Moderation in Islam
And thus, Islam is similar. The requirements that God puts upon every Muslim are not overwhelming or overly burdensome.
Believing in the Oneness of God, praying to Him and remembering Him, being good to others—these are the basic daily obligations that God has put upon His servants (in addition to other obligations, like fasting the month of Ramadan, for example, that are yearly in nature). When Muslims want to add to these, they must remember the wisdom of the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he said:
The good deeds of any person will not make him enter Paradise (i.e., no one enters paradise only through his good deeds).
The Prophet’s companions asked:
“Not even you?”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied:
Not even myself, unless God bestows His favor and mercy on me. (Al Bukhari, 6467)
And when his wife, Aisha, asked him what deeds were most beloved to God, he (peace be upon him) said:
The deeds that are done on a regular and constant basis, even if little.
Then he said:
Lastly, he emphasized that moderation is key to achieving our goals when he said:
Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately. Always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course, whereby you will reach your target (of Paradise). (Al Bukhari, 6467)
In these three sayings we find the perfect combination of belief in the mercy of God and moderation and consistency in religious deeds as the best way for a Muslim to achieve his or her goals.
Abiding by these principles would mean that when a Muslim wants to increase his/her worship, he/she should begin gradually, adding little by little to the obligatory acts of worship, and should strive to remain consistent.
Furthermore, he should look what he/she is realistically capable of and not burden himself/herself with more than he/she is ready for.
The spiritual journey a Muslim takes to God requires work at both the physical and spiritual levels. Thus, one should couple increases in action with increases in spiritual knowledge.
Subsequent acts of worship become much easier because they are now being done out of an increased level of faith and love for God, rather than a sense of obligation and duty alone.
Lastly, we should remember that when we try to draw closer to God, He facilitates things for us. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) states in a hadith qudsi (divine hadith), which is a saying that comes directly from God but is not a part of the Quran:
I [God] am as My servant thinks of Me. I am with him when he remembers Me. If he mentions Me within himself, I mention him within Myself… (Al Bukhari and Muslim, 15)
(This article is from Reading Islam’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.)Pages: 1 2