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Be Moderate and Steadfast

Be Moderate and Steadfast 1

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“Be moderate and steadfast; and keep in mind that none of you can achieve salvation through his (good) actions.”

They asked:

“Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?”

He said: “Not even me, unless Allah grants me His Mercy and Grace”.  (Muslim)

The noble Prophet in this hadith highlights the important facts in Islamic ideology. We attain Paradise if we do righteous deeds and that is with the mercy and the grace of Almighty Allah.

It is not difficult to harmonize between achieving Paradise through righteous deeds and through the grace and the mercy of Allah.

We attain Paradise through the grace and the mercy of Allah unanimously, but we don’t gain the grace of Allah unless we pay its price.

The price of the grace of Allah is doing righteous deeds. But you can’t attain Paradise if you paid the price and thought that the price was everything you needed. You must be certain that you attain Paradise through the grace of Allah.

“Not even me.”

To clarify this point, think of the example of a father who promises his son to give him an expensive bicycle as a gift if he succeeded. If the son succeeded, is it enough to give his certificate to the seller to buy the bicycle?

No, this bicycle has a price and the father should pay its price, but the reason for the gift is the success of the son. Doing good deeds is a cause to enter Paradise, but is it not the only and sufficient cause.

It is wrong to think that being upright and doing good deeds make one definitely deserve Paradise by his effort and through striving his desire. It is also wrong to think that Paradise could be attained through hope only without work.

Here’s another example; if an uncle said to his orphan nephew: If you study and succeed, I will spend money on you till you graduate. The nephew studied and passed the first year, and the uncle continued spending money on him, he passed the second year and the uncle continued spending money until the nephew graduated and attained a high social position.

In a cordial meeting between the nephew and his uncle, the nephew said to his uncle; I swear to Allah, my uncle, that I wouldn’t have achieved that position without your favor and spending on me. His uncle answered; I wouldn’t have spent on you unless you had worked hard and achieved success.

The words of both of them are true. If the nephew wasn’t diligent he wouldn’t have deserved that spending, and if the uncle didn’t spend on his nephew he wouldn’t have achieved that position. Some people misunderstand that hadith and they don’t work but they rather depend on hope. The most dangerous thing is to depend on hope and to leave work. Others think that the way to paradise is only in doing good deeds and so they dispense with Allah.

There are important points; one of these points is that Allah is the God, which means that He does not have to do anything. He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and none has the right to be worshiped but Him, you can’t negotiate Him.

You can’t say: I paid Zakat and performed Hajj, so where is Paradise?

Who are you to say that? You are a servant. This is a fundamental truth in the Islamic Ideology. You hope to attain Paradise with Allah’s favor, and your good deeds are the price for His favor.

However, when you pay the price of something, we say; the price of that thing equals its value, if you pay the price of a cup, the seller has no favor upon you, but if Allah told you that everything you have done in your life never equals the blessing of sight, hearing, speaking, the blessing of mind, safety, the blessing of having a wife and children, having a home, and the blessing of air and water.

You get the reward of Allah when you obey Him, the favor of Allah is much bigger than the deeds of His worshippers. Allah says:

{Enter you Paradise, because of (the good) which you used to do (in the world).} (16:32)

Allah has made good deeds a price for getting His favor, but this doesn’t mean that your deeds are enough reason for you to enter Paradise.

Be Moderate and Steadfast

Be Moderate and Steadfast 2Being moderate is to follow the medium way between the extremes.

In spending money you should neither waste it nor spend too little of it. In clothes, you may find someone spending all his money on clothes and another one not caring of his clothes at all, both cases are wrong. Being moderate is the best and every excess is wrong.

1- Be Moderate:

Allah says:

{And those, who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes).} (25:67)

Umar saw a man reciting the noble Quran during daytime. He said:

“The noble Quran was sent down to be applied. Did you take reading it as a job?”

Work is very important, man needs work and the nation needs work. The noble prophet saw a man praying all day, He said:

“Who feeds you?”

The man answered, “My brother.”

