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On the hadeeth, ’Do not be too strict with yourselves, for some people were strict on themselves and Allaah was strict on them..."

On the hadeeth, ’Do not be too strict with yourselves, for some people were strict on themselves and Allaah was strict on them, and we see the remnants of that in their hermitages and monasteries"

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said – commenting on the hadeeth, ’Do not be too strict with yourselves, for some people were strict on themselves and Allaah was strict on them, and we see the remnants of that in their hermitages and monasteries.“ - :

Here the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade being strict in religion by going beyond what is prescribed. Strictness may sometimes means taking what is not obligatory or mustahabb and making it obligatory or mustahabb with regard to acts of worship, and sometimes it may mean taking something that is not haraam or makrooh and making it haraam or makrooh with regard to things that are good. The reason for that is that Allaah was very strict on those among the Christians who were too strict on themselves, until it ended up in the innovation of monasticism.

Thus it may be noted that the Prophet disliked such things that the Christians did, such as innovation of monasticism, even though many devoted Muslims have fallen into the same trap on the basis of their interpretation for which they may be excused, or they fell into this trap with no justification.

It may also be noted that being too strict with oneself in the beginning may lead to further strictness imposed by Allaah, either through laws or through His decree. As for laws, this is what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) feared during his own time, of an increase in obligations or prohibitions such as that which he feared when they gathered to pay Taraweeh with him, and when they asked about things that had not been forbidden, and such as the fact that when a person vows to do an act of worship it becomes obligatory for him to do it even though he is forbidden to make vows, and similarly expiations which become obligatory for specific reasons.
As for the divine decree, we have often seen and heard that those who go to extremes in some issues, will be caused to suffer in ways that lead to things becoming more strict on him with regard to what is obligatory and what is haraam, such as many of those who are affected with waswaas about purification. When they do more than is prescribed, they will end up suffering from things that lead to something that may cause more hardship and harm to them. 

Iqtida‘ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem (103, 104).

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Reference: qsep.com