At present humanity is fragmented on the basis of colour, race, cast, and territory. There is social unrest, political instability, wars and conflicts, use of narcotics, family break-ups, suicidal attacks, extremism, sectarianism, terrorism, and environmental pollution, etc. The solution of such multi-faceted and multifarious complex problems lies in the adoption of moderation in letter and spirit by individuals, families, communities and nations in the world. 

As in the physical environment we feel comfort and relief at moderate temperatures, and feel uneasy and uncomfortable at extreme temperatures: both at low and high. Likewise, moderate behaviour in almost everything is helpful for providing comfort, joy, happiness and inner peace in one self and in the society, and extreme behaviour results in disunity, conflicts and divisions among people. It is common saying that ‘excess of everything is bad.’ For example, excessive name and fame, wealth and status create superiority complex and increase arrogance, while lack of these things create inferiority complex, and lead to frustration and unhappiness. Lack of sleep impairs our physical and mental functioning, oversleeping leads to a state of inertia and mental torpor which drastically reduces our working efficiency. Both deficiency of food and overeating deteriorate the heath of our bodies and mind, while moderation in eating improves them. Children suffer if they are treated too harshly or too leniently, but, moderate approach is appropriate for the development of their personalities on sound basis. 

Moderation provides opportunity to enjoy balance in life; brings a feeling of calm into all areas of one’s life; and provides stability and safety, while extremism is diversion and corruption. Moderation is helpful for creating brotherhood, cohesion, harmony and peace at different levels in human society.

Moderate use of natural sources and resources can maintain the stability and sustainability of different ecosystems on the planet earth; make environmental and climatic conditions favourable for human beings and other creatures; and improve health and living conditions of all organisms in the world.


A thing is better known by its opposites, therefore it is imperative to understand the meaning and concept of extremism in order to understand the concept and meaning of moderation. 

Lexically, extreme means something situated at or making one end or the other of a range; a very pronounced or excessive degree; exceeding the usual or expected limits; something situated at or making one end or the other of a range; etc.

Extremism is the quality or form of being extreme. In the broad sense extremism is that which exceeds the permissible limits of rules and regulations in any culture and civilization. Religious extremism may be considered as any deviation, manipulation or innovation in the religion and showing rigidity therein. In the strict sense, religious extremism is that in which individuals, a community, or a nation show rigid attitude in religious doctrines and consider others wrong and condemn them or force them to follow those particular doctrines through extreme approaches, such as by giving incentives, torturing, and by certain other unfair means. Extremism in every form is harmful and creates multifarious and multifaceted complicated problems. Extremism may create disintegration of community or nation, confrontation, and disharmony in the society. It has been one of the major factors of the downfall of great civilizations including Muslim civilization (1). Salim (2004). 

Moderation is the quality of being moderate; restraint; avoidance of extremes or excesses; temperance; the quality of doing something within reasonable limits; the quality or state of being reasonable and avoiding extreme behaviour and speech, or that goes beyond what is normal or acceptable; that which is reasonable and not excessive. Moderation is the approach of avoiding excesses; it is an approach of lessening in severity or intensity of actions and utterances; remaining within bounds; avoiding excesses or extremes; and absence of violence, etc. The word moderation describes a middle ground in either behaviour or other aspects of human lives.

Moderation means restrain, mildness, calmness, coolness, balance, temperance, equanimity, and tranquillity, etc. Moderation is the avoidance, lessening or eliminating extremes or excesses; remaining within reasonable limits to save oneself from the danger of extremes; or to maintain steadiness of mind under stressful conditions. Middle of things means security and stability, whereas away from the middle is deviation, corruption and exaggeration. Moderation has been holding a pivotal position in a number of philosophical traditions, religions, cultures or civilizations in the world.

Moderation is the process or trait of eliminating, lessening, or avoiding extremes. It is used to ensure normality throughout the medium on which it is being conducted. Moderation is the way of life emphasising perfect amounts of everything, not including too much of anything (2).

Where there is love and generosity, there is joy. Where there is sincerity and sacrifice, there is friendship. Where there is harmony and simplicity, there is beauty. Where there is prayer and forgiveness, there is peace (3).

We can conclude that moderation is an excellent quality. It is such a praiseworthy character or trait which is situated between two extremes: excess and deficiency. The concept of moderation is prevailing in almost every religion, and culture. In this article we will mainly discuss moderation in an Islamic perspective, but with some flavour of other religions and cultures. 

 2.1. Hindus

Hindus claim that their middle ways of salvation are based upon the principles of moderation and balance. According to them, Hinduism in its moderate forms is neither escapist nor pessimistic, neither tortuous nor licentious, and neither dogmatic nor superstitious. They claim that the concept of middle way is infused in their beliefs and practices.

 2.2. Ancient China

In ancient China, the Chung Yung idea of moderation means, non-extreme, no excess or deficiencies. Chung means bent neither one way nor another, while Yung means something that is unchanging. Chung Yung is the basic norm of human action that when comployed properly will bring the individual and his actions into harmony with the whole universe. Moderation is also considered a key part of one’s personal development in Chinese Taoist philosophy and religion.

2.3. The Christians

Many Christians are of the view that one can partake in anything as long as one does it in moderation. They consider it permissible to use even unlawful things such as narcotics in moderation. Other Christians consider such ideas of moderation against their Scripture.

2.4. The Jews

Idea of moderation of Jews can be grasped from the writings of Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (Arabic Musa bin Maymun (Maimonides) (1135-1204 AD), one of the greatest Jewish thinker, philosopher, astronomer, physician and the most prolific and influential Torah scholar of middle ages. Muslims also considered him a prominent philosopher and polymath. He writes, “To avoid lust or envy, do not say I won’t eat food or marry. This is an evil way….one who follows that path is a sinner” (Mishneh Torah). He advocated the pursuit of a middle path in which one is neither …easily angered nor, like the dead, does not feel. He encouraged individuals to behave in the opposite way in their own inclinations. For example, if a person tends to be stingy, he should attempt to give generously. He applied the principle of balance in different aspects of life.

 2.5. The Ancient Greek  

From the pre-Socratics through the Hipocratic and Galenic corpus, and in the writings of such Stoic philosophers as Epictetus and Seneca, health was seen to flow from observing moderation – in exercise, in study, and in diet (4). 

The golden middle way of ancient Greeks, especially that of Aristotle is a great contribution in explaining the idea of moderation. It is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of the excess and the other of deficiency. However, it is not the exact mathematical middle between extremes, but, depending on the situation, there is no universal middle that would apply to every situation. Aristotle was of the view that courage is a virtue, but if taken to excess would manifest as recklessness, and in deficiency, and cowardice. The golden mean applies only for virtues, and not for vices. He explained the origin, nature and development of virtues which are essential for achieving the ultimate goal, which includes not merely carnal or material pleasures, but also, a way of life that enables one to live with one’s nature, to improve one’s character, to better deal with the inevitable hardship of life and to strive for the betterment of the whole, not just of the individual. Aristotle emphasised that in order to act virtuously one must first acquire virtues by parental upbringing, experience and reason.

2.6. The Buddists

The ‘Noble Eightfold Middle Path’ of Buddha, transcends and reconciles the duality that characterises most thinking and lies between two extremes. “To those who choose the path that leads to Enlightenment, there are two extremes that should be carefully avoided. First, there is the extreme of indulgence in the desires of the body. Second, there is the opposite extreme of ascetic discipline, torturing one’s body and mind unreasonably. The Noble Path, that transcends these two extremes and leads to Enlightenment and wisdom and peace of mind, may also be called the middle path or middle way. It consists of Right View, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Behavior, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration ” (5).

Right view means to thoroughly understand the fourfold truth, to believe in the law of cause and effect and not to be deceived by appearances and desires. It supports wisdom which enables us to understand things as they are.

Right thought means the resolution not to cherish, not to be greedy, not to be angry, and not to do any harmful deed. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.

Right speech means the avoidance of lying words, idle words, abusive words, and double-tongue. Other people added more words such as backbiting, slander, harsh speech, etc. Harsh speech can wound more deeply than weapons, whereas a gentle speech can change the heart and mind of the most hardened criminal. The Buddha said, “Pleasant speech is sweet as honey, truthful speech is beautiful like a flower, and wrong speech is unwholesome like filth.” 

Right behaviour means not to destroy any life, not to steal, or not to commit adultery. Right behaviour is about right morality.

Right livelihood means to avoid any life that would bring shame. One should earn a living without engaging in the five kinds of livelihood: trading in human beings, trading in weapons, trading in flesh, trading in intoxicating drinks and drugs and trading in poison.

Right effort means to try to do one’s best diligently toward the right direction. It means that one cultivates a positive attitude and has enthusiasm in the things one does. There is a need to make an effort to reject evil that has already arisen; the effort to prevent the arising of evil; effort to develop un-arisen good; the effort to maintain the good which has arisen.

Right mindfulness means to maintain a pure and thoughtful mind. In other words it is directing attention to one’s body, feelings, mind or mental object or being sensitive to others.

Right concentration means to keep the mind right and tranquil for its concentration, seeking to realise the mind’s pure essence. It is focusing all of one’s mental faculties onto one’s physical or mental object.


Moderation is the centre point between two extremes. Every praiseworthy characteristic has two blameworthy poles. For example, generosity is the middle between cowardice and recklessness. Everything has two ends and middle. If one holds one of the ends the other will be skewed. If one holds the middle, the two ends will be balanced.

The best of affairs is their means. The two extremes of every action are bad and the mean between the two extremes is best. One should neither be miser nor extravagant, but generous. Exceeding the prescribed limits is dangerous and harmful in all actions. Allah does not love those who exceed His limits. 

Islam was the religion of all the Prophets and their followers.  It is the source of unity in humans. The guidance provided by Islam is applicable in every part of the world and for all the times to come. Islam offers the solution to all human problems.

Human life on earth began in full Divine light and all of them were living in moderation and peace. With the passage of time some members of the Muslim community deviated from the limits prescribed by Allah. Due to the bad effects of such undesirable change, moderation in society was replaced by extremism, love by hatred, and peace by conflicts and wars. Under such a situation, Allah sent about 124000 Prophets and a number of books and scriptures in sequence for the guidance of people. Every Prophet emphasised on Oneness of Allah, moderation, love, harmony and unity and discouraged extremism, sectarianism, aggression and oppression. Consequently, Allah declared that the Din of Islam had been completed, and Muhammad was the last Prophet and the Qur’an last Divine Book. Prophet Muhammad gave a message of moderation, equality, freedom, justice, fraternity, tolerance, and unity of humans at every level. He clearly defined the roles, rights and responsibilities of everyone and at every level of the human hierarchy. His teachings are applicable now, as those were in his time, and will remain so, till the end of this world.

Moderation is one of the main values fostered by Islam. The Islamic concept of moderation is based on the meanings of tolerance, temperance, and justice. The concept of moderation has many manifestations. It relates to the way a Muslim deals with other Muslims, and also to the way one deals with non-Muslims. The Surah 49 of the Qur’an presents a set of morals that protect the community. It starts with highlighting the etiquettes of dealing with the Prophets, especially with Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Then it presents the ethics and rules that preserve the Muslim community against evils (6).

In the Surah 49 some of the instructions by Allah (swt) to the believers include: Do not put yourselves before Allah Almighty and His Messenger (pbuh); rather, wait for instructions and follow the way of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); do not raise your voices above the voice of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). In deeds, those who lower their voices before the Messenger of Allah are forgiven and for them is great reward; and those who raise their voices loud to the Holy Prophet, their deeds may become worthless. It is not permissible to transmit any information or news without proper investigation of its authenticity. If two factions among the Muslims start to fight, then make settlement between the two amicably with justice. Believers should not ridicule and insult one another, rather live like brothers. Avoid negative assumptions. Indeed, some of them are sinful. Do not spy or backbite each other. The believers can achieve these traits through a moderate approach. 

Moderation means to follow the teachings of Islam, and to practise them in accordance to the way it was given, without going beyond the limits which have been set by Allah Almighty and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). 

And do not make your hand (as) chained to your neck (refusing to spend) or extend it completely (being extravagant) and (thereby) become blamed and insolent (7).

The verse 17:29 explains the concept of moderation in Islam. The moderate is to spend some wealth in addition to obligatory charity for the cause of Allah Almighty and keep some wealth to fulfil one’s needs. 

In Islam, moderation (wasat) is one of the most basic terms. It is a central characteristic of Islamic creed and has been used from the very beginning of Islam. It refers to a justly balanced way of life, avoiding extremes and experiencing things in moderation. 

Wasat (wasatiyyah) is the Arabic word that is used for best, middle, centred, balanced, middle way or moderation in the Islamic context. (8).

And if only they had upheld (the law of) the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been revealed to them from their Lord (the Qur’an), they would have consumed (provision) from above them and from beneath their feet. Among them are moderate (acceptable) community, but many of them – evil is that which they do (9).

In the Old Testament, Leviticus (chapter 26) and Deuteronomy (chapter 28) record a sermon of Prophet Moses in which he impresses upon Israel,  in great detail, the bounties and blessings of God with which they would be endowed if they obey His commandments, and the afflictions, scourges and devastations that would descend upon them if they disobeyed Him and rejected the Book of God. The sermon of Moses is the best explanation of this verse of the Qur’an (10).

But Seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and (yet), do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters (11).

The verse 28:77 of the Qur’an reveals that one must maintain balance in the materialistic (physical) and spiritual needs of one’s personality. Physical needs of the body can be fulfilled by wearing comfortable and suitable dress which can cover the body as described in Islam; eating lawful food as balanced diet in proper quantity and a comfortable shelter, etc. Spiritual needs can be fulfilled by firm faith and righteous deeds – worship, remembrance, and praise of Allah (swt) and help of poor and needy people. 

And when waves come over them like canopies, they supplicate Allah, sincerely to Him in religion (faith). But when He delivers them to the land, there are (some) of them who are moderate (in faith). And none rejects Our signs except everyone treacherous and ungrateful (12).

