Prophet Muhammad had a deep appreciation of the value of time and as a result was able to make the best use of every piece of available time. He once grabbed Ibn Umar (ra) by the shoulder and said; “ Be in this world as if you were a traveler.” Ibn Umar (ra) would later explain this to his students by adding; “if you survive until evening, do not expect to live until the morning. Hence one of the many meanings of this hadith is the importance of time. If I was there listening to this narration as a student of Ibn Umar (ra), I would know that I need to seize the moment! Prophet Muhammad had the guidance of a mission that drove him to making time a priority. What is your mission in life? If you don’t wake up every day with a mission/sense of purpose, then you have no motivation. Something has to motivate you to wake up for Tahajjud and begin to seize the moment/day. Time is life itself, guard your time and don’t waste a single second of it. Time is the only thing in life that one cannot get back. If one wastes or looses money or material possessions, these can usually be obtained again. If one second of time is lost, it cannot be regained. Allah (azza wa jal) says; “ By time, verily man is in loss,” “Has there not been over man a long period of time when he was nothing…” Other verses also highlight the importance of time. “By the sun and it splendor, by the moon as it follows.” “Or by the night as it envelops.” Allah (azza wa jal) swears by the sun, moon, night, day etc! Wallahi this is how time passes!
I remember hearing one Sheikh say; “Muslims should be so tired at the end of the day, that as soon as their head hit the pillow they should be fast asleep.” I try to do just this every day. If you have achieved maximum benefit from your time during the day, you will be tired. I ran across these statistics but am not too sure of their authenticity. However after doing some math myself, they seem reasonable. Lets say the average human lives to be 65 years old. This is the median mortality rate. We spend;
Sleeping 27 years
Work 10.5 years
T.V. 10 yrs
Eating 4 years
Driving 3 years
TOTAL: Are you ready for this? 54.5 years!!!! I only have 10.5 years left to do anything with my life. I didn’t throw in play station and x-box. I have seen grown Muslim men sit on these things for hours at a time! I was listening to a talk some time ago and here was some advice on getting back some of this time.
Wake up for Tahajjud and Fajr = 8.3 yrs
Fast on Monday, Thursdays, 3 additional days per month, Ramadan= 4yrs
Less TV = 5 yrs
Get a job that you truly love doing = 10.5 yrs
TOTAL: 27.8 years!
Here are some of my favorite hadith on making the best use of time and seizing the moment;
The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhe wa sallam) always demanded that work should start early in the morning. On the authority of Sukhr Al-Ghamidi: “The Prophet said, ‘O Allah, bless my nation’s early rising.’ If he dispatched an army or a division, he did that early in the morning.” [Abu Dawud, Ibn Hibban] Sukhr was a merchant who used to do his business early in the morning, and he made good profit and became rich.
Aisha reported a Hadith with a similar meaning; the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, ” Rise early to earn your living and do your affairs, for it brings about blessing and success.” [at-Tabarani]
Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter, said that when he saw her still lying in bed one morning, he told her, “My daughter, get up and witness your Lord’s bounty, and do not be among the indifferent; Allah distributes daily bread between the break of dawn and sunrise.” [al-Baihaqi]
In part III insha Allah, I will give some practical how to tips for managing time and being more effective.