"Take benefit of five before five:
your youth before your old age,
your health before your sickness,
your wealth before your poverty,
your free-time before your preoccupation,
and your life before your death."[Hadith- al-Haakim, al-Bayhaqee, Saheeh]
MANY people forget or neglect the importance of time although man's life on earth is a span of time. Islam gives due attention to the issue of time because if people waste their time, they are actually wasting their life.
The Holy Qur'an gives due attention to the idea of time and this is clear in many verses of the Qur'an when Allah swears using the different places of times of the day to reveal the importance of time, "By the break of Day," (Qur'an, 1:89) "By (the Token of) Time (through the ages),' (Qur'an, 1:103) .etc.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says in one Hadith: "There are two things that people are not aware of how important they are: health and time." This Hadith stresses two facts: People are not aware of the importance of being in good health till they fall ill and people are not aware of the importance of time and therefore waste their time doing trivial things.
There was research published in one of the magazines about how man spends his time. The research revealed that if man lives for 60 years, he spends one third of his life sleeping because man usually sleeps eight hours a day. Remaining years are spent in public transportation, watching TV, eating, in the bathroom.etc. This means that the larger part of man's life is spent in worldly matters. Karen Armstrong, refers to this aspect of time in Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) life. She indicated that what the Prophet (peace be upon him) did in 23 years was miraculous and what he accomplished required thousands of philosophers, reformers, intellectuals and mentors to do in hundreds of years.
To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who has failed a grade.
To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who has given birth to a pre-mature baby.
To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of ONE DAY, ask a daily wage labourer who has kids to feed.
To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the bride who is waiting to meet her groom
To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who has missed the train.
To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who has avoided an accident.
To realize the value of ONE MILLI-SECOND, ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.
We are to bear in mind that time has certain characteristics, among of which are the following:
1. Time passes quickly.
2. Time that passes can never return, nor can it be compensated for, for time is irretrievable.
3. Time is the most precious thing that man possesses.
The following are some of the most important duties demanded of Muslims:
1. Ensuring benefitting from time
2. Utilizing leisure time
3. Racing for good deeds
4. Learning from the passage of time
5. Seeking the superior times
6. Planning and organizing time
7. Fulfillment of time commitments
One of the methods of managing his time properly is for a Muslim to get up early and sleep early, for early hours always yield great blessings. Starting his day with prayer and the supplication of the morning brings the Muslim Allah's grace. A Muslim should always bear in mind that every time has its own task that suits it. Doing tasks in their due times brings about peace of mind and comfort. The most important aspect being gaining such knowledge of Islam that will enable and empower one to do such actions at a given time that pleases Allah abundantly! A Muslim is disciplined and uses every second constructively and productively!