Saturday, December 20, 2008

One Moment in Time

From who I was, to what I have become has made me realize that often times life as we "The Human Race" interprets it to be, can feel dark. Sometimes we feel alone or afraid to face what Allah (Subhannahu Wa Ta Allah) has decreed for us so we clinch our teeth and stand firm as we block out distractions. I don't know who would read this book or if my words would ever be published so that it would inspire millions but if my words only inspired me this indeed would surface my smile.We see people daily whether it is on the street, T.V, in class, etc. and the amazing thing is that we don’t know if they are happy or sad, scared or confused or simply questioning Allah (SWT) about why they're even here on earth to begin with. Often times we move so fast that we are unable to question each other on an educational/ inspirational level and if we did find the time tucked away in a corner of a pocket, the chances of ever seeing that person again would be slim to none. We are never promised time and since most of us has time granted, what did we do with it yesterday and today?

Today, we live in a world that us surrounded by noise, crowds of people and often times we hold schedules that are so tight that we don’t have time set aside for ourselves. This world is also home of an enemy who has occupied our territory. An enemy so annoying that we listen to him even when we don’t want to. Our enemy occupied territory is becoming dangerous because this enemy is Satan and daily he is becoming fierce. You see, Allah (SWT) has made it so simple but humans have made it difficult. We have help before we realize we need it. We are designed with mouths to speak and ears to listen but we utilize our mouths without having enough patience to hear the answer to our questions. Stop calling on Allah (SWT) and not having the time set aside for him when he has the time to respond to you. All the things we do with our time, when our lives become too crowded with other things on the agenda, it is now when we have to rethink our priorities. How do we pursue Allah (SWT) in even our busiest of days? Only remember that the amount of time you set aside shows how much importance you place on this part of you life devoted to Allah (SWT).

We are a busy people. We try to organize every detail of our lives, whether we write it down or store it mentally it is there traveling with us each step of the way. If you do not organize your time with Allah (SWT), all of your daily activities will become too overwhelming and guess what, the time you think you have as a spare will be lost. This is why the more you bring Allah (SWT) into your daily activities; the more you’ll sense his presence. He (SWT) created you and designed you according to His (SWT) will. He (SWT) knows what you are capable and not capable of and He (SWT) is pleases with whatever effort you make to draw closer to Him (SWT).
It is sad that Allah (SWT) the One who hold everything, also gets ignored. Unplug your built in answering machines, quit taking messages and pick you ear to listen on a personal level. Believe me, I am all around Muslim but also human and sometimes I even forget to turn off my messaging system as well. We all want happiness and need that special time to talk to Allah (SWT). Many people may doubt that finding Allah (SWT) is the purpose of life; but everyone can accept the idea that the purpose of life is to find happiness. Allah (SWT) is the happiness we seek just make time for Him (SWT) and He’ll (SWT) be there waiting for you.

Time is an essential element of life. According to Webster's Student Dictionary, Time has been defined as (a) existence for a period (such as years/ centuries, etc). With that said, shouldn't we value the time from start until before we reach that period? This is a question we must ask ourselves not only when we are alone, but also within ourselves even if we are in the presence of a large, medium or small crowd of people. Learn how to care for time, don't waste it but utilize it. Think of time as being a gift to both woman and man and be responsible for it, be sensitive with it and cherish it.

Both the Quran and Sunnah enjoin us to be conscious of time. Be reminded in this world that this life is temporary. We will never know when death will be given to us and because of this uncertainty, value time for the satisfaction of Allah (SWT) the Powerful. Lets also be reminded that our religion is the only one that guides us not only to the importance of time but it also teaches us how to value it. Narrated by Bin Abbas which states Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him) stated, "There are two blessings which many people lose: (they are) health and free time for doing good deeds". (Bukhari 8/421) Would you enjoy displeasing Allah (SWT) by simply misusing your time? Please remember that as Muslims our time should be spent to fulfill all purpose of life, which is only to worship Allah (SWT) The Most High until the final hour.

Allah (SWT) has highlighted this Ayah in the Quran as He says:" I have not created jinn and men except that they should worship Me (Alone) “Quran (51:56). Do you now understand that everything we must do accordance to the Quran and Sunnah is act of worship. Time is never to be wasted but used as we participate in things which are pleasing to Allah (SWT) and to refrain from what Allah (SWT) has forbidden. In the Quran, Allah has said, "By time , verily man is in loss, except such as have faith, and do righteous deeds, and join (together) in the mutual enjoining of truth, and of patience and constancy" Quran (103:1-3). This verse from the Quran teaches us how to discipline ourselves by simply placing time in a showcase as we observe and value it. Joining good deeds to color our lives and disregarding the bad ones keeps us stronger as our minds remain fixed on Allah (SWT) and all that he has given us. On the Day of Judgment we will be asked about our lives and how we spent our time on the earth Allah (SWT) has provided for us, along with our wealth and knowledge.

