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Making Use of Our Time in Islam

We’ve all heard the saying about time, “time is money”, “time waits for no one”, and “Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.”, but what does Islam teaches us about time? How are we held accountable for our time, from an Islamic Point of View (POV), and why should it matter?

Whys should you care about the Islamic POV?

Wait, before you dismiss this matter about time, as Muslims – do you remember why we humans are created in the first place? According to God, Allah s.w.t:

In the Qu’ran, Allah says that “I have only created Jinns and Men that they may serve Me.” ((Quran, Surah Adh-Dhariyat: chapter 51: verse 56).

So, we humans, especially us Muslims, are here on earth to serve God, fulfill His commands, and do good

Most Muslims think that serve God means just praying 5 times a day, fast in Ramadhan, and observe the halal and abstain from the haram. Yes, but….that’s the basics…there’s more to life than just ‘ibadah’, as in ritual worship…there’s also the part about doing good deeds.

In the Quran, in surah Al Mulk chapter 67: verse 2, “He is the One˺ Who created death and life in order to test which of you is best in deeds. And He is the Almighty, All-Forgiving.

There are many more verses in the Quran relating the importance of one to do good deeds, which you can find here.

What About Time in Islam?

There’s even a whole chapter about Time in the Quran, although the chapter/surah is short.

“By time. Indeed, mankind is in loss. Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.” (Quran, surah al-Asr, ch 103: v 1-3).

The key to success is thus: 1 belief, 2 – do good deeds, 3 – advice and tell the truth, and 4 – be patient.

Again, good deeds is part of the requirement for a Muslim, and for that to happen, how you spend your time matters.

In a hadith, Rasulallah s.a.w said, “The son of Adam will not pass away from Allah until he is asked about five things: how he lived his life, and how he utilized his youth, with what means did he earn his wealth, how did he spend his wealth, and what did he do with his knowledge.” (Tirmidhi).

So we will be questioned about:

1. How did we live our lives?

2. How did we spend our youths?

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3. How did we earn our wealth?

4. What did we spend our wealth on?

5. What did we do with our knowledge?

The first question we’ll be asked on Judgement day, is how we spent our life – as in, how did we spend our time?

Time to Choose

We live in the age of internet, constantly connected to the digital realm – whether through social media, or messaging, or checking the news, or watching a movie on Netflix.

This is not chastising those who are constantly close to their gadgets. But its in the how and what – what did we choose to look at when we hold our mobile phones. Is it movies? YouTube? Instagram? TikTok? Or playing games like PUBG?

Even when we’re in these social apps, we can still make a choice. We can choose to watch videos or follow social accounts that can enhance our knowledge, whether business knowledge, scientific knowledge or even Islamic knowledge.

For book lovers who love to read the next new book, consider this – is reading another fiction, that is promoting non-Islamic values, worth your time, versus reading a non-fiction book, such as popular science, or popular business books that can explain complex concepts in simple terms. Which one will be more valued? From an Islamic POV.

Always weigh your options from an Islamic POV. Don’t get drifted to sea in the next popular thing, without having the benefits for the Akhirah.

The choice is actually ours.

Also Read: Islamic Time Management with Tushar Imdad

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