I have a wish: One day I want to go to sleep with a smile on my face and peace in my heart.
You know why?
Because I honestly want to say,
“Ya Allah ! I truly firmly believe in You! “la illaha ..”
“Ya Allah ! I truly tried to do deeds to please You “
“Ya Allah ! I tried to spread Your word through my actions with words of wisdom and love.
Ya Allah ! I truly tried to be patient with myself and others when I failed.
Ya Allah ! Please accept my efforts and count me among the winners and not among the losers ; if I don’t wake up tomorrow.
This wish did not spring in my heart unexpectedly. Rather, it was like a seed, buried deep in my heart, which needed a push from cancer and nourishment from the Quran to grow roots.
Surah Al Asr. A beautiful surah, that is so short that it amazes me how it carries the huge amount of wisdom on its shoulders. Ubaidullah Ibn Hisn reported whenever two companions of the Prophet met, they would not depart until one of them recited Surah Al Asr 1
Imam Shafi said, “If people recited Surah Al Asr in its entirety , it would be enough for their guidance”
I couldn’t agree more.
This surah with 3 ayahs outlines a complete way of life from the Islamic perspective.
If I tell you that there was a tornado which will hit your city at 6:00 PM today and you have been advised to stay at home indoors, which of the 2 reactions will you exhibit now?
- Quickly go home and stay indoors no matter what, or
- Not hurry right away, since there is still some time to 6:00 PM, so you will finish your work and then go home.
Now, 6:00 PM approaches and you will face 2 types of consequences according to the option you chose:
- If you chose option #1, you will be safe and warm in your houses.
- If you chose option #2, you may be delayed due to traffic jams and stuck outdoors when the tornado strikes.
Which action makes you smarter? The one in which you took the advice and did not waste time.
“By Time” (Surah Al Asr :1)
Run. Move it. Hurry. Quickly.
“Asr” linguistically means “time is running out or a period of time”. The ‘Asr salah happens when the time window is less, when the day is ending, so ‘Asr is associated with emergency. Allah is saying — the time of emergency is NOW! The sunset of our lives is passing by, the end of our day/life is coming soon.
Mohammad Shafi says,” The struggle of human beings is like one who is trying to sell ice. Ice melts away, so the quicker he sells, the more money he makes.’ 2
How would you feel if you are stuck in the traffic jam, watching the rain lash at your window, the thunder rolling away, the lightning eerily illuminating the dark sky, the wind howling and buffeting your car? Would you wish that you would have been smarter, listened to the advice and made it home before and not wasted time?
- Reflect on the passing of time.
- Reflect on the time that has passed.
- Reflect on the time lost while running after wealth, beauty, power and fame in this dunya instead of running towards Allah.
- This process of wasting time has been repeated for generations, for thousands of years–so you need to be careful.
“Indeed, mankind is in loss,” (Surah Al Asr :2)
Allah is taking an oath because He is very angry at man as man is an incredible loser. Man is a loser because he is wasting the precious time that he has been given. But, Allah is the Most Merciful, He does not want any one to waste this opportunity and so immediately tells us what to do to ensure that we are not among the greatest losers of all!
Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.” (Surah Al Asr : 3)
So, you and I are business men/women of our time. We need to be like the person who sells ice every second, minute, hour, day, week and year. We need to be quick, smart, wise, and fast. We need to invest our time in good deeds and doing normal deeds, routine deeds with the intention to please Allah.
The good news is that The Messenger of Allah said: “Indeed, this religion is easy, and no one will ever overburden himself in religion, except that it will overcome him. So seek what is appropriate, and come as close as you can, and receive the glad tidings (that you will be rewarded), and take it easy; and gain strength by worshiping in the mornings, afternoons, and during the last hours of the nights.” 3
Let’s look at some ways in which we can invest our time wisely and be successful :
- Fix Your Focus — The focus of our lives as believing men and women should be Allah . Seeking His pleasure and fearing from His displeasure should be our main concern. Once our focus is right, all things will fall in place insha’Allah.
- Intentions : Any and everything action, like cooking, driving, talking, sleeping, shopping, playing, eating, etc., can all be counted as worship (which means time spent wisely) if done with the intention to please Allah and within the prescribed practices by the Messenger of Allah.
- Giving Importance to Salah by planning your day around Salah: Salah is the time when a person is directly in conversation with Allah . Planning the day around it helps keep our focus on Allah .
- Fixing a part of the day or week to gaining knowledge of the religion with the intention to apply it: There is nothing like focusing on Allah and investing time wisely. All the time spent while studying is a small investment with huge returns and the returns which come from applying that knowledge are too difficult to comprehend or enumerate because Allah’s blessings are unimaginable!
- Repentance: Then there is this. We, human beings with the natural tendency to forget and fail, need this energy drink to boost us up again. Repentance not only cleanses our heart from sins but also opens further opportunities towards guidance, helping us invest our time wisely.
- Spreading the Word of Allah with wisdom and patience: Calling people to the guidance of Allah is not a job that only the speakers we see on YouTube or people who study in religious institutions can do. Its a job that each one of us has to do. Allah simply said “insaan” in this surah. This surah is addressed to all of mankind. So, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, friends, siblings, neighbors, all pay heed! We have to push and pull each other to Jannah. We can’t go there alone! It won’t be fun without our loved ones there! But, remember, do what ever you have to do with wisdom and patience. Don’t give up on people who don’t seem enthusiastic. Be patient with them. Remember, every one has a different way of approaching things. As long as they finally get ‘there‘, let them take it slow if they want to. And use that “wise” streak that you are born with to deal with people who resist. Trust me, if I could find mine, then I am sure you will find yours, insha’Allah.
The points that I have enumerated above are very simple and easy to do. Planning your day around Salah, getting into a habit of constant remembrance of Allah , sharing what ever pearl of guidance comes your way, genuinely wishing well for others are very easy to do. All you need is to really feel the tick-tock of the clock. Time is indeed running out. Get going , NOW. Before its too late.
Please share what gems you learned from this article in the comments sections. Please give your tips and advices on how we can use time wisely as well. We would love to hear your views. 🙂