“Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship.” (Qur’an, 2:185)
Allah ﷻ has given us the gift of ease in every step of this beautiful religion. Let’s have a look at one vital example. A condition of Salah is that a person performs wudu (ablution). Now we know that Tayammum is an option in some circumstances. How did tayammum come as an alternative?
During the time of the Prophet ﷺ, He ﷺ went on an expedition with his beloved wife Aisha رضي الله عنهما realised her necklace was missing and told the Prophet ﷺ about it. The Prophet ﷺ relieved her and stopped the entire army. They all began to search for the necklace and night fell upon them still searching. They waited in that place till morning. However, the companions complained to her father, Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه, that his daughter made them stop in a water-less place and were wondering how they would perform ablution for Fajr. Side note: We see here that they were not complaining about waiting, but due to the inability to fulfil a command of Allah.
Fajr time came and the companions panicked and were worried about how they’ll fulfill their salah. Then the verses of Tayammum was revealed:
“O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favour upon you that you may be grateful.” (5:6)
The ending of the above verse emphasizes that Allah ﷻ made this religion one of ease. Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه, reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, the religion is easy, and no one burdens himself in religion but that it overwhelms him. Follow the right course, seek closeness to Allah, give glad tidings, and seek help for worship in the morning and evening and a part of the night.” (Bukhari 39)
From the ease of the religion is in obligatory worship: we pray 5 times a day, yet they are equal to 50 in reward. We fast compulsory during Ramadan with the reward for fasting an entire year (with Shawwal added.) Despite the obligation of fasting, the ills and travellers have concession to repay it later so as not to inconvenience them. Giving Zakah is only 2.5% and is only compulsory for those who are able, and Hajj for people able to have sufficient means and capability to make the journey. From this we see that the obligations in Islam are easy and achievable. Allah ﷻ does not overburden us in fulfilling His commands.
This is not to say we should not strive to do more Ibadah, but we should maintain and try to perfect the minimum before increasing our acts of Ibadah. ‘Indeed, you will not attain this matter (Islam) with exaggeration, and the best of your religion is ease.’ (Musnad Imam Ahmed) Therefore, do not thread the part of exaggeration so as not to wear yourself out, as the most beloved deeds to Allah are those done consistently even if they are little.
Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه, reported: The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said, “O people, beware of exaggeration in religion, for those who came before you were ruined by exaggeration in religion.” (Ibn Majah 3029)
Seek a balanced way and fulfill the obligation as the way to exerting what we do as the way to come closer to Allah ﷻ is through what He has obligated upon us. “My servant does not grow closer to me with anything more beloved to me than the duties I have imposed upon him. My servant continues to grow closer to me with extra good works until I love him…” (Bukhāri 6137)
In addition to the above verses there are various ahadith that are in line with ease in Islam.
The extraction below is adapted from the book: The Journey to Allah by Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali
“Some examples of the ease that resulted through his ﷺ blessings is that the one who prays Isha in congregation, it is as if he has prayed half the night, and the one who prays Fajr in congregation, it is as if he has prayed the whole night. Hence, the night prayer is recorded for him while he lies asleep on his bed, and more so if he goes to sleep in a state of purity and remains in the remembrance of Allah until his eyes close.
Whoever fasts three days of every month it is as if he has fasted the whole month [Bukhari 3418 and Muslim 1159/2729]. Hence he is regarded to be fasting the remaining days of the month in the record of Allah even though he is eating and the one who is eating and grateful has the reward of the one who is patiently fasting.” [Tirmidhi 2486 and Ibn Majah 1765]
Whoever has the intention of waking up to pray by night but is overcome by sleep will have the reward of the night prayer recorded for him and that sleep of his would be a charity from Allah. [Abu Dawud 1314 and ibn Majah 1344]
Abu’l-Darda’ said, ‘Excellent indeed is the sleep of the intelligent and their breaking of fast! Look how they outstrip the night vigil and the fasting of the obtuse! [Abu Nu’aym, vol. 1, p. 211.] It is for this reason that the authentic hadith mentions, “It is well possible that one who prays by night gets nothing from it save weariness and a person fasting gets nothing from it, save hunger and thirst.” Recorded by Tabarani and Ahmad.”
It is vital to always have it at the back of our minds that Allah has simplified Islam for so there’s no need to over complicate it. May Allah ﷻ enable us to be consistent in our acts of Ibadah, Amin.
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Till next time Fi Ammanillah!
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