The Importance of Time in Islam
By Musa Bukhari
Time. It is one of the greatest gifts Allah has given us, yet we often neglect it. In the Quran, Allah says:
By (the Token of) Time (through the ages), Verily Man is in loss, Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy. (Quran 103:1-3)
Surah al-Asr highlights the importance of time in a very powerful way. Allah is teaching us, through the lens of time, that we will fail unless we focus on four virtues that will allow us to win in this life and the hereafter. But if we observe them the trajectory of our life will change for the better. Remember, if Allah is reminding us about loss, it demands our immediate attention, or we risk meeting Allah on the Day of Reckoning having squandered all chances for forgiveness, mercy and blessings.
Taking advantage of ease
Anas ibn Malik reported that The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Do good deeds in the time that you have and take advantage of the moments of gentle breeze from the mercy of Allah. Verily, Allah has moments of gentle breeze from his mercy that he sends upon whomever he wills among his servants. Ask Allah to cover your faults and protect you from your anxieties.” (Hasan, Al-Albani)
This hadith demonstrates the importance of time in Islam. The Prophet (PBUH) specifically refers to time and advises Muslims to take advantage it by performing good deeds promptly, and by not taking for granted the times of ease that Allah gives us.
For example, fasting can be a difficult deed to fulfil, but during Ramadan, the whole community fasts, making the circumstances, and the opportunity for blessing, much easier. It is also much easier to read more Quran and attend Taraweeh when supported by a sense of community. Ramadan is a time when fulfilling duties, and performing good deeds is made easier. That is a blessing of time from Allah, and we must take advantage of it.
Time in Islam
But the importance of time isn’t limited to Ramadan. So much of Islam revolves around time. Muslims must be conscious of time in all that they do, particularly when it comes to prayers, zakat, and fasting. When duties and good deeds aren’t performed on time, they lose meaning, impact, and blessings.
Uqbah bin al-Harith (AS) narrated that he once prayed ‘Asr in Medina behind the Messenger (PBUH). After finishing the prayer, the Messenger got up quickly, stepping over people in haste. When he returned, the Prophet saw their astonishment at his urgency, and told them, “I recalled that there was left with me some gold which was meant for charity; I did not like to keep it any longer, so I gave orders that it should be distributed.” (Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet taught us not to delay charity, and to hasten towards good deeds while we’re able to, before obstacles such as poverty, sickness, and old age prevent us from being able to give, and being able to receive blessings.
Get into gear for Ramadan
There are only six weeks left until Ramadan. Here are just a few ways that you can prepare, so that you can make the most of the holy month when it arrives.
- Make up any missed fasts from last year. Don’t delay in fasting these days now, or, if you’re unable to fast, pay your fidya or kaffarah today.
- Plan your Ramadan. Write down what you wish to achieve this Ramadan. How many ayat do you want to read per day? What duaas do you want to ask for? Are there any charitable acts you want to perform? Write down all your ideas, and plan how you’ll spend each day this Ramadan.
- Prepare your body for Ramadan. Phase out any dependencies, such as coffee and tea. Try to cut our unhealthy foods so that you can enjoy nutritious food when you break your fast.
- Re-establish relationships with your family and friends, and make sure you resolve any disputes before you enter the holy month.
- Calculate your zakat, and begin saving so that you can give it during the most blessed time of the year, multiplying your reward.
Join us in preparing for Ramadan, and taking advantage of the time we have before the holy month is upon us, inshallah.