Moderation in Religion
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- Shaykh Muhammad Musa Nasr
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Moderation In Religion
Moderation in religion means that one does not exaggerate and go beyond the limit set by Allaah, and that one does not neglect it and fall short of the limit set by Allaah.
Moderation in religion means following the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Exaggeration means trying to do more than he did, and negligence means not reaching that level.
For example, a man says, “I want to spend all night in prayer (qiyaam al-layl), and never sleep all my life, because prayer is one of the best acts of worship, so I want to spend the entire night in prayer.” We say, this is going to extremes in the religion of Allaah, and this is not right. Something like this happened at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), when a group of men got together and one of them said, “I will pray at night and never sleep.” Another said, “I will fast and never break my fast.” The third one said, “I will never marry women.” News of that reached the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he said, “What is wrong with people who say such and such? I fast and I break my fast. I sleep, and I marry women. Whoever overlooks my Sunnah does not belong to me.” These people had gone to extremes in religion, and so the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) disowned them, because they overlooked his Sunnah which includes fasting and not fasting, praying at night and sleeping, and marrying women.
The one who is falling short is one who says, “I do not need to do voluntary (naafil) actions, so I will not do them. I will only do the fard actions. He may even be falling short in the fard actions, so this person is lacking.
The moderate person is one who follows the path of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his rightly-guided successors (al-Khulafaa’ al-Raashidoon).