By Imam Murtadha Gusau
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful. All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all creation. May Allah extol the mention of the Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family, his Companions and all those who follow him exactly till the Day of Judgement.
Dear brothers and sisters! Know that everything, when lost, can be regained, except time. If it is lost, there is no hope to regain it. That is why in Islam time is the most precious thing that can ever be possessed in this life.
Islam is a religion that acknowledges the importance of time and appreciates its seriousness. Allah Almighty says:
“Indeed, in the alternation of the night and the day and [in] what Allah has created in the heavens and the earth are signs for a people who fear Allah.” [Qur’an, 10: 6]
Islam distributed its great acts of worship over the parts of the day and the seasons of the year to form an accurate, precise system that organises the Islamic life and measures it with minutes, from the rise of dawn till sunset. Allah Almighty says:
“So exalted is Allah when you reach the evening and when you reach the morning. And to Him is [due all] praise throughout the heavens and the earth. And [exalted is He] at night and when you are at noon.” [Qur’an, 30: 17-18]
Dear brothers and sisters! Man’s lifespan is his huge capital about which he will be asked on the Day of Judgment. He will be asked about how he spent it and how he dealt with it. It was narrated in Jami‘it-Tirmidhi that the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:
“The feet of a servant of Allah will not move on the Day of Judgment until he has been questioned about four things: his life – how he spent it; his youth – how he consumed it; his wealth – from where he earned it and how he spent it; and his knowledge – how he acted upon it.”
Respected servants of Allah! Time has characteristics that are specific to it. They include the following:
1. Its quick passage: Time passes like the clouds. No matter how long man lives in this life, his life is short, as death is the end of every living creature. When Prophet Nuh (i.e. Noah), may Allah exalt his mention, was asked:
“O the longest living Prophet, how did you find this world?” He said: “It is like a house that has two doors. I entered from one of them and got out through the other.”
This is what the Qur’an expressed, by mentioning one’s regarding of his lifespan as short, upon death and on the day of Judgment. Allah Almighty says:
“It will be, on the Day they see it, as though they had not remained [in the world] except for an afternoon or a morning thereof.” [Qur’an, 79: 46]
2. Whatever goes by thereof does not return and cannot be compensated for: every day, hour, or moment that passes cannot be regained and thus cannot be compensated for. This meaning was expressed by Imam Al-Hasan Al-Basri may Allah have mercy upon him when he said:
“Every day calls, saying: ‘O son of Adam, I am a new creation and I am a witness on your deeds, so take provisions from me for if I pass, I do not return until the Day of Judgment.'”
3. It is the most precious thing that man can ever own: the preciousness of time is attributed to the fact that it is the container of all deeds. In fact, it is the real capital of man, whether the individual or the society. Time is not only gold as the common proverb goes, but it is more precious than gold, pearls, and coral. Time is life. Indeed, man’s life is nothing but the time that he is given from the day of his birth till the day of his death. Imam Al-Hasan Al-Basri may Allah have mercy upon him said:
“O son of Adam, indeed you are nothing but some days…whenever a day perishes a part of you perishes.”
That is why we should be keen on benefiting from time. Khalifah Umar Ibn Abdul-Aziz may Allah have mercy upon him said:
“Night and day consume you, so consume them.”
Imam Al-Hasan Al-Basri may Allah have mercy upon him said:
“I saw a lot of people who were keener on their times than you are on your money.”
Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, used to hit his feet with his whip when night came and say to himself:
“What did you do today?” My beloved people! From among the blessings which many people are heedless and ungrateful about, and ignorant of its value, is the blessing of leisure. It is narrated on the authority of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:
“There are two blessings that many people fail to make the most of: good health and leisure.” [Al-Bukhari]
That is why the predecessors (Salaf) used to dislike for a man to be free and not preoccupied by the matter of his religion or the matter of his worldly life. Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
“I dislike that a man is free and not preoccupied by the matter of his religion or the matter of his worldly life.”
There is no doubt that man loves life and loves to live long, and rather forever, if he can. Long life is considered one of the blessings of Allah Almighty, if one uses it in supporting the truth and doing righteous deeds. Imam At-Tirmidhi narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was asked:
“Which among the people is best?” He said: “The one who lives a long life and does righteous deeds.”
The truth is that the real life of man is not the years that he spends from the day of his birth till the day of his death. Rather, his real age is determined according to the good deeds recorded for him by Allah Almighty. Abdullah Ibn Mas‘ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
“I never regretted something like I regretted a day whose sun has set in which my life decreased and my good deeds did not increase.”
Dear brothers and sisters! Today, I joined Nigerians to congratulate our leader, Amirul Mu’mineen, His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, on the occasion of his 64th birthday anniversary.
