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Understanding the Value of Time - II

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3077 2012/03/04 2024/05/22

the sole reason behind the punishments that afflict the muslim ummah (nation) is our decline in supporting our religion and negligence of our duties. inadvertently, the muslim woman has contributed to the defeatism which has afflicted us by restricting the scope of her responsibility to a bare minimum and neglecting her duty in raising and educating her children.

this painful truth calls upon us to utilize our time in fulfilling our duties, for which we will be questioned on the day of judgment. in a hadeeth (narration), the prophet  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may allaah exalt his mention ) said: "a woman is a guardian in her husband's home and is responsible for those under her guardianship." [al-bukhaari and muslim]

let us fulfill our duty in raising the men and women of the future and then look for entertainment. the messenger of allaah  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may allaah exalt his mention ) guided us how to drive worry and grief away from our souls, through strengthening our relationship with allaah the almighty, rushing wholeheartedly to do acts of obedience and making the hereafter one's primary concern. worries and grief are nothing but the result of hankering for the pleasures of this perishable abode.

it was narrated on the authority of anas ibn maalik  may allaah be pleased with him that the messenger of allaah  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may allaah exalt his mention ) said: "if a man’s sole concern is the hereafter, allaah will make his richness within his heart, grant his reunification and the worldly life will be forced to come to him. if a man’s sole concern is this worldly life, allaah will make his poverty between his eyes, inflict him with disunity and will not have from this world but what was predetermined for him."

indicating the extent of distress and the depressed life that the negligent one who turns away from the remembrance of allaah the almighty experiences in this worldly life, in addition to what is prepared for him in the hereafter, allaah the exalted says (what means): {and whoever turns away from my remembrance -- indeed, he will have a depressed life, and we will gather him on the day of resurrection blind." he will say, "my lord, why have you raised me blind while i was [once] seeing?" [allaah] will say, "thus did our signs come to you, and you forgot them; and thus will you this day be forgotten."} [quran 20: 124-126]

so, let our goal be the satisfaction of allaah the almighty and our way to attain this be following his sharee'ah (islamic legislation). when we do that, we will not feel that our spare time is an unbearable void which brings forth worries and sadness. rather, our time will be filled with the remembrance of allaah the almighty, obedience to him and our whole life will be filled with worship through words and deeds which bring one closer to allaah the almighty. this conforms to the hadeeth (narration) where the prophet  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may allaah exalt his mention ) said: "take benefit of five before five: your life before your death, your health before your sickness, your free-time before your preoccupation, your youth before your old age and your wealth before your poverty." [muslim]

ibn al-jawzi may allaah have mercy upon him wondered at the manner in which people of his time used to waste their time and said,

i see most people trying to push time [to make it move faster, i.e., waste time]. when they remain awake during the night, they waste it in insignificant conversations or reading a book for entertainment; during the daytime, they sleep; and at the end of the day they are either on the coast of the tigris or in markets. we liken them to those who are talking aboard a ship which is sailing fast with them while they are unaware. i see a few people who realize the meaning of existence and they prepare the provisions for departure. nevertheless, they are different in this aspect [only] due to the extent of knowledge that is available at their place of residence.

when ibn al-jawzi may allaah have mercy upon him said this about the people of his time, then what should we say about the people of our time? mindless entertainment has become the essence of many people's lives, and boredom is a major cause of psychological ailments, while worry and fear of the future have become specters that chase people with weak characters and faith.

today, most people spend most of the night watching various tv programs, then sleep until noon and spend the rest of the day pursuing the pleasures of this worldly life. excessive sleep is the habit of idle and imprudent people. serious and diligent people are careful with their time just as a niggardly person is with his money, or even more than that. it was narrated that the prophet  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may allaah exalt his mention ) said: "there are two favors (of allaah), and in them most people are deceived: good health and spare time."  

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