The Neglected Favors

There are plenty of people who realize that the world is very short lived and temporary. Unfortunately, this awareness is not followed by an appropriate attitude, that is to appreciate their time. Consequently, they often waste their time absent-mindedly.

Know, O my brother! A muslim who truly understands the value of time and it’s vital role to achieve their goals in life, would never waste any of it. He does not perceive it as the materialistic Western society, who says :”Time is money”. Instead, he will say, “Time shall be devoted to worship Allah -may He be Glorified and Exalted.” Our life is short, as well as our time, while we have to prepare a lot of supplies, to go through the journey to the hereafter, to meet Allah , may He be Glorified and Exalted.

We may have realized that our life in this world is very short, never will it be eternal, but for unknown reason, most of us are still incapable to make best use of our time and we simply let it passed in vain.

O my brother! Among the time we have, there are our spare and leisure time, vacant from any business and hustle-bustle of life. And this leisure time is the pleasure from Allah The Exalted, which must be used best as an expression of our gratitude to Him. But in fact, some of us still neglect it, thus they are losing it. The messenger of Allah said,

“There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) Health and free time for doing good.” (Narrated by Al Bukhari, hadith no. 6412)

The hadith implies several benefits, that are:

First: It suggests us to make use our healthy state and leisure time to worship Allah The Exalted and to do pious deeds before we loose them, since leisure will be followed by busyness, and health will be followed by illness.

Second: It reveals the big concern of Islam upon the use of one’s time, since time is the life itself. This is in accordance with Islam’s concern upon one’s health, which could help him to reach perfection in his religion.

Third: It emphasizes that the world serves as the ‘field’ to plant pious deeds, which will be harvested on the day of Resurrection. Thus, for every slave of Allah to prepare themselves well with piety and use the favors of Allah the Exalted in His Cause.

Fourth: It advises us to be grateful for all favors and graces of Allah -may He be glorified and Exalted- by using them to serve His Cause. (Take from the book, “Bahjatun Nazhirin Syarhu Riyadush Shalihin”, 1/180-181)

Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen –may Allah have mercy on him– said, “Many people lost when they possess these favors, health and leisure time. Because when a man is in a healthy condition, he is able to fulfill Allah’s orders and abandon His prohibitions. He feels fine and comfortable with it. As well as the leisure time, if there are other people who prepare and satisfy his needs, and he is free from his workloads.

But if one has some leisure time and he is in a healthy condition, he is likely to be lost in it. Since most of our time is wasted. We probably are unaware of this loss in this world, but we surely will understand how much it means to us when our life reaches it’s end and in the hereafter.

Allah –may He be glorified and Exalted– decreed:

“(They shall persist in their deeds) until when death comes to anyone of them he will say: “My Lord, send me back to the world, that I have left behind. I am likely to do good.” Nay, it is merely a word that he is uttering. There is a barrier behind all of them (who are dead) until the Day when they will be raised up.” (The Believers: 99-100)

As He – Glorified and Exalted– also decreed:

“And spend of what Allah has granted you by way of sustenance before death should come to any of you and he should say: “Lord, why did You not defer my return for a while so that I might give alms and be among the righteous?” But when a person’s term comes to an end, Allah never grants any respite. Allah is well aware of all that you do.” (The Hypocrites: 10-11)

In fact, most of our time passed in vain without being used properly -either for our sake or for other slave of Allah’s benefits- . We rarely regret it, until we die. That is the when every mankind wishes to be returned to the world once again, even just for a second, to do pious deeds; but it is an impossible wish to be granted.

Sheikh -may Allah have mercy on him- also said, “Sometimes one misses these favors before his death, due to an illness afflicted upon him, thus he is too weak to perform his duties to Allah, and he feels sad, distress, and tired. And sometimes he is busy to earn life for himself and his family, thus he misses chances to perform pious deeds.

That is why, an intelligent man should make best of his health and his leisure time by carrying out obedience to Allah -may He be Glorified and Exalted- according to his ability. If he is able to read the Qur’an, then he should read it as many time as he could. If he can not read it well, then he should read the remembrances instead, as many times as he could. If he can not do such, he could enjoins the good and prohibit the bad, or he could devote whatever he possess from aids and pious deeds toward his brothers. These are goodness, but we miss them in vain.” (Taken from the book: “Syarh Riyadhis Shalihin”, 1/451-452)

O my brother…. Hopefully, this writing could benefits us all. We ask Allah-The Exalted- to grant us guidance to do goodness as long as we live in this world, and may He eases us to use our time best, fill it piety, as a form of our gratitude to Him. By that, we hope that Allah the Exalted will bestow upon us eternal favors, and add them, by His mercy.

“Also call to mind when your Lord proclaimed: “If you give thanks, I will certainly grant you more; but if you are ungrateful for My favours, My chastisement is terrible.” (Ibrahim: 7)

And Allah knows best.

(Cited from Author: Ustadzah Ummu Ishaq Zulfa Husein Al Atsariyyah. Title: The Neglected Favors)

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