Moderate Life in Islam (Part II)
Moderate Life in Islam (Part II)
As for moderation and justice in the hadiths of Prophet Muhammad, they are the two most prominent features that have been explained thoroughly. The following are some examples of such hadiths.
General hadiths concerned with moderation and justice:
– Abu Hurayra said that Prophet Muhammad said: “simplicity is the soul of religion; extreme actions in religion lead us astray.“
– Awn Bin Abi Juhayfa said that his father said: “Prophet Muhammad made Salman and Abu Al-Dardaa brothers in faith, and one day, Salman visited Abu Al-Dardaa, and the latter made some food to the former and invited him to eat. Salman said that he was fasting. Abu Al-Dardaa was determined not to eat until Salman was to break his fast at sunset. at night, Salman advised Abu-Al-Dardaa to go to sleep. later at night, the former advised the latter to follow his example one’s more to pray together. Later, Salman explained himself by saying: ‘Give Allah his due, give yourself your due, and give your family their due. Give everyone their share of your time and effort”. When Prophet Muhammad heard Salman’s words, he said that Salman was right.
– Abdullah Bin Sirjis Al-Mazny said that Prophet Muhammad said: “Good demeanor, unhurried manners, and moderation are together one part out of 24 parts of prophecy.“
– Anas said that Prophet Muhammad said: “Neither the best of you those who renounce this life for the sake of the Hereafter, nor those who renounce working to inherit eternal bliss in the Hereafter for the sake of this life. Both this world and the next one are of equal importance and lead to one another. Do not depend on others for your sustenance.“
Some hadiths concerned with moderation in religious duties and acts of worship in general:
– Aisha, the Prophet’s wife, said that Prophet Muhammad entered her room and found a woman visitor, who was bragging about her praying a lot on a daily basis. Prophet Muhammad said: “Be steady in doing what you possibly can perform of acts of worship. God never punishes us if we stop worship acts because we feel too tired to continue, but he loves steady and regular acts of worship.“
– Anas said that Prophet Muhammad once entered a mosque and found a rope fastened to two poles by both ends of it, and he asked: “what is that?” People told the Prophet that Zaynab made this so as to hold it as she was praying if she felt tired or bored. Prophet Muhammad acknowledged her deed and said: “Everyone should continue his active worship, and when tired or bored, one should get some rest.“
– Anas said that Prophet Muhammad was once visited by three men to ask about his acts of worship in order to imitate him. after he told them, they said: “But we are inferior to a prophet whose past and future sins are pardoned by Allah!” The first man said: “I will spend the whole of every night of my life in continuous prayers.” The second man said: “I will fast every single day in my life.” The third man said: “I will abstain from marriage for the rest of my life.” Prophet Muhammad said to them: “I fear and revere Allah more than you do, but I fast some days, and eat in other days; I spend some nights in prayers, and sleep in other nights; and I am married to women. Those who do not follow my example are not from my followers.“
– Jabir Bin Samrah said that he used to pray with Prophet Muhammad and noted that he prolonged neither his communal prayers nor his sermons.
Some hadiths concerned with moderation in performing prayers:
– Bin Abbas said that concerning the Quranic verse: “… And do not raise your voice high in your Prayer…” (17:110), it has been revealed to the Prophet when he once prayed with his companions in Mecca and raised his voice while reciting the Quran, and when some of the unbelievers heard him, they used to verbally abuse the Quran and the Prophet. That is why via this Quranic verse Allah ordained the Prophet not to make his voice in prayers too high to be heard by infidels and not too low so as to be heard by his companions, but adopt the middle way between high and low voice. Thus, the recitation of the Quran calls for moderate voice, and so moderation is need in all life’s activities.
Some hadiths concerned with moderation in fasting:
– Abdullah Bin Al-As said that Prophet Muhammad said to him: “I told you once to fast every day and pray the whole night every night, but I tell you now not to do both acts of worship on a daily basis; fast and eat; pray and sleep; give your body its share of rest and to your wife her due share of your time and care. It is sufficed to fast three days of every lunar month“. But Abdullah insisted that he found himself healthy and able-bodied for more fasts. Prophet Muhammad said to him: “Then you can imitate and not exceed the fasting of Prophet Dawood; he used to fast one day and eat in the next; thus he fasted half the days of his lifetime.” When Abdullah grew old, he said: “I wish I had obeyed the moderate way described to me by Prophet Muhammad.”
– Jabir Bin Abdullah said that he was, amongst others, with the Prophet Muhammad in a battle during the holy month of Ramadan. One man was fasting and felt very weak and was about to die of thirst. Prophet Muhammad said to him: “You are fighting for the sake of Allah, so eat and drink!” And so did the man.