A treacherous person is he who is utterly disloyal and who has no regard for his promise and pledge, and the ungrateful is he who does not acknowledge the good and the gains and the benefit received by him, and even behaves rebelliously towards his benefactor. The people having these qualities return to their disbelief, their atheism and their polytheism without any hesitation as soon as the danger has been averted. They do not admit  that they had perceived some signs in their own selves as well as outside themselves of Allah’s existence and of His being only One when overwhelmed by the storm, and their invoking Allah was in fact the result of their recognition of the same reality. The atheists among them explain away their act, saying, “It was a weakness which we manifested in the state of confusion and bewilderment, whereas there exists no God, Who might have saved us from the storm: we in fact succeed in escaping by virtue of such and such a device and means and resources.” As for the mushriks, they generally say, “We had the scour and protection of such and such saint or god and goddess available to us by virtue of which we escaped.” Therefore, as soon as they land on the shore, they start giving thanks to these false gods and presenting offerings at their shrines. They do not bother to think that when they had lost hope, there was none besides Allah, the One, whom they might have implored and invoked for help. That is, “The relationship of a person with his friend, or his leader, or his spiritual guide, etc. is not that close and intimate as the relationship that exists between the children and their parents. But on the Day of Resurrection even the son and the father will not be able to help each other. The father will not have the courage to come forward and say that he may be seized instead of the son for his sins, nor will the son have the nerve to say that he may be sent to Hell instead of his father. How can then a person expect one will be able to avail something for the other there? Therefore, foolish is the person who spoils his Hereafter in the world for the sake of another, or adopts the way of sin and deviation by dependence on others (13).

The most moderate of them said, “Did I not say to you,“Why do you not exalt (Allah)?” (14).

Matref bin Abdullah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “The best of affairs is their means” (15).

Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “A good manner of conduct and moderation are a 25th part of prophethood” (16).

Generally,  people either go to one extreme or the other. For example, either one is so obsessed with the pursuit of worldly living that one has had to neglect absolutely the demands of the life to come. Or is so engrossed in the thought of other worldliness that one has imposed on himself asceticism in all its rigidity. But the right way, as delineated by the Qur’an, is the middle way – the path of moderation in every sphere of life’s activity. He alone lives aright whose one prayer to Allah is this: O Lord! Give us good in this world and give us good in the Hereafter (17).

The concept of moderation in Islam can be explained in the light of two terms: Straight Path (Sirat-al-Mustaqim)  and Middle Nation (Ummah-e-Wasat).

3.1. The Straight Path 

The term, ‘Sirat-al-Mustaqim’ used in the Holy Qur’an refers to Islam, and translated into English as the ‘Straight Path,’ right path, path of guidance, the middle way, and the way which pleases Allah (swt). It is the path of the Qur’an and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The Holy Qur’an has defined the Straight Path explicitly from a positive as well as eliminative point of view. In other words, the Holy Qur’an defines a straight path not only by what it actually is, but also by what it is, not. It is the path of those to whom Allah (swt) has bestowed His grace; the people who adhere to Allah’s commandments and refrain from committing what He has been prohibited, and not of those who have incurred His displeasure; whose intentions are corrupt, who are the slaves of their desires, and deficient in performing their religious obligations; nor of those who know the truth, yet deviate from it.

The straight path is the middle way having nothing to do with any extremes. It is equally far from communism and capitalism in economy, far from absolutism and anarchism in politics, from realism and idealism in philosophy, from human psychology and the realities of life and creation, from materialism and spiritualism in belief, and from being exclusively this worldly or exclusively other worldly in world-view (18).

The straight path is the shortest path between two places and the shortest of lines drawn between two points is the straightest and most direct, so too the straightest and most direct of spiritual paths is the shortest and the easiest. It is clearly distinguishable from other paths. It is only path which is called the royal road; the path wide and even, without turns and twists; the path of true success; the path of safety; the path of sincere faith and righteous action; the path of progress and goodness; the universal path of Allah’s truth; the path which transcends all geographical and national bounds. It is the only path which saves its travellers from all hardships and all extremes and enables him to do everything moderately. 

The urge to find the straight path is inherent in human nature and does not require any extraordinary intellectual exertion to perceive it and practise it. Such a path was there from the very beginning, found its expression everywhere and all the time. It is the only path which can unite and bring together the dispersed, divided and disintegrated humanity.  It is the path by which one can complete one’s journey safely and successfully. 

And (moreover), this is My Path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow (other) ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous (19).

(Jesus said), “Indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. This is a straight path (20).

And thus We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command (the Qur’an). You did not know what is the Book or (what is) faith, but We have made it a light by which We guide whom We will of Our servants. Indeed (O Muhammad), you guide to a straight path – the path of Allah, to whom belongs whatever is in heavens and whatever is on the earth  (21).

And We gave him (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob – all (of them) We guided. And Noah, We guided before; and among his descendants, David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward the doers of good. And Zechariah and Jon and Jesus and Elias – and all were of the righteous. And Ismael and Elisha and Jonah and Lut – and all (of them_ We preferred over the worlds. And (some) among their fathers and their descendents and their brothers – and We close them and We guide them to a Straight Path (22). 

Indeed, Abraham was a (comprehensive) leader, devoutly obedient to Allah, inclined toward truth, and he was not of those who associate others with Allah. (He was) grateful for His favours. He (Allah) chose him for His and guided him to a Straight Path (23). 

It becomes evident from a number of verses of the Holy Qur’an that the Straight Path is the path of Ambiya (Prophets), Siddiqin (truthful), Shuhada (martyrs), and Saliheen (righteous). Prophets and Messengers as Allah’s representatives used to invite human beings to this path (for example 43:64, 42:52-53). Allah chose Abraham and guided him to a straight path (16:121). It is evident from verses 6:84-87 that Allah guided to straight path His Prophets, such as Nuh (Noah), Ishmael, Lut (Lot), Is’haq (Issac), Yaqub (Jacob), Younis (Jonah), Dawud (David), Sulaiman (Solomon), Ayyub (Job), Yusuf (Joseph), Musa (Moses), Harun (Aaron), Zakria (Zechariah), Yahya (John the Baptist), Isa (Jesus), and Elias (Elisha), It can be concluded that all the Prophets followed the Straight Path and invited people toward this path. 

In addition to Prophets, the Straight Path is the path of those who follow the Prophets especially the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) sincerely in their utterances and actions. Those include siddiqeen, shuhada, saliheen, muttaqeen, mumineen, and muhsineen, etc. 

Based on the available information in the Holy Qur’an, the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and in the writings of eminent religious scholars, Siddiq means truthful, righteous, upright, just, fair, and equitable. Siddiq is the one who is always fair in his dealings, truthful in his sayings and sincere in his doings; the one who firmly stands for the truth and justice and opposes injustice with his full strength; the one who remains completely impartial in deciding matters between people even between his friends and foes; the one who attains spiritual perfection and the highest rank among the followers of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).  It was an honorific title which was given to Abu Bakr, the first Caliph of Islam by the Holy Prophet himself after the miraculous night journey from Makkah to the Mosque of Jerusalem, and the Ascent through the spheres of Heavens and beyond. When pagans of Makkah were arguing with the Holy Prophet relating to the Night Journey, Abu Bakr in the presence of a large number of pagans courageously testified to it. On account of this testifying, the Holy Prophet bestowed on him the title ‘Siddiq.’  It is a very honourable and prestigious title. Siddiqueen are next to the Prophets in rank.  

As-Shaheed means witness, or martyr. The word ‘Shaheed’ literally means one who bears witness and who, in the face of all odds, is prepared even to court disaster and to sign away his own death warrant, in order that Law of Allah may prevail, because he bears witness to the existence of the eternal law, the validity of which he testifies by his supreme act to sacrifice his life for that. Thereby he shows that his earthly life is a matter of no consequence to him when it comes to offering evidence about the perpetual and everlasting existence of Allah’s law which he has been commanded to obey” (24).

Shaheed is the one who proves sincerity of one’s faith practically through righteous actions in all aspects of his life; the one who willingly offers one’s life by fighting in the cause of Allah; the one who observes things critically and honestly; and the one who bears witness to the truth. 

Salih is the one who is upright in one’s beliefs, intentions, words and actions, and adopts the right attitude in every aspect of life; the one who is steadfast in the path of goodness and who keeps himself away from evil. 

Salih means to become sound and healthy spiritually. It is the barest requirement of spiritual health that one should relish. For such a relish one should first be cleared of all impure elements in one’s spiritual being, such as insincerity, greed, jealousy, show, pride, arrogance and cruelty, etc. One must be a living embodiment of piety and moral caution – the minimum qualification for a godly man (25).

Muttaqi is the one who fears Allah the Exalted, discriminates between good and evil, practises virtue persistently and consistently, believes in the unseen, establishes prayers, stands in the Way of Allah, believes in the Holy Qur’an and other Revealed Books, firmly believes in the Hereafter with its implication, fulfil his commitments, abstains from evils, controls one’s anger and forgives other people (26). (Salim, 2015). 

This is the Book (Qur’’an) about which there is no doubt, a guidance of those who have taqwa (conscious of Allah). Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them. And who believe in what has been revealed to you, (O Muhammad), and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain (in faith)  (27).

Who spend (in the cause of Allah) during the ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good. And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves (by transgression), remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins. …… .and who do not persist in what they have done while they know. Those – their reward is forgiveness from their Lord and gardens beneath which rivers flow (in Paradise), wherein they will abide eternally; and excellent is the reward of the (righteous) workers (28).

The Arabic word Muttaqi is derived from ‘Taqwa’ which literally means to fear, to refrain from, and in Islamic terminology it signifies fearing from Allah Almighty and refraining from transgression of His Commandments (29).

Mumin is the one from whom people’s lives and wealth are safe. He provides food to the needy, and utters gracious words for others. Most of the characteristics of a Mumin are mentioned in 23:1-11 verses of the Qur’an. Muminoon are those who perform their Salah with humility; who refrain from vain things; who pay zakah, who guard their private parts scrupulously; who are true to their trusts and promises, etc. 

Ihsan means high action; goodness and sincerity; doing something in good manner; the highest level of deeds and worship with perfection. It means to be patient in performing duties to Allah, totally for Allah’s sake, and in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in a perfect manner (30).

The Arabic word Muhsin comes from Ihsan which signifies, doing a thing beautifully – that is, in the manner that is proper to it. Besides the lexical meaning, Ihsan has a technical meaning as mentioned in a Hadith, “Offer your prayers as if you see Allah” (31).

There are three stages among the Muslims after the Companions of the Holy Prophet, Tabieen and Tabi al-Tabieen. These stages are IslamIman and Ihsan or MuslimMumin and Muhsin. Muhsin is more distinguished than Mumin and the Mumin is more distinguished than the Muslim. Every Muhsin is a Mumin; but every Mumin is not a Muhsin. 

It is evident from a number of verses of the Qur’an such as 2:195, 3:148, 5:13, 5:93, and 7:56 that Allah loves Muhsineen. On the basis of the Holy Qur’an and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) it can be concluded that the status of Muhsin is comparatively higher than a Mumin and the status of a Mumin is higher than an ordinary Muslim. In other words the level of Allah’s love to a Muhsin is the highest, followed by a Mumin and then a Muslim. 

3.2. Middle Nation (Ummah-e-Wasat)   

The composition of the Muslim Community (Nation) changed with the passage of time. At the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) there were two components of the Community: The Prophet and his Companions. During this period there were a number of criteria on which the status of the Companions depended. For example, those Companions who took part in the Badr Battle were higher in status than those who did not take part in it.  Four Caliphs were considered superior to other Companions. Those Companions who entered into the fold of Islam before the conquest of Makkah were superior to those Companions who reverted to Islam after it. The Companions of the Prophet Muhammad were superior to Tabieen (Followers) and these were considered superior to Taba Tabieen (and these were superior to subsequent generations. After that in the Muslim Community various titles were used, such as Siddiqeen, Shuhada, Saliheen, Muttaqin, Tawwabeen, Sabreen, Mutwwakaleen, Mumineen and Muhsineen, etc. These title holders are considered better than Muslims who do not possess such titles. Based on the available information, it is difficult to prove that the holder of a certain title is superior to any other title holder. 

Omar bin Al-Khattab reported: We were seated once near the Apostle of Allah when lo! There appeared a person to us dressed in extremely white clothes and having jet black hairs. No fatigue of journey did appear on him and nobody amongst us could recognize him- till he sat down near the Prophet. Then he joined his knees and placed both of his palms over his two thighs and said, “O Muhammad, inform me about Islam.” He replied, “Islam is that you attest that there is no deity but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, that you establish prayer, pay Zakah, keep fast of Ramadan and make pilgrimage to the House provided you have means of making a journey to it.” He replied, “You have spoken the truth.” We were astonished to see that he asked him and corroborated him. He inquired, “Inform me about faith.” He said, “It is that you believe in Allah and His angels and His Books and His Apostles and the Last Day and that you believe in predestination – in its good and in its evil.” He said, “You have spoken the truth.” He inquired, “Inform me about Ihsan.” He said, “It is to serve Allah as if you see Him and if you do not see Him, He certainly sees you.” After his departure the Messenger of Allah kept silent for some time and addressed me, “O Omar do you know about the enquirer?” I replied, “Allah and His Apostle know best.” The Holy Prophet said, “Certainly he is Gabriel; he has come to you to teach you religion (32).

Based on this Hadith the Muslim Community can be divided into three categories in which ordinary Muslim is at the lowest level, followed by Mumin, while Muhsin is at the highest level under existing conditions. We have already discussed these terms under the heading the Straight Path. 

It is important to mention here that the Family of the Prophet Muhammad remained at the highest level of piety among the Muslim Ummah. It becomes evident from the sacrifices of Imam Hasan and Imam Husain and their descendents. In this connection we are giving some selected statements of Said Nursi, Ibn Kathir, Maulana Mufti Shafi and Maulana Maududi, etc. 

There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; (he is) concerned over you (your guidance) and to the beliers is kind and merciful. But if they turn away (O Muhammad), say, “Sufficient for me is Allah; there is no deity except Him. On Him I have relied, and He is the Lord of the Great Throne” (33). 9:128-129. 

