Yusuf Qosim: Finding Time For Allah In Today's Fast Paced World (1)

THE most valuable \'capital\' that Man possesses is time. It corrodes and withers away. Every passing day propels us closer towards our appointment with Death and the hereafter while simultaneously we are moving away from this world. Strangely enough our desire for this world seems to increase with every passing day! In order to highlight the importance of the correct utilisation of this most important resource Allah (SWT)  takes an oath on time saying, \'By (the oath of) time. Indeed, mankind is in loss, Except for those who believe and do righteous deeds and encourage one another to truth and towards patience\' (Q103v1-3). Scholars mention the reason for this is to draw our attention to the importance of time. As the saying goes, \'Time and tide waits for no man\' Hasan Basri (May Allah have mercy on him) said, \'O Man, your life comprises of a few breaths that can be counted. With every breath drawn a part of your existence has diminished!\'. We have to learn to maximise our time in those things which will benefit us in the hereafter. In the same manner that prudence is required in business with regards to capital we also have to be prudent with regards to the capital of our life - TIME. \'Every person sets forth in the morning as a vendor of his own soul (investing his life in a business enterprise). He either achieves its salvation or its ruination (Some investments add value to his capital while others diminish his capital resulting in a loss)\' - (Hadith – Sahih Muslim). As human beings we all tend to procrastinate when coming to goodness on the feeble excuse of not being ready yet, of not having sufficient time, of not having sufficient money and of being too young. We always want to achieve the \'big things\' that hardly matter without realising that consistently doing the \'small things\' that matter will%20eventually accrue to make up that \'big thing\'. In fact one of the main reasons of regret that the disbelievers will have in the hereafter will be because of their procrastinations. In procrastinating, little do we realise we have no guarantee of our health and our time, which is our greatest capital. A common complaint today for not fulfilling family commitments or for engaging in voluntary religious activities, whether this be for our individual or communal benefit, is \'NO TIME\'. The question may arise, \'Where do we find the time?\' If we analyse our daily lives we will find that after allocating time to fulfil our obligations of work, family, kids etc., we will find that most of us have some spare time. As mentioned we often feel that this time is too little to achieve anything significant. However as the saying goes, \'If you look after the pennies the pounds will look after themselves\' It is this spare time which makes the difference in either \'making\' or \'spoiling\' an individual. The sum total of time and good health is opportunity to do good and progress in our spiritual realm. Create ample time for Allah (SWT) Abu Hurrairah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Noble Messenger of Allah (May peace be upon him) said, \'Most of mankind are at a loss regarding two favours, good health and free time (opportunity)\' (Hadith - Sahih Al Bukhari).The Arabic word used to explain \'at a loss\' is \'Maghboon\'. Scholars, in explaining this word, say that this word is derived from the root word \'Ghaban\' which carries either one of two meanings. Firstly it means that a person sells a very valuable and expensive item or commodity for a paltry price or secondly it could mean that a person pays an exorbitant price for something that is very inferior and cheap. In the explanations given it would naturally follow that the seller in the first instance and the buyer in the second can be described as, to say the least, foolish. This word \'Maghboon\' therefore serves to emphasise the great value that a person should place on good health and free time/opportunities. It is said in a hadith that the people in Paradise will have no regret except for those moments in this world that were spent without the Zhikr (Remembrance of Allah (SWT). If that is the case then it has to be said that the squandering of these two blessings will be considered to be very foolish and will result in a loss that will ultimately lead to regret. When these two favours are found together they provide the best%20occasion for maximising their benefit. We will find that the period a person enjoys maximum benefit from both these favours is his/her youth (15-40). In middle age (40-60) the health begins to dwindle and the responsibilities that a person has in terms of earning and family is at its peak. In old age (60+) while a person\'s free time may increase, old age together with its specific peculiarities like sickness, weakness begin to set in. While it can be said that this also accurately describes the best opportunity to maximise our worldly and material achievements. It has to be said that, keeping our Iman in mind, several hadith brings to our attention the utilisation of the favours of time and good health for the purposes of maximising the benefits that will accrue to us in the Akhira which is the primary purpose of creation of Man. \'This world has been created for you (Man) and you (Man), have been created for the Akhira\' (Hadith). On the subject of youth we find that while in Islam, Allah (SWT) holds a person responsible at the onset of maturity (15 in the case of males and earlier for females), the western culture which we find ourselves in, has chosen to extend the age of immaturity to the approximate age of 25 years. So, only when a person finishes his secondary and tertiary education as well as finding and settling into some form of employment does society now place the \'mantle of responsibility\' upon him or her. That\'s a good ten years of a man\'s life and more in the case of women that is spent with the misguided notion of \'freedom\' from any responsibility. Throughout our lives we are presented with \'windows of opportunity\' that will propel us very high into the spiritual domain if we grab hold of these opportunities. If we ignore them the least loss that we will endure is that we will remain at%20the same \'spiritual\' plain or level. The greatest loss would be that this missed opportunity becomes a source of regret.

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