The Wealth of Time
by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah ‘alayh)
This life is a journey. We are all on a journey and are travelling all the time.
Even if the person is a “couch potato”, passing his life in inactivity and idleness, he is also travelling. If the person is sitting, lying down or sleeping, he too is travelling. The person is in a car: The car is moving and covering distance, and simultaneously, the journey of life too is continuing. The person's life is moving on and on.
One breath follows another. And every breath of life is part of that journey. Seconds are ticking away. Minutes slip through the hourglass of time. Days and nights bring a close to weeks, weeks bring a close to months, and months bring a close to the years. Hasan Basri (rahmatullah ‘alayh) had aptly said: “O Son of Adam! You are nothing but a number of days. Whenever a day passes, a part of you has gone.”
Every day, week, and month is part of the journey —like how a person travels 10 kms, 100 kms, 500 kms, and 1000 kms.
Every passing year of life is like a station which we reach. And no one knows how many stations he has to travel through before he arrives at his destination. For some, there is just one station – and they die at the tender age of one; some stop at ten stations and depart at the age of 10.
Others have to travel through 50 stations, 60 stations, or even 100 stations in life before they reach the end of the journey.
Most of us have the experience of travelling by flight or train. We stop here and there in transit until we arrive at the destination. The pilot informs the passengers when the plane begins its descent for landing, and when the plane lands and comes to a standstill, the pilot announces that all passengers must disembark.
This is the reality of life. All of us have to disembark at some stage. When we reach the end of this worldly life, the command is given that the soul must now disembark. And we have already seen so many disembark: seniors and juniors, rich and poor, kings, presidents, subjects —all have to disembark.
Therefore we have to be thrifty with time; we have to be prudent and cautious concerning time. Use it productively and constructively, usefully and efficiently.
Time can be likened to the root of a young tree —a sapling. If a person looks after the sapling and waters it, it will grow into a big tree, with its branches and leaves spreading out, providing extensive shelter and a tree which gives a lot of fruit.
We will say that the person took care of his life, and the most precious commodity of his life was his time. Now, that time will bear fruit because the person carried out good deeds in the time given to him, engaging himself in Salaah, Zikrullah, Tilawah, spending days in fasting, giving Zakaah and Sadaqat, striving to earn a Halaal sustenance, as well as controlling his gaze when in the shopping centres, markets, universities, colleges, or wherever else, and controlling his heart from the evil desires of nafs and Shaytan.
That tree bears fruit, and he will enjoy those delicious fruits in the grave and in the Hereafter. On the Day of Qiyaamah, he will also enjoy the extensive shelter which his good deeds will offer him, insha Allah.
Allah Ta'ala also uses the analogy of a tree in the Qur'an Sharif:
“Have you not seen how Allah has set forth a parable: A good word is like a good tree, having its root firm and its branches in the sky
[Surah Ibrahim 14:24]
Here, Allah Ta'ala likens the Believer's Imaan and deeds to a tree with deeply entrenched roots, a strong and sturdy bark, and branches extending high up.
The actual dividends, the real earnings, and the greatest of all enjoyments will be experienced in Jannah when he will behold the beauty of Allah Ta'ala with his own eyes. SubhanAllah!
‘That veil, which was covering Allah Ta'ala's
Countenance will be removed.
Now will be the time to smile —for those
who took that grief in their hearts,
and restrained themselves from all evil'.
As for the person who falls for the temptations of nafs and Shaytan, he will have to deal with the consequences of squandering the wealth of life and wasting the fortune of time. His is a bad investment, where the shares drop entirely. He may be left with a meagre 20% or 10 %, or he may end up with nothing. If it was spent in disbelief, the net result is the fire of Jahannum —May Allah Ta'ala save us. If it was spent in sins, then we have been warned of punishment in the grave and in the Hereafter.
Allah Ta'ala likens the disbeliever to a bad tree —because his words and deeds are evil. The tree's roots are not fixed and firmly established and do not stand the test of time.
“And the parable of an evil word is that of an evil tree uprooted from the surface of the earth, having no stability.”
[Surah Ibrahim 14:26]
The deeds of the disbeliever are described as follows:
“The deeds of those who disbelieve their Lord are like ashes blown away by the wind on a stormy day. They will not be able to gain anything out of what they did. That is the wandering away from the path.”
[Surah Ibrahim 14:18]
Their deeds are wasted due to their disbelief in Allah Ta'ala. Thus, their life was wasted, and no good awaits them in the Hereafter. (May Allah Ta'ala protect us all from such an end).
When time is lost, life is lost. Sometimes the Hereafter is lost. What a great loss it is when the person loses the opportunity to make real investments —which would bring him significant profits in both worlds. How sad if he reaches the Aakhirah as a pauper, or worse still, as a loser —losing out on Jannah forever. May Allah Ta'ala protect us all.
Let us reflect on the words of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and reflect on which category we are in:
“The intelligent one is he who suppresses his desires and practises for what is after death, and the foolish one is he who makes his nafs follow its desires and (he) places hope on Allah.”
So let us not waste time on those things that will not benefit us in any way.
May Allah Ta'ala grant us the Taufiq (ability) to prepare for the journey to the Aakhirah, Aameen.