Islamic Guidance On 22 Different Kinds Of Extremism

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Mohamad Mostafa Nassar


Islam today is perceived as an extreme religion. Little do people know that Islam forbids all kinds of evil and guides Muslims to be away from all sorts of immoderate activity (viz. excessiveness, hairsplitting, pedantry, fanaticism) and provides guidance on all walks of life so that there is complete harmony in society.

The teachings of Quran & The Prophet (pbuh) touches all parts of human life, and applies even in the 21st century. A true Muslim is modest, upright, moderate, fair, has equity and balance in both religious as well as worldly dealings.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Do not be extremist in your religion” ~ Bukhari 39 | Muslim 2816. 

This post attempts to demonstrate different shades of extremism. Islam prohibits extremism in all forms. In terms of wealth/money it may mean hoarding wealth or spending too much. In terms of food it means overindulging too much or eating extremely little which affects one’s health.

In terms of family, it would mean neglecting the family and caring too much about others. Whatever the situation may be, a Muslim is expected to take a middle path and be moderate in all their worldly dealings.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “… be moderate in your religious deeds and do the deeds that are within your ability.” ~ Bukhari 75/34

What’s outlined below are the select few areas where a believer is supposed to exercise restraint based on the teachings of The Quran and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

This is not an exhaustive list.

>> Extremism #1: Do not kill any innocent

Quran 5:32 ~ If anyone killed a person, not in retaliation of murder or to spread mischief in land, it would be as if he has killed all mankind. And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. 

>> Extremism #2: Do not abort/ kill a child 

Quran 6:151 | 17: 31 ~ Do not kill your children for fear of poverty, It is We who provide for them as well as for you. Killing them is  surely a grave sin. 

>> Extremism #3: Do not deal unjustly with Non-Muslims

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Whoever kills a person from among Ahl Adh-Dhimmah, he will not smell the fragrance of Paradise.” ~ Nasai 45/45. Ahl Adh-Dhimmah are non-Muslims who are living under Muslim protection. 

Quran 6:108 ~ Do not insult those whom they worship besides Allah. 

>> Extremism #4: Do not be proud of yourself

Quran 4:36 | 31:18 | 16:23 ~ Indeed Allah does not like those who are proud and boastful.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Whoever has an iota of pride in his/her heart will not enter paradise.” ~ Sahih Muslim

On the contrary a Muslim is highly recommended to be modest and humble. 

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Every religion has a character and the character of Islam is modesty.” ~ Muwatta Malik 47/2/9 

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Modesty and belief are together. If one of them is removed, the other is removed.”

>> Extremism #5: Do not be unfair in battlefield

Following are the instructions by The Prophet (pbuh) to his army before engaging in a battle,

  • “Do not kill any child, any woman, or any elder or sick person.” ~ Abu Dawud. 
  • “Do not practice treachery or mutilation.” ~ Al Muwatta. 
  • “Do not uproot or burn palms or cut down fruitful trees.” ~ Al-Muwatta
  • “Do not slaughter an animal except for food.” ~ Al-Muwatta
  • “Do not kill the monks in monasteries, and do not kill those sitting in places of worship.” ~ Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal
  • “Do not destroy the villages/town, do not spoil the cultivated fields/gardens, and do not slaughter the cattle.” ~ Sahih Bukhari | Abu Dawud

>> Extremism #6: Do not sin or transgress

Quran 5:2 ~ Do not assist each other in sin and transgression.

Quran 6:120 ~ Leave (all kinds of) sin, open and secret. Verily those who commit sin will get due recompense (in Qiyamat) for what they used to commit.

>> Extremism #7: Do not be merciless 

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to mankind.” ~ Bukhari 7376

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “He who does not show mercy to the young and show esteem for elders is not one of us.” ~ Bukhari 360

>> Extremism #8: Do not waste food, overeat or waste stuff

Quran 7:31 ~ “… and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance. Surely He does not love the extravagant.”

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “If one must eat then let him fill one third of his stomach with food, one third with drink and leave one third for air.” ~ Tirmidhi 1381

In addition to the above 1/3rd rule, another hadith indicates the difference between a person who eats less vs who eats full stomach. The Prophet (pbuh) has equated those who eat stomach full with Non-Muslims or hypocrites. And Quran 4:145 says a hypocrite will burn in the lowest depths of (hell) fire. See #10 here. The wisdom behind not eating full stomach is that it saves the believer from unwanted diseases or sickness, particularly obesity which leads to high BP, diabetes, heart problems and others.

The Prophet (pbuh) said,

A believer eats in one intestine (is satisfied with a little food) and a kafir or a hypocrite eats in seven intestines (eats too much) ~ Bukhari 70/22

Quran 17:27 ~ Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils.

