The other day I was on the subway and I noticed an advertisement that immediately got me thinking about extremism in society. (Check it out below)
While the word “extremism” is usually talked about in the context of violence, we often fail to observe other areas in life where individuals or societies go to extremes and avoid moderation. Perhaps, the advertisement could have been even more blunt and rephrased as “Obsessive Compulsive Gambling Starts Here”.
What was even more disturbing was right next to this ad, another ad had the message “Live In The Moment”.
There’s no doubt marketers exploit human desires and directly blast messages to encourage extreme consumption. I remember a few years ago when I visited Las Vegas, thanks to a free trip my relatives took me on which was totally random.
I recall, walking through the casinos and not seeing any concept of time present in the minds of gamblers. There weren’t any clocks around and people were glued to their slot machines. The environment in these places are created to have people fully immersed, so I wasn’t totally surprised. What was even worst was if you lowered your gaze, you would see haraam fliers on the floor. Chill!
However, it wasn’t totally bad, they had a nice masjid not too far from all the fitna, where I ran into Nouman Ali Khan giving a Friday sermon. I’m never going back there again insha’Allah.
Anyway, getting back to finding moderation, Islam encourages us (mankind) to stay moderate in life and not transgress the boundaries. Allah (swt) has set up a balance in the world, and when we disrupt that balance, it only hurts us.
Personally, when I hear the words such as balance, moderation and normal also come to mind. Allah (swt) puts into context how moderation plays a role in the lifestyle of a believer in several contexts, one of which includes how we should spend our wealth. Check it:
“And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate”.
To bounce back to the casino example, gamblers are inclined to not spend their wealth moderately. Getting caught in habits like this puts a person in a vicious cycle where they aren’t conscious about consequences but rather seek immediate pleasure/instant gratification.
In conclusion, as Muslims, we must avoid going to “extremes” if we desire to stay on the “sirat al mustaqim”.
*Insha’Allah I’ll be putting out another post related to this in the future as there is much more related to this topic. Sorry I haven’t been writing as of late, please keep me in your dua’s. May Allah swt reward all of you. Ameen.