PROPHET MUHAMMAD’S ﷺ MODERATION
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was as kind as he was polite. He always treated people with kindness and tenderness and never showed harshness even to his enemies. The people who abused him, threw thorny bushes and stones and dirt on him and were thirsty for his blood, received nothing but kindness from him. He showed kindness to all, irrespective of whether they were friends or foes.The kind and gentle nature of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ endeared him to all, young and old, rich and poor, men and women.
In his boyhood, he never fought or quarrelled with anyone like other boys of his own age, but always showed kindness and friendship, to the aged as well as to the young. When he reached maturity, he was well-known for his kindness and sympathy to the poor orphans and widows. After he became the Prophet ﷺ, his kindness to people knew no bounds. Anas said, "I served Allah's Messenger for ten years and he never said to me, 'shame' or 'why did you do such a thin"?' or 'why did you not do such and such a thing?' " In Medinah, when he was the head of the state and had the power to take revenge on his enemies, he treated all captives and prisoners-of-war, including his hard-core enemies, very kindly.
Allah said in Qur’aan: "Do not hold back altogether out of miserliness and render yourself blame worthy, nor spend without restraint and exhaust your wealth, thus becoming yourself destitute."Qur'aanSurah Isra 17:29Further Allah said in Qur’aan: "Who are neither extravagant nor miserly in their spending, but keep a just balance between the two extremes."Qur'aan Surah Furqan 25:67
He ﷺ taught, by his own example, the same rule of moderation in eating, in dressing and in worship (ibadah). 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 keep 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 Messenge ﷺ, 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 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 slave." Sahih al-Bukhari 5199 (Vol. 7, Book 62, Hadith 127)
A similar tradition is reported. Some companions of Allah's Messenger ﷺ 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." Sahih Muslim 1401 (Book 8, Hadith 3236), Sunan an-Nasa'i 3217 (Vol. 4, Book 26, Hadith 3219).
Anas reported Allah's Messengerﷺ as saying, "Don't be too cruel to yourselves, certain nations adopted severity towards themselves so Allah punished them.Sunan an-Nasa'i 3057 (Vol. 3, Book 24, Hadith 3059)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 ﷺas 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."Sunan an-Nasa'i 5034 (Vol. 6, Book 47, Hadith 5037)Ibn Abbas reported Allah's Messenger as saying, "A good manner of conduct and moderation are a twenty-fifth part of Prophethood."SunanAbiDawud 4776, (Book 42, Hadith 4758)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 privacy well as public life and always abstained from the extremes of life. All his life, in Makkah as an ordinary trader and in Medinah 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 Mohammad (peace be upon him) ordered the people to follow.
1.) Narrated 'Aishah (radiallahuanhaa): 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 (peace be upon him) 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."Sahih al-Bukhari 43 (Vol. 1, Book 2, Hadith 42)
a. This Hadith prohibits 'Ibadah 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 (radiallahuanhu): Allah's Messengerﷺ 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."Sahih al-Bukhari 1150(Vol. 2, Book 21, Hadith 251)
This Hadith deals with the following three points:
a. Firstly, 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 'Ibadah and select such times for optional and voluntary prayers when one feels real pleasure in them.
3.) Narrated Jabir Ibn Samurah (radiallahuanhu): I used to observe prayer with the Prophetﷺ and his Salat (prayer) was of a moderate length and his (Khutbah) sermon too was moderate in length. Sahih Muslim 866 a (Book 4, Hadith 1883)
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 (peace be upon him).
4.) Narrated Ibn 'Abbas (radiallahuanhumaa): While the Prophet 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". Sahih al-Bukhari 6704(Vol. 8, Book 78, Hadith 695)
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 ~ has not prescribed expiation in such cases as is evident from this Hadith.
To conclude the moderation, at the time the Prophet ﷺ ordered the people to perform acts of worship, he warned them against going to extremes (in practicing 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 peace be upon him 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.