What is ‘Moderate Islam’?
Nowadays a new term seems to have been introduced – “Moderate Islam”. Is this a new concept? I tried looking for it many a times but did not get an answer. I would be happy if you can kindly give me information about the topic.
The expressions fundamentalist, extremist, moderate, or liberal Islam are meaningless when viewed from the point of view of a person who is trying to understand and follow the message of God sincerely. However, it is a fact that the same message of God Almighty can be interpreted and understood differently by different people. Their interpretations differ because human beings have their limitations. We cannot know perfectly everything in the Quran and Sunnah. One of the trials we are going through in this life is the trial of knowledge. We are expected to always be open to the truth wherever it comes from. No one person or a group of people can claim to know the whole truth about Islam, after the last of the prophets, Muhammad, sallallahu alaihiwasallam, left this world. It is the Quran brought by him and the Sunnah which he has meticulously arranged to leave behind for the Muslim Ummah to follow, that forms the basic foundation of all Islamic learning. However, learning from these basic sources is an ongoing process and that’s how it should remain for all students of Islam. The one who claims that he has learnt the final word about everything in religion is hopelessly ignorant.
If a person is an extremist or a moderate in the sense that he has already formed his opinions about Islam from an outside source (family traditions, scholars, or others) and is not prepared to change them despite knowing clearly that the true message of Islam is different from his views, he has certainly deviated from the right path. The one who despite trying his best to learn the truth finds himself an extremist or a moderate is not to be blamed for his views.