Excess in religion

In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

The meaning of excess:

The meaning of excess is exceeding limit or boundary, the limit is a religious text; words of Allah; and what was proven to be true of our Prophets’ Holy Hadith, and this text should be explained according to the rules of Origins, Allah has said in the Holy Quran:

(It is not for a believer, a man or a woman, when Allah and his Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and his Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error)

(O you who believe ! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad –PBUH) and those of you muslims who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and his Messenger (PBUH), if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. This is better and more suitable for final determination)

And in the Holy Hadith narrated by Bin –Abbass -May Allah Please him – that Prophet ( PBUH) said :

Don’t ever excess in religion, the previous nations where simply destroyed because of their excess in religion

How do jurists search in a religious matter?

When a jurist searches in a religious matter, he collects related texts from Qura’an & Hadith, matches them in away which would not allow any text to prevail the other,he would not take a text and neglect another, and he would not take a paragraph of a text and neglect the rest.

How do the exaggerators search in a religious matter?

Other risky exaggerators, seek contradiction among texts, or adopt a text, goes along with their excess, highlight it, dim other texts; oppose their excess, So verses which could cover their excess are twisted by false interpretation to match their fancy, on the other hand, verses oppose their excess is totally abandoned; and if they were reminded by those verses they twist them into a totally different explanation.
Regarding noble Hadith; they accept the weak,or even the false if it goes along with their excess, and they refuse the accepted or even the proved one if it shows their deviation.
Furthermore; they accept any saying, other than Quran or Sunnah, which would back up their excess;neglecting the rule :

If you transfer then transfer only the right thing and if you claim then show the evidence

and they refuse any saying that opposes them; even if it was strongly proved.
They select what they like among texts, so no wonder, they express their opinion, they control the text not refer to it, they believe first then seek guidance, which is a dangerous deviation;while the right thing is to seek guidance then believe

Types of Excess :

There are two types of excess according to Imam Al Shatibi in his book “Muwafakat”:

Excess in conviction:

Exaggerators believe that a part of religion is the whole religion.
Exaggerators of each branch of religion replace it in the place of origin, they scorn those who care for the rest of branches.
It is clear that the belief side, behavior and psychological side are among these branches of religion. And it’s a great excess when one of these branches takes the place of the whole religion. On the other hand; an enlargement of a religious branch to replace the origin is also an excess.

The practical excess:

When a person becomes a victim of his dominant obsessions, he thinks that he can by himself remove the suffering of the nation with an an act that is not in the Divine religion.
When a person also exaggerates the religious limits in worship as to neglect his work and family, he becomes unbalanced and doesn’t score the ideal target of his devoutness.

The most dengarous excess:

There’s no doubt that the excess in belief is the most dangerous, because the person who is excessive in his belief won’t give it up, so he believes he is right. He doesn’t know, but he is not aware that he doesn’t know. Using only force and the security solution is not enough to cure this kind of excess, if they are not accompanied with a high level of good listening to this person, and accurate comprehension to his opinion, considering his motives and injuries, persuading him instead of restraining. That’s because force wouldn’t make truth but truth would make power, because power without wisdom destroys man.
This type of excess divided people into parties, caused fancies to raise, differed minds, separated hearts, and caused bloodshed؛ thus
Allah has said in the noble Quran:

(And obey Allah and his Messenger and don’t dispute (with one another)lest you lose charge and your strength departs, and be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are as As-sabireen(the patient))

Reasons of Excess:

Reasons of excess are many, some of which are the followings:

1- Ignorance:

“Ignorance” is not knowing the principle of Allah – the Al Mighty-, and the Sunnah of his Messenger – (Mohammed PBUH), the exaggerator may deplores the forbidden things, and be enthusiastic for his religion, if he ever sees a person doing a sin, he won’t be able to accept, or even can’t imagine that this sinner is a Muslim, or that his sin may be forgiven, thus he accuses him with infidelity and departing from religion.
He may also be fond of a virtuous man, the concept of this fondness is accepted in our religion, but; this fond may become excessive due to ignorance till it up lifts this virtuous man beyond his level, again, the exaggerator accuses anyone who doesn’t accept this excess with infidelity.
There is also ignorance of evidence as one might not know the evidence or might not be aquainted with it. It may also be ignorance in conclusion, or in Arabic Language structure.
Ignorance is the easiest reason of excess to cure, particularly if the exaggerator has no fancy towards what he does, no bad desires, Ignorance simply vanishes by learning … During the regime of The wise Khalifa -Omer Bin Abdel-Azeez he debated and discussed the Khawarij. Afterwards; more than two thousands abandoned their believes at once.

2- Fancy:

Fancy leads a person to exaggerate in interpretation, and refuse the correct texts. Fancy may occur for a worldly benefit, i.e.; seeking leadership, fame…The exaggerator also may be far from these worldly benefits but, deviation first reached his mind and soul, settled,rooted and established its basics. As been said :

Her passionate conquered me, even before recognizing passion
it deeply rooted in my heart for being already empty

Then, the exaggerator can’t simply give up his excess, and admit that he was eager to injustice, so he clings to his wrong ideas, seeks any weak clue to cover him. thus, it was said: Do Learn before being leaders, once you become leaders you won’t learn.
Fancy may happen because of erratic and sick psychology, tends to violence and sever abuse in situations and views, a sick one always focuses on negative and dark side of others, he also may be- without he even notices – described to have arrogance and superiority. If he ever meets persons or reads their works, he looks for points of weakness neglecting their positive sides. Thus his trust in active scholars and devoted propagandists vanishes, he just stays away from them and becomes self independent. Which leads to abnormality in views, situations and provisions then behavior.

3- The other party’s excess:

Those who lead Islamic societies to corruption, pornography and moral degeneration, violate our immunities, underestimate our standards and defile what’s holy. They are the real cause of excess, even if they declared war on it.
If society allows, accepts, supports and protects or encourages the phenomena of pornography and degeneration at school, university, street, beach, shopping centers, parks and media…, such a society should be ready to cope with many types of excess.

Sorts of excessiveness:

Before searching for effective solutions to get rid of excess, we must distinguish between different sorts of excess:

Real excessiveness:

It is breaking the limits of religion and deviation from the right Islamic path

Imaginary excess:

The enemies of Islam have an imaginary excess, as they once describe devoted believers to be fundamental and isolated, or they accuse them of excess and severity even though they are dedicated to call to Allah, Islamic religion & Sharea and to adhere to the Quran and prophetic sunnah.

Treating excess:

The only way to get rid of the real excess in religion is to help devoted active scholars do their duty in calling to Allah according to right and balanced basics, through a clear vision of this religion, and using ways derived from the Quran and sunnah.

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds

Prepared by: Noora Al Sharabi




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