Whenever I hear about anyone who is successful, each of them tend to have one thing in common: maximizing time. These people have a daily routine, and more importantly, they stick to that routine. Time and time again, I have attempted to implement a proper schedule into my day, but unfortunately, it never lasts. When I was a student, I looked forward to the days during which I had nothing on my schedule, but with the work from home life I am currently living, there is so much down time that precious hours get wasted away.
To be lazy, sleep in, watch funny videos, eat, text, and tweet all day seems fun in the wonderful sit-at-home-and-do-nothing kind of way. But it is only fun until nightfall, at which point, the inevitable thought arises, “What did I even do today? Oh yeah, nothing.”
That feeling…it is not fun.
To go to bed realizing a day has been wasted is not the ideal way to rest. Most likely, tasks from the morning that were left unchecked will carry over to the next day and induce stress, at the very least.
In the Quran, God actually swears by time. He says, “By the time. Indeed, mankind is in loss” (Q. 103:1-2). This verse can seem quite bleak upon first reading it, but the short chapter then continues with its final verse, “Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience” (Q. 103:3).
In Islam, Muslims are taught to treat time as an immense blessing. Time is a commodity, and when one has it, he should utilize it. Aside from completing the tasks due on a person, like school, work, and taking care of the home through various chores, the remaining time should be spent still in a productive way. Volunteering, spending time with family, and pursuing beneficial knowledge are all excellent options for a Muslim. Even relaxing is (of course) encouraged, but there is a fine line that falls between taking a well deserved break and over indulging in senseless activities.
Before we know it, this year of 2018 will be over. I feel shocked whenever I look at the calendar and realize the days are flying by. What did I do in 2018 that was of significance? What did I do that benefited my family, my community, and my life after death? As Muslims, we are thought to always invest our time in the Akhirah, or the Hereafter. Whatever we do in this world will carry over to the next world—be it good or bad. It is in our best interest, then, to spend our time engaging in what will be beneficial to us in the life to come.
This means, that idle time we sometimes (or oftentimes) find ourselves experiencing should be used to do good. Engage in extra prayers, enroll in a class to increase knowledge, host family and friends, volunteer in our town…all of these things can translate into good deeds that will positively benefit us.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good” (Bukhari). Just like Allah told us in the Quran, those people who use their time to do righteous deeds will not be among the lost, the Prophet (peace be upon him) reiterates in the above narration that our time should be spent doing good. That is the ideal way for a Muslim to live life.
In these final weeks of 2018, I hope to make better use of my free time. Why wait for the new year to come up with a resolution, right? With the proper intention and motivation to be productive, we can use our time to do good and ring in the new year as our best selves.