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Moderate and Steadfast – That’s How We Should Be

“Be moderate and steadfast; and keep in mind that none of you can achieve salvation through his (good) actions.”

They asked:

“Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?”

He said:

“Not even me, unless Allah grants me His Mercy and Grace”.  (Muslim)

The noble Prophet in this hadith highlights the important facts in Islamic ideology. We attain Paradise if we do righteous deeds and that is with the mercy and the grace of Almighty Allah.

It is not difficult to harmonize between achieving Paradise through righteous deeds and through the grace and the mercy of Allah.

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We attain Paradise through the grace and the mercy of Allah unanimously, but we don’t gain the grace of Allah unless we pay its price.

The price of the grace of Allah is doing righteous deeds. But you can’t attain Paradise if you paid the price and thought that the price was everything you needed. You must be certain that you attain Paradise through the grace of Allah.

“Not even me.”

To clarify this point, think of the example of a father who promises his son to give him an expensive bicycle as a gift if he succeeded. If the son succeeded, is it enough to give his certificate to the seller to buy the bicycle?

No, this bicycle has a price and the father should pay its price, but the reason for the gift is the success of the son. Doing good deeds is a cause to enter Paradise, but is it not the only and sufficient cause.

It is wrong to think that being upright and doing good deeds make one definitely deserve Paradise by his effort and through striving his desire. It is also wrong to think that Paradise could be attained through hope only without work.

Here’s another example; if an uncle said to his orphan nephew: If you study and succeed, I will spend money on you till you graduate. The nephew studied and passed the first year, and the uncle continued spending money on him, he passed the second year and the uncle continued spending money until the nephew graduated and attained a high social position.

In a cordial meeting between the nephew and his uncle, the nephew said to his uncle; I swear to Allah, my uncle, that I wouldn’t have achieved that position without your favor and spending on me. His uncle answered; I wouldn’t have spent on you unless you had worked hard and achieved success.

The words of both of them are true. If the nephew wasn’t diligent he wouldn’t have deserved that spending, and if the uncle didn’t spend on his nephew he wouldn’t have achieved that position. Some people misunderstand that hadith and they don’t work but they rather depend on hope. The most dangerous thing is to depend on hope and to leave work. Others think that the way to paradise is only in doing good deeds and so they dispense with Allah.

Be Moderate and Steadfast

Being moderate is to follow the medium way between the extremes.

In spending money you should neither waste it nor spend too little of it. In clothes, you may find someone spending all his money on clothes and another one not caring of his clothes at all, both cases are wrong. Being moderate is the best and every excess is wrong.

1- Be Moderate:

Allah says:

{And those, who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes).} (25:67)

Umar saw a man reciting the noble Quran during daytime. He said:

“The noble Quran was sent down to be applied. Did you take reading it as a job?”

Work is very important, man needs work and the nation needs work. The noble prophet saw a man praying all day, He said:

“Who feeds you?”

The man answered, “My brother.”

He said:

“Your brother is a better worshiper than you are.”

The prophet said:

“By Allah, to help a brother in his need is far better to me than fasting a whole month and better than I`tikaf (seclusion for prayers) in my mosque.”

Helping people is the essence of this religion.

2- Be Steadfast:

Allah ordained us to be honest and to discharge the trust. Heavens and earth declined to bear the trust and they were afraid of it but man bore it. The teacher has his students as a trust, the doctor has patients as a trust, the lawyer is entrusted with his clients, and the engineer is entrusted with the projects under his supervision. So the heavens and the earth declined to bear the trust.

Be moderate and steadfast. The noble Prophet enjoined us to say the truth, discharge the trust, keep kinship, be good to neighbors, and to keep away from prohibited things and shedding blood.

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