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Time Management in Islam The Concept of Time in the Quran February 8, 2012Tushar Bhuiya A Muslims first source of guidance

in life is the Quran, and so we turn to the Book of Allah for our initial inspiration in time management. Surah Al-Asr Most of us have committed to memory the beautiful, short surah: Al-Asr (Quran 103:13). Admittedly, we often choose to recite it in our salah because of its brevity rather than for its profound meanings. And yet Imam Shafii asserted that if Allah had revealed only this surah, it would have been enough for the guidance of all humanity! Allah begins the surah by taking an oath Wa al-Asr which means by time. Anything that Allah the Most High swears by in the Quran is a tremendous matter such as Wa al-Fajr (by the dawn) or Wa al-Shams (by the sun). In the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), beginning with an oath was a method to draw the attention of the listener. Time is a concept that fascinated and awed the Arabs then, and it still fascinates Muslims now. Inna al-insaana la fi khusr (Verily man is in a state of loss). The second verse starts by describing the general state of humanity a state of loss, failure and a life which is a waste of time. However, the third verse starts with a glorious exception: Illa-allathina aamanuw (Except those who believe). Here then, the Quranic paradigm gives us, as Muslims, immense hope. No matter how lazy, inefficient, unproductive, mediocre or powerless we may be as individuals or as a community as long as we live and die as Muslims our life will not be a complete waste of time. Conversely, no matter how busy, productive, efficient, successful and powerful nonMuslims may appear to be in this world as long as they die rejecting Islam none of their work is accepted. This reminds us of the timeless principle of Islam: innama alamaalu bi in-niyyat (Actions are judged by intentions); any work or skill, be it running a company, serving the community or time management in general, must be acceptable to Allah for it to have any lasting benefit. For example, if we intend to set up a soup kitchen for the homeless and the whole project flops, as long as we intended it for Allah, we will be rewarded as if the project was the stunning success we hoped it would be.

Yet if we succeed in building a massive corporate empire, we will gain nothing but regret in the next life, if we intended other than Allahs good pleasure. Even outwardly pious actions such as building masjids or helping other people or praying could even be punished if our intentions are to show off. So the Muslims first rule of time management is seeking acceptance from Allah checking our intentions which Surah al-Asr so succinctly reminds us. Of course a Muslim is never complacent, relying only on belief for success. There must be work. And no other community can equal the Muslim ummah in terms of striving for both dunya and akhira not neglecting the rights of Allah or the needs of fellow man. The second half of the last ayah explains why: wa amilu-saalihaati (and do righteous deeds). Such good deeds include all the great acts of worship in Islam which encompass every possible beneficial use of ones time: prayer, supplication, pilgrimage, charity, helping the poor, defending the weak, excellence in dealings and so on. The last words of the surah provide one of the most important examples of such good works good counsel: watawaa saw bi al-haqq Watawaa saw bi is-sabri (and enjoin upon one another truth [i.e. the beliefs and practices of Islam] and enjoin upon one another patience [from committing acts of disobedience]). Hasan al-Basri, one of the greatest scholars in Islamic history from the blessed generation after the Sahaba (Taabieen), is reported to have had the following inspiration about Surah al-Asr. On a sweltering hot day, on a street of Baghdad, he heard an ice-seller exclaim, O people! Have mercy on one whose capital is melting away. Sheikh al-Hasan made an immediate connection with time. Just as the ice-seller would make a loss if his capital melted away, man in general will make a loss in the business of life, if we allow our capital to melt away. Our capital is time and Allah reminds us in Surah al-Asr that if we waste our capital (time) solely for the dunyathen we make al-khusr (tremendous loss). It is not unusual for Allah to use the metaphor of business to describe the life of this world and our purpose in it. One of the most powerful verses of the Quran talks of Allah purchasing our lives: Indeed Allah has purchased from the believers their very lives and their wealth, promising them Paradise in return (Quran 9: 111) What an excellent transaction this is! So I pray that the readers and this needy author may benefit from the meanings of Surah al-Asr; that we may recite it during salah with full concentration and that we live our lives according to it thereby following a massive

