The Transience of Time
Ever find yourself shaking your head at some of the grievances of the old? Women and men who find injustice in their growing old, despise the heralds of their impending old age –in the form of graying hairs and aching joints- and would do anything to reclaim the time that has oh-so-quickly passed them by. Women who try desperately to snatch back their lost youth by slathering on anti-aging creams and getting those pivotal Botox injections; and men with an excessive use of Rogaine who compensate for their age with shiny cars and young women. It seems so silly to think about; why despair at the loss of youth when it is not even truly a loss? A loss is something that one is deprived of, but it is only common sense that in chronological order youth comes first, followed by maturity and then old age. So how can older people who are in their forties or fifties say things like, “if I were twenty years younger…”, when they, just like the rest of humanity, had been given the chance to do as they wished when they were young? It is inconceivable and petty –not to mention foolish- to cry over “lost” youth, when that youth was not lost, but handed over to one as a privilege, and not a right.[pullquote_right]As long as Muslims have free time, we have a method of doing good, extricating ourselves from wrong and working to attain Janaatul-Firdous.[/pullquote_right]
More often than not, people do not take advantage of the time they are so mercifully given. Wasting away time with this activity and that necessity, and before we know it, time has flown out of our grasp, never able to be caught or used again. Wastefulness of time is far more treacherous than the wastefulness of any other facility, because most other things can be renewed and regenerated, while time can never be taken back. This is the lesson we as Muslims must absolutely take heed of, because we have been blessed with knowledge. Allah SWT has blessed us with the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet SAW that tell us how important the time we are given is, and how inevitable death and the Day of Judgment are. When we are given such information, directly and genuinely, how can we turn away and continue to waste time on utter frivolity?
In reality, wasting time is exactly the same as turning down a plethora of prime opportunities. In Islam, time itself is the greatest and most serviceable of vehicles to rejuvenate our faith because as long as Muslims have free time, we have a method of doing good, extricating ourselves from wrong and working to attain Janaatul-Firdous. We as Muslims are told that up until the day when the sun rises from the west (a sign of Judgment Day) we have the opportunity of gaining Allah’s mercy and blessings. As reported by Abu Hurairah RA that the Messenger of Allah SAW said, “The Hour will not be established until the sun rises from the west, then whoever will be living on the surface of the earth, will have faith, and that is the time when no good will it do to a person to believe then, if he believed not before.” [Muslim]. This hadith is a chilling one indeed, because it reminds each and every person that time is always running out, as quickly as sand does in an hourglass.
Khasiroon | The Losers
At the end of the day, the situation that all Muslims should be running away from, as desperately and quickly as possible, is ending up as those mentioned in the Quran –those who wasted away their opportunities on earth only to cry over their “lost” youth and time on the Day of Judgment. These people are the epitome of khasiroon, losers, because just as some older men and women of today foolishly despair over the youth they once had but did not value, do those khasiroon despair and forge grievances over the time they had on earth but ignorantly did not utilize in the worship and glorification of Allah.[quote]“ “Lest the soul should (then) say: ‘Ah! Woe is me!- In that I neglected (my duty) towards Allah, and was but among those who mocked!’- Or lest it should say: ‘If only Allah had guided me, I should certainly have been among the righteous!’- Or lest it should say when it (actually) sees the Chastisement: ‘If only I had another chance, I should certainly be among those who do good!’ (The reply will be:) ‘Nay but there came to thee My signs, and thou didst reject them: thou wast Haughty, and became one of those who reject faith!’” ” [Quran- 39:56-60][/quote]
“If thou couldst but see when they shall be made to stand by the fire! They will say: “Would that we were but sent back! Then would we not reject the Signs of our Lord but would be amongst those who believe!” [Quran- 6:27]
What good is it if someone has all the time in the world, when he/she does not use it in the best way possible? What good is it if someone is regretful, when it is far past the time of forgiveness and atonement for sins? A person’s character and intellect can only be judged by what he/she does after being endued with knowledge. We as Muslims have even more reason to be moved to worship Allah because we have been given volumes of knowledge that others imprudently reject. We have even more reason to worship our Lord because the path to Jannah has been so mercifully illuminated for us. Allah has given us the Quran and Sunnah to light the path before us, thus, it is incumbent upon Muslims to follow and act upon them.[pullquote_left]What good is it if someone is regretful, when it is far past the time of forgiveness and atonement for sins?[/pullquote_left]
Certainty of Death
All of humanity knows of the certainty of death, and all Muslims know of the certainty of the Day of Judgment, and so it is up to us to make use of the time that Ar-Rahman ur-Raheem, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful, has blessed us with. We should all strive to be of those who receive Allah’s pleasure on the Last Day, and not of those who despair over the time they did not take advantage of- so much so that they argue endlessly and uselessly over whom misguided whom. On the Last day, all regrets and all arguments will be to no avail to the unbeliever, and it is in vain that people will ask for second chances and point fingers at one another. On that Day, it is only through Allah’s mercy that any one of us will receive salvation, and thus, we should always remember that the time we are given today is a mercy and blessing from Allah to be used towards worshipping him.