Islam is the religion of mercy and kindness, the religion of tolerance and ease. Allaah has not burdened this ummah (community, nation) with more than it can bear. Whatever good it does, it will be rewarded for it, and whatever evil it does, it will have to bear the burden of that sin, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned” [al-Baqarah 2:286]
This very sad statement “Islam is Difficult” is uttered or at least believed by many Muslims around the world when we look at the teachings of Islam, finding ease and moderation is recommended in both the worldly as well as religious matters.
‘Aa’ishah R.A. said: “Never that the Prophet ﷺ , had to choose between two matters, but that he chose the easier of them as long as it was not a sin (i.e. a prohibited action). If it was a sin, he was the farthest of people from it…..” (Al-Bukhaari)
People either have an incorrect understanding of Islam or do not realize how easy the rules of Islam are to follow. Let us look at the basic teachings of Islam and see how simple, natural and easy it is to practice Islam.
Firstly, the fact that everything worldly is permissible unless prohibited by sacred texts or deduction from them, is proof that Islam is not a difficult religion to follow, the amount of things that are permissible to do are far more than the obligations or prohibitions. Islam is not an ascetic religion that expects people to abandon the world and worship Allah all day in a cave, in fact, Islam prohibits such behavior and encourages us to interact with society and live normal lives within the boundaries set by Allah, fulfilling our rights to Allah, to ourselves, and to the rest of creation. There is nothing prohibited that is necessary in our lives, rather only that which is harmful to human life is prohibited. And the obligations are simple just 5 prayers a day fast a month in one year, if eligible give 2.5% Zakah once a year and if possible make Hajj once in your whole life. How much simpler can it be when the return is the Magnificent Jannah made by Allah S.W.T.
The Sunnah is to make things easy he was sent to make things easy for us, show us the right way, the way that pleases the Lord and get to eternal bliss with the easiest deeds possible. Although Islam is a simple religion and not burdensome, this does not mean that life will be easy for a practicing Muslim as Allah has promised to test each and every one of us. So keep in mind that although Islam is easy to practice if you commit yourself, your level of commitment will be tested by Allah. But being moderate and making things easy for ourselves and for others is part of the Sunnah.
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet ﷺ said:
“Religion is easy, and no one overburdens himself in his religion but he will be unable to continue in that way. So do not be extremists, but try to be near perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded. Gain strength by worshipping in the mornings and afternoons and during the last hours of the night.” [Narrated by al-Bukhaari (39) and Muslim (2816)].
The Prophet ﷺ said, “You are an ummah for whom I want ease.” [Musnad al-Imam Ahmad (5/32)],
According to another report: “The best of your religion is that which is easiest, the best of your religion is that which is easiest.” Musnad Ahmad (3/479). It was classed as hasan
Hence the Prophet ﷺ enjoined and encouraged moderation, and said: “I urge you to be moderate and you will reach your goal.”
Then he ﷺ enjoined avoiding extremism and trying to be near perfection, and encouraged people to be hopeful and not to yield to despair.
“Make things easy (for people) and do not make things difficult, give glad tidings and do not put people off.”
Why people take Islam to be difficult is mainly because of the three things:
So as an Ummah it is the duty of those who has the understanding and are blessed with the Hidayah to worship their Lord that they should try simplify things for the people. Tell them the rewards before the prohibitions, talk to them of the alternatives, talk about the Mercy of Allah, make them see you do the chores of Islam effortlessly and hence make it simple to them by your words and actions.
But again this shouldn’t be taken to make a person laidback and not strive for Jannah. The more we work in this world for the Sake of Allah the higher the reward in the hereafter. The ease in worship can be taken as the concessions given in Islam for the travellers, when sick or when a person forgets he will only be brought to account for what he does deliberately, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And there is no sin on you concerning that in which you made a mistake, except in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend” [al-Ahzaab 33:5]
What the Hadeeth also emphasizes on is doing things that one is able to continue and is consistent upon. Don’t make resolutions that we wont be able to do. Add a couple of sunnahs to your daily life be consistent until it is done effortlessly for you and then add more.
Another important point to remember is that Allah is Ar-Rahman (Most Merciful) and Al-Ghafoor (Most Forgiving) which means that if we try our best to practice Islam, and still fall into error due to our human nature and own weakness, the door to Allah’s forgiveness is always open for those who repent.
Shaykh Uthaymeen in his explanation of the Hadeeth “Religion Is Easy” said:
Do not repulse the people, rather, make it light for them. Even in calling to Allah (powerful and high) don’t call to Allah [by way of] repulsion. Don’t say to a someone if you see him in error, “Oh So in So, you are in error, you sinned, in you [is such and such], and so on and so forth. This is repulsion and it [only] increases them in remaining in disobedience. But [rather] call them with ease and softness until you attract them to you and to what you are calling to. By this you are acting out the example of the Prophet ﷺ in his statement, “…Cheer the people up by conveying glad tidings to them and do not repulse (them).”
So take this hadeeth Oh brother, and make this the foundation [or source] of your profit. “Make things easy and do not make them difficult, cheer the people up by conveying glad tidings to them and do not repulse (them).”
The basics of Islam are simple to understand and practical to implement, making Islam a universal religion that can be practiced by anyone regardless of his or her intellectual or physical capabilities. It is this pure simplicity of Islam that makes it so universally appealing and it is one of the many reasons that so many people around the world from different backgrounds convert to Islam.
One form of providing ease is to make things easy in terms of religion and the other is to remove general difficulties for their brothers, this brings in great rewards from Allah and also is of great benefit in this world.
Being helpful or always ready to help was one of the characteristics of the Prophet ﷺ he would never say no to anyone who had asked him of help., Jabir ibn Abdullah (Allah be pleased with him) relates that, “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ was never asked anything whatsoever to which he said no.” [Bukhari and Muslim].
There is great virtue in helping a brother. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “A Muslim is a brother of (another) Muslim, he neither wrongs him nor does hand him over to one who does him wrong. If anyone fulfils his brother’s needs, Allah will fulfil his needs; if one relieves a Muslim of his troubles, Allah will relieve his troubles on the Day of Resurrection…” [Bukhari and Muslim].
Subhanallah! — look at the reward for helping out your fellow Muslim, to simply help them and to assist them in their needs, you will get the help and assistance of Allah Almighty.
But not only will Allah fulfill us in our needs in this world, but by you also helping your Muslim brother or sister out in times of hardships and difficulties — Allah will help us in the most difficult time in our life, being the Day Of Judgement, when we will all be in such a frantic, in need of help, and Allah promises us in this Hadith that He will relieve us our troubles on that day if we simply relieve the troubles of a Muslim in this world.
In another Hadith, Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “He who removes from a believer one of his difficulties of this world, Allah will remove one of his troubles on the Day of Resurrection; and he who finds relief for a hard-pressed person, Allah will make things easy for him on the Day of Resurrection; he who covers up (the faults and sins) of a Muslim, Allah will cover up (his faults and sins) in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah supports His slave as long as the slave is supportive of his brother…” [Muslim]
Today’s world sadly we Muslims have fallen into the trap of immediately discussing the mistakes or sins of others. Hide it oh my brothers & sisters in Islam, Hide it so Allah hide your mistakes, Hide it so that the brother has a chance to repent and you get the reward, hide it for the Sake of Allah if nothing else!
To conclude, strive hard to lend a hand to your Muslims in need, no matter how big or small their need may be — help them for the sake of Allah. It brings in tranquility in your heart and makes the society better, never leave your brother standing after asking for your help, if he is in need of your help… help him fesabeelillah…
May Allah make us amongst those who make things easy for people by being easy and helpful!