principle of Islamic time management: believe and do good deeds for Allah alone. Only then will we not waste our life. About the Author Tushar Bhuiya is Assistant Director and teacher of Islamic and Quran Studies at Manara Academy, Leicester ( He is a qualified secondary English teacher with an LLB in Law. A part-time student of knowledge, Tushar studied Islamic Sciences at the Ibn Jabal Institute (London), OSAIS (Manchester), Qasid (Jordan), Qibla, SeekersGuidance and the Shariah Programme (distance learning) as well as with several private tutors including Shaykh Ilyas Patel (Batley) and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani (Toronto). He is currently continuing his study of Arabic and other Islamic sciences with scholars in Leicester, UK.

Click to read more: Follow us: @AbuProductive on Twitter | ProductiveMuslim on Facebook Aligning Our Time to Lifes Purpose and Priorities 124 COMMENTS Are we making the best use of our time in this life? Are we to simply pass our time in whatever way possible so that we can get to the hereafter? How are we to balance our time across various aspects of this life? Is there a right balance? Are our lifes priorities purpose driven? These are some of the questions we Muslims ought to ask ourselves to get the most from our lives. It matters because we have at best only a few years to live. Considering the various phases of our lives individually, the available time is even shorter. Have you thought whether you will be satisfied when you get to the end of the road? Will you do things differently if you know how much time you have left? What if your remaining time is very little? Time is passing us quickly and as it does, we should ask ourselves whether we have much to show for it. Are we fulfilling both our religious and worldly responsibilities? Are our families getting our fair share or is it all about other matters? Are we balancing our time across all other obligations? Are we even conscious about how we use our time?

Time is therefore one of the most valuable assets that we have. Being wise in the use of that asset is thus only prudent. Time is one of the many things that Allah has used to swear by in the Quran (verse 1 ofSurah Al-Asr). The Prophet, too, told us to use time to make the most of certain assets before time takes it away from us. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Make the most of five things before five others: LIFE before death, HEALTH before sickness, FREE TIME before becoming busy, YOUTH before old age, and WEALTH before poverty. [Saheeh al-Jaami, no. 1077.] Those who have run out of time will tell us its value. Ask the old who have nearly run out of time or ask the terminally ill who have been given only a few months to live. They will tell us how productive they would get if they got more time. The reality is that our lives are too busy and daily routines too engaging to make us pause to assess what we are earning or opportunities that we are missing as we pass our allotted time. But here are some of the things we can do to ensure that we use our remaining time in this life effectively. Be mindful of your purpose in this life As Muslims, we believe that Allah not only created mankind but clarified their purpose of being here. That may seem quite obvious to some but questions related to the purpose and meaning of life have been grappled by western and non -Muslim philosophers for centuries. The foundation of our Islamic beliefs thus does away the need to get entangled in the philosophical innuendos of the topic. Islamic principles make it clear that Allah created life, this universe, and the rules that embody it. And mankind is to worship Him by submitting to those rules. Amongst the many, consider the following three verses

And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone) [al-Dhaariyaat 51:56].

Say (O Muhammad): Verily, my Salaah (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists) [al-Anaam 6:162]

Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us? [al-Muminoon 23:115] Needless to explain but a sense of purpose can help in reconciling the many complex questions and issues that arent always that easy for us to comprehend. It helps in imbuing the energy that we need to keep moving irrespective of the challenges that we face and to adhere to a system of living that we believe was designed by the Creator for His Creation. Become more action oriented As straightforward as it may seem, there is something inherently complex about taking action in life that prevents many from failing to accomplish enough. Ask yourself if you could have accomplished more by this time in your life by taking more actions in the past? What is it that stopped you from accomplishing more? As it turns out, many of us fall victims to procrastination, never ending planning, or simply failing to have the discipline or courage to decide to act at the right time. The result is that time passes without us accomplishing much or not as much as we could have. As Muslims, we will be judged on what we do. Our faith is incomplete without us following up on it through actions. There are many places in the Quran where the mention of faith is coupled with the need to take action. Consider these verses from the Quran:

