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S.O.S. - Saving Our Seconds

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(S.O.S. – ‘Saving Our Seconds’ Series – Part One)

There was a woman who worked hard at home, producing the most exotic, delicious ice cream. Whether ‘seriously salted crack-caramel’, ‘passionate pistachio’ or even ‘intense espresso’, she painstakingly prepared the most delectable frozen desserts. She would then give these desserts to her husband who would load them into his ‘ice cream bike’ and cycle to the park where customers would eagerly await his daily arrival. He would stand in the park, braving the intense heat and patiently serving his patrons, until all the ice cream was sold.

Although this husband and wife repeated this routine every single day, the money they made was barely enough to meet their needs. Hence, they ensured that no matter what happened, they churned out the ice cream and sold it to their customers.

One day, the woman thought to herself, “There’s more than enough time to prepare today’s ice cream! I only have four chapters left to finish this new novel. I can surely finish the novel first!” She reclined against her pillow, her eyes ‘glued’ to the writing, until she turned the final page. However, it had taken her a little longer than expected! Nevertheless, she didn’t panic. After all, she made ice cream every day! She could probably do it in her sleep!

She next went to the kitchen, tied her apron and picked up her spatula. Then, as she began to prepare the ice cream mixture, she heard a ‘ping!’ from her phone. With the spatula still in her hand, she picked her phone up with the other hand. When she read the message though, she placed the spatula down, holding the phone with both hands. This was not just news – it was breaking news! Her neighbour had caught her husband cheating and everyone was discussing it! Not wanting to be left out, she too joined in the gossip and ‘juicy’ discussion, until she suddenly realized that a whole hour had passed!

She was now frantic, as she had barely any time left. She rushed from one bowl to the next, adding a few nuts here, a few strawberries there, trying to get the ice cream ready in time. In her panic, she knocked a bowl onto the floor! Then, she realized that in the rush, she had forgotten to switch the machine on, so it wouldn’t be cold enough for another 30 minutes!

This was too much for her! She could take no more! She gave up and called it a day, but she knew that she was squarely to blame for the difficulty they would face that day. When her husband arrived on his bicycle to fetch the ice cream, she didn’t know what to say. How could she explain that they had no ice cream to sell because she had wasted all her time?

Every single one of us is like the woman in the example above. Allah Ta‘ala has blessed us all with the bounty of time. If we value our time and use it correctly, we will reap tremendous profits in this world and the next. If we waste and squander our time, we will hang our heads in shame and face difficulties on the Day of Resurrection.

Ramadhaan is the month to capitalize and gain, as Allah Ta‘ala offers us tremendous ‘bargains’. When the month of Ramadhaan arrives, people initially tend to be ‘charged’ and ‘motivated’. After a few days though, they relax and think, “There’s more than enough time left! I can read Quraan later on! I can repent later on!” Worsening the situation are the distractions such as social media, WhatsApp, etc. which not only destroy our time but sometimes even draw us into severe sins such as gheebah (backbiting). For some people, the entire month passes in negligence. Eventually, when the month comes to an end, we realize that we achieved very little or nothing at all! 

In order to make this Ramadhaan count and to derive maximum benefit from it, we have to learn to safeguard our time and use it wisely and productively. If we learn the lesson of making every second count in the month of Ramadhaan, there will be hope of us using our time wisely out of Ramadhaan as well.

For this reason, we have chosen to discuss a few aspects of time during this month of Ramadhaan that will insha-Allah assist us in ‘Saving Our Seconds’.

(to be continued insha-Allah)