Our life is dictated by time. It is something we are always running out of, trying to make the most of, regretting our waste of and something which we don’t know of which how much still remains.
It is a priceless commodity we all possess because it is the measure through which we can attempt to demonstrate to Allah SWT that we are grateful creation of His. Allah SWT speaks of the value of time by swearing by it in various places in the Quran.
In Sura Al-Asr, Al-Layl and Al-Fajr to name a few, Allah SWT explains to us the importance of time and making the most of it.
Our beloved teacher SAWS also taught us the importance of time in various hadith. One of which was mentioned by the imam today which is translated to say:
“Man’s feet will not move on the Day of Resurrection before he is asked about his life, how did he consume it, his knowledge, what did he do with it, his wealth, how did he earn it and how did he dispose of it, and about his body, how did he wear it out.”
We are also reminded today of the hadith in which the Prophet SAWS said:
‘Two blessings which many people squander: Good health and free time.’”
Dear brothers and sisters, in order to appreciate how valuable time is, we need to understand and remind ourselves of the purpose of our existence. Unfortunately we live in a time and a place where this truth is hidden from the public eye.
You will not hear of it in the news, the media, schools or in everyday speak with your colleague and neighbour. It is not spoken of because it is the distraction that Shaitaan has promised the son of Adam and he is delivering on that promise.
In actual fact, the truth of this life is that our deen, a topic we spoke of last week, in other words everything we do and say, ought to be done with the mindset of pleasing Allah SWT.
That is the primary purpose and the ultimate truth of our life and our reality, from the moment we are born, until the moment we die. We are just blessed in that as part of our purpose, we can enjoy and take pleasure from the permissible aspects of life that Allah SWT has given us.
However, we should be under no illusion that this life is temporary. This is another truth that is hidden from the public eye. The truth that death will greet each and every one of us and that when it does, our attempts to earn for the next life, for the pleasure of Allah SWT and for the Day of Judgment will be over.
We should therefore be aiming to earn something till our last breath in regards to this. In fact, there is a hadith in relation to this which was mentioned today in which the Prophet SAWS said:
“If the Final Hour comes while you have a palm-cutting in your hands and it is possible to plant it before the Hour comes, you should plant it.”
Dear brothers and sisters, the certainty of death should not be a cause of sorrow or fear, we should use it instead to remind ourselves that we are returning to the security and perfection of Allah SWT. We just need to return as best we can in the time we spent here. This is why time is so important because every minute, hour and day will be accountable and we will be asked how did we spend that time?
There is no such thing as just sitting idly and wasting time in the pursuit of pleasure. Why waste time in such a manner when you can earn unimaginable reward in the next life with the efforts you do with your time.
The imam mentioned ayat 30 of Sura Al-Imran which says:
The Day every soul will find what it has done of good present [before it] and what it has done of evil, it will wish that between itself and that [evil] was a great distance. And Allah warns you of Himself, and Allah is Kind to [His] servants.
Dear brothers and sisters, death, accountability and the preciousness of time should be in our thoughts at least daily. This is so that we do not lose focus in a time where losing focus is widespread and most are without understanding of these critical truths of life.
And so this reminder concludes with 3 practical tips we can take away:
- Question Yourself and Organise Yourself – Dear brothers and sisters, this is an industry in itself, such is its importance. We are taught productivity in the workplace but nowhere is it more important than in our spiritual productivity. Download a to-do list, put up a calendar or set yourself monthly, weekly and daily goals to ensure that you keep focus on the important things.
- Spend time with like-minded people. People who are productive, focused and goal-orientated are easy to spot. They are the ones that are known to getting things done. Alternatively, there are those who quit easily, change plans and goals often and don’t finish tasks. And so, it’s important to identify the correct group of people and imitate their actions. Ask them for advice if nothing else and use their knowledge to achieve the most from time.
- Read about Islamic role-models to get an understanding on what can be achieved. From the Prophet SAWS to scholars throughout the ages, there are examples in their life accounts on focus, dedication and best use of time. Use these examples to set a new attitude to how time is spent.
Dear brothers and sisters, none of us know how much time we have left. None of us know how much good deeds we have acquired nor whether it’s enough. We need to remind ourselves that each day is an opportunity to spread goodness, justice and earn pleasure for the sake of Allah SWT and so that we can be amongst those who are regarded as having understood the value of time.