Extremism, moderation and negligence
Please read this Q&A which refutes people who go to
extremes in the
What is meant by moderation in religion?
Praise be to Allaah.
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
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
The moderate person is one who follows the path of
the Messenger (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his
Another example: three men are faced with an immoral
man. One of them says,
"I will not greet this immoral man and I will boycott
him, keep away from
him and not speak to him."
The second one says, "I will go with this immoral
man, greet him and smile
at him. I will invite him to my place and accept his
invitation. He is just
like any righteous man to me."
The third one says, "I hate this immoral man for his
immoral actions, but I
love him for his faith. I will not boycott him unless
doing so is in his
best interests. If there is nothing to be gained by
boycotting him, and if
that will only increase him in his immorality, then I
will not boycott him."
We say that the first man is going to extremes, the
second is negligent and
the third is moderate.
The same applies to all other acts of worship and
dealings with others.
People vary between extremism, negligence and
A third example: A man is a prisoner of his wife, who
directs him as she
wishes and he does not stop her from committing sin,
or urge her to do good.
She has taken over his reason and has become the one
who is in charge of
Another man treats his wife in a harsh, arrogant and
high-handed manner. He
does not care about her and regards her as less than a
A third man is moderate in his dealings with his
wife, as Allaah and His
"And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as
expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over
them (as regards
obedience and respect) to what is reasonable"
[al-Baqarah 2:228 - interpretation of the meaning]
[The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) said:] "Let no
believing man hate a believing woman. If he dislikes
one of her
characteristics he will be pleased with another."
This last man is the one who is moderate. The second
one is extreme in his
dealings with his wife, and the first is falling
The same applies to all other deeds and acts of
Majmoo' Fataawa wa Rasaa'il li Fadeelat al-Shaykh
Muhammad ibn Saalih al-
`Uthaymeen, vol. 1, p. 42
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"And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the Cause of Allâh,
and for those weak, illtreated and oppressed among men, women, and
children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose
people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will
protect, and raise for us from You one who will help." Qur'an: Surah
Al-nisa Ayah 75)