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  • How Time Should Be Spent

    Aug 2, 2009

    [By (the token of) time (through the ages), most surely humans are in loss, except those who believe and do good, and enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience.] (Al-`Asr 103 1-3)

    Allah Almighty cautions us that we are at loss, unless we prioritize our lives on the important things that will help us in this world and in the hereafter. If we do not, then we will find that time is against us. Even though we are aware that "one day" we will all have to die, the average person assumes, incorrectly, that death is far away. We get so involved in our day-to-day activities, that we do not spend as much time as we should, pondering on the Day of Judgment. If we did know the date and time of our death, we would certainly behave differently. However, this information is kept hidden from us so that it forms a part of our test in this world.

    [Nay! Nay! You shall soon know. Nay! If you had known with a certain knowledge, you should most certainly have seen Hell.] (At-Takathur 102:4-5)

    Allah Almighty warns us,

    [Nay! But you love the present life] (Al-Qiyamah 75:20)

    [The near event draws nigh] (An-Najm 53:57)

    [And will you laugh and not weep? While you are indulging in vanities?] (An-Najm 53:60–61)

    [ The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you (from the more serious things), until you come to the graves] (At-Takathur 102:1–2)

    Allah Almighty, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful, has given all of us sufficient time. If we feel we do not have sufficient time, the fault is ours — we are spending too much of our time on "nice," but unimportant matters. The frivolous activities are pleasurable and become a habit; they form an integral part of our life. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) warned us against abusing time:

    Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Allah said, 'The son of Adam hurts Me by abusing Time, for I am Time; in My Hands are all things and I cause the revolution of night and day.'"(Al-Bukhari 9:93 #583)

    [He causes the dawn to break, and He has made the night for rest, and the sun and the moon for reckoning; this is an arrangement of the Mighty, the Knowing.] (Al-An`am 6:96)

    [He it is Who made the sun a shining brightness and the moon a light, and ordained for it mansions that you might know the computation of years and the reckoning. Allah did not create it but with truth; He makes the signs manifest for a people who know] (Yunus 10:5)

    Allah Almighty, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, has blessed us with an earth that revolves on its axis, thus giving us the alternation of the day with the night. If the earth did not rotate, then one half would be very cold and in perpetual light and the other half would be very cold and in perpetual darkness. The revolution of the day and night that we take for granted is a tremendous blessing from Allah Almighty. This brings harmony and balance in our life, so that the day can be spent on seeking the bounties of Allah Almighty and the night is for rest and recuperation. Furthermore, the phases of the moon and the changes in the seasons, are useful indicators to keep track of the passage of time.

    However, the blessings of Allah Almighty do not end there. Each and every day, every living person is given a fresh, new allocation of 24 hours (except on your last day on earth). Allah Almighty is Al–'Adl — The Just. Everyone is given those 24 hours whether a prince or a pauper, a president or a prisoner, a believer or non-believer, or dark or light-skinned — everyone gets an equal share. However, there is one slight problem that makes life interesting and challenging:

    • You cannot save any hours, not even one second, for the next day — there is no savings account for time.
    • You cannot sell your hours to anyone.
    • You cannot donate any of this time to anyone — not even to your nearest or dearest who may be on the death-bed.
    • There is not an instant replay button — you cannot go back in time to rectify your mistakes, and you cannot push a "fast forward button" to find out the challenges of tomorrow. Furthermore, there is no "pause button," while you decide what to do next.
    • You either use your time or waste it!

    You either use your life or waste it. Time is life, not money. Time is more precious than money — it is the most valuable commodity that we have, yet we do not value it.


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