The powerful verses of the Qur’an 9:128-129 and 42:23 point out many mighty truths. The first point highlights the status of Allah’s noblest Messenger Muhammad (pbuh) and his Community on the Day of Resurrection. As reported through reliable channels of narration in authenticated resources, while, everything else, including even the all other Prophets, will feel that they have enough trouble of their own on the Day of Resurrection, Allah’s noblest Messenger (pbuh), will be completely concerned with his people and will call out, “My Community! My Community! After birth, his mother heard him supplicating for his Community, saying, “My Community! My Community!” In addition, as his whole life history and the laudable, high standards of conduct which he personally promulgated and demonstrated his perfect compassion and affection, by asking his whole Community to pray for him (so that he could get more strength and be more successful in conveying his Message and dealing with the affairs of his Community), he showed that he was concerned with the happiness of all of them and thus displayed his boundless compassion. So, you can understand what great ingratitude and injustice it would be not to follow the way of such an affectionate and merciful leader.  (34).

It is that of which Allah gives good tidings to His servants who believe and do righteous deeds. Say (O Muhammad), “I do not ask you for it (this message) any payment (but) only good will through (due to) kinship.” And whoever commits a good deed – We will increase for him good therein. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Appreciative (35).

Among his universal and all-embracing duties of Prophethood, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) displayed great compassion for certain particular, minor elements, which was exemplary links in a chain that would becomes the means of the fulfilment of a universal duty of Prophethood, exceptional importance was attached to such links for the sake of the chain. For example, the extraordinary compassion the Holy Prophet showed towards Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn in their childhood and great importance he attached to them did not arise only from his love because of a family relationship; his affection for them was rather because they would act as the origin, example, and index of an exceptionally important community that would carry on the religious duties which had been established through the Prophethood. He saw with the eye of Prophethood the sacred service they would render in the future, and approved and applauded them, and as a sign of his approval and encouragement, kissed Hasan on the head, and he kissed Husayn on the neck and thus showed his extraordinary compassion for him and the extraordinary importance he attached to him. This was not only for the sake of Husayn himself, but also for the sake of many Mahdi-like light-diffusing persons such as Zayn al-Abidin and Jafar as-Sadiq who would appear among his radiant progeny as illustrious Imams, and on account of the religion of Islam and the mission of Messengership. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had a heart that could get certain knowledge from the Unseen, and illumined eyes with which he would observe the Place of the Supreme Gatherings on the side of eternity from the Age of Happiness in this world, see Paradise and watch angels in the heavens from the earth, monitor events that remained concealed in the dark veils of the past from the time of Adam, and penetrate the future. He was also favoured with some sort of vision of the All-Majestic One. This illustrious Prophet certainly saw the spiritual poles (spiritual leaders), and the Imams who would be heirs to the duties of Prophethood, and Mahdi-like persons, who would descend from Hasan and Husayn, and kissed them on the head on their behalf. So, Shah Jilani has a share of the kiss that Hasan received. 

According to one interpretation, the meaning of statement ‘I ask of you no wage for it (conveying Allah’s Religion to you) but (I ask of you love for my near relatives’ in verse 42:23, is that the Holy Prophet ask for no wage to carry out the duty of Prophethood, but he asked for love to be shown to the members of his Family. It might be interpreted that this means the Messenger was pursuing advantages for his Family, yet, according to the Divine declaration. Surely, the noblest, most honourable of you in Allah’s sight is the one best in piety, righteousness, and reverence for Allah (49:13), the mission of Meesengership considered not family relationships, but nearness to Allah. With his future-penetrating power of sight, the Holy Prophet saw that his Family would become like a light-diffusing tree in the world of Islam. The overwhelming majority of those who would guide and instruct peoples at every level and stratum in the attainment of human perfections would appear among the descendents. He discerned that his Community’s prayer for his family is the final section of the Prayers and it would be accepted. In other words, just as the overwhelming majority of the light-diffusing guides among the people of Abraham were Prophets who emerged from his offspring, he saw amongst his family the greatest of the guides and scholars who would perform the most important Islamic duties and lead along the spiritual paths, teaching Islam and its practice – people who would perform in Islam the function which of the Prophets of Israel carried out in the history of Children of Israel………..In one of the several other declarations which corroborate this, he decreed, “I leave you two precious things. If you hold fast to them, you will find salvation. They are Allah’s Book and my Family. For the source and guardians of the Sunnah of the Prophet were his Family and they were first of all responsible for adhering to it in every respect. This means that by bringing his Family to the attention of his Community he stressed the importance of his Sunnah in respect of his mission of Messengership. Also, the reason he desired to gather his Community around his Family was that, with Allah’s leave, he knew his Family would grow over the course of time, and that Islam was going to become weak. Therefore, an extremely strong group of people in solidarity was necessary so that it could be the means of and centre for the spiritual and moral progress of the world of Islam. With Divine, he thought of this, and desired to gather his Community around his Family (36). 

The Arabic word Ummah, or Ummat means community. Al-wast (the justly balanced) is the farthest point between two extremes. There is no doubt that the two poles of excess or extravagance and niggardliness are destructive, so to be moderate in character is to be farthest from them, which is to be just and virtuous. Wasat line between two points is the straight and shortest line between them and the rest of the lines are arched. The Wasat line is the straight and shortest line between two points. Wasat also means the best in status or position: the leader always stands in the middle and his followers surround him: the most precious pearl or gem of a necklace is in the middle and is considered best. Things which are in the middle are protected and safe, while things which are on side or extreme are subjected to damage and risks. 

Wasat is strength because the middle thing is the centre of power. It means taking the middle way between two extremes, neither falling short nor going to excess. The Arabic word wasatiyyah (being moderate) represents power, because the centre of everything is the strongest point. 

All extreme ideas find their common denominator at the moderate idea. Hence, tawassut and itidal (moderation) is the centre of intellectual unity. Extreme ideas bring affliction to the unity of the nation. Islam neither is based on superstitious ideology nor of materialistic ideology, but takes the middle course, and invites people to faith, and to believe in that is evidence-based and certitude-based and includes that is realised by senses, deductions, and divine news and rejects any dilution beyond these.

Linguistically the meaning of the word ‘wasat’ is the just, the best (in goodness and quality), the top choice, and the most honourable. This word is usually applied to a thing considered to be the best of its kind. According to Qurtubi ‘wasat’ also means ‘just’ – in the sense of being the best. Ummat-e-wasat is what is below the Prophets and above other nations. “The word ‘wasat’ in verse 2:143 comprehends all the qualities which are possible for an individual or a community of men to possess in this world” (37).

And thus We have made you a median (just) community that you will witness over the people and the Messenger be a witness over you (38).

In verse 2:143, Allah (swt) has entitled Muslams as just Community or Nation the members of which observe moderation in all acts and maintain equilibrium between needs and wants and in income and expenditures. This verse characterises the just community: the community in which moderation prevails in religious, economical and social behaviour at individual and collective levels; the community that keeps an equitable balance between extremes; the community that rejects both licentiousness and exaggerated asceticism. Allah will honour this community with the status as a witness over other communities.

You are the best nation produced (as an example) for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. If only the people of the Book had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient (39). 3:110. 

And among those We created a community which guides by truth and thereby establishes justice (40). 7:181. 

The Holy Qur’an in more than one verse (2:143, 3:110, 7:181) declared the followers of Prophet Muhammad as Ummat-e-Wast. Allah has bestowed this community the unparallel distinction among the people on the planet earth, because it follows Prophet Muhammad who is Sayyid Walads Adam (the Leader of the sons of Adam), Rahmat-al-Aalameen (Mercy for the Worlds), Khatamun-Nabiyyin (the Seal of the Prophets), Imam-ul-Ambiya (the Leader of Prophets), and Habib-ullah (the Friend of Allah).

Then We caused to inherit the Book those We have chosen of Our servants, and among them is he who wrongs himself (sins), and among them is he who is moderate, and among them is he who is foremost in good deeds by permission of Allah. That (inheritance) is what is the great bounty (41).

The Inheritance of the Qur’an is of three kinds Allah says: ‘Then We made those who uphold the Book confirming what came before, the one whom We have chosen from among Our servants. They are this Ummah, who are divided into three types. Allah says: ‘Then of them are some who wrong themselves), these are the ones who are careless about doing some obligatory actions, and who commit some forbidden actions. And of them are some who follow a middle course, these are the ones who fulfil the obligations and avoid things that are forbidden, but they may neglect some good deeds and do some things which are disliked. (And of them are some who are, by Allah’s leave, foremost in good deeds) these are the one who do obligatory actions and things which are encouraged, and who avoid doing unlawful and disliked actions, and avoid some actions which are permissible. This refers to the Ummah of Muhammad (pbuh). Allah caused it to inherit every Book that He had revealed; those who wrong themselves will be forgiven, those who follow a middle course will have an easy accounting, and those who are foremost in good deeds will enter Paradise without being brought to account; those who follow a middle course will enter Paradise by the mercy of Allah; and those who wrong themselves will enter Paradise by the intercession of the Muhammad (42).

This implies the Muslims, who have been sorted out from all human beings so that they may become heirs to the Book of Allah, and convey its message to others after the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Though this Book has been presented before all human beings, those who accepted it in the first instance, were chosen for the honour to become heirs to a great Book like the Qur’an and the trustees of the teachings and guidance. Imparted by a great Messenger like the Prophet Muhammad. That is, “All these Muslims are not alike but are divided into three classes: (1) Those unjust to themselves: They are those who believe sincerely and honestly that the Qur’an is the Book of Allah and Muhammad the Messenger of Allah, but in practical life do not fully follow the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger. They are believers but sinful; culprits but not rebellious; weak of faith but not hypocritical and unbelieving at heart. Therefore, although they are unjust to themselves, they have been included among the chosen servants of Allah and among the heirs to the Book; otherwise, obviously the rebels and the hypocrites and the unbelieving people could not be so treated and honured. This class of believers have been mentioned first of all because they are most numerous among the Muslims. 

Those following the middle course: They are the people who fulfil the obligations of this inheritance to some extent but not fully. They are obedient as well as erring. They have not left themselves altogether free but try as best as they can to turn it to Allah’s obedience; however, at times they give it undue freedom and become involved in sin. Thus, their life becomes a combination of both the good and the evil actions. They are less numerous than the first group but more than the third; that is why they have been mentioned second. (3) Those excelling in good deeds: They are the people of the first rank among the heirs to the Book, and they are the ones who are doing full justice to the inheritance. They are in the foremost in following and adhering to the Book and the Sunnah; in conveying the message of Allah to His servants, in offering the sacrifices for the sake of the true Faith, and in every pious and good work. They are not the ones who would commit a sin deliberately, but if they happened to commit sin inadvertently, they would be filled with remorse as soon as they become conscious of it. They are less numerous than the people of the first two categories, therefore, have been mentioned last, although they merit the first place in the matter of doing justice to the heritage of the Book of Allah. As for the sentence, “This is the supreme bounty, if it is related with the last sentence., it would mean that to excel in good deeds is the supreme bounty, and the people who excel in good deeds are the best of the Muslim Community. And if it is taken to be related with the first sentence, it would mean to be a heir to the Book of Allah and to be chosen on account of their faith in the Qur’an and the Holy Prophet Muhammad are the best among the human beings created by Allah (43).


Moderation is much more than the proverbial golden mean between the extremes. Every good thing can become destructive if taken to excess. In Islam, moderation means that one side is tantamount to the opposite side, no side takes over the other, deletes the other, oppresses the other or misjudges the other. There is no extremism, immoderation, exaggeration, delinquency, high-handedness, underestimation, or depreciation; yet each side takes its right by righteous measures.

The Holy Prophet said, “Indeed, your soul has a right upon you, your family has right upon you, your body has right upon you, your Lord has right upon you. So give each one his due right” (44).

It can be that when wasat (moderation or middle way) is conferred to Muslims, means that they are moderate in their religion, balanced in between (two extremes of) excessiveness and deficiency, and in between exaggeration and punishment. They are not exaggerating like the Chrustians who turned the al-Masih (Jesus) into the son of God, and they do not diminish (the religion) like the Jews who altered their holy scripture and ignored the Prophets (45).

There are two possible meanings of the verse 2:143 of the Qur’an. The first is the chosen and most excellent. In this regard, it connotes a proactive notion for Muslims to strive for excellence and development, guided by divine commandments. The second possible meaning is fairness and justice which is necessary for someone to become a witness for all mankind (46). Tafsir Ibn Kathir. 

And thus We have made you a median (just) community that you will witness over the people and Messenger will be witness over you (47). 

Islam recognizes the line which separates moderation and extremism in different aspects including religion (4:171, 22:78), practice and cultivate moderation in every aspect of life. Islam lies in between the extremes of those who fully reject the world and those who completely immersed themselves in worldly pleasures and material possessions. 

In Islam, moderation is one of the most basic terms. In shariah, it is a central characteristic of Islamic creed and to a justly balanced way of life, avoiding extremes and experiencing things in moderation. Islam is a religion of balance and encourages moderation in all aspects of life; each command, suggestion and recommendation of Islam, from worship to lifestyle, resonates with the human disposition and is guided by moderation. Living in moderation involves making conscious choices and finding a healthy balance in various aspects of life. One should avoid extremes and instead focus on having a life to balance and wholeness. It is important to balance and diversify all aspects of life and not to spend an excess of time or energy on only one portion of your life while ignoring others. Islam is action, not renunciation of action; it is discharge of obligations, not shrinking of obligations; it is performance of duty, not escape from duty. Islam urges its followers to maintain balance between worship of Allah and worldly activities. Muslims are required not to seek one at the expense of the other, but keep balance in everything. 

The beauty of anger is called bravery and the beauty of greed is called patience. If anger exceeds the limit of moderation, it is called cowardice. If greed exceeds moderation, it is called hope against hope, and if it goes down, it is called sluggishness. Moderation of greed is good and the two extremes of greed are bad. If wisdom is used immoderately, it is called deception. If it reaches to the extreme, it is called genius. The middle course is called wisdom. The natural propensities such as greed, passion, anger and pride are necessary for a person. Had the one not had greed for food, one would have been ruined. The objective is to use it with moderation without going to the extremes. To take a middle course in conduct is better and not the two extremes. Benevolence is a good quality and it is the middle course between two extremes – extravagance and miserliness. 17:29. Bravery is an attribute between haughtiness and cowardice (48).

Satan comes to us in one of two ways – either by encouraging us to fall short and abandon it, or by encouraging us to do excess in it. The Deen (religion) of Islam lies in the middle between those who abandon action and those who are excessive (49).

