ISLAM: The Modern Alternative
Some people think that to live an Islamic life is "restrictive". Islam however, was revealed as a balanced way of living.
Allaah (The Most High) created all the humans with what is called `A Fitrah`. Islam recognizes that within this Fitrah there are motivations that influence a man`s role on earth e.g. a desire for good food and drink, to have a home, a desire for love and sex, to protect and be protected and to be successful and strong. Without some form of control and limit, all of these legitimate motives could prove very dangerous.
So what constitutes the perfect control for the Fitrah? It must be a method that provides an organized yet practical demonstration of how to balance all these natural human desires. It cannot be something that goes against the Fitrah, by placing on it extra burdens. Likewise, it cannot be something that allows the human desires to run wild without any form of control.
Islam is the perfect control for the Fitrah. It provides a divine method that elevates man above animals and the rest of creation.
Humans lack perfect knowledge as well as perfect wisdom. No matter how hard we try, we will never attain the perfect way of life by our own thinking and interpretation. This is the reason why Allaah being the Most Wise, sent us the Qur`an and the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.), to show us the practical and organized way of life.
Allaah , being Perfect, in His Wisdom and Knowledge, perfected a complete way of life for us. He has set His limitations and rules, all of which are beneficial to mankind, and therefore, do not need changing:
"These are the limits (set) by Allaah , so do not approach them" (Surah al-Baqarah, 87)
"These are the limits set by Allaah , so do not transgress them" (Surah al-Baqarah, 229)
This is why Islam does not allow celibacy, because it is against the Fitrah, i.e., the desire for sex. Celibacy goes beyond the limits required by humans, and is something that cannot be fulfilled because humans are designed to procreate. As humans we are not expected to fast every single day for the rest of our lives (for most 30 days of the year provides an up-hill struggle). It is also from ignorance to say that `I shall not sleep during the night, but rather I shall pray!` Humans have not been created by Allaah to live life in such a manner. There is a balance which must be observed.
The following incident describes the Islamic stance towards such behaviour, Anas reported that some of the Companions of Allaah `s Messenger (PBUH) used to say: "I will not marry women"; someone else said: "I will observe fast always and will not break"; and someone else said: "I will not lie down in bed to pray whole ". (On hearing this): The Prophet (S.A.W.) praised Allaah