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It’s About Time!

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

Every single person has different tasks, errands and responsibilities that he has to attend to on a daily basis. From basic human needs, such as eating and sleeping, to activities that are more leisure orientated, such as enjoying a cup of coffee with friends, people spend their time in different ways.

It is human nature for a person to be inclined to engaging himself in the action which interests him the most. Hence, household chores hold little appeal, while catching up with friends is highly enjoyable. However, a wise person will prioritize and ensure that the most urgent of tasks are attended to first.

Just as consuming food is absolutely important and essential for our physical survival, engaging in ‘ibaadah, conducting ta’leem, making du‘aa, etc., are utterly vital for our spiritual survival. The ‘problem’, however, is that nobody seems to have any time!

The reason is that we do not understand the importance of ‘ibaadah and conducting ta’leem in the home. Had we understood the importance, we would not have said ‘we don’t have time’, but would have instead made the time, just as we make time to eat when we are hungry. Hence, the answer is for us to decide, once and for all, that come what may, we have to complete our daily ‘ibaadaat and conduct ta’leem in the home. We have to fix a time and stick to it, without allowing anything to distract us.

Secondly, if we closely examine our daily routine, we will find two things; free moments (even if they consist of just a few minutes e.g. while waiting for the kettle to boil) and time spent in idle pursuits (things that will neither benefit us in this world nor the next). These moments are in reality ‘ready-made time’. Instead of encroaching on our important activities, these are the moments that need to be ‘appropriated’ for completing our ‘ibaadah, etc.

As a cautious estimate, people spend perhaps one hour a day on social media (be it WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, etc.). There are then ‘hobbies’ such as reading novels/blogs, surfing the net, etc. These ‘hobbies’ are completely void of benefit (we gain nothing in this world nor the next). In some cases, the hobby is undoubtedly beneficial in this world e.g. exercising. However, a person becomes so consumed by this hobby that they attach too much of time and importance to it, while things that are far more important are neglected and suffer.

‘Ibaadah and conducting ta’leem are just two of the necessary activities that are generally neglected. Tragically, being consumed by futile hobbies and activities also causes one to neglect basic responsibilities such as attending to the children. Many people have the misimpression that if they feed, bath and cloth the child, then they have fulfilled the rights of the child.

What about the imaani needs of the child? Every child has a right over his parents that they instill within him the qualities of imaan, the love for Islam and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), and impart to him the necessary knowledge of Deen. It is obvious that even if the child attends a madrasah (which many children do not), the focus of the madrasah is to teach the child the Quraan Majeed, various sunnah du‘aas, etc. Inculcating the values of Islam and learning right from wrong is not something that can be achieved in the two hours that they give five times a week. This is a constant effort – one that requires the parents to continuously monitor the child, spend time with him, speak to him and correct him with love and concern. When the parents spend the majority of their time at home glued to the screens of their phones, leaving their children to their own devices, then how can this ever be achieved?

It’s about time that we put our time in order. After all, we will have to answer for our time and the avenues in which we spent it on the Day of Qiyaamah. If the people of Jannah will regret the time they spent without remembering Allah Ta‘ala, how much more will the sinners regret the time that they spent in evil and sin!

May Allah Ta‘ala assist us all to use our time correctly and value this irreplaceable bounty.