Many people forget or neglect the importance of time although man’s life on earth is a span of time. Islam gives due attention to the issue of time because if people waste their time, they are actually wasting their life.

The Holy Qur’an gives due attention to the idea of time and this is clear in many verses of the Qur’an when Allah swears using the different places of times of the day to reveal the importance of time, “By the break of Day,(Qur’an, 1:89)By (the Token of) Time (through the ages),(Qur’an, 1:103) …etc.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says in one of the Hadiths: “There are two things that people are not aware of how important they are: health and time.” This Hadith stresses two facts: People are not aware of the importance of being in good health till they fall ill and people are not aware of the importance of time and therefore waste their time doing trivial things.

There was nice research published in one of the magazines about how a man spends his time. The research revealed that if a man lives for 60 years, he spends one-third of his life sleeping because a man usually sleeps eight hours a day. The remaining years are spent on public transportation, watching TV, eating, in the bathroom…etc. This means that the larger part of man’s life is spent on worldly matters. Thus man has to make the best use of the other part in obeying and worshiping Allah and winning His approval.

Karen Armstrong, one of the most important contemporary orientalists, refers to this aspect of time in Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) life. She indicated that what the Prophet (peace be upon him) did in 23 years was miraculous and what he accomplished required thousands of philosophers, reformers, intellectuals, and mentors to do over hundreds of years.

In other words, she said the most outstanding aspect of Prophet Muhammad’s achievement is the human values, ideals, principles, and ethics he introduced to the life of man in a short time. He made humanity re-discover the meanings of monotheism, faith, justice, tolerance, charity, compassion, etc…etc and realize that all people are equal and what distinguishes one person from another is a deep faith in Allah and piety.

This means that he devoted all his time to reforming people and making them see life in a new light, that is, based on faith and noble human values.