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Encouraging Utilization of Time and Warning Against Wasting It

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Khaled Al-Jeraisy

Of the well-known Hadiths calling for grabbing the opportunity for investing time is the one related by Ibn-Abbas; the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, "Grab five things before five others: your youth before your decrepitude, your health before your illness, your wealth before your poverty, your leisure before your work, and your life before your death." [al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak] This Hadith, like many others, is typically brief, yet comprehensive and loaded with meaning. It succinctly expresses in brief what specialists have presented in manuscripts. It points out the importance of time and the initiative to invest it, together with the importance of utilizing the power of the youth stage and leisure time in fruitful good work. It also warns against five obstacles that prevent proper utilization of time.

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), used to call on Muslims to take the initiative to do good deeds before any obstacles arise. For instance, he said, "Lose no time to do good deeds before you are caught up by one of seven calamities awaiting you: a starvation which may impair your wisdom; a prosperity which may mislead you; an ailment which may damage your health; an old age which may harm your senses; a sudden death; the Dajjal (Antichrist); or Doomsday, which is indeed the hardest and most bitter." [at-Tirmidhi, al-Baihaqi]

The above Hadith urges Muslims to take the initiative, and not to delay good deeds; man's life is not free from impediments, such as those calamities, which can prevent him from accomplishing what could have been done earlier. Wise are those who grab available opportunities before being handicapped by obstacles.

In one Hadith, the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, "If one becomes worried, he hurries up, and if he hurries up, he sooner reaches his destination." [at-Tirmidhi, al-Hakim]

Explaining this Hadith, Attayyibi says: "The Prophet gave this as an example to illustrate man's journey to a safe haven in the afterlife. Satan, supported by man's evil desires and wishful thinking, obstructs his way. If he is fully aware and has kept purity of intention regarding his deeds, he is safe from Satan's conniving." The example can be true in the case of the person who has set himself targets, and is worried lest he should be encountered by obstacles before reaching them. He, therefore, makes a greater effort in order to reach his targets.

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhe wa sallam) always demanded that work should start early in the morning. On the authority of Sukhr Al-Ghamidi: "The Prophet said, 'O Allah, bless my nation's early rising.' If he dispatched an army or a division, he did that early in the morning." [Abu Dawud, Ibn Hibban] Sukhr was a merchant who used to do his business early in the morning, and he made good profit and became rich.

Aisha reported a Hadith with a similar meaning; the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, " Rise early to earn your living and do your affairs, for it brings about blessing and success." [at-Tabarani]

Fatima, the Prophet's daughter, said that when he saw her still lying in bed one morning, he told her, "My daughter, get up and witness your Lord's bounty, and do not be among the indifferent; Allah distributes daily bread between the break of dawn and sunrise." [al-Baihaqi]

Courtesy Of: Islaam.com
Source: Time Management - An Islamic View

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