We live in a day and age where we define what the “middle” path is by what we say and do. In Islam what is the so called “middle” path as mentioned in the following hadith?
The Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wasalam) 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; and gain strength by in the mornings, the nights.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
Everyone has their own version of the middle path, from Sufi or Salafi modernists to your average Muslim. They purposefully feed their nafs not only deceiving themselves but also those from their own circle. They are in self-deception where they think they are on the true path and everyone else is either too strict or too liberal.
The reality is there is only ONE MIDDLE PATH.
Know that Allah Ta’ala will never abandon the Ummah, as He subhana wa ta’ala has promised to preserve the deen. Be open minded about the haqq even if it is bitter. In fact haqq is most definitely bitter today as predicted in the ahadith.
“ISLAM BEGAN AS SOMETHING STRANGE AND IT WILL RETURN TO BEING SOMETHING STRANGE, SO BLESSED ARE THE STRANGERS!”
We must strive to be the blessed strangers even if it hurts our ego. Time will come, or has already arrived, when holding onto the deen will be like holding onto hot coals.
“There will come upon the people a time where the one holding firmly onto his religion will be like one holding onto hot coals.” [Reported by at-Tirmidhee]
So what is the middle path? The middle is the one treaded by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum), the Salaf-us-Saliheen, and the galaxy of righteous scholars that Allah (azza wa jal) had sent throughout every age in order to preserve the original pure teachings of the Deen.
“Surely, Allah will send for this Ummah at the beginning of every hundred years a person who will revive its religion for it.”(Hadith from Abu Dawud)
One of the most telling signs that we have veered from the middle path is that we live our lives in a manner that is far from the spirit and ethos of the blessed life of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had the option to have the Dunya at his feet, yet chose the life of a simple faqeer (simple, poor person). The wisdom behind this is many, but the root of all this is the reminder that we are all travellers on this short journey to the final and ultimate destination – the everlasting afterlife.
There is no point chasing after the temporary short-lived worldly gains, if we are meant to aim for something better in the next. There is no point being a Shaykh, spiritual guide, if you have the latest iphone, mercedes or attend a lavish wedding. Our lives are meant to reflect the lifestyle of Muhammad (sallalahu alayhis wasallam). Those Shaykhs or Scholars who go against the spirit of the life of the Prophet (sallalahu alayhis wasallam) are misguiding others with their very own lives full of worldly, unnecessary, and extravagant indulgences.
We are in a time when controlling our desires is really hard, with even our beloved ones putting pressure on us to ‘relax a bit’, ‘not to be extreme’, ‘deen is easy’ and so on. Well this much is clear from reading the life of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his blessed companions (radhiyallahu anhum): anyone today who attempts to imitate the style of their way of living would be labelled as ‘extreme’ today. This deen which is labelled as ‘extreme’ today is in fact the middle path.
Yes, we should be extreme in our love for the way Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the blessed companions (radhiyallahu anhum) lived their lives. This is the middle path. May Allah Ta’ala grant us all the ability and sincerity to submit to and accept the Haqq, no matter how bitter it may seem in these times when true Islam is rapidly becoming more and more strange and forlorn as prophesized.
Let’s not hide the truth from people so we can live the life we want – that’s not the middle path, thats not imaan, that’s our own feebleness.