Rafed English

The Importance of Time

If we look for the best one who evaluates time for us, do we see other than the maker of time, Himself, and is it not Allah, Exalted and Glory be He?!

Indeed, this delicate division of moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years, is just like a cultivated field and the farmer is me or you. According to the endeavor of each farmer, the harvest will be yielded. And it is during the time of harvest that an active and diligent farmer will be pleased, and a lazy and inactive farmer will be driven away.

How beautifully Imam Ali (a.s.) describes it: "This world is the plantation for the Hereafter." Whoever grows an apple, he will surely harvest an apple. And whoever grows an onion, he will surely harvest an onion. And whoever grows a flower, he will surely harvest a flower. And whoever grows a thorn, he will surely harvest a thorn. And whoever grows laziness, he will surely harvest regret.

Verily, Allah, the Almighty is the One Who divides the dawn, afternoon, day and night in order to draw our attention to the thing divided, is of great importance. These numerous expressions regarding the measurement of time are nothing but small vessels within the great vessel of age. Perhaps, the moment you are presently in, will say farewell to you, and enter in the list of your account a reserved action and maybe it leaves you a loan from that account. And who knows that one day will come, for any of us, in which the chief of the bank will reject us and we will leave, disappointed, because there is nothing in our account book!

On that day, it is impossible to start again from the beginning because it is too late and we missed the opportunity. Shall we be pleased to return bankrupt and blame ourselves? Or shall we see working in order to add another fund and act according to the slogan which says: "Save your white piaster for your black (difficult) day", which means: Keep your righteous deeds for a Day in which wealth will not avail, nor sons, save him who comes to Allah with a sound heart.

Surely we will not find in the Qur'an an expression more eloquent than the following saying of Allah: "So, he who does an atom-weight of good shall see it. And he who does an atom-weight of evil shall see it." Holy Qur'an (99: 7-8)

Men will be shown their deeds in the Resurrection by being made to taste of their fruits, but they can also see the good or evil of their actions in this life. Good and evil, when practiced on a large scale, bring their reward or requital in this life, as well. Note that the words here are "he who does", and thus, include both the Muslim and the non-Muslim. Even a non-Muslim who does an atom's weight of good will have his reward, and a Muslim who does an atom's weight of evil will be requited for it.

Then, some one may ask us: How much is an atom's weight on the scale of time? Is it a moment or less than that? However it is considered, it is a unit of measure in its utmost smallness, and this means that even the littlest deed of good to which one does not pay attention to, will be fruitful during the time in which a flood will overcome the people, and the smallest deed of evil, will be destructive but the good doers are saved from it.

Surely, time is Allah's grace blessed on all people. It is the white papers on which they record our deeds, be it good or evil, and people are responsible for it on the Resurrection Day. In this regard, Allah's Apostle, Muhammad (s.a.w.) says: "Not a foot of a servant (of Allah) on the Resurrection Day, will move before he is asked about five things: 'His age and how he spent it, his youth and how he wore it out, his wealth and how he earned it and on what he spent it and about his love towards us, Ahlul-Bait (the Prophet's household).'"

He (s.a.w.), also, says: "Seize the opportunity of five things before you lose these five: Your youth before your old age; your health before your illness; your leisure before your occupation; your life before your death and your riches before your poverty." It is worthy of observation that the question of age is repeated twice regarding age, in general, and about youth, in particular, due to the importance of the stage of youth, as well as it being the stage of striving, sacrificing and offering.

For instance, when a student surely knows that a question will come on the next examination, he will prepare himself for answering it, otherwise, he will lose a precious opportunity which cannot be substituted, with anything else.

The question is about Resurrection Day - clear and obvious - and the examination will certainly come: What is your age and how did you spend it, and what was your youth and how did you wear it out? The question remains to be answered by each of us.

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

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