In one of the shortest and most powerful surahs, we are reminded that our whole existence in this life would be utterly wasted, futile, and pointless unless we have faith in Allah, act righteously, and join with others in encouraging truthfulness, patience, and perseverance (Al-Asr, 103).
During our lifetime, we will encounter hardship and prosperity, grief and happiness. Allah will test us, with success and with suffering, to see who is best in faith, to test our iman. To the believer, time is a wonderful asset, it is a chance to seek Allah’s mercy, to ask forgiveness, and to do more good deeds.
We must use our time wisely, because wasted time can never be recovered. Time and tide wait for no man. Time passes on, used or abused. And the two angels on our shoulders write down every action in our book of deeds.
Don’t we often wish that we could live our lives again from the start, so that we could put right the wrong things we did? And that our successes could be repeated over and over again? The very fact that we now want to forget our mistakes, or, we want to repeat our good deeds, shows that we have learnt from our experiences in time. Yes, Allah has placed Time at our service as our teacher: it is a teacher that allows good and bad things to happen. But the decision is made by our own free will.
If we look back in history, we will see that, in time, every unjust oppressor was destroyed. In time, good prevails over evil. But this comes only with effort and sacrifice. Thus the hard work, suffering, humility and perseverance of all the Prophets of Allah, helped justice to prevail over oppression.
Just think of Prophet Musa (Moses) and Pharaoh, or Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the tribe of Quraish. Thus Allah Almighty reminds us in the Qur’an:
Whoever does righteous good deeds, it is for (the benefit of) his own self: and whosoever does evil, it is against his own self…. (Fussilat 41: 46)
Time wears out and destroys all material things. But time itself was created by Allah. Allah Alone is the Master of time, and He punishes and rewards us in relation to how we use our time.
We have the power to use time to make our world a better place. But are we truly aware of the value of time? Does our use of the time show that we understand the purpose for which we were created? Do we fully realize that we cannot escape Allah’s judgment? Allah created us to serve Him and Him Alone, and all our actions must reflect this. Our actions must be in harmony with all other creatures, and must follow with the Divine Plan of Allah.
Certain forms of ibadah (worship) need to be observed at definite, prescribed times, such as our prayers, fasting, haj, and Jumu’ah. We cannot perform Jumu’ah at any time, according to our convenience, like on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon! Our daily routines must fit in with our Islamic duties that are time-related. This way, all our good actions will become an extension of our ibadah.
Time is valuable. Let s not waste it on vain conversations and petty arguments. Let s use our time creatively, to move forward, as individuals and as an Ummah. Every moment in time is a favor Allah bestows on us, and surely we must repay honor with honor.
We must express our gratitude to Allah Almighty by using every moment in His service, by teaching others, inviting others to good and, serving our less fortunate brothers and sisters in distress.