Almost every issue has polar extremes to which Devil calls people based on one’s weaknesses. The people with negative personality traits are more susceptible to spiritual diseases. Muslims, therefore, must adhere to moderation in every issue in order to avoid the snares and deception of devils and other evil forces. 

Islam encourages moderation and discourages extremism in all permissible things and actions, but prohibits the use of unlawful things even in minute quantities. Islam is a religion of moderation, and emphasises to maintain balance and equilibrium between everything, such as the needs of body and soul (spirit); between rights and duties of an individual and community; and rights and duties of different organs of state; and strikes balance between this world and the Hereafter, etc. 

The need for the adoption of moderation and avoiding extremism in every thing and in every action is evident from the Holy Qur’an and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). 

Ans reported that the Messenger of Allah used to say, “Don’t subject yourselves to excessive hardship lest Allah inflicts hardship on you” (50).

Ayesha reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Gentleness does not enter anything except that it beautifies it and harshness does not enter anything except that it disfigures it” (51).

The Holy Prophet said, “Never be extreme regarding religion. Many nations have been destroyed before you only because of extremism in religion” (52).

4.1. Moderation in Belief in Destiny and Decree

One must have a strong belief in the Articles of Iman. Belief in destiny is a principle article of Islamic faith. The law of destiny is applicable to the whole universe and everything therein. Allah has written down the destinies of creations fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth’s (53).

In connection with destiny say not man is compelled, for that is attribution of tyranny to Allah; nor say that man has absolute discretion, rather that we are furthered by His help and grace in our endeavours to act righteously, and we transgress because of our neglect (54).

Those who do not believe in the destiny of man’s good and evil actions by Allah are infidels, and those who impute their sins to Allah are miscreants  (55).

Men are free to acquire their actions according to the power given by Allah, and thus our religion takes the middle course between free-will and destiny (56).

The word destiny is a field of action for man, where he has to realise all his possibilities and potentialities. Man is not merely a destined being, but answerable to his deeds. Due to his intellect and free-will he himself is to determine his actions, but based on the way of life prescribed by Allah (swt) through His Messengers. Every individual must choose his destiny himself and the destinies of individuals put together make the destiny of a nation. Man is not bound by a preordained destiny like inanimate creatures, plants or animals, but he is the changer of his destiny. Its subtle indication is hidden in a phrase – change yourself and your destiny stands changed (57).

Destiny is changeable…It is the way we interact within the freedom that is given to us, within fixed laws … .Our destinies are interlinked, interactive and interdependent at different levels from individual to globally (58).

Allah does not stop people from making choices. Free-will shapes the destinies of human beings. There are intra-religious and inter-religious conflicting views on the subject of destiny. For example, the adherents of Islam can be divided into three groups: (1) Human actions are predetermined and predestined by Allah Almighty. Man has no power to produce any action. So they do not exert themselves to change their destinies. (2) They hold the view that man has full power to produce an action and has complete freedom in one’s choices and every one is responsible for one’s actions. (3) The third group takes the middle path. They are of the view that man is neither absolutely compelled, nor absolutely free.  Everyone will be held responsible for one’s actions. The point of the third group is correct. 

Based on available information in the literature we can conclude that one can change one’s destiny, through prayer and righteous actions. They are helpful to transform negative personality traits to positive one. In other words they can work as preventive and curative measures against spiritual diseases in a person. Man does not know what is decreed for him, therefore, he must adhere to Shariah and seek the help of Allah Almighty and pray to Him for guidance. These create perseverance and strengthen one’s determination; increase working capacity; enable one to rise from one level to the other; and subsequently bring about a positive change in one’s destiny with the mercy of Allah (swt).  

4.2. Moderation in the Loudness of Voice 

And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys (59).

This does not mean that one should always speak in a low voice and should never raise one’s voice. By citing the braying of the donkeys, it has been clearly indicated that some of the tone and voice in speech is meant to be discouraged. One kind of lowness and loudness, roughness and softness, of the tone and voice is that which is needed under natural and genuine requirements. For example, when speaking to a man close at hand, or to a small group of people, one would speak in a low voice, and when speaking to a man at a distance or of a large number of people, one would inevitably have to speak loudly. Similar is inevitably the difference in tones depending on the occasion and situation. The tone of praise has to be different from the tone of condemnation, and of the expression of goodwill from that of indignation. This thing in no way is objectionable. Nor does the admonition of Luqman imply that one should always speak in a soft and low voice and tone regardless of the occasion and requirement. What is objectionable is that one should oneself hoarse and produce a voice like the donkey’s braying in order to bully and debase and browbeat the other person. A thing can be subjected to somebody in two ways. The thing can be made subordinate to him and he may be authorised to use and exploit it as he likes, and the thing may be subjected to a law and system so that it becomes useful for him and serves his interests accordingly. Allah has not subjected everything in the earth and heavens to man in one and the same sense, but has subjected certain things in the first sense and certain others in the second sense. For example, He has subjected the air, water, earth, fire, vegetation, minerals, cattle, and many other things in the first sense, and the sun, the moon, etc. in the second sense  (60).

There is a need to refrain from speaking so  loudly that it can disturb others; and to speak so quietly that it cannot be understood by the listeners, rather it should be moderate. This principle is applicable in general conversation as well as well in the the Zikr of Allah (swt). It is Allah’s Commandment to believers to talk nicely with everyone. If you speak too much, you lose your audience’s attention. If you speak at very fast speed the audience may feel difficulty to understand what you are conveying to them. 

4.3. Moderation in Recitation of the Qur’an

O you who sleeps covered up, keep standing in Prayer at night but a little: half the night, or lessen it a little, or add to it a little; and recite the Qur’an calmly in a measured tone (61).

The Arabic word tartil in verse 73:4 means recitation of Qur’an in proper order, slowly and distinctly: pause at every verse so that the mind understands the meaning and purport of Divine Revelation well and takes effect from it. In other words recite the Qur’an in slow measured rhythmic recitation and beautification of the voice and keep in mind the fasl (division) and wasl (joining) of words. It basically signifies that letters and the words must be pronounced clearly and distinctly that will help understanding the Qur’an, and paying due attention to its meaning.

Ali said, “Tartil is delivering words according to their makharij (outlet for sound or intonations)”: saying the words clearly and slowly and reciting with understanding and uttering the contents correctly. It is imperative that while reciting Qur’an, one should neither recite it at so fast speed that the listeners cannot understand it nor the recitation at such slow speed that it puts the listeners off. It is imperative to follow the middle path in the recitation of the Qur’an.

In the recitation of the Holy Prophet single letter was clear and distinct (62).

Baraa bin Ajeb reported that the Holy Prophet said, “Adorn the Qur’an with your voices” (63). 

In another narration,“Read the Qur’an with your excellent voices, because an excellent voice adds beauty to the Qur’an” (64).

Huzaifah reported that the Apostle of Allah said, “Read the Qur’an with the tunes of the Arabs and their accent, and guard yourselves from the tunes of the paramours and the tunes of the people of the Books. There will soon appear a people after me who will sing with the Qur’an the singing of songs and mournings. It will not cross their throats” (65).

Abdullah bin Amr reported that the Apostle of Allah said, “He does not understand the Qur’an who reads it in less than three days” (66).

The Holy Prophet used to read the Qur’an distinctly, word by word and verse by verse. For example, he used to make pauses in his recitation by uttering Alhamdo Lilla-e-Rabbil Alamin and then taking a pause, and thereafter saying Ar-Rahmaner Rahim and then taking a pause (67).

Ibn Masud said, “Do not scatter the (recitation of) the Qur’an out like the scattering of sand, and do not rush through it like the hasty recitation of poetry. Stop at its amazing parts and make your heart move with it. None of you should let his concern be to reach the end of the chapter” (68).

A man came to Ibn Masud and said, “I read the Qur’an from Qaf to An-Nas last night in one unit of prayer.” Ibn Masud said, “This is rushing like the haste of reciting poetry.” The Holy Prophet never recited the entire Qur’an in one night before morning.

Ans said, “The Qur’an should be recited according to the manner of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He stretched the words when reciting them. For example, when he recited Bismillah…. he would stretch and prolong the sound of Allah, and Rahman Rahim (69).

Umm Salamah said, “The Messenger of Allah  recited every verse separately and distinctly and observed a pause at the end of every verse. He recited each word distinctly and clearly (70).

4.4. Moderation in Worship of Allah

O Prophet, your Lord knows that you sometimes stand in the prayer nearly two-thirds of the night and sometimes half of the night, and sometimes one-third of the night, and so does a group of your Companions…..He (Allah) knows that you cannot compute the time precisely; so He has shown kindness to you. Now you may read as much of the Qur’an as you easily can (71).

Allah Almighty never commanded the Holy Prophet to pass the whole night in prayer, but for the sake of training to bear the burden of Prophethood and that of revelation, He enjoined the Holy Prophet in the early years of his Prophethood made obligatory to say Tahajjud prayer. The word tahajjud literally means ‘to sleep at night and then wake up to perform the prayer. He was commanded to spend half of the night in this prayer, or make it a little less (73:3) or make it a little more (73:4). This command was to the Holy Prophet (pbuh), but some of his Companions also followed him, although it was not obligatory upon them. The duration of Tahajjud prayer of the Holy Prophet varied from one-third to two-third of night. Due to such a long duration of standing in prayer his feet would swell and this exertion caused hardship and difficulty to him, so Allah eased his burden in the second commandment (73:20) and directed him to stay up for prayer as much as he could easily manage. 

The importance of moderation or middle way in worship is evident from the following traditions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh):

Jundub bin Abdullah reported that the Apostle of Allah said, “Recite the Qur’an till your minds are attentive to it; and when your attention goes, give it up” (72).

Three Companions of the Holy Prophet were discussing their plan together. One of them said, “I will pray all night and do not sleep.” The other said, “I will fast all day long and not break.” The third person said, “I will keep away from women and shall never marry.” Then the Holy Prophet told them, “By Allah, I fear Allah more than yourselves and I am most dutiful among you to Him, but still I keep fast and break it, keep up prayer and keep awake at night and take wives. So whoever turns away from my way is not of me” (73).

The Companions thought that true service of Allah (swt) can only be made if the whole twenty four hours are spent in fasting, praying, and doing other acts of piety excessively. The Holy Prophet instructed that true divine service can be made only by doing things at ease in a moderate way with the objective of getting divine pleasure. 

Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah used to say, “Don’t subject yourselves to excessive hardship lest Allah inflict hardship on you” (74).

Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “When one of you leads the prayer for people, let him be short, because among them there are the sick, the weak, and the old; and when one of you says prayer for himself, let him prolong it as he pleases” (75).

If you can’t do this, do something near to it and give glad tidings and seek help (of Allah) at morning and at dusk and some part of night” (76).

Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Let one of you say prayer cheerfully; and when one becomes tired, let him sit down” (77).

Ayesha reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “When one of you feels inclined to sleep while he prays, let him lie down till sleep goes away from him, because when one of you prays while inclined to sleep, he does not know whether he seeks forgiveness or rebukes himself” (78).

Ayesha reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “The most of actions to Allah is that which is done continuously though it be little” (79).

Abdullah bin Amr bin Aas reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Fast and break, stand up (for prayer) and sleep, because there is surely a duty on you for your body, a duty on you for your eyes, a duty on you for your wife, and a duty on you for your neighbour” (80).

Matref bin Abdullah reported that the Holy Prophet said, “The best of affairs is their means” (81).

The Holy Prophet said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately … .Always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course, whereby you will reach your target or destination (Paradise).” On another occasion he said, “Be moderate in your religious deeds and do what is within your ability” (82).

Ibn Masud reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Ruined are those who insist on hardship in matters of the Faith” He repeated this statement three times (83).

Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “The religion (of Islam) is easy, and whoever makes the religion a rigour, it will empower him. So, follow a middle course (in worship) (84).

Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah noticed a rope stretched between two poles. He enquires, “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.” The Messenger of Allah said, “Untie it. You should perform prayers so long as you feel active. When you feel tired, you should go to sleep” (85).

Ayesha reported that the Holy 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 been the talk of the town.” Addressing her, the Holy Prophet 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” (86).

4.5. Moderation in Freedom 

Absolute freedom is not available anywhere in the universe. Everything and every organism is working under certain limitations. Freedom resides in the recognition of limitations. Optimal freedom is experienced when one is in the middle of extremes. The environment of every organism is very complex and full of dangers including both unfavurable biotic and abiotic factors. No one has the full knowledge of its environment and the duties and responsibilities in this connection. At the most we partially know only those things which help us to survive in nature. Even in this connection humans have created multifaceted and multifarious complicated problems in the material world. The spiritual world is much more complicated than the material or physical world. Allah through his Prophets and Messengers has given a complete framework of spending life in this world successfully. It is the duty of everyone to spend one’s life within the framework, which enables one to adopt moderation in every act and action and avoid extremism. Everyone should remain within the limits fixed by Allah (swt). 

Free will means free and independent choices; the apparent human ability to make choices that are not externally determined. It is one’s ability to choose the way one responds to outside stimuli, but one is responsible for one’s actions. Every day one is faced with choices and challenges and whole life is full of tests and trials. Right decisions can be made with the help of self-control, and remaining within the limits fixed by Allah Almighty and taught and demonstrated to believers by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). 

The Holy Prophet said, “The strong person is not he who has physical strength but he that can control his anger” (87).

When a person is overcome by anger, the act of sitting down, delaying the response allows the person to cool down and think clearly. If sitting down is not enough then one should lie down. Moreover performing ablution is helpful to control anger.

But if they do not respond to you – then know that they only follow their (own) desires. And who is more astray than one who follows desires without guidance from Allah? Indeed Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people (88)

So as for he who transgressed and preferred the life of the world, then indeed, Hellfire will be (his) refuge. But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from (unlawful) inclination, then indeed, Paradise will be (his) refuge (89).

And it is He who has made you successors upon the earth and has raised some of you above others in degrees (of rank) that He may try you through what has given you. Indeed, your Lord is swift in penalty; but indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful (90). 

One is faced with choices and temptations in every direction. One should not follow one’s desires but make choices while remaining within the limits fixed by Allah Almighty.  

4.6. Moderation in Charity and Other Good Works

The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed (of grain) which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies (His reward) for whom He wills (91).