His Eminence, Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III was born on August 24, 1956 in Sokoto; he is the 20th Sultan of Sokoto, the titular leader of Sokoto in Northern Nigeria and head of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (The Society for the Support of Islam – JNI), and President-General of the Nigerian National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA).
As head of Jama’atu Nasirl Islam (JNI), President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and co-Chairman of Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), I applauds the Sultan’s exemplary roles and contributions towards the progress of Islam and building a peaceful, secure and prosperous Nigeria.
I also commends His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto for championing poverty reduction, healthcare and education for the most vulnerable, during his reign as a religious leader.
I joined the Sultan’s family, the Sokoto Emirate, the Nigerian government, the government and people of Sokoto State, friends, associates, all Nigerians and all well-wishers in praying that Almighty Allah grants His Eminence, the Sultan, more years of health, well-being and happiness to keep doing the good things he loves most: building bridges of peace, tolerance and development across Nigeria.
The actions and choices we make each day impact our future. Kindness, good character, healthy relationships with family, neighbours and all people increases our life span.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Verily, whoever has been given the quality of kindness has been given his portion of good in this life and in the Hereafter. Maintaining family ties, good character, and good treatment of neighbours will build their heavenly abodes and increase their life spans.” [Imam Ahmad]
These elements bless the quantity and quality of our life. Kindness and good character allow us to love and be loved and remove tension and stress from relationships.
My good people! We are all familiar with the most famous proverbs “Time is Money” and “Time is Gold.” Time has great importance in the life of human being. Humanity has always been anxious with time, the passage of time, the measurement of time, and the scientific qualities of time. Time is a blessing on all of us. We should concentrate on how we use time according to Islamic perspective. Allah Almighty has clearly stated the value of time in Qur’an. We should make the use of time wisely to increase our faith in this life and the hereafter too.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said about time in Hadith as mentioned:
“There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good.” [Al-Bukhari]
From this saying, we can conclude that we should utilise our time for doing good deeds for the sake of Almighty Allah’s pleasure. We order our lives around time, in Islam, lives are structured around the daily prayers. We should offer prayers on time which are obligatory on every Muslim. In Islam believers are encouraged to be certain of time, to know its importance and to organise it intelligently. If human beings do not waste or abuse time, but rather think of it as a blessing from Lord then they have every reason to hope for success both in this life and in the hereafter.
Allah Almighty has mentioned everything in Qur’an which is the source of guidance for us. Similarly, Allah has stated the importance of time in Noble Qur’an that I will discuss below:
Indeed, we displease Allah the Most High when we misuse time. We must remember that time must be spent to fulfill our very purpose in life that is to worship Allah during our lives. Allah makes the importance of time very clear in the Qur’an when He says:
“I have only created Jinns and Men that they may worship Me. No sustenance do I require of them, nor do I require that they should feed Me. For Allah is He Who gives (all) sustenance, Lord of Power, Steadfast forever.” [Qur’an, 51:56-58]
From this verse we can say that we should use our time to worship Allah instead of doing some other useless things.
For every true believer knows that life on earth is temporary and its eternal accomplishment lies in terms of pleasing Allah Almighty and living its life according to His Commandments. The Almighty Allah says in the Noble Qur’an in Chapter Al-Asr about the importance of time:
“By time, indeed, mankind is in loss, Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.” [Qur’an, 103: 1-3]
The Qur’anic verses explain the worth of time in life of a Muslim. The Creator of the world of the worlds declares time as a great measure of one’s success or failure. The Exalted One says that with every advancing moment of existence, human has a great warning that is associated with it.
Time is one of mankind’s most precious resources since it can never be replaced or renewed once it has passed. When we waste our time it is much like someone investing his capital impulsively and not using it to generate profit. Invest time in good deeds, our beliefs form the basic foundation of our life, and those, whose beliefs are established on the Qur’an, are normal to act on those beliefs by giving themselves to doing good deeds or I can say by investing their time in doing good deeds. Allah Almighty says in Noble Qur’an:
“O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and make not vain your deeds!” [Qur’an, 47:33]
From this verse I can say that we should do our best to utilise our time in doing good deeds instead of wasting it in useless deeds.
Dear brothers and sisters! We have so many examples from the life of our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) to know about the importance of time. Below I will discuss some of them so we can take lesson and can utilise our time in the best manner.
The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), used to call on Muslims to take the initiative to do good deeds before any obstacles arise. He (Peace be upon him) said:
“Lose no time to do good deeds before you are caught up by one of seven calamities awaiting you: a starvation which may impair your wisdom; a prosperity which may mislead you; an ailment which may damage your health; an old age which may harm your senses; a sudden death; the Dajjal (Antichrist); or Doomsday, which is indeed the hardest and most bitter.” [At-Tirmidhi]
Prophet (Peace be upon him) also said in one of his Hadiths:
“Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth before you become old; your health, before you fall sick; your wealth, before you become poor; your free time before you become preoccupied, and your life, before your death.” [Musnad of Imam Ahmad]
The whole Hadith is about the limited nature of our life and how the time is running out. We should utilise the time in best manner before it’s too late.
