Time is one of the most valuable blessings that Allah ﷻ has bestowed upon His ummah. It can’t be bought even by the highest bidder, nor be vanquished with force or power, nor be manipulated and cheated by ‘running a race against time’. Neither can we bring back time, nor delay and hold on to time, nor can we extend or advance it, for time is Allah ﷻ alone, and He ﷻ swears by it:
“By Al‑‘Asr (the time)”[Qur’an 103:1]
Unfortunately, most of the young Muslims are unaware of the importance of this blessing and are neglectful of their duties towards it–such as fulfilling it with acts of gratitude and obedience towards Allah ﷻ.
The Prophet ﷺ said:
“There are two blessings that many people are deceived into losing: health and free time.”[Sahih al-Bukhari 6412]
Procrastination and the Muslim Youth
Islam is a religion that detests procrastination. Procrastination is from the shaitan, who deceives us by making us desire the dunya and run for it, while neglecting the akhirah.
Some youngsters think that they are busy now, and later in their life, they would take the time to do good deeds–after marriage, after graduation, after they get a job, etc. Many parents wait until their children are in college, university, or until their children are old enough to start instructing them to study Islam; meanwhile, the youth is already attached to many un-Islamic activities and interests.
Everyday counts, and we will regret the time we wasted in not doing good deeds, when we remember the missed opportunities from our past. One of the things Allah ﷻ has mentioned repeatedly in the Qur’an is the issue of procrastination and its evil result.
When death approaches a person and he senses the punishment that awaits him on the Day of Resurrection, he wishes for a return to this world, so that by performing good deeds, he may escape the punishment which he justly deserves.
“Until, when death comes to one of them, he will say, ‘My Lord! Send me back, so that I may do good deeds in that which I have left behind!’ Never! It’s just a word he has to utter…”[Qur’an 23:99-100]
“Therein will they cry aloud (for assistance): ‘Our Rabb! Bring us out, we shall work righteousness, not the (deeds) we used to do.’ (Allah will reply): ‘Did We not give you lives enough, so whoever would receive admonition could receive it?’…”[Qur’an 35:37]
Everything they ask for will be refused. There will be no coming out of the Fire, no reduction in the torment, and no escape. Rather, it will be an ongoing, eternal punishment, and at that time, they will be told:
“…and whether you are patient of it, or impatient of it, it is all the same. You are only being requited for what you used to do.”[Qur’an 52:16]
Although we cannot go back in time, the correction of our sins can be done. By using time effectively in the future, we may atone for past mistakes and sins by doing good deeds and seeking Allah’s ﷻ forgiveness with an intention to achieve spiritual elevation.
How Can the Muslim Youth Utilize Their Spare Time?
We see youngsters roam streets and cafes with nothing special or new in their lives, with no purpose nor plans for their existence. However, there is absolutely no space for idleness in young Muslims’ lives.
Young Muslims should plan their time effectively.
- They should schedule and manage their time so that they can divide their attention adequately for family, friends, recreation, study, work, etc.
- Youngsters should sleep sufficiently in order to study and work efficiently.
- They are advised to go to bed early to wake up early in the morning, which is the best time of the day when both the body and mind are fresh and ready for an effort. This time is suitable for reading, memorizing, revising lessons and doing homework.
- Their meal times should be organised.
- Their time should be divided with precision between eating, sleeping, studying, working and resting.
Rest after hard work feels well deserved and gives a sense of accomplishment. While there is room for entertainment, the youth should be careful not to waste their time in its pursuit, by seeking and running after entertainment and the means of stimulation and animation for the self, as well as using it as a weapon against boredom and idleness.
There is, in a young Muslim’s life, no such thing as the weekend fever in which many youngsters waste all their time and money. The weekend could be a good time for them to engage in various recreation activities such as practising various kinds of sports, spending quality time with loved ones, reading, watching educational documentaries or reciting, memorising and listening to the Qur’an, or anything that cultivates the soul and strengthens Muslims’ belief in Allah ﷻ. Another very important activity is paying visits to relatives and friends, which helps to strengthen relationships.
Prayer as a Constant Reminder
The Prophet ﷺ said:
“The best of the deeds or deed is the (observance of) prayer at its proper time…”[Sahih Muslim 85e]
“…Indeed, prayers are prescribed for the believers at fixed times.”[Qur’an 4:103]
Allah ﷻ has created a framework for our daily schedule. If we plan around our five daily prayers, things will start to fall in place and our work will be organised. Additionally, prayer serves as a reminder to do all our good deeds at the appointed time, without waiting until the very last minute.
Since time is a unique resource, it is totally perishable and always in scarce supply. It is highly advisable that time should be used with great care and rationing, and to be applied in a systematic manner and managed properly.
Therefore, young Muslims should not leave room to procrastinate doing good deeds and should shun the false charms and glitters of this world. Only good deeds will make our journey and the life of the Hereafter pleasant. If not now, then when?
Written by: Fathima Mubarak
Edited by: The Editorial Team
© The Islamic Reflections Blog