A great many expenditures fall under the category of spending in the way of Allah, as long as this is done according to the laws of Allah and with the intention of seeking His good pleasure. This includes spending one’s wealth to fulfil one’s legitimate needs, to provide for one’s family, to look after the needs of relatives, to help the needy and to contribute to the general welfare and to spread the true religion and so on. The greater the sincerity and the more intense the feeling with which one spends for the sake of Allah, the greater will be Allah’s reward (92).

Islam on the one hand does not allow the amassing of wealth to be made the ultimate end of one’s effort, nor does it make human dignity depend on the considerations of money or rank or office. On the other hand, it promotes certain principles for the distribution of wealth in a balanced manner so that no member of a society should be deprived of the basic necessities of life, nor should an individual or group appropriate all the available wealth. Giving Zakah is obligatory for wealthy people. In addition to obligatory Zakah, Islam encourages giving Sadaqat to the poor and needy. Such an approach minimises the gap between rich and poor in the community. In this connection the moderate approach is to spend money in a moderate way for oneself, one’s family and then help the poor and needy people.  

Based on the above discussion we can conclude that in spending for the sake of Allah we should not spend all one or two items but take into consideration a number of items based on the importance of each item and spend for them accordingly. This will be a moderate approach. 

 4.7. Moderation in Ownership of Property and Wealth

Property rights are among the most important human rights that are carefully protected in Islam. They are clearly defined and there are many institutions to safeguard these rights. Moreover there are distinct ethical and legal obligations in Islamic jurisprudence that govern the acquisition of private ownership. Generally, the use of property is restricted by the prohibition of riba, gharar (uncertainty), hoarding, etc. The Shari’ah prescribes certain obligations on wealth such as paying zakah, sadaqah, etc. Thes legal and moral limits have the benefit of protecting property rights, promoting equity in income distribution, and realising the well-being of individuals and society at large (93).

The Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) clearly and explicitly stated that Allah (swt) is the sole owner of the wealth and that, people, as Allah’s vicegerent, are merely trustees or custodians, but individual claims of wealth are recognized and safeguarded by law. Yet the use of whatever is owned is restricted by the prohibition of usury (riba) and the legal obligation is to give zakah (alms). Because wealth is a trust, therefore its disposal or spending is considered to be a test of Faith and one is bound to use it in accordance with Allah’s commandments.

In Islam, the concept of ownership brings the idea of accountability, which indicates that one can neither evade responsibility for one’s actions, nor the motives behind them in this world and in the Hereafter.  The very objective of the Shariah is to promote the welfare of the people which lies in safeguarding their faith, their life, their intellect, their prosperity and their property. Whatever ensures the safeguard of these five serves the public interest and is desirable. In doing so, the Shariah explicitly specifies a set of rules and principles that regulate the legitimate sources of acquiring wealth or property, its growth, and its disposal. The objectives are restoring socio economic justice and promoting mutual benevolence (16:90) to eliminate all forms of economic inequality, injustice, exploitation, oppression, and wrongdoing. The principle of socio economic justice forbids gross inequalities in the distribution of goods and indicates that the ownership of wealth has social as well as economic dimensions. Mutual benevolence is a reassurance that wealth is to be used to optimise the welfare of the community. Moreover, people are warned in a number of ways to avoid niggardliness, wasteful spending, hoarding and monopolising, etc. (94). 

4.8. Moderation in Spending 

And (they are) those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, (justly) moderate  (95). 

Allah’s blessed servants are neither spendthrifts nor misers but they spend moderately. The words Israf (extravagance) and iqtar (miserliness) are used in verse 25:67 for the two opposite traits. Israf is to spend more than what is needed, either by spending on that which we do not really need, or on things which are extravagant. Iqtar on the other hand is to spend less than what is required. Surely squanderers are the brothers of Satan (17:27). The message of verse 25:67 is that Allah’s blessed servants are neither miserly nor extravagant, but in the matter of spending they take the middle path or moderate approach (96).

From the following verses of the Qur’an the concept and significance of moderation becomes clear: 

And give the relative his right, and (also) the poor and the traveller, and do not spend wastefully. Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful (97).

And do not make your hand (as) chained to your neck or extend it completely and (thereby) become blamed and insolent (98). 

And let not those who (greedily) withhold what Allah has given them of His bounty ever think that it is better for them. Rather, it is worse for them. Their necks will be encircled by what they withheld on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. And Allah, of what you do, is (fully) Aware (99).

O children of Adam, take your adornment (wear your clothing) at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He does not those who commit excess (100).

The spendthrift is the one who spends money prodigiously, improvidently and extravagantly; the one who spends beyond one’s means.

Do not tie your hand to your neck means refuse to spend. Stretching hands without restraint means extravagance. Blameworthy means deserving blame or censure. Destitute means lacking food, clothing, and shelter or resources of subsistence; completely or totally impoverished.

The Qur’an directs the people neither to be so parsimonious as to prevent the circulation of wealth nor so extravagant as to destroy their own economy. On the contrary, they should learn to behave in a balanced manner so that they should spend money wherever it should be spent and refrain from becoming spendthrifts so as to involve themselves into trouble. Those people who spend money for the sake of show and luxury, and lavishly are the brethren of Satan. The Islamic State of Al-Madinah took a number of practical steps to safeguard the Community against extravagance.

The true servants of Allah when spent, are neither extravagant nor miserly but moderately.

Ibn Masud reported that the Holy Prophet said, “The person who sticks to the middle path and moderation in spending will never become destitute and poor” (101). Musnad Imam Ahmad. 

The Holy Prophet said, “Be on your guard against stinginess because it doomed those who came before you” (102).

Islam recognizes the importance of spending one’s wealth in the proper manner and provides comprehensive guidelines in this regard. Allah (swt) enjoined moderation, forbidden extravagance and condemned miserliness. The verse 17:29 of the Holy Qur’an gives instructions for moderation in spending. In this verse two words miserliness and extravagance in spending are important. Miserliness or niggardliness means spending too little on the necessities and needs of oneself and one’s family, even though one has sufficient money, or the refusal to spend money on charity or for the cause of Islam.

The Qur’an encourages its readers to help others, but prohibits the kind of spending following which the spender himself becomes poor and needy and a prey of all sorts of hardships and anxieties. The prohibition of overspending for others is for those who cannot bear the hardships of poverty and hunger. The Believers should earn in lawful ways to spend for the cause of Islam and for the good of people; for the livelihood of oneself and one’s family, without indulging in luxuries. Poorly managed spending and haphazard spending is also prohibited. 

In expenditure, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) advised his followers to spend within their means, neither to be so lavish as to make them destitute, nor to hold back their wealth from those who had a claim on their resources. He gave guidance to adopt moderation and avoid two extremes of lavish expenditure and miserliness; neither to be extravagant in ordinary spending as well as in charity nor to be niggardly

The words miserly, niggardly and stingy have some minor differences. A miserly person spends as little money as possible (minimum expenditure); suggests sordid avariciousness and a morbid pleasure in hoarding wealth. Stingy implies marked lack of generosity, especially the reluctance to spend money. Niggardly implies giving or spending the smallest amount possible. Stingy is less severe than miserly. There is a qualitative difference between stingy and miserly. Generally these words can be used interchangeably. 

Improper spending habits cause a person physical, moral, psychological, social and spiritual harm, and defeat the very purpose of possessing wealth, which is to acquire happiness, tranquillity, comfort and security.

4.9. Moderation in Exercise 

Both physical activities and exercises are important for health. Physical activity gets one’s body moving such as gardening, taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Exercise is a form of physical activity that is specifically planned, structured, and repetitive. Regular exercise is very important to the physical and mental health of everyone and can help one live a longer and healthier life. It reduces one’s risk of many health conditions, developing type-2 diabetes, certain cancers especially colon cancer, heart diseases, high blood pressure, stroke, back pain and osteoporosis, and can improve one’s mood and help manage stress; reduces feelings of depression and anxiety; helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints; promotes psychological well being. It is helpful to keep one’s bones, joints, and muscles strong and enjoy better sleep at night; stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave one feeling happier or more relaxed; improves muscle strength and boosts one endurance; diverts oxygen and nutrients to one’s tissues and helps one’s cardio-vascular system work efficiently; improves health of heart and lungs and provide more energy to work. It can help prevent or delay many diseases and disabilities. Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. One is less likely to suffer from cognitive decline and depression. People with arthritis, heart disease or diabetes, and high blood pressure benefit from it. 

Being inactive can be risky. It can lead to more visits to the doctors, more hospitalisation, and more use of medicines for a variety of illnesses. 

Moderation in exercise is a key to health. Excessive exercise can cause damage in a number of ways. It can increase vulnerability to disease and health problems; can expose one to the adverse effects such as injuries; feeling weak, tired and dehydrated; trigger heart problems, osteoporosis, arthritis, etc. In females it may cause problems conceiving and loss of menstrual cycle.

Spiritual activities and exercises are more important than the physical one. These can work as preventive and curative measures against spiritual diseases. These exercises are very much of diverse nature. 

4.10. Moderation in Eating 

They ask you, (O Muhamma), which has been made lawful for them. Say, “Lawful for you are (all) good foods and (game caught by) what you have trained of hunting animals which you train as Allah taught you. So eat what they catch for you, and mention the name of Allah upon it, and fear Allah.” Indeed Allah is swift in account (103). 5:4. 

Only that food should be eaten which is lawful. Unlawful things are not permissible in any amount under normal circumstances. In the case of lawful food three things: selection of food, quantity of food and interval between two meals are of great importance. Eating an excessive amount of lawful food is not a praiseworthy act and is considered as extremism in eating. Moderate eating means taking lawful food in appropriate amounts. In this connection a number of instructions are available in the religious literature. Both under-eating and overeating are not good for health.

Moderate use of a balanced diet is a key to health. Balanced diet is the one that gives one’s body the nutrients it needs to function correctly. In other words it means getting the right types and amounts of foods and drinks to supply nutrition and energy for maintaining the body, and for normal growth and development. The benefits of eating in moderation include weight loss, chronic disease management, and the promotion of general health.

Excessive eating is very bad for health. It may double the risk of memory loss in older people, or mild cognitive impairment (MCI); discharges hormones that make people feel sleepy; it results in unwanted weight gain and as a result people become victims of obesity at a very young age. Obesity increases the risks of diabetes, heart diseases, hypertension and stroke. Excessive eating reduces feeling of fullness in the brain by reducing levels of hormone that signals feeling of fullness in the brain, potentially promoting more eating. Moderation in speed of eating is also of great importance. Too slow eating takes a long time and fast eating results in more air to enter through the mouth. A full stomach pushes the lungs and creates difficulty in breathing; can increase the danger of blocking the food pipe. This can result in food to return back and a kind of burning sensation occurs near the heart. Moreover, it causes fatigue and yawn. It takes more time for the body to digest the food.

Bad effects of overeating become clear from the sayings of following religious scholars and intellectuals:

“Whoever takes control of his stomach gets control of all good deeds…..Wisdom does not reside in a full stomach” (104).

“Filling oneself makes the body heavy, removes clear understanding, induces sleep and makes one weak for worship” (105).

4.11. Moderation in Utilisation of Resources and Inputs

Natural resources are the resources available in nature like air, water, sunlight, soil, minerals, forests, wild life, etc. Anything in the environment ‘which can be used’ is called a ‘natural resource.’

Minerals include coal, petroleum, natural gas, metals, etc. Human activities produce a lot of waste materials which are thrown away into the environment. These wastes cause pollution of natural resources.  For example, human activities are badly affecting the availability of water and causing pollution of not only ponds, lakes, rivers and oceans, but also groundwater. 

All things we use and consume are obtained from natural resources. Their need is increasing and their availability is limited. There is a need for their judicious use, equitable distribution, and conservation. Biodiversity in the ecosystems can be conserved by maintaining balance between afforestation (planting of more trees) and deforestation; by setting up wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and biosphere reserves; and by preventing overgrazing of forests and rangelands and pastures, etc.

A system should be developed for the judicious use of natural resources in such a way to avoid their wastage, misuse, overuse or under-use and use them in the most effective way for the management of natural resources on sound basis. 

Groundwater comes from underground aquifers, which are fed from trickling down water through the soil. The groundwater use should be equal to its recharge. In other words there should be balance and equilibrium between recharge and utilisation of this wonderful natural resource. Unfortunately, in most parts of Pakistan, and elsewhere water is being extracted at much faster rate than its natural replenishment rate. Due to excessive withdrawal of groundwater, water level is dropping at a very fast rate and the magnitude of the problem of water shortage is increasing at an alarming rate. There is an urgent need to use water judiciously and explore other water sources to ensure water availability on a sustainable basis. 

In most of the urban areas in different parts of the world, especially in Pakistan almost all the nullahs, streams and rivers have already been polluted due to bad planning. For example, the Soan river is about 250 kilometres long. It starts near the village Bun, and provides water to Simly Dam. Ling stream following a long course through Lethrar and Kahuta falls in the Soan River near just before the Cock Pull. The Korang River joins it just before the Soan Bridge and the Lai stream joins it after the Soan Bridge near Soan Camp, and the River reaches Kalabagh where it falls into the Indus River. Chemicals of Sihala Industrial State and sewage untreated water of urban and rural areas has polluted water and adversely affected the marine life of this river. In the near future the magnitude of the water shortage problem will increase considerably. The problem of water shortage still can be solved by rehabilitation of rivers and nullahs by completely stopping the flow of industrial and sewage water; harvest rainwater at all levels; use water judiciously, etc.

Indiscriminate use of groundwater caused decline in its level in some areas and water logging in other areas.  Multifaceted and multifarious complex water related problems can be solved by proper water harvesting techniques; water management at every segment of natural hydrological cycle; judicious use of water in the fields, houses, and factories; minimise water wastage during conveyance; use water saving techniques in agriculture; in situ retention of rain water to enhance the rate of groundwater recharge; conjunctive use of water; enacting groundwater legislation to prevent indiscriminate exploitation of this already scarce resource.  

Efforts should also be made to save water bodies, especially rivers from pollution due to urbanisation, excessive use of agro-chemicals, and industrialization. Recycling of polluted water; purification of water with the help of modern bio-purification techniques can be helpful to solve this problem.

