Thoughts

Why Time Matters

Take advantage of five before five*

Why cannot we go back in time? To begin with if that were possible, we would have the ability to change not only our own actions but also the course of history. And that wouldn’t make a lot of sense.

Theory of relativity states you can slow time (or speed up) depending on how fast you move relative to something else. BUT you cannot go back in time.

The Qur’an informs us that our perception of time is not objectively real – we will become aware after entering the next phase of our lives – i.e, after death.

Every single day we enjoy the blessings of our Creator, and we are oblivious to this fact. Our heart beats between 60 to 100 beats per minute, without us having any role to play – yet we are ungrateful. Every day we wake up to a new beautiful day, and it is Allah who permits us to wake up from our sleep – and many actually do not wake up – yet we go about our day as if I owe thanks to no one and it is my right to live. The Prophet (PBUH) used to say this du’a when he woke up in the morning, “All praise is for Allah who gave us life after having taken it from us and unto Him is the resurrection.”

Time, good health these are all blessings that we enjoy among countless other blessings, yet we do not thank our Creator and Sustainer Allah SWT for these blessings. As Allah says in Sura Al Infitar “O man! What has made you careless concerning your Lord, the Most Generous?” If we are not doing the four things mentioned in Sura Al Asr, we are surely in LOSS.

ONE

Youth is a time that goes by very quickly- before we know it – it is gone. One of the seven who will be under the shade on Youmul Qiyamah is a youth who grows up in the worship of Allah – the Day when the only shade will be shade of Allah. The brain is sharper, energy is endless and seems like youth time will never end. It does however end. Gradual decline – minute by the minute, slowly we slide into old age. And then looking back doesn’t help unless we were already doing deeds that would benefit us in the Hereafter. The body will complete its cycle whether we like it or not. And when the time is gone we start to regret. The seven men mentioned in Sura Al Kahf who went to sleep for three hundred and nine years were youth and this is mentioned in the Qur’an with the word “fit’ya”. Ibrahim (AS), when he challenged the idol worshippers, was also a young man when he did that.

One of the questions in Youmul Qiyamah will be about our youth – what did we do with it?

TWO

Our body is a perfect organization that works miraculously without any effort on our part. And we don’t feel the blessing until we get sick. The Prophet (PBUH), said, “There are two blessings which many people waste: health and free time.”. And when we do get sick, we look back and think – how little did we realize it when we were in good health? Only when we get sick do we realize that owning a jumbo jet means nothing if you have a pair of dysfunctional kidneys or need to go through a critical surgery. Among other dua’s The Prophet (PBUH) routine was to ask for good health each night with this supplication, “O Allah, verily You have created my soul and You shall take it’s life, to You belong it’s life and death. If You should keep my soul alive then protect it, and if You should take it’s life then forgive it. O Allah, I ask You to grant me good health.” Sitting in a chair and praying vs praying standing up is not the same – ask the person who is doing sijdah while sitting in a chair!

Another one of Prophet’s (PBUH) du’a which he said three times in the morning and three times in the evening was, “O Allah, grant my body health, O Allah, grant my hearing health, O Allah, grant my sight health. None has the right to be worshipped except You. O Allah, I take refuge with You from disbelief and poverty, and I take refuge with You from the punishment of the grave. None has the right to be worshipped except You.”

THREE

Every day we are busy – with something or the other. We don’t have time. Why don’t you come to the masjid? I don’t have time. A human being is merely a sum total of hours, minutes and seconds. Every day that passes by is sealed never to return again. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah said, “To waste time is worse than death, for wasting time cuts you from Allah, and the home of the afterlife, while death cuts you off from the worldly life and its inhabitants.” Yet we have time to update our FB status and watch Netflix. “The greatest profit in the worldly life is to busy yourself at all times with what is best fitted and most beneficial to your afterlife.

FOUR

There are times when we have more wealth and at that time, we think our wealth will last forever, and only increase. We forget that this wealth is a test from Allah, given to whomsoever He pleases, in a pre-determined amount. There will always be ups and downs. Sadaqah has been mentioned by Prophet (PBUH) as “Burhan”. Translated as “proof, evidence, demonstration. To prove, demonstrate, establish, substantiate, verify, show, evidence, to testify, attest to, be evidence of, bear witness to.” One of the first qualities of “muttaqi” mentioned in Sura Al Baqarah are those who spend from the wealth that Allah has given them. For many, it is more difficult to part with money than life. Because we don’t see a benefit — seeing benefit requires strength of Iman. We benefit nothing in this life from charity – that is the test.

So, if you want proof of your Iman look back at the last three months and count how much you spent in the way of Allah and what percentage is it of your annual income. If you are not spending money in the way of Allah you will surely spend that money – in something else. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah said, “Whoever refuses to humble himself before Allah or to spend his money in the way of His pleasure or to tire his spirit and his body in His obedience, it is inevitable that he will be made humble to something else and he will spend his money toward it, and he will tire his spirit and body in its obedience as a punishment for him.” When there was call to donate during Tabuk expedition, Abu Bakr (RA) gave away all of his wealth for the sake of Allah SWT.

