Time Marches on Like Sand Trickling through an Hourglass
All praise is due to Allah and may His choicest salutations continue to descend upon our Master and Leader Mohammed (saw).
O You who Believe! Be mindful of Allah and let every soul look to what it has sent forth for tomorrow. And fear Allah, ˹for˺ certainly Allah is All-Aware of what you do. (59:18)
All of us have been allocated twenty four hours each day of our lives. It is the one resource that every human being has been given equally. Time is the great equalizer in life. No matter who you are, your age, income, gender, race or religion, you have the same amount of time as the next person. Time is a precious commodity and an extremely important trust from Allah.
Time is a witness to ever changing circumstances
“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.” (Tirmidhi) The passage of time creates the past, present and future. What was yesterday is not today. What is today will not be tomorrow. The opportunities you have today may not exist tomorrow.
Now is the time
“Take advantage of five matters before five other: your youth before you become old; your health, before you fall sick; your wealth, before you become poor; your free time before you become preoccupied, and your life, before your death” (Ahmad) Time is a witness to the gradual loss of our strength, health and capacity to work as we age. Now is the time to do what you have to. I will change ‘one day’ or make this ‘day one of change’ is going to make all the difference. Do not wait for the right time, time will never be ‘right’ if you do not commit yourself immediately. “Only put off for tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone” Your circumstances tomorrow may be completely different from today, the time, energy and health you have today may be completely lost tomorrow.
You don’t kill time. Time is killing you
“Know my son, that days consists of hours and hours are made of the breaths you take. Every breath is a treasure chest, so beware of letting a breath pass by with no benefit. You do not want to find an empty treasure chest on the Day of Judgement and regret.” (Ibn Al Jawzi). Every breath we take is taking us closer to death, the sand trickling through the hour glass of our existence is diminishing by the second. Hassan Basri, a famous Muslim scholar said: “I have lived in times when people were more careful about how they spent their time than how they spent their money.” People can always make money; but, regrettably, no one can ever regain time lost. No one can buy more hours, nor can science invent new minutes. You certainly cannot save time to spend it on another day.
Manage your time wisely
One of the most effective skills you can develop in life is effective time management. Time management is really life management! Time equals life. If you waste time you are wasting your life, wasting your life means harming your eternity. You have 24 hours, 1440 minutes or 86,400 seconds each day to use. “The most efficient way to live reasonably is every morning to make a plan of one’s day and every night to examine the results obtained.” Are you merely spending your time or investing it? Plan your day, prioritize your activities, and regularly take stock of what you have achieved for the day?
How balanced is your life, where or in what do you spend most of your time? Do you feel physically exhausted, mentally inactive, emotionally drained or spiritually dead? If you answer yes to any of these questions, your life is probably out of balance. You need to realign your time to ensure that you spend sufficient time on your spiritual and physical wellbeing, on your relationships and on your mental and emotional self. Balance does not entail cramming in every activity possible. Examine your values and decide what’s important to you; then set your boundaries.
May Allah grant us the ability to use of time productively.