How rude is it when the person of the opposite gender whom you speak to keeps their head away when talking? Isn't it even more annoying when its a co-worker or student? And how rude is it when strange men are checking you out, or even sexually assaulting you?
"Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do" (24:30).
Many people throw this verse in when they say its haraam to speak of the opposite gender, or look at the opposite gender. Sadly, many of these people don't even know there's instances in the Quran and hadith where men and women interacted. I have compiled a list of fatwas on male-female interaction here: http://truefatwas.blogspot.ca/search/label/male-female%20interaction
And Darul Ifta (a legal advisor to Egypt's justice ministry) has several fatwas on this: http://eng.dar-alifta.org/foreign/ViewCategory.aspx?ID=44
The Islamic scholar Dr. Shabir Ally has a couple of excellent videos on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxvp48KJEg0
The links also have fatwas on what it means to lower the gaze.
So we now know gender mixing is NOT HARAAM, but just WHAT goes on. And those of us living in the West know that people just talking WILL NEVER lead to sex, as many idiots believe. The dating, then the boyfriends and girlfriends stuff will lead to it. We are first hand witnesses of what happens here and what leads to what and how.
Anyways lets go back and analyze the verse. My view might slightly differ from what is in the links above, BUT I'll be in the ballpark. As the links showed, there seems to be a consensus that this verse doesn't really mean to drag your eyes on the floor. The links also show that there's a consensus among scholars that this verse really DOENS'T SPEAK of gender interaction either.
I've mentioned a few times that I live in Canada. I have grown up n an environment of sex, drugs, dating, haraam clothes and so on. I have come to realize that merely looking at a woman (for whatever reason) does not cause any kind of lust. Sometimes you might find them good looking, but that's about it. The LUST part happens if there's tight and revealing clothes which show the shapes of the breasts, the butt, and the vagina. These three areas of a woman cause intense desires. They can arouse a man in a way that other parts don't (like the face or hair). WHEN you feel lust, THAT is when you don't look. In other words, this verse is telling men NOT TO LOOK at the areas of a woman which might cause sexual arousal. If you DON'T look at those areas, then you will not get aroused. If you DON'T get aroused, its greater purity, as Allah SWT says in the verse.
This verse ALSO means we are to respect the opposite gender's space, not eye-rape them or check them out. This is something many of our people don't get. They'll RUDELY stare and joke around with their friends. They might even sexually assault you. But the blame often goes to the woman.
Lowering of the gaze also APPLIES TO WOMEN. They shouldn't check out other men:
"And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty;" (Quran 24:31)
-Lowering the gaze just means NOT to look at the parts of a woman that cause arousal (butt, breasts, vagina)
-RESPECT the person. Don't check them out, and be MATURE (don't make jokes about them that will make them uncomfortable and DON'T touch them either).
-DON'T make lewd comments about women (unfortunately many of our fellow Pakistanis and Arabs don't get this. They make some of the most sickest comments about innocent women on facebook and youtube).
-Lowering of the gaze also applies to women