When this verse “Who is he that will lend Allah handsome loan: then (Allah) will increase it manifold to his credit (in repaying),” was revealed, Abu Ad-Dahdah Al-Ansari said, `O Allah’s Messenger! Does Allah ask us for a loan‘ The Prophet (PBUH) said, Yes, O Abu Ad-Dahdah. Abu Ah Dahdah replied, `Give me your hand, O Allah’s Messenger,’ and the Prophet placed his hand in his hand.

Date tree farm in Madinah, December 2019

Abu Ad-Dahdah said, `Verily, I have given my garden as a loan to my Lord.’ He had a garden that contained six hundred date trees in Madinah; his wife and children were living in that garden too. {pic of Madinah date garden}. Abu Ad-Dahdah went to his wife and called her, `Umm Ad-Dahdah!’ She said, `Here I am.’ He said, `Leave the garden, because I have given it as a loan to my Lord, the Exalted and Most Honored.’ She said, `That is a successful trade, O Abu Ad-Dahdah!‘ She then transferred her goods and children. The Messenger of Allah said, (How plentiful are the sweet date clusters that Abu Ad-Dahdah has in Paradise!)” In another narration, the Prophet said, How many a date tree that has lowered down its clusters, which are full of pearls and gems in Paradise for Abu Ad-Dahdah!

Fifteen hundred years after this incident we are relating this narration and honoring Abu Ad-Dahdah and his wife for their generosity – and we don’t know what will happen to our wealth 200 years after we die. Yet we hold on to it as if our accumulation of wealth is directly attributable to our degree, our job, our skillset. Prophet (PBUH) said, “Charity does not decrease wealth, no one forgives another but that Allah increases his honor, and no one humbles himself for the sake of Allah but that Allah raises his status.”

FIVE

The volume of oxygen allocated for us is guaranteed, and finite. No one knows how much is left – not even the best doctor is aware. YOLO – you only live once.

We are relying on the fact that we won’t be brought back to life again and be answerable – Allah is promising that we will be brought back to life – just like He did the first time.

Does man not consider that We created him from a [mere] sperm-drop – then at once he is a clear adversary? 

And he presents for Us an example and forgets his [own] creation. He says, “Who will give life to bones while they are disintegrated?”

Say, “He will give them life who produced them the first time; and He is, of all creation, Knowing.” Sura Yasin

Imagine yourself looking at your book of deeds — every details of your life inscribed in perfect details, along with your INTENTION. Every $ you gave for the sake of Allah, you will find it there, multiplied many times over. Every time you spoke, laughed, smiled – all recorded by the noble angels. Every move of the legs recorded. Every move of the hands recorded. “Noble and recording; They know whatever you do.” Sura Al Infitar

Prepare for the most important “event” of your life — and now is the time to do it. And if you want a preview of what’s to come – next time you go to Mt. Washington to bury someone imagine yourself in the casket and work your way to that event. For surely that event is coming. Whether you like it or not. Ready or not. The Prophet (PBUH) said, The wise man is one who holds himself accountable and performs good deeds to prepare for what comes after death. The foolish man is one who gives into his lowly desires and seeks their indulgence from Allah.”

Jannah has a name – it’s called “jannatul khuldi”- Allah has promised this to Muttaqun. Which can be translated into garden of eternity. Where life never ends. The one who has given life that ends can also give life that does not end. Where people don’t age nor do they defecate. Where people don’t spend billions to kill each other. There is no lying, backbiting or cheating. But it comes at a price. Don’t commit shirk. And don’t get comfortable in this dunya thinking this is it– work for the Hereafter which is the final destination. This is not achievable with zero effort on your part. Or with halfhearted attempt.

Jahannam has a name – and the fire of jahannam has name too – it is called “Narullah” – the fire of Allah. Eternally fueled. Which reaches up to the hearts of humans. In a “closed container” people will be burned. Imagine the house is on fire and you are trying to save your life – except that the doors are locked from outside and you will not die. Every time the skin is burned it will be replaced with new skin. These are the exact words used in Sura An Nisaa, Sura Al Humazah and Sura Al A’la. Subhanallah!

The Prophet (PBUH) said, one amongst the denizens of Hell who had led a life of ease and plenty amongst the people of the world would be made to dip in Fire only once on the Day of Resurrection and then it would be said to him: O, son of Adam, did you find any comfort, did you happen to get any material blessing? He would say: By Allah, no, my Lord. Reminds me of someone who passed away few days back who owned two islands, two planes, fifteen vehicles and much much more.

May Allah protect us all from the fire. 

One chance, one shot, one life. The other side is eternal. Once we’re gone that’s it! No coming back to repent, regret, read the Qur’an, pray, fast, do Hajj, pay zakah and sadaqah.

When we enter the next life, we will only have faint recollections of this life of ours, as if awakened from a dream.

Imagine if you made it, and imagine if you didn’t!

And Allah knows best.

*The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your free time before your work, and your life before your death.”

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