This topic was delivered by Habib Kazim al-Saqqaf and translated by Shaykh Ibrahim Osi Efa in Woking on 16th December 2011
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
All praise to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. And salutations and greetings upon our master Muhammad and upon his family and companions. I intend to study and teach, take and give a reminder, take and give benefit, take and give advantage, to encourage the holding fast to the book of Allah and the way of his messenger, and calling to guidance and directing towards good hoping for the countenance of Allah and His pleasure, proximity and reward, transcendent is He.
Allah opens gateways of intellect so we know how to interact with Him.
The most precious thing in this life is time which passes by.
Our life is short. Time is short. Time that has passed by since the hijra (migration) is 1433 years. Since that time we haven’t completed 1 and a half day of the next world. 1 day in the next world is like a millennium, 1000 years. A day with your Lord (Exalted is He) is like 1000 days of your reckoning.
Ordinarily the day consists of 12 daylight and 12 night hours.
Average age of the Ummah by Abdullah b. Masud in Tirmidhi is 60 to 70 years but as RasulAllah [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam] said, “some live less, some more.”
We have to look at how we organise the time Allah (Exalted is He) has given us. Some are worldly and others are related to Allah’s rights. A person who spends 8 hours sleeping and lives for 60 years has spent a 1/3 of his/her life in sleep. They spend 8 hours working so another 1/3 is spent working. How much time therefore remains? Likewise we excuse childhood as it relates to our age.
At the time of the Prophet [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam], they embraced the guidance that came forth from Prophecy. In four years they performed acts that we can’t perform with immense time, male and female. Great causes which existed in his [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam] time was him [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam]. It had a profound effect on the development of great people and explosion of qualities. They took educationally and gifts would explode inside of people. His [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam] address even to kids, he [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam] spoke as if they were adults. Example: If we look at the conversation he [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam] had with young children. Many adults would find it difficult to comprehend. If someone can understand it, they’ll find deep realities which nurture souls rationally and spiritually. Great leaders were the youth due to this high and great education. At the age of 16/17 they would lead great armies. This is great tarbiyah at that age. Human being is a precious thing. Humans come first. Nurturing true human beings so they benefit themselves and others. This is what we need. In the time of RasulAllah [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam] we see how they benefitted, that they did a great amount in a small amount of time. With a longer period, he [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam] transformed an entire society which lived centuries in a different habitual habit. When he [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam] moved to Madinah it changed.
Our objective in life, when we see it, we begin to take account and see our time organisation. We see what remains and how will we achieve great things?
Other worldly trade is not severed at the time of death. Human being goes through various dimensions if life and each has its own understanding. A child is simple, the youth has more understanding than the child and an adult/elderly person has greater understanding of reality than the child and youth. Likewise about secrets of the soul which opens after death. We want to take ourselves to account to the time we have remaining. All we have in front of us is 60/70/80 years. It can be a blessed time as long as it is used effectively.
Arrange it effectively so our short life-span can become great. It’s affirmed in previous times. Fill your time with obedience and beneficial actions which relate to yourself and others. As long as one does beneficial actions it’ll render a blessed life. As long as one arranges time effectively it’ll render a blessed life.
Some do profound actions that they don’t see that it has been done in an allocated time. It’s from the barakah (blessing) of time. It can happen to a non-Muslim too. Ibn Sharifah at-Tabari wrote different books, he taught, gave legal judgements and after his death they counted and divided his books over his lifespan. He would write 20 pages from the day he was born. No one can write at the time of birth and they even left a few books out.
When somebody is truly sincere, Allah (Exalted is He) blesses their time such that they can do things another can’t. This is due to perfecting time that is alloted. Allah (Exalted is He) ennobles those who are serious.
Imam Nanawi (May Allah be pleased with him) who lived for 40 years. His great works are studied, they remain until this day. Imam Ghazali (May Allah be pleased with him) lived for 44 years, he was raised well and he knew how to reach in a fruitful and beneficial way. At the age of 28, he could debate in any way. At the age of 30 he completed the Ihya. He spent his last 10 years in constant worship of Allah (Exalted is He).
We ask Allah (Exalted is He) to give us tawfiq (success) to glance on our time so we can extend benefit to others and ourselves. Allahumma Ameen.
What’s gone is gone! How do we use the day, the second effectively? In 1 minute someone can do a profound worldly and other worldly action. Every minute is precious for a human being. Somebody can seek forgiveness and one who attains this they can do it more than 100 times in less than a minute. In 1 minute, praise Allah by saying alhamdulilah. We shouldn’t say/think praising Allah is simple. It has a great effect in the next world. In this world, it raises the veils. Veils in this life come due to preoccupation so we can’t see what is bestowed. Some are drowsed in blessings but don’t see that hence they don’t show gratitude. Some only see such blessings when they are taken from them.
Not many of us praise Allah (Exalted is He) for oxygen. If they were strangled, they would understand the blessing of oxygen. Don’t think alhamdulilah (Praise be to Allah) is little. It has a profound effect on the human, its heart, mind and thoughts. When we say Alhamdulilah (Praise be to Allah), Allah (Exalted is He) raises us in blessings which we’re ordinarily oblivious to like the sun. Electricity is a great blessing. By losing it, we see this great blessing. It is easily accessible so we don’t realise it. It’s erroneous!
