Islam's Moderateness in Worship
Islam holds an intermediate position in terms of prescribed acts of worship and rituals compared to other religions and faiths that, on one hand, abolished the "divine" part, that of worship, piety and recognizing the divine power, such as Buddhism which restricted its prescribed duties to the humanly ethical part; and other religions which required their followers to devote their times entirely to acts of worship, forgetting all about life and production needed therefor such as Christianity, on the other.
Islam prescribes limited daily, annual and life-time rituals; i.e., prayers, fasting and pilgrimage respectively so that a Muslim can maintain her / his relation with Allah Almighty, keep His satisfaction and go thereby for life to work, produce and sustain her / his life with Allah's blessings.
The best verse to be quoted for evidence here is the one prescribing the Congregation (Jom'ah) Prayer, "O you who have believed, when it is called out for prayer on Friday, (the Day of Congregation), then endeavor (to hasten) to the Remembrance of Allah and leave out (your) trading. That is most charitable for you, in case you know. So, when the prayer is accomplished, then spread abroad in the land, and seek of the Grace of Allah, and remember Allah much, that possibly you would prosper. "
This how a Muslim should act in all religious and worldly aspects of life, even on Fridays. In other words, a Muslim would sell, buy and work up to the prayer time which is then devoted to the hymning and prayer rather than any other aspect of worldly absorptions. Afterwards, another process of bread winning ensues while keeping Allah in hearts and minds since this is the basis for success and prosperity.
Allah Almighty says, "And seek in whatever Allah has brought you, the Last Residence, and do not forget your assignment of the present (life); and be fair (to others) as Allah has been fair to you. And do not inequitably seek to work corruption in the land; surely Allah does not love the corruptors. "
Allah has created the fair and good things in this life so people can enjoy them and work hard to collect them. Life would thereby expand and renew and the true meaning of succession intended by Allah in this world be accomplished. This is the Islamic approach provided that such enjoying goes hand in hand with observing and working for the Hereafter which should not be forgotten or deviated from because of such worldly joys. Enjoying such lawful blessings is a means of thanks offering, blessings accepting and using, i.e., it is a means of showing rewarding obedience to the Almighty.
Therefore, this moderate and balanced approach ensures fairness, coordination and balance in the human life, while enabling man to reach higher levels of spiritual supremacy via a balanced lifestyle which features no destitution or excessive use of simple basics of life.
The Prophet, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him, used to meticulously give this world its dues and the Hereafter as well. He even used to implore Allah with this prayer, "O Allah, reform my belief which is my means of infallibility, my world where my life is, my Hereafter where I will end up; make my life a means for increasing good deeds, and make death a means of comfort for me from all evils. "
This reported Prophetic supplication clarifies how a Muslim's attitude towards this world and the Hereafter should be, i.e., a Muslim seeks the benefit of them both while imploring Allah to reform one's belief, world and Hereafter since they are one indivisible package; belief is the means to infallibility and leading every aspect of this life, this world is the place of life and temporal enjoying, and the Hereafter is the inevitably last resort.
This supplication is similar to the Qur'anic one which the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) used also to use it, "Our Lord, bring us in the present (life) a fair (reward), and in the Hereafter a fair (reward), and protect us from the torment of the Fire. "
Moreover, the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was keen on guiding his companions into a balanced life where this world and the Hereafter are duly attended to, while observing both their rights and their Lord's rights, and their bodily and spiritual needs. So, whenever the Prophet finds a fault with any of them, he would remedy the situation by taking him back to the right path.
On the authority of Anas, may Allah be satisfied with him, he said, "Three persons headed for the houses of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) to ask about his acts of worship. Once told thereof they considered it to be just a few, so said, 'we are far lagging behind the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him), he is the one whose previous and potential faults are forgiven. Accordingly, one of them said, 'I shall pray night-long for ever,' another said, 'I shall fast for ever,' another said, 'I shall fast for ever,' while the third said, 'I shall do without women; I shall never get married." Thereupon the Prophet stepped in addressing them, "Are you the ones who said so and so… Surely I am the most fearful and pious to Allah among you, yet I do fast and break fasting, pray and sleep, and marry women. So whoever sheers from my tradition shall not be a follower of mine! "
The author of 'Al-Wasatiyyah fi Al-Qur'an' (Moderateness in the Ever-Glorious Qur'an) said, "This is a situation of extremism which reveals that inclination of sincere desire to do as much fair deeds as possible; a situation that triggered the question about the Prophet's (peace and blessing be upon him) way of religious life the components of which were deemed short of expectations by inquirers.
However, the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) realized their extreme approach and so stepped in immediately to correct it. Further, he advised them of the correct approach to be truly pious to and apprehensive of Allah, clarifying that being so extreme with certain matters and remiss on others is not the valid way to lead a pious life, it is rather the balance stricken between Allah's commands. Surely, this is heart of moderateness, wisdom, uprightness, balance and fairness.
The author of 'Fi Thelal Al-Qur'an' (Under the Shades of the Ever-Glorious Qur'an) comments on the above Hadith and the likes as saying, "Whoever attempts to disable her / his own bodily powers is like a person trying to disable her / his own free spiritual powers; either of which is violating her / his nature and compelling herself / himself into a condition unintended thereto by the Creator. Consequently, both attitudes are means of derailing the soul from its originally natural course. Most assuredly, followers of either attitude shall be held accountable before Allah for such violations.
Therefore, the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) strongly advised the women-boycotter, the lasting fasting resolver and the lasting night-prayer performer otherwise as saying, according to the Hadith reported by A'eshah, may Allah be satisfied with her, "So whoever sheers from my tradition shall not be a follower of mine!"
Islam considers the human nature and structure at law-making; thus founding a human system where not a single human capacity or power is disabled. It is a system all about striking the much sought-after balance between such powers so all of them can work as compatible, rather than conflicting, bolts in one machine. Every conflict yields a disabling, and every act of extremism yields destruction.