>> Extremism #9: Do not envy/ hate one another

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Do not envy one another, do not hate one another, do not sever ties with one another, do not turn your backs on one another.” ~ Ibn Majah 3849

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Avoid envy, for envy devours good deeds just as fire devours firewood.” ~ Abu Dawud 16/1522

>> Extremism #10: Do not idle talk or speak excessively

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “He who believes in Allah and the last day must either speak good or remain silent.” ~ Muslim 18/1511

The Prophet (pbuh) used to rarely engage in idle talk. ~ Nasai 14/51

>> Extremism #11: Do not argue or insult others

Quran 3:134 ~ Those who restrain anger and pardon people, verily Allah loves the doers of good

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger.” ~ Bukhari 8/135

Quran 25:63 ~ And when the ignorant speak with them, they say peace.

Quran 49:11 ~ Do not insult one another and do not call each other by (offensive) nicknames. 

>> Extremism #12: Do not be racist

The Prophet (pbuh) said in his last sermon, “An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab. Also a white has no superiority over a black, nor a black has any superiority over a white. Except piety and good action.”

>> Extremism #13: Do not breach privacy of others

Quran 24:27 ~ Enter not houses other than your own, until you have asked permission and saluted those in them.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “If someone is peeping into your house without your permission and you throw a stone at him and destroy his eyes, there will be no blame on you.” ~ Bukhari 9/83/26

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “He who seeks to listen to the talk of a people (secretly) will have a molten lead poured into his ears on the day of resurrection.” ~ Riyad as-Salihin 18/34

>> Extremism #14: Do not be a miser or be a spendthrift 

Quran 9:34 ~ Those who hoard gold and silver and spend not in the way of Allah, announce them a painful punishment. 

Quran 17:29 ~ And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, not stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift).

>> Extremism #15: Do not cheat or lie

Quran 39:3 ~ Allah does not guide he who is a liar and a disbeliever.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “It is forbidden (haram) to lie except in three situations. Something the man tells his wife to please her and vice-a-versa. To lie during a war. To lie in order to bring peace between people.” ~ Muslim 45/130 | Tirmidhi 27/45

Quran 83:1-5 ~ Destruction be to the cheaters, who when they take measure from mankind demand in full, (however) if they measure for people (they sell), they reduce (the weight). Do such people not consider that they will be raised unto an awful day (Qiyamah)?

>> Extremism #16: Do not be unfair in business

There are some fundamental rules, or underlying principles, for doing business the way Allah commands and The Prophet (pbuh) has taught.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “I will oppose three types of people on Judgment day…” and he listed one as “a man who hired someone, benefited from his labor and then did not pay him the right wages.” ~ Bukhari 

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “It is not lawful for a Muslim to sell such a commodity that has a defect, except that the defect is shown to the buyer.” ~ Ibn Majah 3/12/2246 

>> Extremism #17: Do not mistreat your wife or ignore your family

Quran 4:19 ~ Do not treat women with harshness … and live with them honorably.

The Prophet (pbuh) never beat any of his servants, or wives, and his hand never hit anything. ~ Ibn Majah 9/2060. This is except when he (pbuh) was in a war fighting the enemies of Allah and he never took revenge for anything unless the things made inviolable by Allah were made violable; he (pbuh) then took revenge for Alalah, the Exalted and Glorious. ~ Muslim 43/108

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “The best of you is he who is best to his family.” ~ Tirmidhi 3252

>> Extremism #18: Do not disobey your husband

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “A woman who disobeyed her husband will be one of the two people who will receive the worst punishment (on the day of resurrection).” ~ Tirmidhi 2/221

>> Extremism #19: Do not ill-treat your neighbor 

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Whosoever believes in Allah and the last day should not hurt his neighbor.” ~ Bukhari 5185

Quran 4:36 ~ be good to your neighbor and the neighbor who is farther away

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “He is not a Muslim who eats his fill while his neighbor is hungry.” ~ Al-Bayhaqi 19049

>> Extremism #20: Do not be unjust to orphans

Quran 4:10 ~ Those who unjustly eat orphan’s property … they will be burnt in the blazing fire

Quran 6:152 ~ And come not near the orphan’s property except to improve it.

>> Extremism #21: Do not be harsh on your debtor

Quran 2:280 ~ If the debtor is in financial difficulty, then grant him time till it is easy for him to repay. 

>> Extremism #22: Do not be thankless to your Creator – Allah

Salah is the most important mechanism to thank Allah. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Between a person and Kufr (disbelief) is abandoning the prayer.” ~ Ibn Majah 5/1131

Quran 74:42-43 ~ (It will be said to them) “What led you to Hell fire?” They will say, “We were not of those who prayed.”

Quran 14:7 ~ If you are grateful, I will surely increase you (in favor); but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe. 

Quran 20:124 ~ And whoever turns away from My remembrance, indeed he will have depressed life and We will gather him on the day of resurrection blind.

Failing to adhere to these basic fundamentals of Islam brings wrath of Allah and leads to trials, calamity and affliction on an individual or on a society.

Credit Fear from Hellfire

Almighty Allah is the highest and most knowledgeable, and the attribution of knowledge to him is the safest.

Right from Almighty Allah and wrong from me and Satan

Prepared by Mohamad Mostafa Nassar 

Make sure to copy and email this post for your reference, you might need it later.

Arrogance is not only a sign of insecurity, but also a sign of immaturity. Mature and fully realised persons can get their points across, even emphatically without demeaning or intimidating others.