Believers constantly live their lives according to what the All-Merciful and Most Merciful has revealed in the Qur’an. No matter where they are, they display a moral character that pleases Allah and avoid any behavior that displeases Him. In His mercy, Allah gave Islam to humanity, a religion that is easy to follow and results in a good and contented way of life. From the Qur’an, we can see that Islam’s requirements are extremely easy, because “Allah desires ease for you; He does not desire difficulty for you” (Surat al-Baqara, 185).
Due to His compassion and mercy, all true religions contain rules that are very easy to obey. The various attempts made throughout history to deviate from the essence of religion and to prevent people from living according to it have added several enforced practices and myths to it. When such distortions become firmly established and self-generating traditions, people, either with or without their knowledge, become far removed from the religious morality. One of the most dangerous of these distorted beliefs is that it is hard to live according to the religious morality. However, both Allah and our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) state that it is very easy for believers to follow this morality.
As with everything else that exists, Allah has created human beings from nothing. With full knowledge of them, as well as being closer to them than their jugular veins, He created religion in such a way that it fully corresponds with each person’s inherent human nature:
So set your face firmly toward the Religion, as a pure natural believer, Allah’s natural pattern on which He made humanity. There is no changing Allah’s creation. That is the true Religion – but most people do not know it. (Surat ar-Rum, 30)
The Qur’an is a clear teaching that anyone, regardless of age and culture, can understand. The oft-heard assertion that this is not true is based mainly on people’s ignorance of Islam’s essence. Today, many people are unaware of the truths revealed in the Qur’an, the existence of the Afterlife, the pangs of Hell, the incomparable blessings of Paradise, and of what He has revealed concerning various matters. However, the Qur’an was sent down so that people could read it, know its wisdom, and learn the purpose of life:
It’s revealed in the Qur’an that: “And [I have been ordered] to recite the Qur’an.” (Surat an-Naml, 92)
A Muslim’s greatest responsibility is to read the Qur’an and live according to It. The Qur’an is clear, and everyone who reads It can understand It. But only those whom Allah guides to the straight path can apply Its morality to their lives. Allah promises to guide everyone who turns to Him in complete sincerity. Those who assert that the Qur’an is hard to understand seek to prevent others from reading it, turning toward Allah, and living according to its moral teachings. However, Allah says in many verses that the Qur’an is clear and understandable:
We have sent down Clear Signs to you, and no one rejects them except the deviators. (Surat al-Baqara, 99)
O humanity! A clear proof has come to you from your Lord. We have sent down a Clear Light to you. (Surat an-Nisa, 174)
Allah has been pleased to choose the religion of Islam for humanity; moreover, the rules and practice of the Qur’an are very simple. In its verses, Allah says of the Qur’an:
We did not send down the Qur’an to you to make you miserable, but only as a reminder for those who fear [and respect Allah]. (Surah Ta Ha, 2-3)
In His endless mercy and compassion, Allah has detailed in the Qur’an the kind of life that will ensure our happiness and contentment. Allah states this in the Qur’an as follows:
But as for him [or her] who believes and acts rightly, he [or she] will receive the best of rewards, and We will issue a command, making things easy for him [or her]. (Surat al-Kahf, 88)
He has selected you and not placed any constraint upon you in the religion – the religion of your forefather Abraham. (Surat al-Hajj,78)
One of the most important features of the hadiths of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who made the Qur’an his guide, is that they are very easy to follow. Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who made the Qur’an his guide gave this advice to his people: "Make things easy for the people, and do not make it difficult for them. Make them calm (with glad tidings), and do not repulse (them)" (Sahih Bukhari).
It is important for every Muslim to show that religion, in its essence, is easy in order to kindle the people’s hearts with the Qur’an and Islamic morality, teach them the Qur’an and our Prophet’s (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) Sunnah as the only guides for their lives. Many people are unaware of this truth and think that their lives will be more comfortable if they disregard the Qur’an’s morality out of concern that it will restrict their enjoyment of life’s pleasures. However, such great errors and deceptions obscure the fact that such morality is easy to follow, for Allah, Who created humanity, is fully aware of what system of morality is best for His creation. Actually, what is difficult is to live in a society composed of individuals who do not know the boundaries that Allah has set.
Those who sincerely submit to Allah, fear and respect Him, and observe the Qur’an’s morality will enjoy success in both worlds. Above all, they experience the spiritual enjoyment and clear conscience that come from obeying Him, for Allah gives glad tidings to those who do His will and keep within the boundaries:
Those who repent, those who worship, those who praise, those who fast, those who bow, those who prostrate, those who command the right, those who forbid the wrong, and those who preserve the limits of Allah: give good news to the believers. (Surat at-Tawba, 112)
Some people who cannot understand the essence of religion can easily become fanatical by prohibiting what Allah has not prohibited, and thereby assume that they are superior to others. Allah has warned believers about this danger:
Say: “O People of the Book. Do not go to extremes in your religion, asserting other than the truth, and do not follow the whims and desires of people who were misguided previously and have misguided many others, and are far from the right way.” (Surat al-Ma’ida, 77)