1. By Al-Asr (the time). 2. Verily! Man is in loss, 3. Except those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds which Allah has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allah has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience. In another place in the Quran, Allah warns us about putting our words into practice. He says in the Quran,

O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do? Most hateful it is with Allh that you say that which you do not do [al-Saff :2-3] By refocusing to become more action oriented will help us in accomplishing more and thus make life more fulfilling. Dont concern yourself with unnecessary matters Today, we find ourselves exposed to a wide range of information outlets waiting to distract us from key priorities. Between the Internet, satellite TV and various forms of staying connected, we can end up wasting useful time soaking our minds with information that we usually can do without. While a lot of such information may satiate our curiosities and gossipy habits, they take up valuable time and drain our energies

both of which can instead be used to gain the right knowledge, fulfill our responsibilities, and in taking useful actions. Remember what the prophet said: From the perfection of a persons Islam is that he leaves alone that which does not concern him. (Reported From Abu Hurairah Tirmidhee (no.2318) and others) So, as various media channels provide us with the opportunity to get plugged in to a world of information and knowledge, we must become selective in its use based on what benefits us. Dont forget the daily remembrance of Allah Many of us make the mistake of taking advice about remembering Allah as merely a spiritual one and seeing no connection with the real world. Instead, we should remind ourselves that our success in this life (related to our work, earnings, family, health, etc.) is tied to the remembrance of Allah (in prayers and at other times as well during the day). Consider what Allah tells us in the Quran:

and seek the Bounty of Allah, and remember Allah much, that you may be successful [part of the verse of Surah al-Jumuah 62:10] In another verse, He says:

O you who beleive! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. And whosoever does that, then they are the losers. [AlMunafiqoon 63:9] The Prophet (SAW) also said: Should I not inform you of the best of deeds, and the most sanctifying of deeds before your Lord, which does more to raise your positions (with Him), and is

better for you than the disbursement of gold and money, or battle with the enemy? They (the companions) said: Indeed inform us. He (SAW) then said: Remembrance of Allah. [Narrated by At-Tirmidhi, 5/459; Ibn Maajah, 2/1245] Taking the time to pause often and reassessing of how we use our time can help us refocus, reprioritize and reenergize. It can also prevent us from going to extremes where we focus on certain priorities of life more than others. It is thus time to reflect these principles in our actions and accomplishments. Blogger Hence, we would like to offer our readers some tips for creative time management, and say: Learn how to predispose yourself to invest time through the following:

Take away any problem that may impair the quality of your life and waste your time. The best way to avoid problems is to rely on Allah, be committed to prophetical supplications for Allah to shun from you all the evil that Allah knows. Leave doubt, mistrust, spying, backbiting and gossip... They are fierce enemies of time management. Leave staring at what Allah has forbidden, this looks lead you to speak and then to more forbidden relationships. Finally, you will find that you wasted half of your time in things that do not benefit or harm you. Leave lying because it requires more energy than telling the truth! Lying needs many justifications. It leads you to more lies, and loses peoples' trust in you. So unknowingly, you lose time. Your brain is like a computer with a limited space, do not fill it with frivolous and useless ideas, but do not allow any harmful information to enter and settle in your brain as they confuse you and waste your time. Correct an error immediately ... Declare your mistake and deal with mistakes quickly and do not leave them to exhaust your time and effort. Err if not addressed immediately, it will lead to a series of errors that are difficult to treat, and thus will be a means of wasting time to no reward. Do not be arrogant. Arrogance is a characteristic that is hated by Allah and His Messenger. Arrogance leads to chase people away from you. It takes you to the vanity and disease of greatness, where you do not see the facts as they are. This leads to a waste of time

