Rafed English

Organize Time

aZaid used to complain about the shortness of his time, and became surprised at his friends who did many things like studying, practicing their hobbies and meeting their friends even though their time was the same.

One day, he presented this question to some of his friends. They told him: "The matter is clear. Organize your time, so that it will seem to be more."

For this reason, some hadiths (Islamic traditions) have divided time into hours and an hour, here, means time units and not sixty minutes. This means that there should be time for every action. Imam Ali (a.s.) is quoted to have said:

"The believer's time has three units: The period when he is in communion with Allah; the period when he manages his livelihood; and the period when he is free to enjoy what is lawful and pleasant…" Other hadiths add another unit and, that is, for visiting trustworthy friends who know our shortcomings. Commenting on the period of enjoying what is lawful and pleasant it can be said: In this period (of enjoyment), you will be able to perform other deeds.

Though this division gives man specific periods for his essential needs, it is not an inactive prescription. It may happen that man's needs become more numerous and varied, but the aim at the division of time is to organize it in such a way that an action does not extend over another action, or to use up all time while other actions remain un performed or left half performed.

Therefore, striving towards gaining one's livelihood is required to meet his material needs; approaching to Allah, through worshipping and glorification is required as a spiritual need; visiting one's friends is required as a social need; enjoying what is lawful is required as psychological need; and besides these hours, there should be another important period for seeking science and knowledge in order to meet one's theological and ideological needs.

What is important to mention here is that there should be a balance between these units of time in a way in which worldly actions should not cause us to forget the deeds relating to the Hereafter. And the wise among us are the ones who make all our deeds an obedience to Allah, the Almighty; even worldly actions. However, who sits before a computer without previously deciding how much time he should spend in that sitting, will surely find himself still sitting before its magic, small screen, after many hours passed.

And he who lets the doors of the meeting with his friend be wide open, will surely see that some conversations lead yet to others, and the meeting which was supposed to be finished in half an hour, lasts for two hours or more.

Indeed, organizing time, as we learn from the schedules of prayer, the appointed times of fasting, iftar (breaking of the fast) and the appointed days of pilgrimage (hajj), introduce us to the following benefits:

1. The abundance of time and blessings which were unknown before the organization of time.

2. It drives away from us both disorganization and the confusion in which we live as a result of the penetration of time and its negligence.

3. It gives us a respected personality by our friends, companions and those surrounding us.

4. It makes us live in the state of psychological contentment and spontaneous happiness in what we have achieved.

5. It makes us control time and not be controlled by time, itself.

Adapted from: "How to Utilize Our Free Time?" by: "Al-Balagh Foundation"

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