Ramadan 22: Preserving Time

Allah describes the conversation between himself and the reckless on the Day of Judgement:

“He will say: ‘What number of years did you stay on earth?’ They will say: ‘We stayed a day or part of a day. But ask those who kept account’. He will say: ‘You stayed Not but a little – If you had only known!’ Did you think that We created you in jest, and that you would not be brought back to Us (for account)?’” (Surah Al Mu’minun:115)

Our lives are short, we should not shorten them further due to negligence.  Negligence shortens the hours and consumes the night. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, advised us that there are two blessings many people are deprived of – health and spare time. For many of us, time passes by quickly without us gaining any benefit from it. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, also advised us:

“The feet of a servant will not move on the Day of Judgment until he has been questioned about four things: his life – how he spent it, his knowledge – how he acted upon it, his wealth – where he earned it and how he spent it, and his body – how he used it.” (Recorded in Tirmidhi)

Our lives are a treasure for us to gain benefit from, whoever spends it in obedience to Allah will find their treasure on the Day when neither wealth nor sons will avail them. Those who spend their lives in negligence, disobedience and play will feel regret on that Day. They will say: “Alas for us that we disregarded our lives”.

Our righteous predecessors used to take every opportunity to preserve their time, be it day or night. They would be in prayer, giving charity, reciting Qur’an, or fighting in the way of Allah, and their tongues were always wet with the remembrance of Allah, all praises and glory be to Him. Many among them used to divide their days and nights into hours, allocating specific time for each activity. There was no time for amusement or ‘time passing’ activities. We, on the other hand have been afflicted by calamity and time-wasting. We indulge in excessive sleep, idleness, aimless wandering, spending on amusements and sitting where there is no benefit. This will be a cause of great regret for us.

The month of Ramadan is a school in which to practice getting the greatest benefit from our time. We organise our lives around the five daily prayers, ensuring that we recite Qur’an, pray in congregation and give in charity. It is a chance for us to see what is possible when we strive to achieve the most barakah out of out time. Let us learn these invaluable lessons and apply them in the rest of our lives.

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