of these lustful desires so why refrain from only watching them. At these moments I even forget العینان تزنیان (the Prophetic saying that eyes commit adultery).
Please prescribe a treatment for this.
Shaikh Wasiullah Allahabadi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
‘The treatment of spiritual malady you have written about was very simple. That is, contemplation of the Quranic and Prophetic statements mentioning the detrimental consequences of indulging in it. However, your mentioning that awareness of العینان تزنیان (the Prophetic saying that eyes commit adultery) is ineffective, makes the matter a bit hard. I find it difficult to what to tell you. The knowledge of rulings of Sharia should have been sufficient for an individual to keep him away from sinful activities. However, if they are not (for an individual) then what to do?
In light of principles of this path (tariqat) for these kind of individuals I tell a thing. However, prior to this take into account two points,
1. How detestable and despicable it is that people consider an individual to be a scholar and acquire religious knowledge from him but in reality his inner self is completely opposite of his outward appearance? In regards to this Ibn Kathir (Allah have mercy on him) relates that Prophet Musa (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told the people of Bani Israel that you come to me wearing the clothes of monks and your heart are like that of wolves. Listen to me. Wear the clothes fit for a king but soften your heart and fill them to the brim with fear of accountability to Allah.
Similarly Imam Hasan al Basri (Allah have mercy on him) said, there are people who have arrogance filled hearts, however, in outwardly appearance they look utmost humble.
Contemplating on these can also lead to much reformation (islah).
2. You mentioned that Satan deceives you by telling that you are not going to indulge in these lustful acts so why abstain from just looking. So beware that all who committed adultery started by seeing the prohibited. Watching the sinful became a prelude to actual performance of the illicit activities. So how can a fallible individual be sure that this will not lead him to it.
An individual wrote to Hakim al Umma (Allah have mercy on him) that a thought comes to mind, (at the opportunity to see the prohibited) go ahead and watch it as there is (extreme) hardship (beyond my volition) in abstaining from it. Hakim al Umma replied, ‘Quickly take heed and remove this thought process. Otherwise soon you will be knocking at the door of disbelief (ilhad).
Now I will tell you the thing according to the principles of this path. Accept and follow it. The pious sages have written a parable, an individual (claimed to) fell in love with a lady. (One day) he was following her closely, the women turned to him and said why are you following me? A little behind me my sister is coming, she is much more attractive and prettier than me. The individual turned searching for her. The lady slapped him and said,
O! Moron if you were truthful in your love for me than why did you look for someone else. O creep! Is this love?
Now I ask you if a mortal being has so much pride and honor (ghairet) than what about the Supreme reality (Allah). He has the most pride and honor against someone claiming to love Him and is giving preference to other-than-Him.
Stepping on this path is like making a claim of Allah’s love. The laws of love do not allow even looking at others.
Understand this and let me know what you understood.
Islahi maktubaat, wasiyet al Irfan, Rabi II, 1403, page 15-16