Moderation means balance, avoiding extremism and eliminating excess. Achieving balance in life, actions, desires and thoughts is striving towards a more natural state for an individual.
Islam is a religion of harmony, peace, justice, and moderation. It preaches love, tolerance and amity. Moderation is a vital principal in Islam. It is a way of life which balances world and the Hereafter, equilibrium between physical and spiritual domains of existence.
Islam encourages its followers to adopt the moderate path. While doing so, it discourages, and at times, prohibits one from going to the extreme, in words, thoughts or actions. Moderation in Islam simply means that one must not be extreme in the teachings which Allah has given in Islam. He must not go beyond that which he is required to do, causing harm to himself and others. As for that which a Muslim must do, then he/she must do it, since it is a requirement in Islam. For example, in the Holy Quran, Allah has exhorted and encouraged the believers to spend their wealth in His cause. At the same time, one should not give away all his wealth to the extent that he does not have anything to live on. This however, does not mean that one becomes a miser or a stingy person. While establishing the perfect balance of moderation in this respect, Allah revealed the following verse,
‘And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty’. (Al-Quran 17:29)
In trying to explain the importance of moderation, Imaam Ibn Al-Atheer said: “Every good manner has two extreme and bad sides. For example, generosity, a good and moderate behavior, comes between two bad behaviors, on one side stinginess and on other side overspending. Braveness, another good and moderate behavior, comes between two bad behaviors: on one side cowardice and on other side carelessness. So humans have been ordered to avoid all bad behaviors; by staying away from two bad behaviors, a person will be exactly in the middle which is the farthest point from each extreme.”
Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Islam as a religion is the midpoint among all other religions. The Muslims believe in the messengers of Allah in a moderate way. For example, they do not go to extremes in their beliefs about the Prophets as the Christians do, nor do they put the messengers at such a low status, as do the Jews. The Muslims always stand in the middle when it comes to all matters of Deen.”
Islam is often confused with extremism and violence; but if Islam is studied deeply, then one knows that Islam is nothing like extremism. It’s a moderate and peaceful religion.
Islam encourages Muslims to be moderate in every manner, whether it be eating and drinking, or spending.
As Allah says in the Holy Quran:
‘And thus we have made you a moderate Ummah (nation) so that you should be witnesses over the people and the Messenger a witness over you’. (Al-Quran 1: 143)
‘Eat and drink but do not be extravagant’. (Al-Quran 7:31)
‘Be moderate in your pace’. (Al-Quran 31:19)
‘And (do) not be loud in your prayers and not be silent therein, but seek between that a way’. (Al-Quran 17:110)
One of the attributes of Allah’s servants, as given in the Quran is:
‘And those who, when they spend, (are) not extravagant and are not stingy but are between that – moderate.’ (Al-Quran 25:67)