Meaning of the Prophetic Hadith””Beware! The extremists perished,” saying it three times.”

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
What is meant by the term ”Tanatu`” and what is meant by the Hadith: “Ruined are those who insist on hardship in matters of the Faith.”

All perfect praise be to Allah. Blessings and peace be upon Prophet Mohammad: In principle, the term ”Tanatu`” means probing into a matter.”Motanatioon” refers to those who probe into matters unnecessarily. The Prophet asking Allah to ruin them in the above Hadith indicates disgust against their “Tanatu`”, or passing the news of their ruin in the Hereafter as some scholars said. Ibn Atheer`s book” An-nihayah Fi Ghreeb Al-Hadith Wa Al-Atharr “ stated: “ (Motanatioon) in the above Hadith are those who probe into matters and insist on hardship in what they say.” The term “ Tanatu` “ was used by the Arabs to describe those who show off in their speech and employ awkward words when addressing people so as to win their hearts, and this is forbidden in Islam. Later, it was used to describe whoever insisted on hardship in matters, whether by words, or deeds, and so they become far from moderation and balance, which are the spirit of Islam. Some instances of “ Tanatu` “ are: inquiring about non-existent juristic issues, and details of the unseen which none knows but Allah, such as the Spirit and The Day of Resurrection. Other instances are: proclaiming the legal illegal, innovations in religious matters, and insisting on hardship in religious practices, doctrines and thoughts. This is in addition to insisting on hardship in observing acts of worship to an extent that goes beyond the injunctions of Sharia, or in matters related to ritual purity to the extent of succumbing to the whispers of the devil. It is stated in Al-Meenawee`s book, “ Faidulkhadheer “: “ It was said that (Motanatioon) are those who insist on hardship in their acts of worship to the extent of not adhering to the rules of Sharia, and succumbing to the whispers of the devil. “ Lots of verses and Hadiths encourage ease and deny hardship as far as religious and worldly matters are concerned. Almighty Allah says: “God desires ease for you, and desires not hardship for you.” {Al-Baqarah/185}. Moreover, Prophet Mohammad said: “"The religion (of Islam) is easy, and whoever makes the religion a rigour, it will overpower him. So, follow a middle course (in worship); if you can't do this, do something near to it and give glad tidings and seek help (of Allah) at morn and at dusk and some part of night". {Bukhari}. Therefore, a Muslim follows a moderate and balanced course, but doesn`t make that a pretext for dissolving the rulings of Sharia. What is intended here is following a middle and balanced course without going to extremes. And Allah knows best.

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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