Remember what Abdullah Bin Mas'ud narrated from what our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, "A man shall be asked concerning five things on the day of Resurrection: Concerning his life, how he spent it; and what was it that he did with the knowledge that he had; concerning his youth, how he grew old; concerning his wealth, whence he acquired it, and in what way he spent it" (Tirmidhi 5197). How have you spent your life? Can you be satisfied with what this hadith has mentioned and sit patiently while the Hour approaches? We aren't ready for the Hour! We still as Muslims have work to do within ourselves. Stand in the front of a mirror and ask yourself, Is Allah (SWT) pleased with me and the way I utilize my time?

Have you ever thought about the many forms of reflection intended for Allah (SWT), one major reflection is time (i.e. time duty worshiping Him as One) for the one who spends their time wisely building knowledge and worshiping later becomes the breed of their time. Waste time and you'll never be able to regain what has been lost. Time is the offspring from your life and it travels faster than what the eye can see. When we are born to the day we die, time was given. Remember Allah (SWT) gives life then causes death, whether we survive past the womb or not, time was given. Allah (SWT) says, "So glorify the praises of your Rabb (only God the Sustainer) and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him)". "And worship your Rabb until there comes to unto you the Hour that is certain (i.e. Death)" Quran 15:98-99.

Allah (SWT) has revealed step by step instructions on how we could live our lives if we read the Quran and understand its meaning. Allah (SWT) has given us everything we need to know free of charge, so we should be satisfied enough to worship Him. Spend time to worship Him as He (SWT) has given you a gift called Islam. Time is very important in Islam because if you're doing good deeds, rewards are promised to us by Allah (SWT). The problem today is that many people place Allah (SWT) second, third, fourth etc. when in all actuality He should be first and foremost in your heart, mind and soul. Allah (SWT) gives us so many chances to change ourselves for the better and we should thank Him everyday. Are you taking your time as you speak to Him or are you rushing in your prayers?

The scary thing about rushing in your prayers is that you can recite the words from memorization but do you feel the impact of prayer in your heart and believe in what you say? Are you praying not because it's routine for Muslims to pray but because this is the time to lower yourselves before an Almighty God as you praise Him and Thank Him over and over again? In Islam, things should be categorized according to their level of importance. Muslims have absolutely no time in their lives to utilize slogans such as, "killing time", "It's taking too long" or "when will this be over" because in Islam, time is much more valuable than anything you own.

Time can not be compensated. Free time is a huge blessing that is over looked everyday. Use a portion of your time by praying, supplicating and celebrating the praises of Allah (SWT). Use a portion of your time to change your character as you rebuild the things that Allah (SWT) dislikes into a beautiful personality that He does like. Why are we making everything harder than what it really is? Life is not supposed to be easy but because of the obstacles it has, we often get lost. Time is given because we have time for Allah (SWT) and He turns around as He makes time for us. In the difficulty with managing your time, talk to Allah (SWT) and He'll show you how to build good time managing skills. We often ask a parent, friend or counselor about Time Management but who gave it to us to manage in the first place? Allah (SWT) gave us time, so why are you looking past him since he is the Creator of all things. We could eliminate all gray areas if we just run to the Source of everything.

There will never be a day that you'll pray to Allah (SWT) and feel that He'll not be there listening. You are the creation of Allah (SWT). There will never be a time of night when you will find Allah (SWT) sleeping. Never will there ever be a time when Allah (SWT) will say "come back later" because He's too busy to listen to you. How wonderful Allah (SWT) is that when we come to Him in the lightest or darkest hour, He's there to listen and assist because we believe and have faith that He'll guide us through what ever it is that we need assistance with. Use your gift wisely (i.e. time), as our Prophet (PBUH) has stated, "if we make good use of our time to increase our faith and grab onto success, then we can make it to the eternal success of our lives in the Hereafter". When we do beneficial things especially the things that bring us closer to Allah (SWT), which is a relationship you don't ever want to break. What friend do you have that has patience enough to travel with you in the slow lane when today; the world is in the fast lane? People are losing their time, sooner or later we will be history and we will forget one another but Allah (SWT) will forever remember is because we are His creation.

