Muhammad a perfect example of moderation
February 14 2020 12:33 AM
Big masjid Doha
Big masjid Doha

Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam – may Allah exalt his mention) was a perfect example of moderation to his followers in every walk of life. In expenditure, he advised them to spend within their means, neither to be so lavish as to make themselves destitute, nor to hold back their wealth from those who had a claim on their resources. “Do not hold back altogether out of miserliness and render yourself blameworthy, nor spend without restraint and exhaust your wealth, thus becoming yourself destitute.” [Qur’an 17:29]
He gave mankind a golden rule of moderation between the two extremes of lavish expenditure and miserliness; neither to be extravagant in ordinary spending as well as in charity, nor to be niggardly. The people who practice this rule in their lives are praised in these words “Who are neither extravagant nor miserly in their spending, but keep a just balance between the two extremes.” [Qur’an 25:67]
He taught, by his own example, the same rule of moderation in eating, in dressing and in worship (‘ibaadah). Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-’Aas said that once he decided to engage himself in worship all the time; to fast during the day and read the whole Qur’an during the night. His father married him to a young woman. Once his father asked his wife about him, and she replied, “He is a very pious man and never comes to his bed for sleep nor keeps any relationship with anyone.” His father became very angry with him and said that he had married him to a very gentle woman and that he had kept her in suspense all this time. But in his enthusiasm for worship, he did not take notice of this. His father complained to Allah’s Messenger (May Allah exalt his mention), who said to him, “I have heard that you fast during the day and pray all night.” He replied that that was right. Then Allah’s Messenger (May Allah exalt his mention) said, “Don’t do that, but instead fast sometimes and eat sometimes; pray during the night and sleep as well, for your body has a claim on you; your eyes have a claim on you; lack of sleep will weaken them; your wife and children and relatives have a claim on you, too.”’ Abdullah bin Amer tells that the Prophet said, “Allah likes to see the marks of His bounty on his servant.”
A similar hadith is reported by Al-Bukhari. Some companions of Allah’s Messenger (May Allah exalt his mention) resolved to engage in worship; one said that he would pray all night; another said that he would always fast and never stop; the third said that he would never marry and never have any relations with women. Allah’s Messenger heard about them and said, “I swear by Allah that I fear Allah and realise my responsibilities to Him more than you, but this is my way: I fast sometimes and sometimes I do not fast; I pray during the night and sleep as well; and marry women. Anyone who does not like my way has no relation with me.”
Anas reported Allah’s Messenger (May Allah exalt his mention) as saying, “Don’t be too cruel to yourselves, certain nations adopted severity towards themselves so Allah punished them. You can see their remnants in churches and monasteries.” Muhammad forbade asceticism and renunciation of the normal pleasures of life, nor did he like perpetual and formal prayers in isolation. He told people to live the normal lives of ordinary human beings, for service to Allah was done through pure lives in the turmoil of this world. He wanted men to mix with other men, so that they could discipline themselves and learn resistance to evil and uphold the standard of Truth and Justice against heavy odds, wherever necessary.’
Abu Hurairah reported Allah’s Messenger (May Allah exalt his mention) as saying, “Religion is easy, but if anyone overdoes it, it gets the better of him, so keep to the right course, approximate to perfection and rejoice.” Ibn Abbas reported Allah’s Messenger (May Allah exalt his mention) as saying, “A good manner of conduct and moderation are a 25th part of Prophethood.” Allah’s Messenger is also reported to have said, “Moderation is the best of actions.’’ He lived the moderate life of an ordinary person, though he was Allah’s Messenger and ruler of a state. He enjoyed the ordinary pleasures of life, worked like an ordinary man in his house and in public, upheld the principles of Truth and Justice in his private well as public life and always abstained from the extremes of life. All his life, in Makkah as an ordinary trader and in Madinah as a ruler, he led a simple life, avoiding extremes, and taught his followers by his personal example to live a similarly moderate life.
The following hadiths (Prophet sayings) are just examples of what Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) ordered the people to follow: 1. Narrated ‘Aishah (radiallahu ‘anhaa): The Prophet came in when a woman was sitting beside me. He asked me, “Who is she?” I said: “She is the one whose performance of Salat (prayer) has become the talk of the town.” Addressing her, he (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, (What is this!) You are required to take upon yourselves only what you can carry out easily. By Allah, Allah does not withhold His Mercy and forgiveness of you until you neglect and give up (good works). Allah likes the deeds best which a worshipper can carry out constantly.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Commentary: a. This hadith prohibits ‘ibaadah beyond one’s capacity lest one gets tired and renounces it altogether. One should be, therefore, moderate in this respect. b. Allah likes that good action which is done regularly, even if it is a small one. Any deed, which is done continuously, will also have an everlasting reward. On the contrary, a good deed, which is done for a short period, will have a short return.
2. Narrated Anas (radiallahu ‘anhu): Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) came into the mosque and noticed a rope stretched between two poles. He enquired, “What is this rope for?” He was told: “This is Zainab’s rope. When during her voluntary prayer, she begins to feel tired, she grasps it for support.” Allah’s Messenger said, “Untie it. You should offer prayers so long as you feel active. When you feel tired, you should go to sleep.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Commentary: This hadith deals with the following three points: a. First, it forbids undue strictness and taking support of anything in the course of Salat. b. If anything forbidden can be checked by hand, it must be stopped immediately. c. One should be moderate in ‘ibaadah and select such times for optional and voluntary prayers when one feels real pleasure in them.
3. Narrated Jabir Ibn Samurah (radiallahu ‘anhu): I used to observe prayer with the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and his Salat (prayer) was of a moderate length and his (Khutbah) sermon too was moderate in length. [Muslim] Commentary: This hadith tells us that Imam should neither lengthen the Salat nor give long sermon in the congregational Salat because both these things are against the practice of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).
4. Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallahu ‘anhumaa): While the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was delivering Khutbah (religious talk), he noticed a man who was standing, so he asked about him and was told that he was Abu Israel who had taken a vow to remain standing and not sit, or go into the shade, or speak while observing fasting. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger said, “Command him to speak, to go into the shade, to sit and to complete his fast”. [Al-Bukhari] Commentary: a. This hadith makes it abundantly clear that one cannot attain the Pleasure of Allah by means of self-invented methods. It can only be achieved by ways and means prescribed in the Qur’an and Sunnah. b. One should never vow for anything which is smeared with sin or which is not permitted by religion. An instance of this is quoted in the above mentioned hadith. c. The majority of ‘Ulama’ (religious scholars) who do not think the expiation of such vows necessary, quote this hadith in support of their view. They argue that the Prophet (May Allah Exalt His Mention)  has not prescribed expiation in such cases as is evident from this hadith.
At the time the Prophet (May Allah Exalt His Mention) ordered the people to perform acts of worship, he warned them against going to extremes (in practising religion). He did so in order to prevent them from harming themselves physically or spiritually and from neglecting their other responsibilities and activities. The Prophet (May Allah Exalt His Mention) asked people to do good actions regularly, no matter how small. He said, Allah likes the deeds best, even if it is a small, which a worshipper can carry out constantly. If the Prophet saw any one of his companions being immoderate, he would be displeased and would then instruct him to moderation.