Some hadiths concerned with moderation in matters of faith:
– Hanzala Al-Asyady, one of the scribes who wrote hadiths of Prophet Muhammad, said that he once told Abu Bakr that worldly matters and possessions and wives and children absorb all one’s attention and time. Abu Bakr blamed him for hearing Prophet Muhammad talking about Allah’s Paradise and Hell, so lucidly that all men can imagine them clearly, and then he ignored all this by being too concerned with worldly matters. Abu Bakr mentioned the matter to Prophet Muhammad, who said: “If all of you worship Allah faithfully, angels would salute you, O Hanzala, give time to your worldly affairs and another time for activities to inherit the Eternal Life.“
Some hadiths concerned with moderation in the perusal of the Quran:
– Abdullah Bin Amr said that he asked Prophet Muhammad about how many times he should read the Quran. Prophet Muhammad told him to read it wholly once for the duration a month. Abdullah said he could read it many times more. Prophet Muhammad suggested once every 20 days. Abdullah repeated that he could read it many times more. Prophet Muhammad suggested once every 15 days. Abdullah repeated that he could read it many times more. Prophet Muhammad suggested once every 10 days. Abdullah repeated that he could read it many times more. Prophet Muhammad suggested once every five days. Abdullah repeated that he could read it many times more. Prophet Muhammad refused him to lessen the duration more than that.
Some hadiths concerned with moderation in social relations:
– Abdullah Bin Amr said that Prophet Muhammad said: “All of you should eat, dress, and pay alms in moderation and without hypocrisy and showing-off.“
– Bin Abbas said that some men sometimes brought lots of food to their families and in other times little amounts of food, and thus revealed the following Quranic verse: “…from the average of that which you feed your [own] families …” (5:89).
– Abu Al-Dardaa said that Prophet Muhammad said:”Wisdom of men appears in their moderate way of life.“
Here is a hadith about moderation and justice in caring for orphans. Abdullah Bin Amr said that a man came to Prophet Muhammad and said he was penniless and took under his custody a rich orphan. Prophet Muhammad told him to spend wisely and sparingly from this orphan’s money without making such money his own.
Here is a hadith about moderation in liking and disliking people. Abu Hurayrah said that Prophet Muhammad said that we should not love our friend too much as this friend might turn into an enemy one day, and we should not hate our enemy too much, lest this enemy might turn a friend one day.
– Prophet Muhammad used to be moderate and just in matters of preaching and guiding people. Abu Wael once said that Abdullah Bin Massoud used to guide and preach to others every Thursday, and Abu Wael tried to persuade him to do this on a daily basis. Abdullah refused for fear of making them feel bored, and said that Prophet Muhammad used to not to be repetitive in his preaching so as not to make others bored.
The call for moderation and justice is not confined only to the Quran and hadiths; many words and actions of Prophet Muhammad’s companions and people contemporary to his era reflect moderation. Here are some examples as follows.
– Abdullah Bin Amr used to say: “Work for your life as if you were to live forever and for your Afterlife as if you were to die tomorrow.”
– Imam Awza’ei used to say: “We are tempted by the Devil to urge us not to obey divine orders by two negative features: extremism and laxity.”
Having shown the previous texts, we present to you these guidelines to follow in order to reach the required level of moderation while avoiding extremism and laxity:-
– Stick literally to religious edicts and orders in matters of faith and acts of worship without excess. The Quran says to us: “So is it other than the religion of Allah they desire, while to Him have submitted [all] those within the heavens and earth, willingly or by compulsion, and to Him they will be returned?” (3:83).
– Seek only to gratify Allah in all your acts of worship and dealings with people. The Quran says to us: “And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion.” (98:5).
– Seek to follow guidance in sharia in times of being at variance with others’ opinions. The Quran says to us: “The decision is only for Allah; upon Him I have relied, and upon Him let those who would rely [indeed] rely.” (12:67).
– Try hard to rely truly and faithfully upon Allah. The Quran says to us: “And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.” (65:3).
– Mingle with religious scholars and true believers in Allah. The Quran says to us: “O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.” (9:119).
– Try to be keen on regularly obeying divine orders, e.g., in performing acts of worship, even if these acts are not so many. Be competitive in doing acts of goodness toward others. Avoid extremism and fanaticism.
– Avoid discriminating and classifying people according to various doctrinal schools of religious thought.
– Avoid distinguishing people or being prejudiced against them due to tribalism or ethnicity. Allah wants us to get acquainted with one another. The Quran says to us: “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” (49:13).
– Create a balance in gratifying your instincts, tendencies, and emotions. Remember the following hadith: “moderation is the best policy.“
Lastly, poet used to say the following lines:
“Be moderate in all your ways
Thus you will avoid all hardships“
Another poet used to say the following lines:
“Too much abstaining is wrong
Moderation is the best lifestyle“
Translated by: Ahmad Fathy