He said:

“Your brother is a better worshiper than you are.”

The prophet said:

“By Allah, to help a brother in his need is far better to me than fasting a whole month and better than I`tikaf (seclusion for prayers) in my mosque.”

Helping people is the essence of this religion.

2- Be Steadfast:

Steadfast means to be straight and upright.

Between two points only one straight line can pass. It means that you should always correct your path as you correct your direction while driving to stay in the right path. The believer should always ask himself: shall I say this word? Is there a mockery or backbiting in it?

Aisha narrated that she was talking to the prophet:

“Safiyyah is a woman and she is such and such- and she referred with her hand that she is short. The prophet said: “You have uttered a word that would charge the water of sea if mixed with it.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Almighty Allah said:

{O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise).} (33:70-1)

In trade, is there any disobedience, does he hide the defect of his goods, does he delude and deceive the buyer that these goods are excellent goods and he bought them for a high price… You should be in a medium way, be neither extravagant nor niggardly. The noble prophet said:

“The faith of the worshiper doesn’t become upright until his heart becomes upright and his heart doesn’t become upright until his tongue becomes upright, and no man would enter paradise if he hurts his neighbors.”

When Al-Najashi asked about Islam our master Ja’far said:

Be Moderate and Steadfast 3“Before Islam we were people of Jahiliya, we used to worship idols, eat carrion, and commit adultery. The strong among us used to oppress the weak until Allah sent us a Prophet from among us, who was known as truthful and trustworthy. He enjoined us to worship Allah alone and leave the stones and idols that our fathers used to worship, and he enjoined us to say the truth.”

The believer never lies, he could have any characteristic except lying and betrayal, if he lies he will not be a believer, and if he betrays his family, his wife, his country, or his nation definitely he will not be a believer.

Allah ordained us to be honest and to discharge the trust. Heavens and earth declined to bear the trust and they were afraid of it but man bore it. The teacher has his students as a trust, the doctor has patients as a trust, the lawyer is entrusted with his clients, and the engineer is entrusted with the projects under his supervision. So the heavens and the earth declined to bear the trust.

Be moderate and steadfast. The noble Prophet enjoined us to say the truth, discharge the trust, keep kinship, be good to neighbors, and to keep away from prohibited things and shedding blood.

“Be moderate and steadfast; and keep in mind that none of you can achieve salvation through his (good) actions.” They asked, “Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “Not even me, unless Allah grants me His Mercy and Grace.” (Muslim)

This hadith is very important; you should neither depend on deeds only nor lose hope. You shouldn’t think that you deserve Paradise for your deeds, or that you can attain Paradise without work. You can attain Paradise with the favor of Allah, and Allah has made deeds as a cause for His favor. That is the meaning of the hadith. Allah said:

{And if you would count the grace of Allah, never could you be able to count it. Truly! Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.} (16:18)

Why didn’t Allah use the plural form of the word (grace)?

Scholars said: if you spent your entire life counting the benefits of one single grace you could never be able to count them. If you can’t count the benefits of one grace, how would you be able to thank Him?

For example, if you had a new born baby, and you received many presents. You sat with your wife counting the presents so that you would give people presents in return. Is it easier to count them or to repay them?

This hadith teaches us to do righteous deeds, be steadfast, and supplicate to Allah to let us enter Paradise.

It was narrated that the noble prophet was in the house of one of his companions Abo Al-Sa’eb who had passed away. The noble prophet uncovered his face and kissed him, and then he heard a woman behind the curtains saying:

“Congratulation Abu Al-Sa’eb Allah has honored you”. The prophet didn’t keep silent because that was wrong, so he said:

”Who told you that Allah had honored him? Do you know the unseen? Say: may Allah honor him”.

The noble prophet said:

{Say, “I am not something original among the messengers, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I only follow that which is revealed to me, and I am not but a clear warner.} (46:9)

Man is under Allah’s control. If a drop of blood coagulates in the brain he dies, gets paralyzed, or goes insane, or loses hearing or sight depending on the location of the coagulation.

The believer knows his true size.