My brothers and sisters in Islam, time as we know it to be is more in worth than any materialistic item we hold in our possession. This is the adoring thing about Islam because its colors are so beautiful that it attracts mankind not only to all it’s importance but how to value everything we do for Allah (SWT). According to the Quran and Sunnah, Allah (SWT) and our beloved Prophet (PBUH) has clearly stated why we should value time and not waste an ounce of it. Here are some duties which are demanded to all Muslims:
Utilize our time
Benefit from our time
Race to our good deeds
Gain knowledge from the passage of time
Plan our time
Organize our time
Fulfill all of our time commitments
Be able to differentiate between wasting our time and using it wisely

Remember that Quran and Sunnah enjoin Muslims to be extremely conscious of time, for our guidance and success but most importantly to gain satisfaction from Allah (SWT). As Muslims we should always use our time including “free time” for worshipping Allah (SWT) to seek His pleasure alone and to earn all His mercy if we are capable. Let us refrain from what Allah (SWT) has forbidden and establish correct knowledge of the Halal (permissible) and Harram (forbidden). Allah (SWT) has clearly stated in the Quran: O ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey the messenger, and make not vain your deeds! (47:33) also: By (the token of) Time (through the ages), verily man is in loss, except such as have faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of truth, and of patience and constancy (103:1-3).

It is very important to dissect all the important aspects in our lives and if we set aside just for one moment we would understand that time is our trust and measurement. We are measured when we will live and die with time and the better we live with time at this present moment, the better the future will be. We don’t have time to waste. In this year of 2008 we have seen natural disasters with decreasing economy, etc. This year is the year if unfortunate events and sadly most people fear everything except Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) has made this earth go through many stages to accommodate Adam (PBUH) and his descendants (i.e. us). Allah (SWT) warned us on the types of behaviors we must avoid on earth. Today, we taste the fruits of our own actions. Natural disasters are in the Quran very clearly. These disasters are spread out on land and sea. If Allah (SWT) was to hasten the punishment for all the things we engage in, we would all be destroyed. Natural disasters are but reminders that we need to revert back to Allah (SWT) and look at ourselves as we should say we are responsible for this and ask Allah (SWT) how to fix it. Appreciate what Allah (SWT) has given us so change our mind set but before this we must realize that we are responsible for wrong doings and it must come to an end. What are we doing with time that Allah (SWT) was kind enough to give?

Wasted time is much worse than no time at all because time indeed, is a sacred gift from Allah (SWT) and each day is little life. This gift is often said to fly, but it’s not time that flies, it’s actually us racing past it and spending it unwisely. The misspent of every second, minute and hour is a new record against us in Heaven. There is no doubt, that if we think of what we are doing incorrectly, we would dismiss the time with better reports. When time is misspent, often it is by the one who is idle and if you listen closely you can almost hear their complaints of not finding time to do as they wish. In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do. This is the power of choice, utlize time or simply wastes it.

If you were given one job, which was to interview most people to see/ document what they did in a day, most people would say, my day was boring so I slept a lot to “kill time”, watched T.V. and made many telephone conversations which flourished with backbiting. Sadly, the people you interviewed killed their time and didn’t realize that time killed was to be cherished like a materialistic woman who cherishes her diamond. Time is precious and is considered to be the most fragile things we own in this world. Chinese proverb states- “An inch of time is an inch of gold. But an inch of gold can’t buy and inch of time”. Henry David Thoreau was correct: We cannot “kill time” without injuring eternity.

Time is like the air we breathe because as Muslims we need time more than anything. We need time to work, to sleep, to eat and to accomplish all the chores of daily living (i.e. to worship Allah (SWT). Each of us has only 24 hours in a day and no one except us can live our lives. Use this time to remember Allah (SWT). Understand that adding a new activity always requires one to drop or redo something but know that this change is for Allah (SWT) and it is worth every bit of change.

Time brings regulation in our lives and unless we regulate ourselves we are nor able to do anything. Today, we are able to make time without excuses. We are able to take alternate transportation for faster travel, utilize microwave ovens instead of cooking from scratch for means of speeding up the cooking process, utilize riding lawn mowers instead of walking as we tidy up our lawns and listen to online lectures instead of going to the Masjid. Time is the forgotten blessing.

