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Monday, May 25, 2009

The Worth of Time

Bismillah wa-salaatu wa-salaamu 'ala Rasulillah wa 'ala alihi wa sahbihi ajmaeen. Alhamdulillahi-ladhee wa ja'alana minal Muslimeen.

Dear brothers and sisters in Islam; those of us Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala blessed to have embraced and to strive upon the same guidance sent down to all His prophets and messengers ending with Muhammad salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam. I first say unto you all, as-salaamu 'alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu. Second, I challenge us all that we dare ponder just how it is we treat this more-crucial-than-we-know blessing and opportunity Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala has granted us. Do we pay any mind to the nature of our intentions and the consequences they accrue? Before diving into any impulse do we think to ourselves: "Will this please Allah? Is this worth the time He's granted me? What am I gaining? What am I sacrificing?" Do we worry whether Alalh is or will be pleased with us for our actions before they are initiated? Are we truthfully and sincerely remembering Allah, our Lord, and are we truthfully and sincerely remembering al-Akhirah with every step Allah ta'ala permits us to take?

Or is it that we are playing games with our time Allah ta'ala has permitted? Playing games with our life Allah ta'ala has decreed? Do we spend more of our time engaged in idle talk, unbeneficial, frivolous activities, nodding our heads and swaying our bodies to music and other tools of the clever, thoroughly-experienced and accursed Shaytan, our avowed enemy, uses to distract man from Allah and Last Day? Ya ikhwatun, brothers and sisters in iman, this is the time to soften our hearts, no harden them. This is the time to strengthen our Deen, not compromise it. Do we spend more time wasting time than we do striving in making the maximum benefit out of every passing minute?

When our beloved Rasulillah salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam said: "every heart has a passing cloud", he (salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam) was referring to the ever-fluctuating state of iman Allah tries those who say: "we believe." One day the heart of the believer may gleam with iman like the full moon in a clear night's sky and the next day the same heart have its light of iman dulled like the moon veiled behind a passing cloud. The reason our iman reduces; the reason its light is dimmed is due to our own shortcomings, our sins... our turning away from Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. The only thing to restore and intensify this poor state of iman is obedience to our Rabb; righteous deeds and dhikrullah (remembrance of Allah). This time Allah has permitted us is not to be wasted. Are our hearts trained to find rest and cure in listening to the mellifluous recitation of the Qur'an and praising Allah or are they trained to find satisfaction and relief in hearing music, singing voices, playing video games or some fruitless other that neither pleases or draws us closer to our Lord? If the latter is true, brothers and sisters, we have work to do.

In Surah al-'Asr, the very Surah it is mustahaab (highly recommended) we recite to one another before departing, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala swears by the time (as only He can rightfully use anything in His creation to be His witness; believers may swear only by Him alone) that every single one of us, all of mankind, believer or not, is at LOSS! And when He azza wa jall says "illa" (except), He azza wa jall mentioned four qualities: "iman, righteous deeds, exhorting one another to truth and exhorting one another to patience." Iman is not sufficient. We must nourish and excel our iman (by seeking out knowledge; ilm 'ul Islam) implement, share it and be patient in the face of not only adversity, but ease. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, Rabbil'alameen, make us among those who strive to perfect these qualities in hopes for His rewards. Ameen.

Let us look again at what Allah chose of al-'alameen to swear by that we're at loss except by the conditions He specifies. Of everything He created He chose to swear by the time. Because with time do we endure fulfillment and hardship. With time do we endure health and illness. With time do we enjoy strength and confidence just before we suffer in weakness and uncertainty. With time do we raise in faith and do we shrink in faith. And what is time besides our life itself? All this life, this transition in dunya, all it is, is merely time Allah has given us to prove our piety and conduct deserving of the eternal bliss He is eager to give us. This life, this time, like all the obligatory acts of the mu'min, the believer (i.e. salah, swam, zakat, etc.), is NOT the goal, it is THE MEANS. May all our brothers and sisters who've been deluded to have made this dunya their goal, those whom Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala calls worse than animals in the Qur'an, awaken and detach themselves from this pathetic state and strive for the pleasure of their Rabb. Life is ephemeral. A blindingly quick transition. For those who make this world their goal, in most cases, time is money. For the Believer, time is life. we waste one, we waste the other. May Allah azza wa jall grant us the tawfeeq to use our time wisely and productively in hope of His Pleasure and fear of His Displeasure. May we not be counted among those who used their time, this life, recklessly. Mindless and heedless of Him. Ameen.

O Muslim, we are the Ummah of Iqarah! None has pondered, dissected, anatomized and expounded upon every science known to man the way our forefathers have. No nation has exhibited the level of passion and ambition for discovering, analyzing and learning matched to that of our Islamic forefathers. Civilizations all around the world flocked and gathered at our circles, institutions and universities to satiate their yearn for knowledge. Where has this spirit gone? Subhan'Allah, it has withered to death among our Ummah and desperately needs to be revived. The scholarly endeavors and achievements of our forefathers, from the Tabi'een to the 8th century and onward, we're manifold and usual. Surely, they recognized the value of time and did not waste it. They were focused heavily on paving the way for their children and the succeeding generation of the Ummah. This should as well be our aim. Not this living for the moment, living for the deceptive, temporal pleasures of this dunya, kuffar lifestyle most of us have adopted. we are still on the clock, brothers and sisters, come... we have serious work at hand. Serious.

"Has the time not come for those who have believed that their hearts become humbly submissive at the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the Truth? And let them not be like those who were given the Scripture before, and a long period passed over them, so their hearts hardened; and many of them are defiantly disobedient." -Surah al-Hadeed ayah 16

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