Time is Fleeting

The beginning of a new year is celebrated in different ways by various communities. As Muslims, we do not celebrate the beginning of a new year, but we do use the occasion to reflect on the passage of time and our own mortality. Our life is measured in terms of time. We grow in time, live in time and perish in time. Time is the capital allocated to each individual.In the midst of our living, time continues on its endless journey. Each day time is equally allotted to everyone – 24 hours, and what we do with that time is totally up to us; we can either invest it or squander it. Hasan Al Basri RA, a famous Muslim scholar who was taught by one of the closest companions of Rasulullah SAW, said: “I have lived in times when many people were more careful about how they spent their time than how they spent their money.”

Time is Ceaseless
It cannot be stored, stopped or reversed! Time is fleeting. Its movement creates the past, present and future. What was yesterday is not today and what is today will not be tomorrow. Time constantly changes our circumstances. However much you may remember the past or anticipate the future, you live in the present. “Seize the opportunity of your youth before you become old, your health before you become sick, your wealth before you become poor, your spare time before you become very busy and your life before you die.” (Tirmidhi)

We have the opportunity to invest our time wisely, to strengthen our faith, to do good, to persevere, to become better human beings, to seek forgiveness, and seek to forgive, to change how we see others, how we view ourselves, to add value and build our self-esteem.

Hasan Al Basri RA says: “At the beginning of everyday a caller calls out: ‘O son of Adam! I am a new creation and a witness of your deeds. So take a provision from me because when I pass, for I never come back till the Day of Resurrection.”

Time is a Great Teacher
“Have they not travelled in the land to see the nature of the consequence for those who were before them? Allah wiped them out. And for the disbelievers there will be the like thereof” (47:10) When the Qur’an talks about past events it often speaks of them as if these events exist within our own memories. It asks us to recall some past historical occurrences in the same manner with which we remember events from our own lives. It uses a language and a direct mode of expression that encourages us to erase the distance between ourselves and these past events.

(Perception of) Time can be Misleading
Time may seem short for those rejoicing and long for those who are anxious or grieving. It is only when we enter the realm of endless time (eterrnity) in the Hereafter that we will realise how short this life was.

“He (Allah) will ask: ‘What number of years did you stay on earth?’ They will say: ‘We stayed a day or part of a day: but ask those who keep account.” (23:112) Our challenge is ensure that we do not squander our ‘one-day existence’ at the cost of an existence that will have no end.

The reality of our lifespan
At the time of the birth of a child, the Adhaan is called out in the right ear and the Iqaamah in the left ear, even though there is no Salaah performed thereafter. The Adhaan is given at the time of birth and the Salaah will be performed at the time of death. Life therefore is no longer than the period between Adhaan and Iqaamah!

Hasan Al Basri RA says: “The world is three days: As for yesterday, it has vanished, along with all that was in it. As for tomorrow, you may never see it. As for today, it is yours, so work in it.”

Your eternity depends on how you spend your time in this world, use it wisely!

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