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Building a Balanced Nation

Prologue




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All praise and thanks are due to Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, Who destined us
as part of the Muslim nation; may it please Him that we would never leave the fold till
we die. I beseech Allah for the choicest of all benedictions on the noble soul of the
undisputed leader of the Ummah, Muhammad, on his steadfast companions,
consistent members of his household and all sincere believers in the path of rectitude
till the end of time.
Allah said in Baqarat verse 143:








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Thus We have made you, a Wasat (just) (and the best) nation, that you be witnesses
over mankind and the Messenger (Muhammad) be a witness over you.
A comprehensive definition of nation refers to it as a community of people who share
a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, or history. This implies that the
definition posits that a nation has no physical borders. However, others also refer to it

as people who share a common territory and government (for example the inhabitants
of a sovereign state) irrespective of their ethnic make-up.
In the preceding verse, Allah stated that He has changed our Qiblah to the Qiblah of
Ibrahim (AS) so as to establish the link between this generation and the forerunner
generation of believers in Allah. This entrench the fact that all believers anywhere
belong to the same nation. This infers that the comprehensive definition of nation is
more appropriate to the concept of nation as noted in the verse under consideration.
Allah (SWT) mentioned the fact of His desire that the believers should be organised
under a banner; when He said in Quraan 21: 92

Verily this community of yours is a single community and I am the Sustainer of you
all, therefore worship Me Alone.
The word Wasat in the Ayah means; the balanced, the best and the most honoured.
Allah made this Ummah (Muslim nation) the Wasat by endowing her with the most
complete legislation, the best Manhaj (way, method, etc.,) and the clearest Madhhab
(methodology, mannerism, etc). Allah said in Quraan 22:78:


He has chosen you (to convey His Message of Islamic Monotheism to mankind), and
has not laid upon you in religion any hardship: it is the religion of your father Ibrahim
(AS). It is He (Allah) Who has named you Muslims both before and in this (the
Quran), that the Messenger (Muhammad) may be a witness over you and you be
witnesses over mankind!
Hence, we will be the witnesses over the nations on the Day of Resurrection, for all of
them will then agree concerning our virtue.
Moreover, Imam Ahmad reported that Abu Sa`id narrated that Allahs Messenger
said:

Nuh will be called on the Day of Resurrection and will be asked, `Have you conveyed
(the Message)?
He will say, `Yes.

His people will be summoned and asked, `Has Nuh conveyed (the Message) to you?

They will say, `No warner came to us and no (Prophet) one was sent to us.

Nuh will be asked, `Who testifies for you?

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He will say, `Muhammad and his Ummah.


This is why Allah said:




(Thus We have
made you a Wasat nation).

The Prophet said;




The Wasat means the Adl (just). You will be summoned to testify that Nuh has
conveyed (his Message), and I will attest to your testimony. It was also recorded by
Al-Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasai and Ibn Majah.

Imam Ahmad also reported that Abu Sa`id Khudri narrated that Allahs Messenger
said:

The Prophet would come on the Day of Resurrection with two or more people (his
only following!), and his people would also be summoned and asked, `Has he (their
Prophet) conveyed (the Message) to you?
They would say, `No.

He would be asked, `Have you conveyed (the Message) to your people?


He would say, `Yes.




:
He would be asked, `Who testifies for you?
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He would say, `Muhammad and his Ummah.





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Muhammad and his Ummah would then be summoned and asked, `Has he conveyed
(the Message) to his people?
They would say, `Yes.
They would be asked, `Who told you that?





They would say, `Our Prophet (Muhammad) came to us and told us that the
Messengers have conveyed (their Messages).
Hence Allahs statement:

Thus We have made you a Wasat nation.