Do not overreact and get angry! Anger leads to a complex series of emotions and harmful effects on the body, such as high blood pressure, accelerating heart rate and overload the brain more than its capacity ... All of these lead to diseases, sudden death and thus losing time. Do not insist on your mistakes and do not stand blindly loyal to your opinion but find the balance which you always refer to and which is the Word of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger. Insisting on the wrong lead to further thinking and further brain strain in working to prove the validity of this error. You will not be able to do so, because error cannot be right. Therefore, it is better to acknowledge the error, and look for a way to deal with it instead of insisting upon...

decision. Everything Ive done in my life is after I have requested Allah what is best for me and I have been successful by 100%. Everything that I have not requested Allah, it often fails. Requesting Allah what is best for you save you time, because if you rely on yourself, you plan, think, calculate and drown yourself in options and you may take the wrong decision. While requesting Allah what is best for you means that Allah will take the appropriate decision for you, so would you like Allah to choose for you?! Do not carry on a grudge, no matter how the abuse was! But hand the matter to Allah Almighty. Put in your mind that death is close to you. You should forgive and take more good deeds, because the world is very trivial, and does not deserve that you bear any grudge against anyone, but pray to Allah to guide them. Wherever you sit, try to direct the talk towards the remembrance of Allah, the Quran and beneficial knowledge (and in a manner which does not make others feel the change). In this way you can use time in useful knowledge a speech that pleases Allah Almighty. Do not mock others who may be better than you. Do not worry, nor grieve! Anxiety and fear of the future waste time and overtask the body and affect the immune system, which increases the likelihood of exposure to disease. Replace concern by trust in Allah. You should know that what has befallen you would never have missed, and what misses you never have befallen you. Everything that happens to you is from Allah, why grief and fear? Do not despair! Despair is death, and death means a halt in time. Therefore, optimism and positive thinking lead to the investment of time, whereas despair frustrates man and leads to depression. Thus, brain stops thinking, and waste time to no reward. Mastery of work will save time and, unfortunately, this is what is followed by the West today, which led to their superiority to us. When you have mastered your business, you will save a lot of time spent in maintenance and repair.

Leave what does not concern you. This is due to a good Islam. Because intervening in matters that do not harm or benefit, lead to the wasting of time in vain talk, and may return damage to you. Stay away from controversy because it is a waste of time, unless argument aims to gain or give useful information. By: Abduldaem Al-Kaheel Do this to save time. Time Management From an Islamic Perspective

"Close has come to mankind his accounting. Will he still be heedless?" The above Qur'anic verse is the beginning of Surah Ambiya, chapter 21, followed by narrations of the people who were before us, people who were destroyed on the account of their wrong doings. Life has only one chance. If you fail in your exams, there is always a next year. If you lose your spouse, there can be a second marriage, but if you die, there is no second chance. This life is only one opportunity. Those who were before us had lives longer than us. The Qur'an talks about Nuh (as), that he worked among his people for 950 years; whereas the average life of this Ummah is around 60 years. We are the last to come but the first to enter Paradise . With this short life, we still have the opportunity of making the best. It all depends on how you do, what you leave behind, not whatever you leave behind.

1. Time management 2. In our journey with time, we pause, reflect and benefit from the experiences of others. The goal is to optimize investment of time. We perhaps wonder when we know that the Quran is the first book that provides a great way to manage time. In each verse there is a divine guide that teaches us how to invest the time and achieve success in this world and the Hereafter.

3. The Quran shows importance of time in a wonderful verse where Almighty says:"To every people did We appoint rites (of sacrifice), that they might celebrate the name of Allah over the sustenance He gave them from animals (fit for food). But your Allah is One Allah. submit then your wills to Him (in Islam): and give thou the good news to those who humble themselves,-" [Al-Haj: The Pilgrimage: 47] Here we find an indication that man does not live more than a few moments in the real scale of time. If we assume that a man lived seventy years, it means that he lived 70 1000 equal to 7% of the day only, which is some of the day. 4. This means that life is very short and in this is a reference to the need to focus on utilizing time and using it for charitable work, what benefits and to achieve success for the individual and the community.