Allah Ta'ala has created man with innate carnal desires, and has made Nikah a lawful and dignified avenue to discharge these desires.
Under normal circumstances, Nikah is Sunnah. If a man's sexual desires reach a stage where there is a strong fear that he will be involved in Zina (fornication), it will then be Waajib (compulsory) for him to make Nikah. At this juncture, shyness is no excuse. The man will have to approach his elders and request them to make arrangements for his Nikah.
Nikah should not be delayed or avoided for fear of poverty and want. In the Ahaadith, we are told that Nikah creates Barakah in one's sustenance. Allah Ta'ala has taken it upon himself to assist that person who performs Nikah in order to protect his chastity. Nikah is a simple and inexpensive affair in Islam. The errant customs of societies have made it difficult for others. The solution is to abandon all such customs and conduct the Nikah strictly according to the Sunnah. Nikah, then will not be a burden, rather it will release one from a burden.
The next step would be to guard the gaze. It is, thus, imperative to strictly guard the gaze. Where it is practical, avoid all such situations where ones gaze may fall on Ghayr Mahram (women not prohibited in Nikah) females. TV, books, magazines, internet, newspapers, should be shunned.
Should one's gaze accidentally fall on some woman, immediately lower the gaze. This is not difficult. It only requires some courage and training. Some points that may assist in this are:
1. Consider that this is not a calamity but rather an opportunity to win a big prize. It is a once in a life opportunity to strike a huge windfall. In the Hadith, we are told that a person, who, after having been tempted, lowers his gaze, Allah Ta'ala will grant him the sweetness of Imaan. What more can one ask for? The one who has the sweetness of Imaan has everything. Others strive their entire life for this very goal of finding the sweetness of Imaan. Here is the opportunity to acquire this in a split second. Therefore, lower the gaze and in your heart make this transaction with Allah Ta'ala that, 'O Allah! I am lowering my gaze for you. So you grant me your share of the deal, i.e. the sweetness of Imaan.
2. By maintaining the gaze, one is in fact moving to the depths of Jahannum (hell). And by lowering the gaze, one is ascending the highest ranks of Jannah.
3. Consider the reality of the woman at whom one is gazing. If she does not groom herself or apply perfume for one day, she will look dreadful and stink. For a number of days every month she has impurity pouring out of her. If one had to just go near such impurity, one will wish to flee. Imagine if she went to the toilet and forget to flush and, if you had to enter the toilet, will you still have the desire to gaze at her? If this woman does not have Deen, then by raising her arms and exposing her unsightly armpits, she will give out the smell of a skunk. These are some thoughts (although undignified), will assist one in taming the evil desire to look at women.
4. Try as far as possible to remain in the state of Wudhu. In the Hadith, we are informed that Wudhu is the weapon of a Mu'min. With this weapon, it is much easier for him to thwart the onslaughts of Shaytaan.
5. Try to remain in the company of the true friends of Allah Ta'ala. The true friends are those that, when you sit with them they remind you of Allah Ta'ala and their company produces a desire for the Aakhirah (hereafter). The company of such people is extremely effacious in imbuing the obedience of Allah Ta'ala, and in cultivating an abhorrence to sin.
6. There must surely be somebody who you have a lot of respect for, e.g. your mother, father, grand parents, Ustaadh or Shaykh. Consider if that person was present, would you indulge in the evil of masturbating. The very fact that the presence of such a person will deter you is sufficient to show that you do have the strength to abstain from this evil. When the presence of such a person will be a cause for controlling one's desires, consider that fact that the Malaaikah (angels) are with you and are watching. Progress and consider that Allah Ta'ala is watching you. Do you not feel ashamed of His presence whereas you feel ashamed of the presence of a human being. Is this the degree of respect that Allah Ta'ala deserves?
May Allah Ta'ala save you and every Ummati from this evil, Aameen.
and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai