The Importance of Time

The Importance of Time
The Islamic Calendar

The Importance of Time

  • masjidmuhammad
  • Aug 21, 2021

To best explain this subject, Allāh has given us Sūrah al-ʿAṣr. Allāh mentions:

“I swear by the Time, (1) Man is in a state of loss indeed, (2) Except those who believed and did righteous deeds, and exhorted each other to follow truth, and exhorted each other to observe patience. (3)

Relationship between Time and Human Loss:

In this Sūrah, Allāh takes an oath by time and then states that humans are at a loss. What does this mean? There must be a relationship between time, upon which the oath was taken and its subject, which is loss.
Now, this point is not difficult to understand or grasp. And if a person gets the reality of this following point, then it can be a life-changing experience.

The commentators state that all conditions of man, our growth, development, our movements, and our actions all take place within the space of ‘time’. We all have capital (capital means a starting amount), which is the amount of time we were given when we were born. The time when we are going to pass away has already been written, so each of us was given this capital of time.

These hours, days, months and years will pass by quickly and our spiritual and material abilities will fade. An easier way to explain capital would be breaths.

According to my research, I found that each person takes approximately 23,000 breaths a day. If a person stays alive for around 70 years, then this equates to around 600 million breaths in their lifetimes. This is the starting amount, so it might sound like a large amount, but each day it is decreasing by over 20,000.

Going back to the point of how time affects us, when we are young our mind is sharp, we learn things quickly. Physically we reach a peak as well. We are strong in our youth, even in our prayer. When we are young, we can pray for long amounts of time.

As we get older, our memory weakens. Physically our limbs and muscles start to hurt. We develop conditions that limit our mobility, and even spiritually, we can’t give the same amount of commitment we used to when we were young when it comes to prayer. We can see how we are continually in decline, or at a loss.

This is the nature of life, the nature of continual loss. Allāh has given us capital which is very valuable, and we must invest in it correctly. It is the same as if we have a large sum of money. If we make the correct investment, we can make an amazing gain, on the other hand, if we do not invest correctly, we could lose all our money.

So how can we invest our life to make it as profitable as possible? The answer is simple, we must invest in good works which we know will be profitable for us. If we invest it unwisely in bad or evil works, then we will not just lose our capital but will be also committing sins. Rasūlullāh mentions in a Ḥadīth:

“When a person wakes up in the morning, he invests his soul or life in a business enterprise: some of the investors free or saves the capital from loss and others destroy it.”

We have established that the capital in a person’s life is time, therefore man himself will be the trader. Normally capital is not frozen, it can be kept and used later when we need to, but our capital is moving all the time, it is fluid. Every minute, every second we are losing it. In order to invest it wisely, the person must be intelligent, clever so they can quickly obtain the reward from the flowing capital.

One of the old scholars mentioned that he learnt the meaning of this Sūrah (al ʿAṣr) from an ice seller. If he were neglectful for a moment, his entire capital would melt away, so he must sell it as quickly as possible. The ice seller has only a limited amount of time to sell the ice, otherwise, it will melt away. He can see his capital, the ice, melting away before his eyes and time is the same.

Time is the one commodity that we are all losing so it must be the one that we value the most. None of us knows how much time was written for us and how much time we have left.

Spend it wisely, spend it in the worship of Allāh, spend it with the pious, and do not waste it.

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