The Moderation of Islam The Moderation of Islam
Dr. Ahmed Mahmoud Karima
Prof. of Islamic Shari'ah at al-Azhar University
 
   
     
 
Islam, the religion sent by Allah to all worlds, deals with the worldly human life with its different aspects without a tilt towards one aspect rather than the others.
Islam encourages neither exaggeration nor excessiveness, neither extremism nor negligence; however, Islam seeks moderation in handling every aspect with the proportion it deserves, without getting prejudice against the other aspects in life, as Allah Almighty says: "Thus We appointed you a midmost nation that you might be witnesses to the people, and that the Messenger might be a witness to you" {2:143}
 One of the features of such moderation and balance in Islam is tending both the spiritual and the physical aspects in human life; thus, Islam sets grounds for the wise rules and fundamentals that ensure integration between both aspects. As it is well known that a human being is of three aspects: soul, mind and body, and his/her needs and instincts vary all over the time, and since Allah is the one who created the human being, as His Almighty says: "Shall He not know, who created? And He is the All-subtle, the All-aware" {67:14}, hence, the outstanding Islamic approach satisfies and meets all the needs of a human being, and achieves balance between his/her components without prejudice for one component against the other, so that to achieve the utmost form of happiness and satisfaction. 
As a matter of fact, the realism of Islam and its precognition of the truth and reality of things made it a unique and a distinguished religion that is characterized by the power of validity and continuity to guide the human soul. Indeed, Islam is a realistic and not a fanciful religion which deals with the whole entity of a human being, that eats, drinks, rejoices, cries, has his/her instincts and desires. Besides, Islam has prohibited all forms of monasticism, so that to cultivate the human life on earth, as well as prohibiting eternal fasting or fasting for two consecutive days. Moreover, Islam forbade getting fully indulged in performing the rituals and prayers and neglecting earning one's living, since Islamic Shari'ah does not overburden people with what they cannot afford. In fact, Allah orders us to follow the rules of the Islamic Shari'ah within the limits of our human capacity, as Allah Almighty says: "Allah has laid on you no impediment in your religion" {22:78} and "Allah desires ease for you, and desires not hardship for you" {2:185} and" Allah charges no soul save to its capacity; standing to its account is what it has earned, and against its account what it has merited. Our Lord, take us not to task if we forget, or make mistake. Our Lord; charge us not with a load such as Thou didst lay upon those before us. Our Lord, do Thou not burden us beyond what we have the strength to bear. And pardon us, and forgive us, and have mercy on us; Thou art our Protector. And help us against the people of the unbelievers" {2:286} and "Allah desires to lighten things for you, for man was created a weakling" {4:28}. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also said: "Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded".
Thus, the Muslim scholars apprehended the legislative objectives of Islam, and understood that the judgments and the rules of the Islamic Shari'ah are about establishing justice, mercy, wisdom and taking into account people's interests. Hence, every issue deviated from justice to tyranny, from benevolence to malevolence, from goodness to evil and corruption, and from wisdom to absurdity, is not part of our distinguished Islamic Shari'ah, even though there is a justification for this deviation. The Islamic Shari'ah comes to spread Allah's mercy and justice among his creatures and worshipers, and it foreshadows his Almighty's wisdom on earth and proves the truthfulness of his Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). As a matter of fact, the Islamic Shari'ah is the beacon that enlightens our paths, and heals our souls and it is the righteous path, if we all follow it, our lives will flow smoothly and straightforwardly. 
As a matter of fact, the honorable Islamic Shari'ah  urges all people to have true, firm and unshakeable belief in Allah, and  to have good deeds and to work honestly to satisfy his Almighty, and not to get indulged in incontinence and lechery, as Allah Almighty says: "But those who struggle in Our cause, surely We shall guide them in Our ways; and Allah is with the good doers"{29:69}, "And whosoever does deeds of righteousness, be it male or female, believing – they shall enter Paradise, and not be wronged a single date-spot"{4:124}. Also, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said "Faith (Iman) has over seventy branches" and it was mentioned in the divine saying that "And My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved to Me than the religious duties I have obliged upon him. And My servant continues to draw near to Me with Nwafel (supererogatory) deeds until I love him". Thus, it is now apparent that Islam satisfies and balances the worldly and religious needs of the human being and manages both his/her the spiritual aspirations and physical desires, as Allah almighty says: "Today, I have perfected your religion for you, and I have completed My blessings upon you"{5:3}