Coal and petroleum are fossil fuels formed by the decomposition of dead plants and animals inside the earth after several millions of years. These are non-renewable sources of energy. There should be a moderate approach in the exploration and utilisation of these natural resources, because their haphazard use may cause environmental pollution. The utilisation of natural resource coal has been very low in the past. Judicious use of natural resources will result in a good environment, smaller risk of global warming and may result in their availability for a long time on a sustainable basis.  

Natural resources are tools of advancement for physical development, but it should be sustainable development, which can meet the current basic needs and also can reserve the resources for the needs of future generations and also to conserve the environment. The proper management can ensure equitable distribution and conservation of natural resources so that all the people at present and future generations can get benefits from them.

4.12. Moderation in Interactions  

Interactions are of various types such as mutualism, commensalism, parasitism, predation, and competition. Mutualism (symbiosis) is a relationship between two species of organisms in which both benefit from the association or each individual benefits from the activity of the other. Commensalism is the relation between individuals of two species in which one species obtains food, shelter, support or locomotion from the other without significantly harming or benefiting the latter. It is a relationship between two organisms where one organism benefits from the other without affecting it.  Parasitism or predation is a kind of relationship in which one organism receives a benefit while the other is harmed. Under the natural system, all these interactions are important, but the best interaction is mutualism.

“Competition is, in general, a contest or rivalry between two or more entities, organisms, individuals, economic groups or social groups, etc., for a territory, a niche, for scarce resources, goods, for mates, for prestige, recognition, for awards, for group or social status, or for leadership and profit. Competition arises whenever at least two parties strive for a goal which cannot be shared, where one’s gain is the other’s loss’  (106).

Competition is the act or process of competing. It occurs naturally between living organisms which coexist or work together in the same environment. Competition can be good or bad; useful, useless or harmful. Competitiveness provides motivation to achieve the goal; to demonstrate determination, creativity, and perseverance to overcome challenges; opens new vistas for progress; inspires more imaginative thinking and to develop additional skills. There should be competitiveness, not hyper competitiveness.

In the biosphere of the earth no organism exists in absolute isolation, and thus every organism must interact with the environment and other organisms. Development of food chains and food webs in different ecosystems and in the biosphere depend on the interaction of organisms with one another and their interaction with their physical or abiotic environment. 

Biological interaction can involve individuals of the same species (intraspecific interaction) or individuals of different species (inter-specific interaction). These interactions play an important role in the survival of the organisms and the function of the ecosystem. Food chains and food webs in ecosystems describe the eating relationships between the species and represent the flow of energy through an ecosystem at different trophic levels.  Producers (plants) get energy from the sun and convert the energy into a form that can be consumed by the herbivores and some species of omnivorous animals including human beings. Eventually all organisms are broken back down into nutrients by decomposers. Plants use these nutrients to convert solar energy into a usable form and the food chain continues. 

In the natural world, no organism violates the limits set by Allah (swt) and performs its functions and duties properly except human beings. Therefore, the natural system is beautiful, stable, but dynamic and self-sustained. In which everything and every being is getting its sustenance and is happy with its Creator. 

In the case of human beings the position is different in many ways.  In this connection, Islam has established equilibrium and a just order in the field of human relations. It clearly demarcated every right and every duty and put down every act of falling back from the prescribed mark, or exceeding it as a crime. 

Humans are social beings, therefore, a social set up is a basic requirement for them. In the history of mankind, people have been living together in communities from the very beginning. In this regard, the Guidance of Allah (swt) should always be kept in mind in addition to use of intellect and the experience gained in this regard. Every person in this world depends on others to fulfil his needs and requirements. Every single person has an important role to play in society. The Almighty has blessed people with varying abilities, intelligence and inclinations as well as with varying means and resources. It is because of this variation that a society comes into being. There are different professions such as farmers who grow crops, gardens and vegetables; service providers who provide machinery, equipments and inputs; scientists who give new varieties and production technologies; irrigation department provides water for raising crops to the farmers; the scientists provide advisory services and develop new varieties and production technologies; policy makers give sound policies for the development of agriculture, industry etc; engineers make new machines and equipments; medical doctors treat diseases of humans and animals etc; the labour also plays very important role in almost every department and sphere of life. 

At the time of birth one needs intensive and extensive care and love and affection from one’s parents and other close relatives, especially the mother. At first one is too weak; then gets some strength and starts dragging one’s body,  initiates crawling on one’s knees before one is able to stand on feet. Even at this stage one is dependent on his or her parents. Then one starts education and is dependent on one’s parents for financial resources, food, dress and other needs; for education depends on one’s teachers and fellow students. After the completion of education, he gets the job and he has to interact with his officers, colleagues, juniors, etc. for discharging his duties; a farmer has to interact with a number of departments and persons for getting good crop yields and for the marketing of his produce. Likewise, every person belonging to any profession has to depend on other people. After marriage, the interaction with other people further increases. At old age, one becomes  dependent on one’s children, and this is a different type of experience.   

Human personality consists of body, soul or spirit (Ruh) and lower soul. The attribute of soul is intelligence, of lower soul passion, and that of body, sensation. Man is potentially capable of rising higher than the angels, but it requires strong faith and hard work. He also has the tendency of sinking lower than the animals. Wickedness and sins are mainly due to violations of original nature. Allah’s breathing His Soul (Ruh) into man is of immense metaphysical significance and gives the inherent capacity of development and perfection. As the human body is susceptible to a number of physical, nutritional and biological diseases, his soul (spiritual heart) is also prone to a large number of spiritual diseases, which may lead the sick person to extremism, aggression and oppression, etc. 

In Islam, one is considered an ideal personality, who has strong and sincere faith, safeguards articles of Islam, and does pious deeds; the one who maintains balance in spiritual and temporal life; fulfils duties towards Allah, oneself, his fellow human beings, and other creatures in the world. The one, who is moderate in every action of life and performs one’s duties honestly and to the best of one’s capabilities; who utilises one’s intellect optimally and gets guidance at every step from the Qur’an and the traditions (Sunnah) of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); respects seniors, and elders, and loves the juniors and youngers. He acquires the capabilities to lead others and help establish peace, brotherhood and unity in Muslim Community instead of conflicts and disputes; tries his level best to spread the light of knowledge and eliminate ignorance and superstition. He walks on the earth humbly; enjoins what is good and forbids what is wrong and evil; refrains from vain things, gross sins and indecencies; always remains true to his trusts and promises, and ponders over the Signs of Allah (swt); guards one’s private parts scrupulously; conducts important affairs by mutual consultation. He is not wrathful and crazy, but tolerant and satisfied; not revengeful but forbearing and forgiving. He is neither selfish nor arrogant and self-conceited. When he is victor, forgives the errors of the vanquished and when possesses power over others, avoids taking revenge. Whenever one commits any mistake, he repents truly and seeks Allah’s forgiveness; observes patience during hardships and calamities. He always tries to avoid or keep away from backbiting, slander, spying etc. He is neither miser nor extravagant, but moderate in every aspect of life. He enters in the fold of Islam sincerely, and rises from an ordinary Muslim to Mumin, moves forward with full strength and attains the position of Muhsin. He continues his efforts vigorously and attains the status where Allah becomes happy with him and he becomes happy with Allah (swt) under all situations and circumstances.

There is a need to establish and maintain moderation in the Muslim Nation at every level; counter the extremist approach, which motivates the youth to pursue the extremists’ defined version of Islamic belief. There is a need to change this mindset with a moderate way of thinking in Islam, contrary to the path that the extremists have adopted. 

Islam should be the state religion and Islamic law (Sharia) should be the main source of legislation. It is the obligation of the Islamic government to promote moderation through the formation of a special committees on strengthening moderation through launching campaigns in educational institutions, especially in religious institutions and training sessions for religious leaders. It is imperative to organise international conferences and seminars on moderation in Islam. There is also a need to monitor Friday Sermons and speeches delivered by religious leaders on different occasions, especially on Fridays. The publication of any material that attacks religious groups incites persons to commit crimes, create hatred, or spread dissension among the public should not be allowed in any case. There is a need for full implementation of Islamic law in all spheres of life. The religious scholars should come forward to make recommendations to the government on ways in which current laws can be brought in conformity with Islamic law.

 The relationships are of varied nature and types: by lineage, fosterage, marriage, and relationships based on religion. Islam has described in detail all these relationships and very clearly described the duties and responsibilities toward others: duties of husband towards wife and duties of wife towards husband; duties towards children, relatives, juniors, seniors, friends, and neighbour, sick people; duties towards poor, and needy; duties towards fellow believers; and towards other creatures. If one performs duties towards others sincerely then one will fulfil all the requirements of rights of Allah and His Prophet, fellow believers, disbelievers and non-believers, and other animate and inanimate creatures. 

There is a dire need to maintain balance in discharging duties toward others. For example, one can go to any extent to discharge his duties towards his parents, but in any case one should not neglect the necessary duties towards one’s wife and children. Family is the foundation of the Community or nation. Any deviation from the duties towards wife and children will have worse effects on the children and with this approach the personality of children cannot be developed on sound basis. As a result, the children will not develop moderate behaviour and they can go to extremes in their working and behaviour. The trait of moderation can be ingrained in the personality of children by the parents. The home is the place where one learns to be moderate, for extremism too is picked up from the home and family. The views and attitudes of the parents pass on to their children shape the latter’s personality. If parents are not tolerant of one another and are constantly arguing, the child will do the same. Therefore, it is vital that family life be stable and serene so that parents do not pass on extremist attitudes to their children.

It is therefore, mandatory for every person to follow the command and advice of one’s parents, but that should not be against Allah’s Commandments and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Any type of imbalance in discharging one’s duties towards others will be considered as extremism and deviation from the religion and one will be answerable on the Day of Judgment. 

Inherently, humans are social beings, and are required to follow certain rules and regulations to discharge their duties and responsibilities for the well-being of the whole society and state. Islam emphasises that when you meet a Muslim, give him salam; when he invites you, accept his invitation; when he falls ill, visit him and extend every sort of help; when he dies, join his funeral prayer; love for him, what you love for yourself.

Islam provides a very comprehensive and sound social system. Muslim society is like a body in respect of mutual love and sympathy. If a limb of the body suffers pain, the whole body responds to it accordingly. The Muslim community is like a building and the individual is its unit (brick). If bricks are separated from one another, the building collapses. Islam maintains balance between rights and responsibilities. Great stress has been laid by the Qur’an regarding obedience to parents (17:23-24). In Islam, next to the duty to Allah, comes the duty towards parents. Just as obedience towards parents has been strictly enjoined upon the children, the parents also have got duties towards their children. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) raised the status and position of daughters to a very high level. Parents are bound to give good education and training to their children to build their character and personality according to the principles of Islam, to get success in this world and in the Hereafter. Prior to Islam, the condition of women, both as daughters and wives, was very bad. Islam created a thorough revolution in the status and position of women. Through this status, women can discharge their duties more efficiently in the formation of character and personality of their children and as a result the uplift of the whole nation will occur. 

For the development of human resources on sound basis and their proper utilisation Islam gives guidance. Human resources can be developed on sound basis by firm Faith in Allah and other articles of Faith; by doing righteous deeds; acquisition of knowledge by establishing an ideal education system in the light of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); establishing Islamic welfare state; independent judiciary, creating a group of people for enjoining good and forbidding people. Through these approaches the personalities on sound basis will be developed and the nation consisting of such personalities will be a moderate nation. 

4.13. Moderation in Tolerance 

“Tolerance is not just agreeing with one another or remaining indifferent in the face of injustice, but rather showing respect for the essential humanity in every person” (107).

Tolerance means getting along with people who are different from us. It requires patience, understanding and acceptance of anything different, such as holding different religious or political beliefs, differences in ethnicity, languages, etc.

Tolerance is the capacity or ability to accept or endure pain or hardship; an act of allowing something; a fair, objective and permissive attitude towards those whose opinions, beliefs, nationality, habits, practices are different from one’s own. It is the ability to live and let others live. Being tolerant of people requires acceptance. When one accepts differences one is not worried or anxious about affecting them.

Tolerance is to acknowledge the right of another to hold to his own views and to follow his own way. Even when his way is clearly the wrong way, you cannot deny him the right to pursue it. But if tolerance is given the latitude to water down your own beliefs and affect your decisions, then, it ceases to be tolerance. Compromise is a necessity of life, but there should be a limit to it. A line will have to be drawn somewhere, and once it is drawn, one’s belief begins to live on its own. You will certainly respect the beliefs of others, but you will insist on your right not to let your own belief weaken on that account. It is not permissible to invade the beliefs and ways of life of others. The Holy Qur’an refused to enter into any compromises in the field of beliefs.

Tolerance is respect, acceptance, and appreciation of the rich diversity of religious beliefs, cultures, customs, and different forms of expressions. It is harmony in difference; the virtue that makes peace possible, contributes to the replacement of the culture of the war by a culture of peace. It is a positive attitude prompted by recognition of the universal human rights and fundamental freedom of others.

Tolerance is essential for internal harmony that individuals, communities and nations accept and respect the multicultural character of the human family. It is a vital trait for peaceful coexistence and to build cordial relationships with people.

Tolerance is a good thing, but strength of belief and opinion, and integrity of thought are also important factors of life which cannot be discarded. A line of demarcation for the expression of each quality in us needs to be drawn. Once these lines are disturbed or weakened, the edifice of morality begins to totter. Forgiveness, for instance, is a good and beautiful quality. But this very forgiveness, once it over-steps its legitimate boundary, ceases to be forgiveness; it becomes timidity or cowardice. Courage is the highest human quality, but this very quality once it develops in excess, no longer remains courage; it becomes terror and oppression.

Intolerance is the failure to appreciate and respect the practices, opinions and beliefs of another person or group. It will drive groups apart creating a sense of permanent separation between them and the problem of inter-group resentment and hostility perpetuates. Tolerating intolerance is next to impossible.

Tolerance is a key to easing hostile tensions between groups and individuals. Certain useful tools such as inter-group contact, dialogue, problem solving workshops, restorative justice programs can be used to promote tolerance in the society. The media should use positive images to promote understanding and cultural sensitivity. Proper education and training in this connection is of paramount importance. The Declaration of Moral Principles on Tolerance of the United Nations if properly implemented can drastically minimise the problem of intolerance. 

