Moderation In Islam [Archives:1998/05/Culture]

February 2 1998

The Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) said that the best of matters (courses) is the middle one. The Holy Quran says “Thus have We (Allah) made of you a nation justly balanced (midmost) that you might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves, ..” [Al-Baqara: 143].

This call for moderation could be seen in many verses of the Quran and sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
For instance, in matters pertaining to spending, there are several verses in the Holy Quran that preach moderation such as “Those who, when they spend, are not extravagant and not niggardly, but hold a just (balance) between those extremes” [Al-Furqan, 67].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) oneself. Hence monasticism is says that there is ease in this religion and that anyone who tries to overcome the religion (with extremism and fanaticism) will be overcome by the religion. He also said “Do not make things too hard for yourselves for then Allah will make things hard for you,” and he cited monasticism as an example of making things too hard for not allowed in Islam. Once he saw a man walking supported by two of his sons suffering from exhaustion. He asked about him and when he was told that the man had vowed to walk all the way to Makkah (Mecca), he said that Allah was in no need of the torture that man was inflicting upon himself. Even in the level of the voice when praying, the Holy Quran preaches moderation  “and say your prayer neither aloud nor in a low voice, but follow a way between” [Al-Isra, 110].

Islam does not only take care of the spiritual side of life and the relation between man and his Creator but also takes care of the material aspects of life. It is, therefore, a way of life and a comprehensive code of conduct.  The Holy Quran states “But seek, with that (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter and forget not your portion of (lawful enjoyment) in this world” [Al-Qasas, 77]. In a nutshell Islam tells its followers to work for this world as though they would live forever, and to work for the hereafter as if they would die tomorrow.  Of course, however, the Holy Quran states clearly: “And indeed the Hereafter is better for you than the present (life of this world)” [Ad-Duha, 4]. After all, this life is temporary and short-lived, whereas the hereafter is eternal.

Any enlightened person who understands Islam properly knows that it preaches moderation in all actions and behavior and that extremism and fanaticism could never be related to it, let alone terrorism.

Dr. Shihab M. Ghanem,
Director of Engineering of Dubai Ports Authority.
Author of 10 books, 7 in Arabic and 3 in English.
Poet and translator of poetry. Fellow of the Cambridge Literary Seminar.