Spend 1 minute of your time praising Allah (Exalted is He) and watch the effect in the reality of the human. How many horizons will open up to him and different worldly understandings related to shukr (gratitude) will open up? – All related to spending one simple minute.
A true Muslim isn’t happy when he/she wastes time, worldly and other worldly. Sitting like an inanimate object is a loss. Bankruptcy related to humanity and its existence. One should be doing something at all times. For example, listening to sacred knowledge or the Qur’an, contemplating. The sick should contemplate on the blessing of health. One shouldn’t be in a state of idleness. This is negating the effectiveness of your body. Do something even if it is repetitive. Example: rearrange clothes, do something so you’re not accustomed to idleness. Wasting time to do nothing is bankruptcy.
The Prophet [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam] said in the meaning of what was said: “Two things humans are at a loss to, good health and spare time.”
All of the Companions (May Allah be pleased with them) spend time in benefitting the umma, even their spare time and this goes on to the scholars and Tabi’een. Hatim al Assam (May Allah be pleased with him) ate with his family and was eager to take full advantage. He was always preoccupied in dhikr (remembrance of Allah). He told his wife to grind his food. She said, “why?” He said, “As when I drink it, it frees up time so I can glorify Allah.” Isn’t this strange? No, it’s not. Every time you say SubhanAllah (Glory be to Allah) you’re given a jewel from this world. Think seriously. Glorifying Allah is the very sustenance of the soul.
Rejoice in every moment, true happiness comes through dhikr (remembrance of Allah). Why will it be true enjoyment? It doesn’t severe at the time of death. If we don’t leave it, it won’t leave us. Someone who is engrossed in dhikr, it will remain with them even when they are placed in the midst of the earth. This is why RasulAllah [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam] said take advantage of life before death.
RasulAllah [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam] said thereafter, take advantage of your spare time before becoming preoccupied and your health before your sickness. If you’re invited to a lecture/talk, go! Don’t be the one who finds excuses, as long as it is beneficial, do it. RasulAllah [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam] never said no. Due to your gratitude other horizons open due to the gratitude for your blessings.
A Hafiz (someone who has memorised the Qur’an) who was old and at the point of death, he used his time with Qur’an until the last point and due to how much he was connected and accustomed to it, when she slept his tongue moved in Qir’ah (recitation). At the time of death, his daughter entered and was extremely affected. He went to a state of unconsciousness and came out and saw his daughter. He said, “why?” She said, “Why shouldn’t I?” He said, “Don’t cry for your father. Look in the corner and don’t weep for your father as he’s recited 124,000 completions of the Qur’an.” Think about how old he was and how much he recited? 124000 completions. How much did he recite everyday? Some haven’t said Surah Ikhlas 100,000 times in their life or less and likewise with LailahailAllah. In 1 minute you can say more than 100. It revives the heart and grant light and removes veils.
Imam al Haddad (May Allah be pleased with him) was preoccupied in his time, he never allocated wasting time. He said, “from the time he was born until the age of 7, I never prayed so I will make up prayer.” He loved prayer and made up prayer.
We sleep for 8 hours and live for 60 years. We have wasted 20 years in sleep. Someone who sleeps more has lost even more. There are 4 sensitive times related to a Muslim so if somebody guards them through dhikr (remembrance of Allah) they will see all their time become blessed. They will feel that they have done great things though life is short. Use them for acts of khayr (good) and much will return upon your entire life.
1) Prior to Fajr
It is a very “ascentive” and blessed time then. Wake up a minute before fajr and do dhikr. It starts approximately 2 hours before the break of dawn. It’s a sensitive time, people should be in a state of sacrifice. It’s a time to transform your spirit. In a few days of this, you will gain more than you’ve gained in 7 years.
2) After Fajr until sunrise
One shouldn’t pray and then go back to sleep. If you do, then pray later and pray ishraq. Or pray at the earliest and sit. It is important that you have a due portion and stay awake at this time.
3) From Maghrib until Isha
At this time it is hard to be present with Allah.
4) After Asr until Sunset
This is a sensitive time. A person should sit even for 60 seconds remembering Allah or performing a good act.
Blessings of these 4 times will return to a human thereafter.
Timetable your time.
Question and Answer Session
Should you do good in the 4 sensitive times even if your heart isn’t present?
It’s proper for a person’s heart to be present. When we pray but the mind is preoccupied our prayer is like a dead body. Without presence of heart, the act should remain consistent as Allah (Exalted is He) will bestow His Mercy.
Actions have great ranks with Allah (Exalted is He) especially with a presence of heart. We should always maintain good hearts even without presence and we should show gratitude even without presence as He has allowed us to. No one is able to remember Allah (Exalted is He) except that He (Exalted is He) remembers them first. It’s a call from the Divine. Our remembrance doesn’t equate to His remembrance of us. Therein lies goodness which is beyond imagination. When a person maintains dhikr (remembrance of Allah), all problems for both worlds cease and he has a firm connection.
One of the greatest remembrance is shukr. Excellence of small worship is better than lots without presence. 3 rakahs of witr with excellence is better than 5 or 7 with haste.
Worship is from us unto Allah (Exalted is He). Guidance and ennoblement is from Allah (Exalted is He).
We ask Allah (Exalted is He) to render us successful in using our time well.
Allahumma Ameen. Allahumma Ameen. Allahumma Ameen.
Any mistakes, errors or misinterpretations of words are from me. Please correct me when you spot any mistakes.