He said, the `Adl, he then continued reciting the Ayah,









Thus We have made you, a just (and the best) nation, that you be witnesses over
mankind and the Messenger (Muhammad) be a witness over you.
Another dimension to the meaning of balanced nation is MODERATION.
Moderation, which leads to balance, is a fundamental and distinguishing feature of
Islam. Allah tells us: We have made you a nation justly balanced (2:143).
Additionally, when the Quranic verse As to monasticism which they themselves
invented, We did not prescribe any of it for them (Quraan 57: 27) was revealed,
the Prophet Muhammad commented:
Do not overburden yourselves, lest you perish. People (before you) overburdened
themselves and perished. Their remains are found in hermitages and monasteries
(Musnad of Abu Yala).
In other words, excesses may eventually develop into large problems such as fatigue
and restricted number of persons that can cope with compliance and/or even become a
threat to the well being and security of the Muslim community.
Indeed, the Prophet always resisted any tendency towards religious excessiveness. He
once said to his close Companion Abdullah ibn Amr:
Have I heard tight that you fast everyday and stand in prayer all night? Abdullah
replied, Yes, 0 Messenger of God: The Prophet said, Do not do that. Fast, as well as,
eat and drink. Stand in prayer, as well as, sleep. This is because your body has a right
upon you, your eyes have a right upon you, your wife has a right upon you, and your
guest has a right upon you (Bukhari, Muslim).
Abiding by the will of Allah requires that we seek and maintain a delicate balance
between the various obligations that demand our attention; between our obligations to
Allah, our obligations towards others and our obligations towards ourselves.
Moreover, whenever the Prophet had to choose between two options, he always chose
the easier, unless it was explicitly forbidden (Bukhari).
In sharing the message of Islam with people the Prophet was advised in the Quraan:

It is part of the mercy of Allah that you deal gently with them If you were severe
or hardhearted, they would have broken away from you (3: 159).

Thus, when the Prophet sent his Companions Muadh and Abu Musa to teach Islam
to the people of Yemen, he gave them the following advice: Facilitate (religious

matters to people) and do not make (things) difficult. Obey each other and do not
differ (amongst yourselves) Bukhari & Muslim.
On another occasions he also said: This Deen or way of life is easy; Make it easy,
dont make it difficult; Let people rejoice in being Muslims and not run away from
it and Cheerfulness towards other people, even a smile is a sadaqah or charity to be
rewarded by Allah.
Moreover, a person-in seeking to purify himself and further develop his Godconsciousness-may choose to place greater demands of worship upon himself, but this
in no way means that he has the right to impose or force the same on others, and
thereby, unconsciously alienate them from Islam. The Prophet exemplified this in
his own life because he used to prolong the Salat whenever he was alone, but he
would shorten it whenever he led others in Salah. Regarding this he said: Whoever
among you leads the people in Salat, he should shorten it, for amongst them are the
weak, the old, and the one who has business to attend to. And if anyone among you
performs Salat alone, he may then prolong (Salat) as much as he wishes (Bukhari).
Similarly, Umar Ibn al Khattab emphasised that creating unnecessary difficulties for
people may well have the effect of leading them away from Allah, rather than making
them better Muslims. He advised: Do not make Allah hateful to His servants by
leading people in Salat and so prolonging it that they come to hate what they are
doing.
Muslim records on the authority of 'A'ishah that the Messenger of Allah, said,
Gentleness does not enter anything except that it beautifies it and harshness does not
enter anything except that it disfigures it.
Muslim records on the authority of Jarir bin 'Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with
him, that the Messenger of Allah said, Whoever is deprived of gentleness is
deprived of good.
In spending
Allah advises us in the Holy Qur'aan on the management of our spending:

"And those who, when they spend, are not extravagant and not niggardly, but hold a
just balance between those extremes" (25: 67).


Truly, The Extravagant Are Brothers Of The Evil Ones, and The Evil One is to His
Lord ungrateful. (Quraan 17: 27)
Allahs Messenger, Muhammad said:



They are losers, those who make religion strenuous. They imperil themselves who
enforce tough practices of Islam. They destroy themselves who are extreme. Muslim







Islam Is Easy And The Person Who Makes It Strenuous Is A Loser. Hence, Follow
Islam With Moderation, Be Close To It, Give Glad Tidings, Follow It In The
Morning, During The Day, And Part Of The Night.
Bukhari

"O you who believe! Make not unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful
for you, but Commit no excess: for Allah loves not those given to excess."
(Quraan.5: 87)
Shun the dimensions towards crude ascetism or flamboyant extravagance.