Shall we allow ourselves to pause a second (for what that very second is worth) and ponder our witnessing of the astonishing yet worrisome rate at which time elapses these days?
As the axiom goes, time flies when you're having fun and especially establishes lift off and soars when you're busy. As a recovering procastinator, what's become of vital importance in my life are prioritization and sacrafice. Marshalling priorities and putting off activities (or desires), even the useful and benefitting ones, to either tend or manage something of greater importance (the tafsir on Surah at-Takathur comes to mind) is for me much simpler stated than executed. I'm working on it whilst beseeching the guidance of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. It's a principle that sort of ties admist Balance and Control somewhere.
Still, what absolutely stupifies me is how in this technological age of literal overnight conventional inventions and developments designed to assist or perform tasks in less time; our computers, microwave ovens, printers, automated factories and cellular phones complete with calenders, organizers, calculators, instant text messaging, Web-access, etc., we lack the time to accomplish even a tenth of what we should or atleast aspire to have done before the day dissovles.
Centuries before any of these nifty tools, vehicles and automated assistants were at the disposal of man, they traveled far and wide and managed to get more done in the same 24-hour frame we've available today. And because the means at which to accomplish tasks- building homes, travel, hunting, commerce, etc. were so manual and raw, there was no need for gyms, aerobics, jogging in the mornings, tredmills, etc. Such a concept would be laughable in those times. And though they had fuller plates, much more irons in the fire and a whole lot more fish to fry compared to today, they got it done. So what is it about us and our era that we feel like there isn't enough time?
It reminded me of one of the sign relayed to us by our Prophet Muhammad salallahu alayhi wa salaam, as reported by Anas radiallahu anhu:
"The Day of Judgement will not come until time shrinks; the year will be like a month, the month like a week, a week like a day and day will be like burning a leaf." (Tirmidhi)
One of the most fantastic explanations of this hadith I heard was from Imam Anwar al-Awlaki from his "The Hereafter" series wherein he gave the example of Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimallah) who authored an entire book of Aqeedah (over 200 pages) between Dhuhr time and just before the start of 'Asr (anywhere from 3 up to 3 1/2 hours) and this very book is now taught over a full semester at the Univesity of Medina where students complain that it just isn't enough time to cover this text. Subhan'Allah!
As time hastens, may our blessed Ummah, the Ummah of Muhammad salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam, be more productive in gaining the good in this dunya as well as the Akhirah. May our Rabb, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala be our destination and the Sunnah of our Rasul, Muhammad salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam, be our roadmap. Ameen thumma ameen! We should acknowledge that there isn't nor has there ever been a single nation or individual except that it will, on different levels, experience the delight of success as well as suffer the shame of decline (Allah ta'ala promises this). May we be patient and obedient in both trials. Ameen.
"(I Swear) By Time,
Except those who believe and do righteous deeds
and advise each other to Truth
and advise each other in patience."