Friday, May 12, 2006

Importance of time in Muslim’s life
Published: Friday, 5 May, 2006, 12:52 PM Doha Time

The Qur’an and Sunnah both emphasise the importance of time in the life of the Muslim. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) swears in the beginning of many soorahs by time or moments in time, for example:“By the dawn and the ten nights (ie the first ten days of the month of Dhul-Hijjah)...” (Al-Fajr 89: 1-2)And,“By the night as it envelops, and by the day as it appears in brightness...” (Al-Layl 92:1)And,“By the forenoon (after sunrise) and by the night when it is still (or darkness)...” (Adh-Dhuha 93:1)And,“By the time...” (Al-’Asr 103:1)When Allah swears by something of His creation,* it directs our attention to the benefit of that thing. Allah said, which means:“And He has made the sun and the moon both constantly pursuing their courses, to be of service to you; and He has made the night and the day to be of service to you. And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you were to count the blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them.” (Ibraaheem 14:33-34)And,“And it is He Who put the night and day in succession, for such who desires to remember or desires to show his gratitude.” (Al-Furqaan 25:62)The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) further emphasised the value of time in many authentic hadiths. For example, Mu’aath ibn Jabal related that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘'alaihi wa sallam) said:“The slave will not go forward on the Day of Judgment until he is asked four questions: about his age and how he spent it, about his youth and how he used it, about his wealth and how he acquired it and spent it, and about his knowledge and what he did with it.”Youth is a part of age, and youth is the climax of the age because young people can do so many good deeds, but when they get older, they cannot do as much. These are stages of development as the Qur’an mentioned in soorah ar-Room, which means:“Allah is He Who created you in (a state of) weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength gave (you) weakness and grey hair ...” (30:54)If we do not use our time effectively for something good, then we will definitely use it for something bad, which destroys our rewards and our lives. For example, if you do not make thikr (mentioning Allah and praising Him), then you will be saying something else, perhaphs backbiting, or perhaps talking about your children, your work, your neighbours, your friends, your enemies. What counts for you is using the time for something useful, doing good deeds and saying good things.Try to make a short revision at the end of each day about what you did during that day. Ask yourself: What did I do today? And what did I do that was bad today? Make repentance for the bad things that you have done and said, sincerely determining not to repeat such things. With the good, determine to do it again, do it more often, and do it better.Our lives are judged according to what we did with them, not according to how many years we lived. We know that life is very short, and at the end of it comes death. We do not know when we are going to die, so we have to make sure that we do a lot of good before we pass into the next life and we are unable to return to repent from our bad deeds or to do more good deeds. Time passes very quickly as Allah says, which means:“The Day they see it, (it will be) as if they had not tarried (in this world) except an afternoon and a morning.” (An-Naazia’aat 79:46)And, “And on the Day when He shall gather (resurrect) them together, (it will be) as if they had not stayed (in the life of this world and graves, etc) but an hour of a day.” (Yoonus 10:45)Time is very precious and if it passes, you cannot make use of it. If yesterday passed without the performance of good deeds, then it is gone; you cannot make any benefit of yesterday’s time. For example, if you came to travel from one city to another and you found that the airplane that you were supposed to travel on has already left, do you think that it will be back to pick you up? Or if you were travelling by train and you missed the train, do you think that the train will reverse to come back to get you?When it is time for any one of mankind to die, he will ask for more time to do good deeds, as Allah says, which means:“Therein they will cry, ‘Our Lord! Bring us out, we shall do righteous good deeds, not what we used to do.’” (Allah will reply): ‘Did We not give you long enough lives so that whosoever would receive admonition could receive it, and the warner came to you? So taste you (the evil of your deeds). For the wrongdoers, etc, there is no helper.” (Faatir 35:37)We say that we are so busy with our work and our children, etc, but Allah warns us against this, which means:“O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. And whoever does that, then they are the losers. And spend (in charity) of that which We have provided for you before death comes to one of you and he says: ‘My Lord! If only you would give me respite for a little while (ie return to the worldly life), then I should give sadaqah (ie zakaah) of my wealth, and be among the righteous (ie perform Hajj). And Allah grants respite to none when his appointed time (death) comes. And Allah is All-Aware of what yo do.” (Al-Munaafiqoon 63: 9-11)The people before us used to use their time effectively by performing good deeds, teaching, doing something for the benefit of the Muslims, their families and their relatives, or by advising others to be good, and calling others to Allah and Islam, etc. They considered every day that passed which they did not use effectively for the sake of Allah as denying the favours of Allah (kufr bi ni’mah)Today we have those who “kill time.” These people gather to talk about things that are not related to Islam or the Muslims’ affairs; they play around or talk about others. This type of people are not killing time, but they are committing slow suicide because they are killing their time, and their time is their lives! So they are slowly killing themselves and after they die, what good deeds have they done?The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘'alaihi wa sallam ) said:“There are two favours (or bounties) of Allah’s bounties, and in them many people are cheated (or deceived): health and free time.”People underestimate the value of these two favours, and thus, they are cheated. This is like a person who has a house that he wants to sell. Someone comes and offers him $50,000 for it. He isn’t sure of its value, so he hesitates. So he says okay and sells it for the amount. Later he finds out that his house was actually worth a million. Imagine how cheated he feels; imagine that feeling that if he had only known beforehand what it was really worth, he could have got more.It is the same with our time. We underestimate its great value, and then when it is gone, we feel that we have been cheated because we didn’t get everything out of it that we could have. But just as the one who sold his house below its value can’t get it back and sell it at its true value, we also can’t go back and do more with the time that is already gone, and at the end of our lives, we will not be able to go back and live our lives over again and we will not be given more time to do good deeds to try to make up for the wasted time.So we must arrange our time wisely, being very careful about what we use it for. We must treat the free time that we have in which we could do good deeds as a precious resource, guarding it against waste or misuse.O Allah, make the end result good for us in all affairs and protect us from disgrace in this world and punishment of the Hereafter.Note:*Allah swears by parts of His creation drawing our attention to their benefit and the blessings He has bestowed upon us. However, we may only swear by Allah. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘'alaihi wa sallam ) said, “Anyone who makes an oath with other than Allah has indeed made shirk (associated others with Allah).”

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