Tolerance is a central theme in all divine revelations. The Qur’an declares that there is no compulsion in religion. It means no one should be forced to accept Islam. Its mandate is about one’s willing acceptance of its injunctions. Only that belief will bear fruit, which is accepted by one’s volition and not because of any pressure.

One must be very careful in connection with religious tolerance. The Surah 109 of the Holy Qur’an tells Prophet Muhammad and his followers to be sure, determined and steadfast in their faith against the non-Muslims. 

Say, “O disbelievers, I do not worship what you worship. Nor are you worshippers of what I worship. Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship. Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship. For you is your religion, and for me is mine religion” (108).

The Surah 109 of the Holy Qur’an was revealed at a time when Islamic movement was proceeding ahead and Makkan pagan pagans were using one strategy after another in order to reach some sort of compromise with him. For example, a delegation of the Quraish proposed to the Holy Prophet: “We shall give you so much of wealth that you will become the richest man of Makkah; we shall give you whichever woman you like in marriage; we are prepared to follow and obey you as our leader, only on the condition that you will not speak ill of our gods. If you do not agree to this, we present another proposal which is to your as well as to our advantage………. If you will worship our gods, Lat and Uzza, for a year, we will worship your God for the same period of time.” The Holy Prophet said, “Wait a while; let me see what my Lord commands in this regard.” Thereupon the revelation came down. 

This does not mean that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) regarded this proposal as worthy of consideration in any degree, and Allah forbid, he had given this reply to the believers in the hope that Allah might approve of it. But this, in fact, was similar to the response that is made by a subordinate officer before whom an unreasonable demand is placed and he, knowing full well that it would not be acceptable to his government, does not reject it straight away but says to those making the demand that he would send their request to the higher authorities and would inform them of the reply when it was received from above accordingly. In this regard the noteworthy point is that if the subordinate officer himself turns down the demand, the people continue to press it, but if he tells them that the higher authorities have turned it down, they become reconciled on its rejection (109).

In this regard there are many statements from different sources. On the basis of available information it can be concluded that the pagans had proposed such things or others on a number of occasions on the principle of ‘give and take.’ The surah 109 made it clear that belief and disbelief had nothing in common and there was no possibility of their being combined and mixed into one entity. Allah gave the Muslims the eternal teaching that they should exonerate themselves by word and deed from the creed of disbelief wherever and in whatever form it be, and should declare without any reservation that they cannot make compromise with the disbelievers in the matter of Faith. 

 In principle, the declaration of the Surah 109 is not restricted to Quraish pagans, but all include those people who do not acknowledge Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as Allah’s Messenger and the teachings and guidance brought by him. They may include  Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians or the disbelievers, polytheists, and the pagans of the entire world. 

The Surah is a declaration that there can be no reconciliation between faith in Allah and other so-called, invented deities. There is no room for compromise in the matter of Divine Law or the basic tenets of Islam. There is no compulsion in religion, meaning one should not compel others to accept one’s religion. In fact, peace treaties with non-Muslims under certain circumstances are permissible. 

Muhammad’s quality of mercy comprehends all the worlds: the world of matter, the world of plants, the world of animals, the world of jinn and angels and the world of human beings.

“The Prophet Muhammad in his deals was just. He treated friends and strangers, the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak, with equity, and was loved by the common people for the affability with which he received them, and listened to their complaints” (110).

“Muhammad was true and that the Book which he gave to his followers was true and revealed” (111).

“Muhammad’s vision was of a world brotherhood uniting all men of good-will in one God and one humanity” (112).

“Whatever be the race, colour, rank or antecedents of the worshipper, he is received into the brotherhood of believers and takes his place as an equal among equals. Islam is a great political power, whose effect the world will feel more and more in proportion as the ends of earth are brought closer and closer together. Islam is the only solution for all the ills of the world”  (113).

He demolished the barriers: “Of all world religions, Islam seems to have attained the largest measure of success in demolishing the barriers of race, colour, and nationality” (114).

“Muhammad Banished from the Arab within ten years their hard heartedness, spirit of revenge, anarchy, female degradation, rivalry, lawlessness, usury, drunkenness, infanticide, murderous quarrel and human sacrifice as well as all stupid superstitious and fetishes. He brought down upon this earth the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ (115).

“Islam gave hope to the slave, brotherhood to mankind, and recognition to the fundamental facts of human nature. The virtues which Islam inculcates are what the lower races can be brought to understand temperance, cleanliness, chastity, justice, fortitude, courage, benevolence, hospitality, veracity, and resignation” (116).

“Islam as a system of education starts with a firm faith in One God and man as His vicegerent. It aims at developing an integrated personality in a harmonious and balanced way. It is concerned with the development of body and mind and soul while giving full freedom to an individual. Islam makes him conscious of his great duty and obligation he owes to the society and the state and to humanity at large” (117).

“History makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point  of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated” (118).


Life of excess and life of deprivation – neither of them is the right way to live your life. Life is all about creating harmony, balancing between the two extremes – a life of excess and life of deficiency, and neither of the two is good for you, your body and your mind. Moderation is always connected to creating balance in your life. Being moderate is studying enough, playing enough, working enough, and resting enough. Moderation is needed when it comes to health, food intake, spending and saving money, dealing with others, etc. People who talk too much can be disruptive, while people who talk very little tend to be ignored. Every permissible food can be considered healthy if it is eaten in moderation. Too much food makes one overweight and unhealthy. Too little food will leave you malnourished or overly thin. Too little or too much sleep could be harmful to your health. 

Adopting moderation is not an easy job. It requires a great deal of self-knowledge, especially self-control and knowledge of one’s environment. Self-control does not mean simply to express the passion, but to subjugate or harness them all the time and under all circumstances. Self-control is the capacity to override one’s response with another. Islam is mostly based around self-control. One of the reasons believers pray five times a day is to gain discipline; fast in the month of Ramadan in order to learn self restraint (2:183); partake in Hajj, partly to practise fortitude; lower gaze (34:31) to resist temptation; earning and spending moderately (17:26); keep tongue and other body organs and senses under control; constantly exert control over thoughts and feelings; control anger, jealousy and feelings of pride or arrogance; check actions against bad intentions. Islam emphasises restraint, discipline and patience. Qur’an prohibits following one’s lusts (28:50).

Be honest, reliable, loyal, self-disciplined, open-minded, accountable for your choices; tolerant of differences; considerate of the feelings of others; have the courage to do the right thing; treat others with respect, use good manners; listen to others patiently and do not interrupt while one is speaking; and help the needy people. 

It has been proved experimentally by Walter Mischel of Stanford university that those children who were able to practise self-control were more successful in their lives. People should not cross the limits set by Allah Almighty and conveyed by Prophets, especially by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). 

To live is to act right in every context. This means live stably, moderately, and passionately. Bottom line, one must know how to act in every given situation. Not instinct, but thinking rules action. Every situation in life must be lived anew. Confidence increases as one gets to know oneself. Experience teaches one to get a feel for one’s capabilities in general and makes one aware of the effect of what one does on others. One must listen and learn from one’s experience, from the failures as well as successes, from the tragedies as well as the comedies. 

Evil character is replaced by good character, and laziness is replaced with energy and vigour; avarice and miserliness are replaced by generosity and open-handedness. Anger, rancour, rashness and violence are transformed into forbearance, sound heartedness, tranquillity, and gravity. Fear, anxiety and dismay are changed into courage, certainty and independence from everything but Allah. Doubt and confusion are transformed into certainty and calm. Excessive management and choice are changed to contentment, submission and serenity under the blows of faith. Pride and love of elevation, rank and leadership are replaced by humility, peace of mind, love of obscurity. Love of world greed and improbity are replaced by doing without, contentment and scrupulousness.

Moderation requires hard work and will power and is a constant process of self growth. Everything which surpasses the threshold of morality needs to be avoided. In other words moderation should be seen in all of our acts. One must not become too much indulged in the materialistic world, but should lay more emphasis on the next world than this world. 

Moderation, promotion and shaping of attitudes of openness, mutual listening and solidarity should take place at an early stage in the family, in schools and universities, and through non-formal education in mosques and in the working places. In this connection the media can play a constructive role in facilitating free and open dialogue and discussion, disseminating the values of moderation and highlighting the dangers of extremism in different walks of life. 

The role of an individual in society is to preserve one’s own ideas and morals, and to co-exist with those in one’s surroundings. One of the goals of the society is to provide individuals with a conducive environment to exploit their potential. In pluralistic societies, the individuals should be considered equal citizens who belong to different cultural and religious backgrounds. Under such societies no one has the right to impose one’s beliefs on another. At present we are facing serious problems in this connection. The solution to all the prevailing problems is available in the approach which the Holy Prophet adopted at Madinah. 

The Muslims in Madinah consisted virtually of two parties: Al-Ansars (the Helpers) and Al-Muhajirun (the Emigrants). The seeds of conflict among the helpers were deeply seated (between Al-Khazraj and Al-Aws tribes) and chronic enmity continually evoked. The emigrants were homeless, jobless and penniless in Madinah. When Muslims had migrated to Madinah, their land, wealth and properties were seized, wives detained, and poor people were tortured. The pagan of Makkah spared no effort in enticing the Arabs against Madinah. 

The polytheists of Madinah developed evil intentions against the Messenger of Allah and his followers. Abdullah bin Ubai had almost been given the presidency over the aforementioned two tribes. Due to migration of the Prophet and his followers the situation altogether changed and Abdullah bin Ubai lost this opportunity and started hatching conspiracies against the Messenger of Allah and his mission. Jews had great influence in the area. They were experts in witchcraft and the secret arts. They had a monopoly in trade, and used to lend money to the people at heavy interest rates. They used to sow seeds of enmity between adjacent tribes and persuade each one to devise plots against the other. They had the most enmity and hatred with the Messenger of Allah and his mission. 

After establishing a code of brotherhood among the Helpers and the Emigrants, he established a Charter of Islamic Alliance. Based on this charter, believers shall not leave anyone poor among them by not paying his redemption money or blood money in kind. Whoever of the Jews follows us, shall have aid and help; they shall not be injured, nor any enemy be aided against them. Whenever you differ about a matter, it must be referred to Allah and to His Messenger. 

He started to establish regular and clearly defined relations with non-Muslims to provide peace, security, and prosperity in the society. He concluded a treaty with Jews. The salient points of the treaty were as Follows: The Jews are one community with the believers. The Jews will profess their religion and the Muslims theirs. If attacked by a third party, each shall come to the help of the other. If any individual of one party flouts this pact , the other party shall help the first party to overcome the transgressor and support the oppressed. Jews and Muslims, collectively and individually, shall observe peace and render good counsel to each other, and shall not countenance any rift in this relationship. Neither shall commit sins to the prejudice of the other. In the event of an attack on Madinah, every individual and party committed to this pact shall render support to one another against the invader and contribute his share to the war expenses. Madinah shall remain sacred and inviolable for all that join this treaty. 

The income of the government was from zakat, sadaqat, contribution by the people at the time of need. Zakat was collected by the designated persons only and it was submitted in the treasury. Some examples for the contribution by the people are very interesting and convincing. For example, at the time of battle of Tabuk on the request of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Hazrat Umar contributed half of his overall property and belongings, while Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique contributed all his property, belongings and household and whatsoever he had at that time. Similarly other Muslims such Hazrat Usman contributed very generously. Such was the Muslim nation and Muslim community in the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

He laid too much emphasis on the acquisition of knowledge. The Mosque of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was like a Residential University. In addition, there were many other centres of learning. For the lookafter and for the monitoring of the progress certain inspectors were appointed. A very novel and effective system of education was practiced in those days: cooperative system of education. 

In matters that were not explicitly mentioned by Divine Injunctions the Holy Prophet always consulted his companions. There were many instances when he preferred their opinions. For example, in the battle of Badr, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) selected the site of the camp. A companion suggested another site for the camp, and his suggestion was accepted. In the battle of Ahzab when the situation took a very serious turn, Muhammad (pbuh) wanted that some tribes whose strong forces had gathered there be offered a portion of the agricultural produce of Madinah and thereby isolated from the enemy’s block. Thereupon the leaders of the Ansar tribes were of the view that the enemies had not been able to wrench from them a particle even before they became Muslims. How could they do it now? Their point of view was accepted by the Holy Prophet. While in matters ordained by Allah Almighty there was no room for personal opinion, matters free from such injunctions were decided in a democratic manner. 

In different countries, generally, there is disparity between the urban and rural people. People in Urban areas enjoy more facilities than people in rural areas.  Towards the end of the Prophet’s reign, the city of Madinah had expanded. He imposed a ban on further construction of houses around the city. He decreed that surplus population should spread over lands beyond the city so that on the one hand an agricultural revolution can take place and on the other the housing problem of the surplus people may be solved. His ruling about the Muslims, living in the settlements of Madina and its suburbs, that (in spite of living in villages and pursuing the occupation of agriculture) they do not fall in the category of rural people because they enlist promptly at the call of war and hence were entitled to an equal share in the spoils reveals his policy on this matter.  Illegal encroachments which were common in Madina before the time of the Prophet were strictly forbidden by him. Another important point relating to town planning was about the width of the streets. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) instructed that the streets within the city should be wide, where two loaded camels can cross each other easily.

Keeping in view the guidelines provided by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) under existing conditions the moderate nation can be developed through a comprehensive approach. 

Interaction of state and public should be on sound basis. The basic principle and the very first thing which the Holy Prophet (pbuh) stressed was that the ultimate sovereignty vests in Allah Almighty and kingdom belongs to Him alone and He alone is the Law Giver. No person, no class or group, not even the entire population of a country as a whole, can lay claim to sovereignty. 

Islam uses the term vicegerency (khilafat) instead of sovereignty. Sovereignty belongs to Allah alone, anyone who holds power and rules in accordance with the laws of Allah (swt) would undoubtedly be the vicegerent of the Supreme Ruler and will not be authorised to exercise any powers other than those delegated to him. A ruler is a vicegerent of Allah Almighty and is authorised to exercise powers only according to the Law of Allah (swt). Ruler is not entitled to make any alteration or manipulation or innovation in the basic principles of Islam. 

Hz. Abu Bakar after assuming authority as a representative of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “Obey me as long as I obey Allah and His Messenger (pbuh).” Likewise, Hz. Omar said, “Put me right if you discover any crookedness in me.”

