Thursday 1st of December 2022
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It has been recorded in the traditions that the infallible Imāms (‘a) used to say: “We are the straight path.”

In another place, He states:


﴾ جَعَلْنَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسطاً لِّتَكونُوا شهَدَاءَ عَلى النَّاسِ ﴿


“Thus We have made you a middle nation that you may be witness to the people.”[1]


It has been recorded in the traditions that the infallible Imāms (‘a) used to say: “We are the straight path.” That is, the actual and practical straight path, and the model and paradigm on how to traverse this path are the heavenly leaders.

In their instructions regarding all aspects of life such as work, entertainment, studies, criticism, giving of charity, and expressions of interest, love, anger, and harmony, they have always admonished us to exercise moderation and equilibrium. These instructions have been recorded in the noble Uūl al-Kāfī under the heading, “العبادات في الاقتصاد” “Al-Iqtiād fī’l-‘Ibādāt” [Moderation in Acts of Worship].

At this point, we shall quote some Qur’anic verses and Prophetic traditions in which moderation has been emphasized while going to extremes has been prohibited: 

?     ﴾ كلُوا وَ اشرَبُوا وَ لا تُسرِفُوا ﴿ “Eat and drink, but do not waste.”[2]

?     ﴾ وَ لا تجْعَلْ يَدَك مَغْلُولَةً إِلى عُنُقِك وَ لا تَبْسطهَا كلَّ الْبَسطِ ﴿ “Do not keep your hand chained to your neck, nor open it all together.”[3]

?     ﴾ وَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَنفَقُوا لَمْ يُسرِفُوا وَ لَمْ يَقْترُوا وَ كانَ بَينَ ذَلِك قَوَاما ﴿ “Those who, when spending, are neither wasteful nor tightfisted, and moderation lies between these [extremes].”[4]

?     ﴾ وَ لا تجْهَرْ بِصلاتِك وَ لا تخَافِت بهَا وَ ابْتَغ بَينَ ذَلِك سبِيلاً ﴿ “Be neither loud in your prayer, nor murmur it, but follow a middle course between these.”[5]

?     ﴾ وَ الَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنهُمْ ﴿ And those who are with him are hard against the faithless and merciful among themselves.[6]

?     ﴾ وَ أَقِيمُوا الصلَوةَ وَ ءَاتُوا الزَّكَوةَ ﴿ “And maintain the prayer and give the zakāh.”[7] That is, keep your relationship with both the Creator [khāliq] by praying to Him and with the creatures (people) [makhlūq] by giving zakāt.

?     ﴾ وَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا وَ عَمِلُوا الصالِحَاتِ ﴿ “And those who have faith and do righteous deeds…”[8] That is, both faith and conviction of the heart, and righteous deeds and behavior are required.

?     Although the Qur’an says, ﴾ وَ بِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسانا ﴿ “And do good to the parents,”[9] in another place it states on the contrary: ﴾ فَلا تُطِعْهُمَا ﴿ “(But if they urge you to ascribe to Me as partner that of which you have no knowledge,) then do not obey them”[10]

?     ﴾ شهَدَاءَ للَّهِ وَ لَوْ عَلى أَنفُسِكُمْ ﴿ “Be witnesses for the sake of Allah, even if it should be against yourselves”[11] and

﴾ وَ لا يَجْرِمَنَّكمْ شنَئَانُ قَوْمٍ عَلى أَلا تَعْدِلُوا ﴿ “And ill feeling for a people should never lead you to be unfair.”[12]

?     On the night of ‘Ashūrā’ Imām al-Husayn (‘a) was praying intimately to God as well as sharpening his sword!

?     The pilgrims of the House of God are praying on the Day of ‘Arafah and the night preceding the Feast of Sacrifice [īd al-qurbān], but on the day of the feast they have to go to the slaughterhouse and familiarize themselves with blood!

?     And finally, Islam is not one-dimensional and has not focused on only one aspect while neglecting others. Rather, it has paid attention to all the dimensions of life in a balanced manner.

[1] Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:143.

[2] Sūrah al-A‘rāf 7:31.

[3] Sūrah al-Isrā 17:29.

[4] Sūrah al-Furqān 25:67.

[5] Sūrah al-Isrā 17:110.

[6] Sūrah al-Fat 48:29.

[7] Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:43.

[8] Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:82.

[9] Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:83.

[10] Sūrah al-‘Ankabūt 29:8.

[11] Sūrah an-Nisā4:135.

[12] Sūrah al-Mā’idah 5:8.

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