Allah the Almighty and His Messenger, Prophet Muhammad very clearly tell us the value of time, why we must not waste it and how we can make use of our time wisely to increase our faith and thus attain success, especially eternal success in the Hereafter.
Both the Quran and the Sunnah enjoin Muslims to be conscious of the great importance of time. We are reminded that life in this world is nothing but temporary. We never know when death has been appointed for us. We must value time for the satisfaction of Allah. For our guidance and success, we must never waste time nor abuse it.
Allah, Almighty, swears in the beginning of many chapters by time or moments in time, for example:
Allah Says (what means): "By time…" [Quran 103: 1] And (what means): "By the dawn and [by] ten nights (i.e., the first ten days of the month of Dhul-Hijjah)…" [Quran 89: 1-2] And (what means):"By the night when it covers, and [by] the day when it appears.” [Quran 92: 1] And (what means):"By the morning brightness; and [by] the night when it covers with darkness…" [Quran 93:1]
The Prophet said: “There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good.”[Al-Bukhari]
When Allah swears by something of His creation, it directs our attention to the benefit of that thing. Allah Says (what means):"And He subjected for you the sun and the moon, continuous [in orbit], and subjected for you the night and the day. And He gave you from all you asked of Him. And if you should count the blessings of Allah, you could not enumerate them…" [Quran 14: 33-34]
And (what means): "And it is He Who has made the night and day in succession for whoever desires to remember or desires gratitude." [Quran 25: 62]
The Prophet said: "A servant of Allah will remain standing on the Day of Judgment till he is questioned: about his age and how he spent it; about his knowledge and how he utilized it; about his wealth from where he acquired it and in what (activities) he spent it; and about his body as to how he used it." [At-Tirmithi]
Time must be spent to fulfill our very purpose in life that is to worship Allah all throughout our lives. Allah Says (what means): “And I (Allah) did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me (Alone).” [Quran 51: 56-58]
If we do not use our time effectively for something good, then we will definitely use it for something bad, which destroys our rewards and our lives.
Everything we do in accordance with Islam is an act of worship. Such worship must be done sincerely for the sake of Allah alone. We should make use of our time in doing beneficial things doing good deeds in order we earn the pleasure of Allah and the pleasures of eternal Hereafter.
We should prefer that which is everlasting to that which will pass away. Yet, this doesn’t mean that we should leave the life of this world aside completely and spend every moment of our day in prayer! No, not at all, for worship is not confined to just acts of prayer, fasting and charity.
Verily, with the right intentions, correct knowledge and sincere heart we can earn reward and worship Allah through most, if not all of our daily actions. We profit from our time when we take permissible acts such as eating, taking care of children, etc., and make them a source of reward by making intention for the sake of Allah and follow the Sunnah (way) of Prophet Muhammed for each occasion.
We should try to make a short revision at the end of each day about what we did during that day. Ask ourselves: What did I do today? And what did I do that was wrong today? We make repentance for the bad things that we have done and determine sincerely not to repeat such things.
We have to make use of our time wisely by knowing more of the Quran and the Sunnah. We must have correct knowledge of what Allah and His Messenger have commanded us to do and at the same time to refrain from what they have forbidden us. Allah Says (what means): “O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds.”[Quran 47: 33]
Here are some tips that help benefiting from our time:
1. Acquiring knowledge sincerely for the sake of Allah.
2. Abstaining from all sins.
3. When committing any sin, we should repent immediately and determine not to repeat it.
4. Keeping away from harming others, slandering, backbiting etc.
5. Not laughing excessively nor talking excessively.
6. Always being mindful of the rules of the Sharee'ah (Islamic Law) in everything we do.
7. Staying far from the irreligious people.
8. Offering prayer on the proper time and with great concentration.
9. Occupying oneself in the remembrance of Allah.
10. Setting aside specific times for different tasks and abiding strictly to these times.
11. Helping and benefiting others irrespective of whether it is in worldly affairs or religious matters.
12. Being in the service and company of guests, travelers, strangers, scholars, and the pious servants of Allah.
13. Fearing Allah all the time.
14. Remembering death.
15. Setting aside a certain time daily wherein we should think about all our actions for that day. When we remember any good action express gratitude to Allah soon and when we remember any evil action repent at once.
16. Living with bashfulness, modesty and forbearance.
17. Making Du'aa (supplication) to Allah to keep us steadfast on the straight path.
When it is time for anyone of mankind to die, he will ask for more time to do good deeds, as Allah Says (what means): "They will cry out therein, 'Our Lord, remove us; we will do righteousness – other than what we were doing!" But did We not grant you life enough for whoever would remember therein to remember, and the warner had come to you? So taste [the punishment], for there is not for the wrongdoers any helper."[Quran 35: 37]