To document why time is valued go out and ask somebody who cares about value.
To realize the value of one year, ask a student who has failed a grade
To realize the value of one month, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby
To realize the value of one week ask the editor of a weekly newspaper
To realize the value of one hour ask the lovers who are waiting to meet
To realize the value of one minute as a person who missed the train
To realize the value of one second ask a person who just avoided an accident
To realize the value of one millisecond ask the person who one a silver medal in the Olympics

Now do you see the importance of time my brothers and sisters in Islam? Time is not something you sweep under the carpet, it is to be pulled out and valued. We are created as we are conceived, born, live and die under the same umbrella of time. The closer we get to Allah (SWT) the shorter the time. Time is so precious that in this life we are very much controlled by it. We are able to view all the changes time brings as it is scary to think that with every sunrise and sunset we witness, a day has gone behind us. You can beg on your knees, or spend out of everything you own and that day that has gone by will never return. As Author T.A Chew states, “Time waits for no man but time surely will make us old men”. In the words of Hujjat al-Islam, Imam Al-Ghazali, “[Time] is nothing other than your life, and your life is the capital that you make use of to reach perpetual felicity in the proximity of Allah (SWT).

Always remind yourself that as me may give notice of resignation in the workforce, time works for us and doesn’t give notice, it just quits. What is the meaning of time? In one sentence, time is something that is valued and it gives us measurement to get closer to Allah (SWT). If you return to Allah (SWT) and all He has promised the faithful ones then fully equipped we will dwell in the Gardens under which river flows. If we aren’t able to equip ourselves with the values of time the Hellfire we will feel over and over again. In the words of the great Egyptian Scholar, Hasan Al-Banna, “Time is life itself”. According to Imam Al-Ghazali, “Each of your breaths is a priceless jewel, since each of them is irreplaceable and once gone, can never be retrieved”.

We are reminded that life in this world is nothing but temporary. For the pleasure of Allah (SWT) we must value time. Narrated by Abu Huraurah, the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Allah said, “The son of Adam hurts Me by abusing time, for I am time; in My hands are all things and I cause the revolution of night and day” (Bukhari 6/351;9/583 and Muslim 4/5581). It’s important to make use of our time wisely which also includes our free time because when we value time by doing beneficial things, it brings us closer to Allah (SWT). As Muslims, one of our characteristics is to be excited when we have free time as this is our opportunity to gain knowledge in Islam. As Dr. Norlain Dingdang Mababaya has stated, “Verily, time is very important for our success both in this temporary world and in the eternal world to come”. “If we waste time, if we abuse it, then we waste and abuse our lives”. Remember, if you value your life and simply value the importance of time because together they work hand and hand. Every time is a time when He exists. Every time could be the time when we die. Your time is now, so worship Allah (SWT), for each breath we take, time corrodes. Every time you devote seconds of your time by remembering Allah (SWT) you have come to a checkpoint as you continue your journey towards the Hereafter. Occasionally, we walk away not knowing if something is good for us or bad for us and we get dead-ended with the thought of maybe it was good or bad. When you get to this point in your life of questioning, call out to Allah (SWT) so that he can best guide you. From the moment you open your heart, listen, that’s a moment spent with Allah (SWT).

Allah (SWT) relates and cares for you as an individual. He (SWT) has created and placed in this world full of tests which are tests if He wills to strengthen you. When you find one moment in time, allow Allah (SWT) to examine your heart, your thoughts and especially your life as a whole and ask Him to remove anything that displeases Him. If today or in the past, time has been wasted ask Him (SWT) for another chance to use your time wisely and to extend it for you to show all the love you have for Him and that you need Him every day. Remember it’s not our expectations, needs, demands or images of what should happen after we ask Allah (SWT) for something; it’s only about preserving time for Allah (SWT) and letting Him work in this life and the next.

Allah (SWT) Himself has temporarily granted you this life and what you decide to do with it is your choice as long as you adhere to His guidelines. Focus on your life and forget about everyone else’s since no one has the ability to save you but Allah (SWT). You may be portrayed as plain Jane or Joe when your neighbor is portrayed as the person who has it all. Allah (SWT) has warned you against those people, as you may want to wish to have what they own and simply forget to thank Allah (SWT) for what He has already blessed you with. Allah has told you, “Truly, this life of the world is nothing but (quick passing) enjoyment, and verily, the Hereafter that is the home that will remain forever” (40:39). So keep walking as you past the most dazzling home in your eyes because Allah (SWT) can bring calamity to destroy but the house you will own in Heaven will last forever since you are spending time in this life to build what’s next to come.

