Just as extremism comes in the form of being too stern, it also comes in the form of being too lax.
The praise is for Allah. The dispraises and refutations about extremism in the religion have become many. This is because going to the extreme in the religion is something that was forbidden in the book of Allah, the Sunnah and the consensus of the scholars. Allah said,
“Exceed not the limits in your religion (by believing in something) other than the truth”. [5:77]
In another verse He says, “Do not exceed the limits in your religion, nor say of Allah aught but the truth.” [4:171] The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “Stay away from extremism, for verily it was extremism that caused the destruction of those before you.”
Extremism in the religion is going beyond the borders of that which was set by the legislation. This could be in worship, like the situation of the three people, one of them said, “I will not sleep.” the second of them said, “I will fast and will not break my fast” and the third said, “I will not marry women”. Also, extremism can come in the rulings. This is done by placing those things that are recommended at the stature of those things that are obligatory. Extremism is also done by ruling on one who falls into major sins that are less then shirk with disbelief and removing him from the fold of Islam. It also falls into commanding with good and forbidding evil, as the extremism of the Mu’tazilah and the way they make their uprising on those in authority and rule over the Muslims. This is the extremism in making things permissible and impermissible. This is done by making the impermissible permissible and the permissible impermissible. So extremism in the religion in all of its types is forbidden. It could take someone outside of the folds of this religion, and cause destruction as it did to those before us. No one that Allah gives an understanding of this religion and true vision in terms of the rulings, doubts in this. So he puts things in their proper place.
There are those that are on the complete opposite of extremity in ways of going over board in the religion. There are those that go to the extreme in being too relaxed. There is no doubt that our religion is that which teaches us forgiveness, removing hardship and being upright. It is obligatory, though, that this being lax falls in the limitations of that which was legislated by Allah. This is done by taking the legislated easy way out when necessary. The whole religion, and the praise is for Allah, is free of extreme hardships. Allah said,
“Allah does not burden a soul with a burden greater then it can bare.” [2:286]
And Allah said,
“And He has not laid upon you in religion any hardship” [22:78]
As well as His statement,
“Allah does not want to place you in difficulty [5:6]
Extremism by way of being too lax is done by leaving that which was legislated by Allah. This is not called being forgiving and over looking, but rather it in itself is hardship. Leaving off, or throwing aside the foundation of loving and hating in Islam, the making equal of the Muslim and the disbeliever, by claiming they are the same thing, and leaving off applying the nullifies of Islam on the on that falls into all of them or even some of them are forms of this extremism. This is also found in the idea that some hold that all of the religions are equal, by saying that Islam is the same as or equal to Judaism and Christianity. They don’t stop there, but rather some say that all of the religions fall into this. They include in it idol worship and atheism. The statement that none has the right to be worshiped other then Allah is not made up of the fact of disbelieving in the false deities and does not negate other then Islam from the false religions is something that is said by some authors in some of our papers. These are some examples of going to the extreme in being overly laxidasical (look up spelling of this word). Overlooking of things to the point that we make the religion of the disbeliever equal to the religion of the truth in itself, is disbelief which has been confirmed by the consensus of the scholars. This is the opposite of going to the extreme in going overboard. Many from the Scholars have taken the opinion that it is misguidance, but it does not lead to the extent of disbelief. The scholars have stated that from the nullifies of Islam is that one does not say that a disbeliever is a disbeliever or that they doubt in their disbelief.
So who ever fell into these dangerous affairs, then it is upon him to look into his situation and return to the truth. Verily returning to the truth is a virtuous thing. Returning to the truth is better then wading in falsehood.
May Allah give us all success in gaining beneficial knowledge and righteous actions. Also send prayers and peace on our messenger Muhammad and his family and followers, and his companions.
Written by, Translated by,
Saalih bin Fawzan al Fawzan Abu Abdillah bin Bernard
(A member of the Major Scholars)
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