The price of being moderate

Taking extremes is bad. The word “wasat” (literally means middle) is used in the Quraan and the tradition of Allah’s messenger to describe the attribute of Muslims, their actions, and their viewpoints. It is basically a middle point between two extremes both of which are bad.
A person whose courage is so intense and not mixed with wisdom isan extremest. This courage is going to bring about trouble. On the other hand, a person with mild courage is basically a coward. The middle, having courage which is guided by wisdom, is the moderate attitude.

People might think that stretching oneself to the extreme is difficult. I think that is absolutely wrong. Being moderate is more difficult. Knowing what the moderate point is and trying to reach it require more effort and more time. It is like a hill whose top is this “high” moderate point and both ends are the extremes. One needs to climb the hill to reach moderation. Also, staying moderate by maintaning your position always on the top needs effort.

There is a price of being moderate. You will have to be able to overcome the gravity from both sides to maintain your position. You also need to overcome people shouting from “both” sides telling you that you are wrong and you ought to come down. On the other hand, people of extremes are safe and relaxed in each side of the hill.


5 thoughts on “The price of being moderate

  1. It is true that most good attributes are middle between two extremes. Being courageous is a middle between being coward and being rickless, being generous is a middle between being stingy and being extravagant, etc. Following this argument, moderation in general can be viewed as the middle between exaggeration and underestimation “إفراط وتفريط”. When it comes to these characteristics, moderation is a great virtue, and the prophet’s Hadeeth regarding the three men who belittled his worship clearly establishes the moderation concept.

    On the other hand, there are characteristics that are absolute, for which you can’t find a good middle point between two extremes. Only hypocrisy is the middle point between belief and disbelief, between truth and falsehood. “مذبذبين بين ذلك لا إلى هؤلاء ولا إلى هؤلاء”.

    In the name of moderation, sometime, Islamic concepts are mixed up. We often hear words like “extremists” or “fundamentalists” these days to label those who stick to Quran and Sunnah. In other words the great moderation concept that is inherent in our religion is used “or hijacked” to redefine Islam. The middle point on the mountain is shifted more toward the valley, or at the least made an arbitrary point that many are left to assume that it is undefined point, or worst, a moving target!

  2. Wael, You are making a good point. Sometimes we misunderstand moderation as being mediocre. This is not the moderation I am talking about and it definitely not recommended by Islam. A good yard stick to moderation is the tradition of the prophet which we can always measure ourselves against.
    P.S. I just want to say that the comment above is by another Wael. Boy! so many Waels these days 🙂

    Wael Hamza

  3. I thought someone whose name is Wael is talking to me. I am not sure not. Maybe I am just talking to myself 🙂
    I think the cure is to invite people to read my blog.

  4. Hmmmmm, Akhi Sharif, you’re confusing Wael Hamza. The world has other people with the name of Wael, and I happen to be one of them!

    Salaam from the other Wael, who is not Wael Hamza, who is not talking to himself 🙂

    Wael Ramadan

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