Every hour that goes by wasted is an eternity of regret.
Some deep statement, right? Think about it – today, we regret the time wasted yesterday. When we’re older, we’ll regret the time wasted in youth. In the next life, we’ll regret the time wasted in this life. Throughout life, we wish we would have done more with our time.
The great companion, Ibn Mas’ūd, said a statement that sums this up:
“I have never regretted anything as much as my regret over a day in which the sun sets and my life-span decreases while my good deeds have not increased.”
The importance of time is found in sūrat al-‘Aṣr in the Qur`ān. To summarise, Allāh stresses the importance of time by telling us that as time goes by we are in a state of loss except if we believe, act righteously, and once this is done, encourage one another to the truth whilst being patient and steadfast upon these three foundations. Who better to tell us how to use our time other than the Creator of time itself!
Time can give rise to amazing wonders if we know how to benefit from it and if we avoid excessiveness in speech, food, gatherings and disobedience. If we manage our time well, we would achieve the most lasting legacies and we will be remembered in eternity for the benefit we leave behind. However, time can also be a curse, in which nothing is achieved but insolence and evil deeds. In this case, death is better for those who choose to waste their time in this.
We don’t know what age we will leave this world. Some live for an entire century, outliving their life expectancy predictions from their doctors; others are taken away during their promising teenage years; others return to their Lord ﷻ before they can walk on their two tiny feet. Allāh, the All-Wise, has kept this knowledge to Himself as a sign of urgency that we must act righteously now, or die with hardly any good deeds to present to Him.
It’s vital that you ask yourself about how your own time is used:
How many hours a day do you sleep? At least 1/3 of the day (8 hours), right?
How long do you spend at school/university/work? Again, approximately another 8 hours?
What about entertainment, shopping, errands, food, meeting others? Maybe the last 8 hours are used here?
The question is: how much time do you leave for Allāh every day?
Regrettably, it seems that our days are for other than our Creator because we don’t allocate time for Him, yet, Allāh is the Forbearing – He gives us more life out of His love and compassion towards us. He’s the Almighty – He could just seize us and bring about a new people who worship Him properly but He doesn’t. Therefore, will you not respond to Allāh’s kindness to you by giving back a portion of the day towards Him?
This also touches upon another important point… that we can only benefit from our time if we are focussed. That is, focussed on our final place of rest – Paradise or Hell-fire. Always having this ending in our mind every day we wake and every night we retire to bed is indispensable as it develops a great sense of urgency to gather and compete for as many good deeds as possible.
To conclude, my aim here is to show you the urgency of gathering as many good deeds as possible due to the limited time we have in this world. Please, use your time wisely. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. It will never return. The time that you’ve wasted has been recorded. The only time you will see it is when your time is over – the Day of Judgment. Therefore, let your time in this life be a source of happiness in the next life and not a source of misery and regret.
In the next article, we will discover two life-changing concepts on how to take advantage of your time to do as many good deeds as possible, namely: intention and leaving a legacy.
For now, I will leave you with one small action point, for the fruit of knowledge is action:
At the beginning of each day, thank Allāh for the day of life He has gifted you with and one other thing you are grateful for (it can be anything!)
- The main aim of this exercise is to disengage from your busy life and connect with Allāh, for your soul is thirsty for this!
- Begin your day with this small action – do it before breakfast and getting ready to leave your home. If you start your day thinking about Allāh, thanking Him and asking Him to help you with your daily tasks, the rest of your day will be connected with Allāh and won’t be wasteful
- Watch this small deed have a huge impact on your day!
You’re most welcome to share your thoughts of this article and your experiences on implementing this action point and how it has affected you.
May Allāh bless our time for us and allow us to use it wisely.