Fantasizing is Worse than Looking
To fantasize about women and men is even worse than staring at them with lust. This is because looking only requires the eyes to sin, but to fantasize requires the heart, which is the king of all the limbs. If the heart is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted. So, many people ponder over the figures, shapes and forms of numerous women and men, deriving a perverted pleasure, all the while they consider themselves to be highly qualified people in the field of Deen. Understand very carefully, this is a deception of the devil! This is a deception of the sworn enemy of every soul desiring closeness to Allah. At times, it may be reprehensible or distasteful, but by the mental conversations that occur, one is further entrapped in this evil. The mere consideration of casting evil glances appears distasteful and repugnant while the heart inclines to continue the mental conversation. This form of conversation is not under any circumstance purged from the heart. In fact, by not looking, the individual considers himself to be a great sahib-e-mujaahadah, a person given to great sacrifice of desires, and thus imagines himself to be even closer to Allah, not realizing that his heart is constantly inclining towards the sin. So, what type of sacrifice is this? Sacrifice has not even been established yet, let alone perpetuated. The termination of this fantasizing is extremely necessary. Sometimes through the ears, such conversations find their way to the heart, thus, a vigilant watch over the ears like the eyes is also necessary. A person must therefore not listen to conversations about such incidents, nor go to places where there is singing or music. The heart perpetrates sins without the participation of the eyes and ears by pondering over figures, shapes and forms that a person has seen previously, and thereby derives a perverted pleasure.
Taken from a lecture entitled Ghadh-ul-Basr by Hakeem-ul-Ummah Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (RA)