Knowledge is the foundation of true fear

Fear is the sensation that results from the anticipation of an expected harm; it is also felt when a person loses, or expects to lose something he cherishes. It is the exact opposite of security and can be applied to worldly matters as well as those of the Hereafter. Fear is a state of disturbance of the heart from an evil or harm that may befall a person, or, it can be the sensation it feels when missing out on something that is beloved to it.
Imam Ibn Qudamah (may Allah have mercy upon him) said:
“Fear is no more than the pain and burning that one finds in his heart due to an expected harm; it is like the example of one who committed a crime and was subsequently caught; such a person will fear being sentenced to death, and the pain which his heart will suffer is dependent on how certain he is that he will (or will not) be sentenced, depending on the severity of his crime … sometimes one fears the ruler due to the power of the latter. Thus, when one realises the power of Allah and knows that if Allah wished to destroy all His creation it would not affect Him, nor could anyone stop Him from doing so, and therefore, one would fear Allah to the extent of the sins that he has committed. This is the fear of warning.”
There is a certain type of fear that is experienced only by the knowledgeable, and it is called Khashyah in Arabic, as Allah The Almighty Says (which means):
{“…Only those among His servants fear Allah who have knowledge…”} [Qur’an, 35: 28]
This is fear that is based on knowledge. Ordinary believers experience a general fear of Allah The Almighty whilst Khashyah is only experienced by the devout believers and the scholars from among them; the more knowledge one has regarding Allah The Almighty, the more he will fear Him. When one fears a person who may or may not apprehend him then this is an ordinary fear, whereas if he is absolutely sure that this person can seize him and inflict harm upon him, then it is Khashyah.
Fear, with its various different meanings, is mentioned in many places in the Qur’an, and its causes are varied:
l Fear of being killed or defeated; Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
{“And when there comes to them something [i.e., information] about [public] security or fear…”} [Qur’an, 4:83]
l Fear during war and hostility; Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
{“… And when fear comes, you see them looking at you, their eyes revolving like one being overcome by death. But when fear departs, they lash you with sharp tongues…”} [Qur’an, 33: 19] ‘Fear’ in this verse refers to war.
l Fear resulting from knowledge, as Allah The Almighty Says (which means):
{“But if one fears from the bequeather [some] error…”} [Qur’an, 2 :182]
Allah The Almighty also Says (what means): {“…Unless both fear that they will not be able to keep [within] the limits of Allah…”} [Qur’an, 2: 229] ‘Fear’ in this verse is due to one’s knowledge.
l Fear due to decrease in numbers, as Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {“Or that He would not seize them gradually [in a state of dread].”} [Qur’an, 16: 47] This is the fear that people feel regarding a decrease in their numbers, which would be the result of them being killed, or facing death in any other way.
l Fear of punishment, as Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
{“…They [i.e., the believers] supplicate their Lord in fear…”} [Qur’an, 32: 16]
Imam Ibn Qudamah (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “Know that fear is the whip by which Allah controls His slaves so that they may continue exerting effort in order to come close to their Lord; fear is the light which illuminates the heart and enables it to distinguish good from evil.” When a person fears another, he will attempt to flee from him, and this is the case for everyone except Allah; one escapes from Him by fleeing to Him.
Fear does not depart from one’s heart except that it causes its ruin, because when fear is present in one’s heart, it burns all desires and expels the pleasures of this life from it. Fear causes a person to wake up from his heedlessness and puts him back on the right path after he has diverted from it. Being fearful is not an objective in itself, meaning, we do not feel fear due to any contentment that comes with being afraid, but rather, it should be a means to rectify our condition.

