Have you ever looked around at people whilst using public transport? It doesn’t matter where you turn, but you will either see someone reading a newspaper, listening to his mp3 player, filling out a crossword, or playing a game, such as tridewi, on his phone – almost everyone is doing something!
We’ve all complained and continue to complain of a shortage of Baraka (blessing) inthe hours of the day, of cramped schedules, of family commitments and other things when justifying our lack of productivity. The slack times – the time interval between any two activities – do form a generous portion of your day when calculated! Try thinking of all the time spent sitting on the train, walking to the bus stop, waiting between classes, waiting for the kettle to boil, and so on and so forth.
Let’s extract lessons from the examples of our past…
Al-Hasan al-Basri says: “I have encountered people who were more stingy with regards to their time than they were with their dirhams!”
AlKhateeb al-Baghdaadi, when walking the streets, would always be seen carrying a book and reading it.
Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “I know someone whom, when he’d become ill, he’d place the book next to his head, and whenever he’d regain consciousness from his fevering, he’d pick up the book and read. But when he feels that he is about to lose consciousness, he’d put it down”
Saleem al-Raazi once returned back to his house and upon arrival he said: “I recited a whole chapter from the Qur’an on the way.”
Dear reader, now it’s your turn.
Begin by first pinpointing your own slack times within your daily schedule. You may say – for example: “I spend 20 minutes walking to work. I’ll use that to listen to a lecture whilst I still feel fresh and alert. I also have a 30 minute lunch break. I’ll spend 10 minutes eating, but as for the other 20 minutes, I will read a book because I’ll be sat down. As I walk back home from work, I’m usually tired and my head is throbbing. I’ll plug my ears in with some Qur’an and calm down until I get home.”
We should try not to lose a single breath without investing in it; these intervals of time, if utilized wisely for worship and productivity, will bring benefit for our dunya and akhirah.
Even if your situation does not allow you to read, listen, or memorise anything – we can still harvest time for our akhirah with our mind and tongue by the remembrance of Allah. What prevents us from saying: Subhan Allah walhamdulillah, la ilaha il Allah, wAllahu Akbar.
Won’t we feel regret over a moment in this dunya in which we did not remember our Lord or utilize properly?
About the Author: Ali Hammuda