الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين، أما بعد
Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) said:
“In it is a warning of the plot of Satan, in that he makes apparent things that are ugly to be made to appear in the manifestation of things that are good and as such the people are deceived; this is from one aspect.
From the other aspect is that he implements the gradual progression/persuasion of the people – by way of one thing after another. As it was he that effected the gradual persuasion of the people of Nooh (Noah) through the means of: remembrance in worship and in vigor and in good purpose/intention. Yet he gradually progressed them towards a bad purpose and to make shirk with Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic.
This is not restricted to the devils from the jinn, rather it is found amongst the devils from the humans who likewise carry out these actions. Hence the callers to evil and the callers to misguidance likewise plot against the Islamic Ummah, the like of how Satan plots:
شَيَاطِينَ الْإِنسِ وَالْجِنِّ يُوحِي بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ زُخْرُفَ الْقَوْلِ غُرُورًا
((Devils from mankind and jinn, some of them inspiring others with adorned speech as a delusion)) (Al-An’aam: 112)”
The Shaikh went on to mention:
“The Khawaarij and the Mu’tazilah as well as the scholars of theological rhetoric were not destroyed except due to their extremism.
So the Khawaarij have immense worship, such that the companions would deem their prayer as lesser compared to their prayer, they likewise have an abundance of the recitation of the Qur’aan. However; they did not suffice with that which was legislated, they increased – and Allaah’s refuge is sought – until they were destroyed. Everyone that does the like of this; then he will be destroyed, and the proven experience (of this) is present; and as such not one of the extremists and those who go to extremes have reached the desired result – ever. Rather their path is that of destruction in the life of this world and in the Hereafter.
This is what should be warned against in this time, because the manifestation of going to extremes and extremism has increased – except for the one that Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic has mercy upon, that is when ignorance became rampant amongst the people – hence came the extremism as came the violating contradictions which were made fair seeming through the adornment of the devils of the humans and the jinn.
So it is obligatory upon us that we should warn against this; and that we adhere to the path of upright steadfastness in everything.”
When elaborating on some of the misguided sects that went to extremes, the Shaikh mentioned:
“The Khawaarij and the Mu’tazilah went to extremes in the issue of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, until they rebelled against the leaders of the Muslims. From their principles is that enjoining the good and forbidding the evil takes the meaning of: rebellion against the rulers.
Enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is a requirement; however it must be within the boundaries of the legislation. He (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
((He amongst you who sees evil, then let him change it with his hand. If he is unable, then with his tongue; and if he is unable, then with his heart.))
So he made enjoining the good and forbidding the evil as levels in accordance with ability. He did not command with rebellion against the rulers and renouncing the pledge of allegiance and the splitting of the Muslims – and yet this is the way of the Mu’tazilah and the Khawaarij.
The Khawaarij rebelled against Ameerul Mu’mineen (the Leader of the Believers) ‘Ali bin Abee Taalib (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) and the affair came to an end with them with their killing him (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) – all of this was due to extremism; and this is an asserting confirmation of his saying (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam):
((For indeed that which destroyed those who came before you was extremism.))
So extremism is destruction in the life of this world – as well as destruction in the Hereafter, and it does not come with any good – at all. The religion of Allaah is between the extremist in regards to it and the estranged alienated from it, the religion of Allaah is moderately balanced:
وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا
((And thus we have made you a justly balanced Ummah [nation])) (Al-Baqarah: 143)
It is moderately balanced between extremism and being estranged; and this Ummah is the best – of just equity (between excess and falling short), there is no extremism amongst them and there is no estranged alienation amongst them. Rather amongst them is moderation, and this is the path of success – always and forever.”
(Taken from: I‘aanatul Mustafeed be-Sharh Kitaab at Tawheed vol 1 p.359-360 & p.369-370)
 Just as we should warn also against its destructive opposite, as Shaikh Al-Fawzaan himself mentioned: “If we denounce radicalism and extremism, then it is necessary upon us that we likewise denounce laxity and negligence. As for us our concentrating on one side whilst we are inattentive of the other side – whilst it may be more dangerous, for now I see that denunciation – all of it is upon extremism and radicalism – and his is correct, yes we denounce radicalism and extremism, however it is obligatory that we should not forget laxity and slackness and disbelief. It is obligatory that we concentrate upon both sides and caution against this one and that one.” (See: Al-Wasatiyyah fil Islaam p.12)
 Reported by Muslim (no.49).
 Reported by Ahmad (1/347) An-Nasaa-ee (no.3057) and others. Its wording as it appears in these books is: ((Beware of extremism in the religion, for indeed that which destroyed those who came before you was extremism in the religion.)) The hadeeth was declared Saheeh (authentic) by Shaikh Al-Albaanee in his Saheeh Sunan An-Nasaa-ee (no.3057).