Importance of moderation
Moderation refers to being economical and sensible in the way we do things. Islam is a religion of balance and encourages moderation in all aspects of life. In fact, an attentive look at our faith reveals that each command, suggestion, and recommendation of Islam, from worship to lifestyle, resonates with the human disposition and is guided by moderation.
Allah Almighty has blessed living beings with everything they need to survive. However, we often find in nature that extremes can be detrimental to life. Take water as an example; despite being vital to life in moderate quantities, an extreme excess of water can take a life by causing floods, just as an extreme lack of it can cause death through dehydration.
Air is similarly essential to life, yet an excess of it can cause damage in the form of hurricanes and storms while a lack of it causes death by asphyxiation. The balance that we find in nature mirrors the balance and moderation that we need to adopt and just as extremes are harmful in nature, they are detrimental in our lives.
Moderation in worship
Balancing acts of worship entails not exhausting oneself so much that they impact on other duties while not reducing them to the point of negligence either. Sayyiduna Jabir Bin Samurah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ said: ‘I would offer Salah with the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم; his Salah was moderate and so was his sermon. (i.e. neither was it too lengthy nor too short),’ (Muslim, p. 334, Hadees 2003)
Moderation in spending
Being thoughtful and sensible about our finances is the key to moderation in spending. A person should spend according to their need, without being irresponsible, and by finding the middle way between extravagance and miserliness. Our Honourable Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: ‘The one who adopts moderation will never face poverty.’ (Musnad Ahmad, vol. 3, p. 157, Hadees 4269)
Even when spending in the way of Allah Almighty, Islam teaches us to be moderate whereby we do not give so much that we are then reduced to being in need of charity from others. Allah Almighty has mentioned the attribute of his servants as follows in Surah Al-Furqan:
And those who, when they spend, neither exceed the limits nor act miserly, and stay in moderation between the two.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 19, Surah Al-Furqan, Verse 69)
Moderation in speech
When conversing with people, we should not be overly boisterous and loud. Allah Almighty directed the Noble Companions رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُم to lower their voices when speaking to the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, otherwise all of their deeds would have been wiped away. Speaking loudly disturbs and irritates people who are sick, studying, sleeping, or engaged with other matters.
Moderation in walking
Islam also teaches us to be moderate in the way we walk; neither with an arrogant stride nor so slowly that we seem ill. The Quran disapproves of those who walk arrogantly. Our Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم would walk in a gracious, dignified manner at a moderate pace. Narrations state that he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم walked in such a way that the ground appeared to be folding for him. (Tafseer Ibn-e-Kaseer, vol. 6, p. 110, Part 19, Surah Al-Furqan, under the verse 63)
We must endeavour to infuse moderation and balance into all facets of our lives; from our approach to studying, playing, and leisure to our daily habits of dining, sleeping, and talking.
اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صَلَّی اللہ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلہٖ وَسَلَّم
(Mujahid Colony, Boray Wala (Punjab))