Teachings of the Prophet on Moderation

Three men came to the house of the Prophet (PBUH) to inquire about the worship of the Prophet (PBUH). When they were informed, they considered their worship insignificant and said: “What are we in comparison with the Prophet (PBUH) while Allah has forgiven his past sins and future sins”. One of them said: “As for me, I shall offer prayer all night long every day.” Another said: “I shall observe fasting continuously and shall not break it”. Another said: “I shall abstain from women and shall never marry”. The Prophet (PBUH) returned home he was informed of this conversation. He came to them and said, “Are you the people who said such and such things? By Allah, I fear Allah more than you do, and I am most obedient and dutiful among you to Him, but still I observe fast and break it; perform prayer  and sleep at night and I goto my wife. So whoever turns away from my Sunnah (my way) does not belong to me”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

The Prophet (PBUH) came in when a woman was sitting beside me.  He asked me, “Who is she?” I said: “She is the one whose performance of prayer has become the talk of the town.” Addressing her, he (PBUH) said, “(What is this!) You are required to take upon yourselves only what you can carry out easily. By Allah, Allah does not withhold His Mercy and forgiveness of you until you neglect and give up good works. Allah likes the deeds best which a worshipper can carry out constantly”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Ruined are those who insist on hardship in matters of the Faith.” He repeated this three times.
[Muslim]

The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The religion (of Islam) is easy, and whoever makes the religion a rigour, it will overpower him. So, follow a middle course (in worship); if you can’t do this, do something near to it and give glad tidings and seek help (of Allah) at morn and at dusk and some part of night”.
[Al-Bukhari].

The Prophet (PBUH) came into the mosque and noticed a rope stretched between two poles. He enquired, “What is this rope for?” He was told: “This is Zainab’s  (his wife)  rope. When during her voluntary night prayer, she begins to feel tired, she grasps it for support”. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Untie it. You should perform prayers so long as you feel active. When you feel tired, you should go to sleep”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “When one of you feels drowsy during prayer, let him lie down till drowsiness goes away from him, because when one of you performs prayers while feeling sleepy, he does not know whether he seeks forgiveness or abuses himself”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

The Prophet (PBUH) made a bond of brotherhood between Salman and Abud-Darda’. Salman paid a visit to Abud-Darda’ and found Umm Darda’ (his wife) dressed in shabby clothes and asked her why she was in that state. She replied: “Your brother Abud-Darda’ is not interested in (the luxuries of) this world. In the meantime Abud-Darda’ came in and prepared a meal for Salman. Salman requested Abud-Darda’ to eat (with him) but Abud-Darda’ said: “I am fasting.” Salman said: “I am not going to eat unless you eat.” So, Abud-Darda’ ate (with Salman). When it was night and (a part of the night passed), Abud-Darda’ got up (to offer the night prayer) but Salman asked him to sleep and Abud-Darda’ slept. After some time Abud-Darda’ again got up but Salman asked him to sleep. When it was the last hours of the night, Salman asked him to get up and both of them offered (Tahajjud) prayer. Then Salman told Abud-Darda’: “You owe a duty to your Rubb, you owe a duty to your body; you owe a duty to your family; so you should give to every one his due. Abud-Darda’ came to the Prophet (PBUH) and reported the whole story. Prophet (PBUH) said, “Salman is right”.
[Al-Bukhari].

The Prophet (PBUH) was informed that I said that I would perform prayers the whole night and observe fasting every day as long as I live. Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Is it you who said this?” I said to him, “O Messenger of Allah!  It is I who said that.” Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “You will not be able to do that. Observe fast and break it; sleep and get up for prayer, and observe fast for three days during the month; for every good is multiplied ten times and that will be equal to fasting the whole year.” I said, “O Messenger of Allah! I can do more than that.” He said, “Observe fast one day and leave off the next two days.” I said, “O Messenger of Allah! I have strength to do more than that.” Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Observe fast every other day, and that is the fasting of Dawud (PBUH) and that is the most moderate fasting”.

Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said to me, “O `Abdullah! Have I not been informed that you observe fast during the day and offer prayer all the night.” I replied, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Don’t do that. Observe fast for few days and then leave off for few days, perform prayers and also sleep at night, as your body has a right upon you, and your eyes have a right upon you; and your wife has a right upon you; your visitors have a right upon you. It is sufficient for you to observe fast three days in a month, as the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times, so it will be like fasting the whole year.” I insisted (on fasting) and so I was given a hard instruction. I said, “O Messenger of Allah! I have strength.” Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Observe fast like the fasting of Prophet Dawud (PBUH); and do not fast more than that.” I said: “How was the fasting of Prophet David?” He (PBUH) said, “Half of the year (i.e., he used to fast on every alternate day).”

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