Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
19 May 2023 / 28 Syawal 1444H
Appreciating the Divine Gift of Time
My beloved brothers and sisters in Islam,
Let us continue our efforts to increase our taqwa towards Allah (s.w.t.), by obeying all His commands, and by abstaining from all His prohibitions. May we be among those who are grateful for all the blessings granted to us by Allah (s.w.t.).
My fellow Muslims,
Allah (s.w.t.) said in the Qur’an:
Which means: “By the passage of time! Surely humanity is in grave loss, except for those who have faith, who do good, who urge each other to the truth, and who encourage each other to be steadfast.” [Al-‘Asr: 1-3]
In this verse, Allah (s.w.t) swears an oath by time, because He wants to emphasise to us the importance of time. As the saying goes, time and tide wait for no man. If we are not careful, time will slip through our fingers, and be lost to us forever. We can never get that time back, and neither can we go back in time.
As believers, we should take full advantage of the time that has been granted to us. Let us not waste that time with useless pursuits, because tomorrow is not guaranteed to us.
My brothers and sisters,
Time is one of the most precious blessings from Allah (s.w.t.). As His servants, we should be grateful to Him for this blessing. The best way to show Allah (s.w.t.) our gratitude for this favour is to use and manage our time in the best way possible.
Let us reflect on Prophet Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) message, and think about how we can embody it in our daily lives.
نِعْمَتَانِ مَغْبُونٌ فِيهِمَا كَثِيرٌ مِنَ النَّاسِ الصِّحَّةُ وَالْفَرَاغُ
Which means: "There are two blessings that many people waste: good health and free time." [Hadith narrated by Ibn Majah]
If that is the case, what can we do, if we do not want to be among those who are at loss?
If we reflect on the verse that was recited earlier, we understand that Allah (s.w.t) has given guidance to His servants. We must be among those who believe, and who do righteous deeds, so as not to fall into ruin.
On this occasion. I would like to provide an example by sharing a story of Imam An-Nawawi's life journey. Imam An-Nawawi was a very religious man, who was a prolific contributor to the spread of Islamic knowledge.
Imam An-Nawawi was someone who diligently pursued the blessings of time. The time he had was filled solely in search of Allah's pleasure. In a day, which has only 24 hours, Imam An-Nawawi was able to attend to 12 different gatherings of knowledge. Such was the seriousness of Imam An-Nawawi in his efforts to maximise the use of his time.
As a result of his efforts, he was able to produce various religious books that are still used by the Islamic community to this day. May Allah (s.w.t.) reward him immensely.
My fellow Muslims,
We can certainly learn a lot from the stories of Muslim scholars of the past, and we can try to implement these lessons in our daily lives. While inspiring, Imam An-Nawawi's efforts are not easy for the average person to emulate. However, what we need to learn from the stories of his life is his diligence in his efforts to take advantage of time.
We, as Muslims and also as individuals, have our roles to contribute. How can we optimise the time bestowed upon us by Allah (s.w.t)? We can also contribute to the benefit of society in our own ways, to the best of our abilities.
Some individuals should strive to educate the next generation while others may contribute and serve the community, such as regularly attending the mosques or volunteering.
For those who are still young, you can continue to fill your time by working hard to earn a living for your families, and to improve yourselves with useful and credible knowledge, so that you can benefit your families and the community. Avoid seeking religious knowledge from teachers who do not have valid qualifications and the necessary religious education.
May we become people who not only make good use of our time, but who also bring benefit to those around us. May Allah (s.w.t.) accept our efforts, and place us among the righteous in Jannatul Firdaus. Amin Ya Rabbal 'Alamin.
أَقُوْلُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ العَظِيْمَ لِي وَ لَكُمْ، فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْم
الحَمْدُ للهِ حَمْدًا كَثِيرًا كَمَا أَمَرَ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَن لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَأَصْحَابِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ. أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَيَا عِبَادَ الله، اِتَّقُوا اللهَ تَعَالَى فِيمَا أَمَرَ، وَانتَهُوا عَمَّا نَهَاكُم عَنْهُ وَزَجَرَ.
أَلَا صَلُّوا وَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى النَّبِيِّ الْمُصْطَفَى، فَقَدْ أَمَرَنَا اللهُ بِذَلِكَ حَيْثُ قَال فِي كِتَابِهِ العَزِيزِ: إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَـا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسلِيمًا. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَ بَارِكْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ.
وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ المَهْدِيِّينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيِّ، وَعَن بَقِيَّةِ الصَّحَابَةِ وَالقَرَابَةِ وَالتَّابِعِينَ، وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ، وَعَنَّا مَعَهُم وَفِيهِم بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالمُؤْمِنَاتِ، وَالمُسْلِمِينَ وَالمُسْلِمَاتِ، الأَحْيَاءِ مِنهُم وَالأَمْوَاتِ. اللَّهُمَّ ادْفَعْ عَنَّا البَلَاءَ وَالوَبَاءَ وَالزَّلَازِلَ وَالمِحَنَ، مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ، عَن بَلَدِنَا خَاصَّةً، وَسَائِرِ البُلْدَانِ عَامَّةً، يَارَبَّ العَالَمِينَ. رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنيَا حَسَنَةً، وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً، وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.
عِبَادَ اللهِ، إِنَّ اللهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي القُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ، فَاذكُرُوا اللهَ العَظِيمَ يَذْكُركُمْ، وَاشْكُرُوهُ عَلَى نِعَمِهِ يَزِدكُمْ، وَاسْأَلُوهُ مِن فَضلِهِ يُعطِكُم، وَلَذِكرُ اللهِ أَكبَرُ، وَاللهُ يَعلَمُ مَا تَصنَعُونَ.