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Understanding the Value of Time - I

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3065 2012/03/04 2024/05/25



 it is a common practice in most muslim countries that women allocate the afternoon for receiving or visiting friends, with some differences in the manner of the visits – they may be organized on a regular basis or spontaneous. whatever the case may be, during the visit a veritable state of emergency is declared at home where extraordinary preparations are made which exhaust one's efforts and wealth and waste time. the day of the visit turns into a virtual competition between families, each trying to offer the most lavish hospitality and appear the most immaculate.

if you ask the majority of women about the goal behind the visit, the most likely answer would be: we meet for entertainment, to kill some time and get rid of boredom. 

this answer is surprising, because time is nothing but a person's allocated age, for which he will be questioned. and when will that questioning be? it will be on the day of the great terror. it is the day when a soul will not possess the power to do anything to benefit itself or anyone else; and the command, that day, is entirely with allaah the almighty.

it was narrated on the authority of abu burdah, may allaah be pleased with him, that the messenger of allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "a slave's two feet will not move on the day of judgment until he is questioned about four (things): his youth, how he spent it, his knowledge, how he acted upon it, his wealth, how he earned it and how he spent it and his body, how he used/wasted it." [at-tirmithi]

and who will the questioner be? he is the lord of the worlds who created the jinn and mankind in order to worship him, not for diversion and entertainment. allaah the exalted says (what means): {had we intended to take a diversion, we could have taken it from [what is] with us -- if [indeed] we were to do so.} [quran 21: 17] 

what will we say to the lord of the worlds when he asks us about wasted time? even if such time is used in deeds that do not include impermissible words and deeds, it inevitably includes vain talk and idle chatter which was dispraised by the messenger of allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who said: "the most hateful to me and farthest from me on the day of judgment will be the ostentatious chatterers, transgressing ranters and arrogant loudmouths." 

a person who wastes his time has wasted an irretrievable part of his life. the person who does this will have great regret. does the woman have a free hand and a right to waste her time as she wants? where are the rights of the husband and the children? when will she fulfill the rights of her community and the muslim ummah (nation)? 

to whom will she entrust her responsibility if her only concern is going out of her home and partaking in insignificant diversions? one of them could answer claiming that she has fulfilled her rights, believing that her task is restricted to cleaning her house, satisfying her husband, and giving birth to children, and her interest in bringing up her children does not go beyond feeding them, clothing them and helping them to be successful in their studies. 

no, o sister!

you are the one who nurtures future muslim generations and the one who provides the muslim community with its pillars: righteous women and men. your duty (and the duty of every muslim woman) is to provide our children with a guided upbringing and prepare them through islamic teachings which will enable them to bear the trust, serve the ummah and build the long-sought noble muslim community. 

if we neglect our children and interest ourselves only in entertainment, our children will truly become orphans while their parents are still alive. 

even the orphan who loses his parents may find those who treat him with affection and take care of him. however, a child whose parents are preoccupied with means of entertainment can never find those who treat him mercifully treat or feel his suffering. a woman who is always busy with herself will not find enough time to supervise her children, direct them towards goodness, follow them up and enjoy their company, while these duties undoubtedly help her fulfill her mission and satisfy her lord. 

it is true that this world, the venue of tests, is full of troubles and hardships and such meetings are intended for entertainment and amiability. nevertheless, is entertainment the goal of the woman who feels that she guards one of islam's forts and is keen that islam is not attacked through this fort? or is it the goal of vain women? while entertainment is necessary from time to time, this should not be at the expense of other women and their time.

we often complain about the intellectual invasion perpetrated by our enemies and the fact that we are subject to destruction and infighting. have we made preparations to face them? at the very least, have we sufficiently protected ourselves against them spiritually and intellectually, that we have the free time to seek entertainment? 

our current suffering entails that we deal with our reality according to the fundamental teachings of islam in order to rise from our dormancy. otherwise, our hopes will remain a mirage and our wishes will remain mere dreams that we hope will be materialized one day. how strange it is that we expect our dreams to materialize without putting in work, efforts or striving continuously towards realizing them! allaah the exalted says (what means): {and those who strive for us - we will surely guide them to our ways. and indeed, allaah is with the doers of good.} [quran 29: 69] 


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