The leader (Amir) is selected on the principle enunciated in the Quranic verse which says, “The most respectable among you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most pious (49:13). This means that only such a person will be selected to this position, who enjoys the full confidence of the Muslim public on the basis of piety, good conduct and has a potential to lead the people. After the selection the ruler will be completely relied upon and fully obeyed so long as he follows the laws of Allah Almighty and His Prophet (pbuh). Every Muslim will be entitled to criticise not only his public activities but also his private life. He will have to work in consultation with an advisory council.

O Believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those entrusted with authority from among you. Then if there arises any dispute about anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you truly believe in Allah and the Last Day. This is the only right way and will be best in regard to the end (119).

Since the authority of Allah Almighty and His Prophet (pbuh) is eternal, therefore, in all affairs in which an eternal directive has been given by them, it is now incumbent upon those in authority to submit to them for ever. The orders and directives of these rulers can only be carried out subsequent to obeying Allah (swt) and His Prophet (pbuh), and only if they do not overrule or exceed the limits adjudicated by Allah and His Prophet (pbuh). In case of any difference among the believers, the decision must be made in accordance with the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

It is evident from verse 4:59 Muslim as an individual and as a community owe their first loyalty and allegiance to Allah, and then the allegiance and obedience to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). In reality, this is the practical shape of obedience to Allah. We can obey Allah only by obeying His Messenger. After the first and the second allegiance, the Muslim owes allegiance to those invested with authority. It includes all those persons who have some sort of authority in one way or the other such as religious leaders, political leaders, administrators, judges, and heads of other institutions etc. should be obeyed, provided those are obedient to Allah and His Messenger. These two conditions are prerequisite for obedience to them. It is obligatory on a Muslim to listen and obey orders of those invested with authority, whether one likes it or dislikes it. However, if he is ordered to do a sinful act, he should neither listen to the rulers nor obey their orders. Obedience is obligatory only in the right things.

Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said“Whoso obeys me, obeys God; and whoso disobeys me disobey God; and whoso obeys a ruler, obeys me; and whoso disobeys a ruler, disobeys me. Verily an Imam is a shield who fights in his absence and protects him. If he enjoins to fear God and does justice, there is reward for him for that; and if he enjoins otherwise, there is against him there-from (120).

Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “The best Jihad is to say a true word to a tyrannical ruler (121).

The responsibility of the state is to consign the trusts of the nation on the basis of merit to people and to strive to establish justice in its ultimate form in every walk of life (122).

The foremost responsibility of those who are blessed with political authority by the Almighty is that they should decide all disputes that arise among their people with justice and fairness. Justice means that there should be no discrimination in the eyes of the law between the various classes of society like the rich and the poor or the upper and lower class. Justice should not be a commodity that can be bought or sold. Partiality and bias should not creep into it nor should indifference and apathy arise in dispensing it. No power of influence, greed or fear of any kind should affect justice in any manner (123).

The Prophet said, “Do not seek a post. If it is granted to you because of your desire you shall (find yourself) being handed over to it, and if it is granted to you without your desire, you shall be helped (124).

Other responsibilities of the state include establishing the system of prayer including five obligatory prayers and Friday prayer, Eid prayers by the leaders at different hierarchy levels; establish the system of zakat; enjoining good and forbidding evil by a group of people appointed by the government for this job as well as by the individuals.

The state has the responsibility to strive for the welfare and prosperity of its people and to maintain peace and defend its frontiers. The mutual relationship between the rulers and the ruled should be that of brotherhood.

Islam is the very antithesis of secular Western democracy. The philosophical foundation of Western democracy is the sovereignty of the people. Islam altogether repudiates the philosophy of popular sovereignty and rears its polity on the foundation of the sovereignty of Allah and vicegerency of man. The state is run according to the Book of Allah and the practice of His Prophet (pbuh). 

All administrative matters and all questions about which no explicit injunction is to be found in the Shari’ah are settled by the consensus of opinion among the eminent religious scholars, jurists, etc. However, where an explicit command of Allah or His Prophet (pbuh) already exists, no Muslim leader or legislator, or any religious scholar cannot form an independent judgement, not even all the Muslims of the world put together, have any right to make the least alteration in it. 

In fact Allah has retained the right of legislation in His own hand not in order to deprive man of his natural freedom but to safeguard that very freedom. Man is not competent enough to become an absolute legislator. That is why Allah has laid down limits which, in Islamic phraseology, are termed divine limits (Hadud-Allah). These limits consist of certain principles, checks and balances and specific injunctions in different spheres of life and activity, and they have been prescribed in order that man may be trained to lead a balanced and moderate life.  Through these injunctions Allah has provided a permanent and immutable code of behaviour for man, and that it does not deprive him of any essential liberty nor does it dull the edge of his mental faculties. On the contrary, it sets a straight and clear path before him, so that he may not, owing to his ignorance and weaknesses which he inherently possesses, lose himself in the maze of destruction and instead of wasting his faculties in the pursuit of wrong ends, he may follow the road that leads to success and progress in this world and in the hereafter. These limits determine what direction man should take in life’s journey and they guide him at every turn and pass and point out to him the path of safety which he should steadfastly follow.

The objective of the state in Islamic perspective is not merely to prevent people from exploiting each other, but to safeguard their liberty and to protect its subjects from foreign invasion. It also aims at evolving and developing that well-balanced system of social justice which has been set forth by Allah in His Holy Book. 

The Islamic state is universal and all-embracing. It seeks to mould every aspect of life and activity in consonance with its moral norms and programme of social reform. In this state individual liberty is not suppressed, nor in it there is any trace of dictatorship in it. It presents the middle course and embodies the best that human society has ever evolved. The excellent balance and moderation that characterise the Islamic system of government and the precise distinction made  between right and wrong elicit from all men of honesty and intelligence the admiration and the admission that such a balance could not have been framed by anyone but the Omniscient and All-Wise Creator of the universe. .

Islamic state also provides specific rights and privileges to non-Muslim citizens (zimmis). Their property and honour will be fully protected, and will be provided other opportunities based on their qualifications and capabilities. Islam does not impose its social principles on others by force, nor does it confiscate their properties, and allows them the freedom to live according to their own culture. 

Zakat collections are only for the needy and the indigent, and for those who are employed to collect them, and for those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the necks and heavily indebted and in the path of God and for the wayfarer. This is an obligatory duty from God: and God is All-Knowing, All-Wise (125).

Fukara (needy) are all those people who depend on others for the necessities of life, and masakin (indigent) people who are in greater distress than the needy people, but are so self-respecting that they would not beg for anything nor would others judge them from their outward appearance that they were deserving people. According to a Tradition, “Miskin is one who cannot make both ends meet, though his appearance does not show that he needs help nor does he beg for help.” In short, he is a self-respecting man who has become needy. Those people who collect Zakat dues, supervise the collections and keep accounts, and help in their distribution, irrespective of the fact whether or not they are needy or indigent; their remuneration shall be paid out of the Zakat Funds. The Way of Allah is a general term which implies all those good works which please Allah. 

It is the duty of the government to make necessary arrangements to provide basic necessities to each citizen of the Islamic state. Zakat can be spent on the poor and the needy, the salaries of all employees of the state; all political expenditures in the interest of Islam and Muslims; for liberation from slavery of all kinds; for helping people who are suffering economic losses and are burdened with a fine or loan; for serving Islam and for the welfare of the citizens; for helping travellers and for the constructions of roads, bridges, and rest houses for the travellers.

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) was a judge by virtue of his Divine appointment. Hence he possessed complete judicial powers. The guiding principle concerning the judicial system was that justice should not only be done but it should be done publicly. All the cases were heard in open court. No decision was made without hearing the parties concerned and no one was deprived of any of his rights without an opportunity of defence.

Independent and impartial judiciary is a prerequisite to provide cheap and quick justice to the masses. Justice ensures development and growth in the society in the right direction but injustice is a major handicap in this regard and gives rise to numerous evils in the society. Justice creates peace, but injustice gives rise to conflicts, quarrels, and restlessness in the country.

In Islam, the judiciary is quite independent of the executive. A judge (Qazi) is not a representative of a ruler (Ameer) but that of Allah Almighty. All stand equal in the eye of an Islamic law of justice. There were numerous instances in which even the rulers were subjected to law just like an ordinary person and appeared before the judge for trial. A judge must make decisions of disputes and cases quickly. As a matter of fact, to delay in providing justice may be considered as injustice. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) established a very high standard of justice and his Companions maintained that standard. In various instances decisions were made in favour of non-Muslims and against the Muslims.

O Believers, be you the standard-bearers of justice and witness for the sake of Allah, even though your justice and your evidence might be harmful to yourselves, or to your parents, or to your relatives. It does not matter whether the party concerned is rich or poor: God is their greater well-wisher than you; therefore, do not follow your own desire lest you should deviate from doing justice. If you distort your evidence or refrain from the truth, know it well that God is fully aware of what you do (126).

Salient features of the judicial system include: (i) As for as possible, people should be saved from punishment; (ii) to err in acquitting a culprit was better than punishing an innocent man; (iii) people were encouraged to settle their disputes by themselves; (iv) once a matter reached a court of law, it could neither be overlooked nor forbidden. Thereafter only the court could decide the matter in accordance with the law; (v) any attempt at influencing judgement of a court was strictly forbidden. The judges had full freedom to decide the matters in conformity with the Qur’an and Sunnah, at his own discretion without any fear or favour.

Begging is a socio-economic problem in different countries of the world.   Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) formulated and implemented a sound strategy to transform beggars into productive and respectable citizens. He emphasised to work hard and used to discourage begging. A healthy and stout person was not allowed to beg. It is the duty of the government to uproot or at least minimise begging by making suitable arrangements to provide basic necessities to poor, weak, disabled, and old people by establishing welfare centres, where boarding and lodging facilities should be available along with some sort of cottage or other small industries or any other facilities to work. The duties should be assigned to every person there according to their capabilities. All the beggars should be kept in these centres. If properly managed, these centres can be self-sustained. Only the initial cost of establishment of these centres is required. Financial resources for this purpose can be obtained from Zakat funds.

Abdullah-bin-Omar reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Behold! Each one of you is a king, and each one of you will be asked about his subjects. A leader is a king over the people and he will be asked about his subjects; a man is a king over the members of his household and he will be asked about his subjects; a woman is a queen over the members of the household of her husband and his children, and she will be asked about them; a servant of a man is a king over the property of his master, and he will be asked about it. Behold! Each one of you is a king, and each one of you will be asked about his subjects (127)

The straight is the one that traverses the middle ground, neither swerving right nor left. If people go to an extreme, the duty of a leader is to make them straight. If the leader goes to an extreme, it is the duty of people to make the leader straight. A system of checks and balances between various segments of society and government can help prevent extremism and oppression that arises from it. 

O Believers, do not make unlawful those pure things which Allah has made lawful for you, and do not go beyond the limit; indeed Allah does not like the transgressors. Eat easefully of the lawful and pure things which Allah has provided you, and refrain from disobeying Allah in whom you have believed (128). (5:87-88).

O children of Adam….eat and drink, but do not transgress, for Allah does not like the transgressors (129).

Allah does not like those people who transgress the limits imposed by Him by making the lawful as unlawful or unlawful lawful. One should not deprive oneself of the lawful and pure things provided by Allah, but should use them moderately.

Important components of the strategy include firm Faith in Allah and other articles of Islam; doing righteous deeds; fulfilling duties towards Allah, His most beloved Prophet Muhammad, fellow believers, other human beings, and towards inanimate and animate creatures; establishing justice including social justice; ensuring good governance at different levels from family to country or state

; establishing ideal education system in the light of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); creating a viable group of people for enjoying good and forbidding evil; development of personalities on sound basis; acquisition of advance knowledge in religion and all branches of science;  and providing opportunities to everyone for exploiting one’s potential.


“I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article on moderation, Dr. Salim. Your in-depth analysis not only highlights the importance of balance in Islam but also provides practical guidance for incorporating moderation into our daily lives. Keep up the excellent work!”

A Ahmed

Dr. Salim, your article on moderation offers a balanced and thorough analysis of this important concept in Islam. I appreciate how you delve into the meaning of moderation and its practical implications, providing readers with valuable insights into living a balanced life according to Islamic teachings. Your clear explanations and references to Quranic verses and hadiths help clarify the significance of moderation in various aspects of life. Thank you for your thoughtful exploration of this topic.

Dr Ar Khan

As-salamu alaykum Dr. Salim, your insightful analysis on moderation in Islam underscores its paramount importance in our faith. Could you elaborate on how extremism poses a threat to the fabric of Islamic principles, and how moderation serves as a safeguard against such deviations?


The Quranic verses and Hadiths you reference provide a solid foundation for your analysis of moderation in Islam. How do you suggest individuals engage with these sources to deepen their understanding of moderation and its significance in their lives?

Muhammad Nawaz

Dr. Salim, your insights on the relationship between moderation and spirituality offer a refreshing perspective. How can individuals strike a balance between their spiritual aspirations and worldly obligations, while maintaining a moderate approach in all facets of life?


You highlight Hindus’ claims about the moderate nature of their faith, which they view as neither escapist nor pessimistic. How do you think this understanding of moderation in Hinduism intersects with Islamic teachings on balance and harmony?

Karan k

Dr. Salim, you highlight the claim that Hinduism’s moderate forms are infused with the concept of the middle way. How might this principle contribute to fostering mutual respect and coexistence between Hindus and Muslims in pluralistic societies?


Extremism, unfortunately, continues to be a concern in many parts of the world. How can educational institutions and religious leaders collaborate to counter extremist ideologies and promote the values of moderation, tolerance, and inclusivity?


Dr Sb, Could you share any historical examples of interactions between Hindu and Islamic communities that demonstrate the principles of moderation and mutual respect? How can these examples inform contemporary efforts towards interfaith dialogue and cooperation?


Dr. Salim, in your analysis, you discuss Hinduism’s claim that its moderate forms are neither escapist nor pessimistic. How might this perspective influence the way Hindus approach challenges and adversity, and what insights can Muslims glean from this approach to maintaining resilience and optimism in the face of difficulties?


In your analysis, you discuss the dangers of extremism and the role of moderation in countering such ideologies. How can Muslims identify and address extremist tendencies within their own communities, and what steps can be taken to promote a culture of moderation and tolerance?

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