Thus we have made you [Muslims] a just and balanced nation that you be witnesses over mankind, and the Messenger (Muhammad (ﷺ)) be a witness over you. [2:143]
It is a religion of ease. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“Allah did not send me to make things difficult, obstinate and inflexible; rather, [he sent me] as a teacher and to make things easy.” [Muslim]
Its teachings enjoin Muslims to try to make things easy whenever possible. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“Give glad-tidings, and do not make things hard for people; rather make things easy and do not make things hard.” [Muslim]
It is a Religion of tolerance and kindness. A’ishah the wife of the Prophet (ﷺ) said that a group of Jews came to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and said:
“Death be upon you.” A’ishah replied, “And upon you be death and curses.” She said: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Easy O A’ishah. Indeed Allah loves kindness in all matters.” I said, “O Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) did you not hear what they said?” The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) replied, “I already said, ‘And upon you.'” [Al-Bukhari]
It is a Religion which seeks the well-being of all people. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“The best people in the sight of Allah are those who bring the most benefit to others. The best deeds in the sight of Allah are those which bring joy to another Muslim, bring him some relief, pay off a debt, or satiate another’s hunger. That I walk with a Muslim in fulfilling his need is more beloved to me than if I seclude myself in devotion in a Masjid for a month. Whoever restrains his anger, Allah will keep his private affairs hidden. Whoever suppresses his rage when he is able to take vengeance, Allah will fill his heart with pleasure on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever walks with his Muslim brother to fulfill his needs until he fulfills it, Allah will make his feet firm on a day in which people’s feet slip. Indeed bad manners spoil one’s deeds as vinegar spoils honey.” [at-Tabaraani]
It is a religion of moderateness not of hardship. Allah (SWT) says:
Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He will receive reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he will be punished for that (evil) which he has earned. [2:286]
All the commandments of Islam are built upon this principle. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“Whatever I have prohibited you, avoid it. And whatever I have ordered you, do as much of it as possible, for indeed those before you were destroyed due to their persistent questioning and differing with their prophets.” [Muslim]
The best evidence for this is the story of the Companion who came to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and said: “‘O Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) I am destroyed!’ He said, ‘What is wrong with you?’ The Companion said, ‘I had intercourse with my wife while I was fasting.’ The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, Are you able to free a slave?’ He replied in the negative. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, Are you able to fast for two consecutive months?’ He replied in the negative. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, ‘ Are you able to feed sixty poor people?’ He replied in the negative. The Prophet (ﷺ) waited a while, and when we were in that same state, a person came by with a container of dates, a container of the type woven from date-palms. He (the Messenger ﷺ ) said, ‘Where is the questioner?’ The man replied, am.’ He said, ‘Take this and give it as charity.’ So the man said, ‘shall I give it as charity to someone poorer than me O Messenger of Allah (ﷺ)? By Allah, there is no family in Medina poorer than my family.’ The Prophet (ﷺ) laughed [smiled] until his teeth showed and said, ‘Feed your family.’ “[Al-Bukhari]
All commandments and acts of worship in Islam have been legislated according to a person’s ability; a person is never overburdened. A Muslim may even be excused from performing these commandments and acts of worship, as is demonstrated in the following cases:
- One of the pillars of prayer is to perform it while in a standing position if one is able to do so. If a Muslim cannot perform it while standing up, they may do so while sitting, and if they are not able, they may perform it while lying down on their sides. If they cannot even do that, they can perform it through gestures.
- If a person does not have the minimum required amount of money in his possession, he does not have to offer the obligatory charity (Zakaah). On the contrary, if the person is needy or poor, he is to be allotted a share of the Zakaah.
- Muslims are excused from fasting if they are sick. Women are also excused if they are pregnant, or if they are experiencing their menstrual periods or post-partum bleeding.
- One is excused from performing Hajj if they are not able physically or financially. Allah (SWT) says:
And the performing of Hajj to the House [Kaaba] is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who have the ability. [13:97]
If a person fears that he will die out of hunger, it is permissible for him, according to his need, to cat and drink things normally forbidden, such as pork and wine. Allah (SWT) says:
But if one is forced by necessity without willful disobedience nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin on him. [2:173]