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Safeguarding and improving your prayers
The following is some advice to help you preserve and safeguard your prayer, and perform it in a proper manner, which makes it more likely to be accepted:
l Perform Wudhoo’ (ablution) properly because the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Allah made compulsory upon Himself to admit into Paradise any Muslim who properly performed Wudhoo’, then prays two Rak’ah with attentiveness and submissiveness.” [Muslim].
l Leave your house in the state of Wudhoo’ because the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “The one who leaves his house in a state of Wudhoo’ to perform an obligatory prayer will get the reward of pilgrimage.” [Ahmad].
l Be keen to perform it as soon as its time is due because the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “The best of deeds is performing prayer on its due time” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
l Be keen to perform it with the congregation because the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Prayer with the congregation is twenty seven multiples better than praying alone.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
l Be keen to reach before the Imaam utters the initial Allahu Akbar because the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Whosoever prays forty days with the congregation, attending the initial (Allahu Akbar) of the prayer, will be free of two things: Hell Fire and hypocrisy.” [Ahmad]
l Be keen to walk to the mosque because the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Give glad tidings to those who walk to the mosque during dark with complete light on the Day of Resurrection.” [Abu Daawood and At-Tirmithi]
l Be attentive with your heart while performing prayer.
l Wait in the mosque for the next prayer as often as you can because the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said when he mentioned the seven whom Allah The Almighty will protect under the shade of His throne: “A man whose heart is attached to mosques.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
l Learn the rulings of prayer and the Sunnah (tradition) of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
l Perform the regular optional prayers at home because the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “The best prayer is the one performed at home except the obligatory prayer.” [At-Tabaraani]
l Beware of staying up late at night because you are likely to miss the Fajr prayer.
l Beware of eating, drinking and laughing too much, because this makes performing prayer heavier on the heart.
l Set your alarm for Fajr or get someone to call you to wake up for prayer.
l Ponder upon the verses recited during the prayer.
l Read about the Salaf (righteous predecessors) and their ambition and keenness to guard prayer.
l Think about the glory of Allah The Almighty before you start praying.
l Always say the recommended supplications and remembrance after prayers, and do not leave the mosque before finishing them.
Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, said:
“There are five ranks of people in relation to prayer,
First, is he who transgresses against himself by neglecting parts of Wudhoo’, its timings and some of its conditions; and he will be punished.
Second, is he who maintains its timings and conditions, but his mind is occupied during prayer; and he will be questioned.
Third, is he who maintains its timings and conditions and all its rights and struggles against himself not to become busy thinking of something else; so he is in a state of Jihaad while praying; and he will forgiven.
Fourth, is he whose heart is fully consumed by praying during his prayer, and his main concern is establishing it properly and perfectly, and he is in a state of servitude to his Lord; and he will be rewarded.
Fifth, is he who does as the fourth, but in addition he sets his heart in the Hands of his Lord, watchful of his Lord, glorifying and honoring Him as if he can see his Lord; his mind is concentrated on praying; and this type is far higher than any other rank; and he is close to his Lord and will have the pleasure of being close to his Lord in the Hereafter .”
Which one of these five ranks do you fit in? Hold yourself accountable and weigh it according to your performance of prayer, because it is an accurate scale.
Ways to glorify the status of prayer:
1. Perform it on time.
2. Perfect its conditions and compulsory acts.
3. Rush to perform it.
4. Feel sorrow if any portion was performed improperly, like the one who becomes saddened for not performing it with the congregation because he missed out on the twenty-seven multiples of reward; or if he was inattentive during prayer, for a prayer without complete submission is like a body without a soul.

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