It’s time to wake up and look around, even if you must take sections of images for better understanding but things are crumbling very fast around us. Allah (SWT) has said, “And strain not your eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to various groups of them (Polytheists and Disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), the splendor of the life of this world, that We may test them thereby” (20:131). Now you see how beautifully Allah (SWT) joins his words because together they tell us to belittle this worldly life, and discourage people from indulging in it, while Allah (SWT) calls us to the Hereafter. Time is all we have and the only item we must try to utilize wisely to get closer to our Creator. This life is not here for only amusement and to waste time, it’s here for us to work as we focus on trying to get closer to Allah (SWT). This life is our race track and we can’t race if we don’t have time. You and I have time to brush our teeth, clean our bodies and dress ourselves so let’s find time to worship Allah (SWT).

Let’s look at the facts; our life term isn’t long at all. Who lives to be 100 years old today? And if this person is alive at 100yrs Allah (SWT) has willed it to be so because it’s a very rare age. Sleeps eats up one term of our lives and another term is spent eating, drinking and maintaining worldly desires when only a small term unfortunately is spent on worshipping. Life as we know it to be is very short, so be wise and not foolish. Don’t wait until you reach downfalls in your life to spend time with Allah (SWT). Don’t wait until you run out of high financial status to discuss how you promise to spend your time wisely if you gain it back by Allah’s will. Show Him you remember Him before your hardships develop. Don’t wait for anything, just remember him before you clock runs out.

Shu’aib bin Harb said, “Whoever seeks this life of the present world should prepare himself for humiliation. Whoever prepares himself for humiliation; he lets himself loose and does not hold it by its bridle to any limit”. In this case, the lawful and unlawful will become the same to him, and so will acceptance and rejection; he will run after money and rush behind this life’s splendors. Brothers and sisters in Islam, again it is said that we don’t have time to waste. “The last hour has drawn near, yet people are ever becoming eager for this life and drawing away from Allah (SWT) (Al-Hakim).

Who has stolen your time? Look around you, do you see anything? Can you here anyone? Every time we participate with the non-essentials of life we become too busy for Allah (SWT). Everyone is intrigued with the radio, cell phone, TV and email. We have become seduced by the things that lure us away from Allah (SWT). It’s amazing how now we live in a privileged time, when not too long ago before our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) others longed to live where we are today with all of our blessings.

What would your relationship be with Allah (SWT) if you only gave Him time? The answer to this question is fairly simple. The relationship of one who spends time with Allah (SWT) is beautiful because it increases faith and your faith has a direct impact on whether you reach Heaven or not- and this indeed is what we have to make time for. There’s more beyond the horizon and it’s more than just a dream- this world is not our final destination. When we long for more than this world has to give, we are really longing for eternity. You must try and use all your strength to organize your time in this life because this life is your key to the next life to come. This time you have today is precious and your life is not a game. You can’t say because you are young you have enough time to play before you get older and life becomes serious to you. Allah (SWT) can take this life right now and at this very second there are funerals being prepared for the young and old. The time you have to straighten up and think serious doesn’t even show up on a radar screen because it doesn’t really amount to much. Think of this life as a fading shadow...


Anonymous said...

MashaAllah. May Allah continue to bless you as you are educating a lot of people about the importance of time.

Mariam said...

Great job! MashaAllah I want you to know I'm soo proud of you ;)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful prospective...truly there is so much to be learned! May Allah continue to bless us all! Amal

LISA said...

MY sister that is real deep,and i am so proud of you keep on educating the people. You are a very intelligent young lady don't stop educating who don't understand the reilgon you are so bless, I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LISA

Hassan said...

asalamualakum, it was very nice and educational, it was fascinating and not boring like a lot of other blogs
:/ good job!!

hijabee said...

May Allah reward you for such a beautiful post mashaAllah, you've summed it all. Very informative and inspirational. May Allah protect you and protect your deen and guide you always. Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving such a beautiful comment. Jazakallahu Khair.

ipv6 said...

This is nice eloquent and quite elegance scribe.
While reading one of yours very first masterpiece, I must say that me kind of race a bit to reached the last period, bode well wth the title methink.

Anyway, kudos, for the article, one of it's kind.

~PakKaramu~ said...

Assalamu'alaikum Wr,Wb

Pak Karamu visiting your blog

Hajar said...

Assalamualaikum sister,

There aren't enough words for me to express the beauty of your writings wherein each prose contains adequate succinct points revolving around time, and optimizing it to His way. May Allah S.W.T bestow on you immense blessings for the gracious reminders. :)


singamaraja said...

Singamaraja reading your blog