In another Hadith Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:
“Allah said, ‘The son of Adam wrongs me for he curses Ad-Dahr (Time); though I am Ad-Dahr (Time). In My Hands are all things, and I cause the revolution of day and night.’” [Al-Bukhari]
The one who is misusing the time is doing things that are beyond Allah’s commandments. And those who act against Allah’s commandments will be in loss in this life and in the Hereafter too.
In short, humankind is told to be conscious of time. Allah Almighty reminds us that life in this world is but temporary and we do not know our appointed time of death. We should utilise our time in doing good deeds in best manner. As believers we must never waste or misuse time, instead we must value it as a blessing from Almighty Allah. We must all understand that wasting even a single moment is an opportunity gone, never to return. We are accountable to everything that we did in this life and when our time in this world will be up we can’t do anything because our time in this world is up and that time will never going to come back. Time is precious we should try to invest it in best manner!
Respected brothers and sisters! Whenever our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was worried or concerned or need something, or something important happened, he would pray. [narrated by Imams Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and Abu Dawud]
We have been taught by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) that the line of prayer and supplication (Du’a) is one that we must pursue and have no doubt of its worthiness and great influence. Nothing can avert the Qadr (destiny) except Du’a. There are deep sighs of remorse and sorrow echoed from every corner of Nigeria and the World. Everyday, people around Nigeria and the world in general face great hardship, are wounded, abducted and killed; facing constant barrages of war and violence by merciless oppressors and murderers. Du’a is certainly the most lethal weapon we have and no crisis or catastrophe should deter us a single degree from this course. Please remember to keep our country Nigeria and those people in such dire situations in your prayers and supplications (Du’a). They are most certainly, in need of it.
O Allah! I ask You for success concerning our destiny, and feast with the martyr, and enjoyment with fortunate people, and the companionship of Messengers, and victory over our enemies; for it is You who listens to the Prayer.
O Allah! Cover up our defects, and change our fear into peace.
O Allah! Suffice us in our wishes and inclinations. O Allah! suffice us against anyone who oppresses us. O Allah! suffice us against those who envy us. O Allah! suffice us against those who wish to harm us. O Allah! suffice us in the last moments of death.
O Allah! Forgive His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto his shortcomings and failings, and all the believing men and women, and remove their faults, and cause peace and love among their hearts, and infuse into their hearts a firm faith and wisdom, and let them be victorious over Your enemies and their enemies.
O Allah! I seek refuge in You from being over-powered by others, or that I would over-power others (unjustly), or that I should seduce or tyrannise others, or be oppressed by them; or that I be shown ignorance and vulgarity by others, or I be vulgar to them; or from going astray myself, or be mislead by others.
O Allah! Punish the enemies of Nigeria, and the enemies of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and our enemies, cause terror in their hearts, cause friction among them, send down Your wrath and punishment on them.
O My Lord! Do not make us a trial for the wrongdoing people, and deliver us by Your Mercy from the (subjection of) criminal people.
O Allah! We are oppressed, therefore come to our help.
O Allah! Lord of Jibril, Maka’il and Israfil, and the Lord of Ibrahim, and Isma’il and Is’haq, Grant us peace and security in our beloved country, Nigeria, and do not let anyone of Your creatures overcome us, with anything which we have no power to forbear.
Our Lord! Pour out constancy on us and make our steps firm: Help us against our enemies.
Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden Like that which you did lay on those before us; Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Protector; Help us against those who stand against us.
Our Lord! Forgive His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto his sins and anything he may have done that transgressed his duty: Establish his feet firmly, and help him against his enemies.
O Allah! I ask You to restrain the enemies of our country Nigeria, and the enemies of Sultan by their necks and I seek refuge in You from their evil.
Allah is Great, Mightier than all His Creation. He is Mightier than what we fear and dread. We seek refuge in Allah, Who there is none worthy of Worship but Him. He is the One Who Holds the seven heavens from falling upon the earth except by His Command. [We seek refuge in You Allah] from the evil of Your servants, and their helpers, their followers and their supporters from among the jinn and mankind. O Allah! be our support against their evil. Glorious are Your Praises and Mighty is Your Patronage. Blessed is Your Name, there is no god but You.
O Allah! Revealer of the book, Swift to account, defeat the enemies of Nigeria, and the enemies of our Sultan and our enemies. O Allah! defeat them and shake them.
Our Lord! make us not a trial for those who practise oppression.
My Lord! Help us against people who practise corruption in the land and spread disorder.
O Allah! Help Islam and the Muslims, and all peace loving Nigerians.
O Allah! Help our Muslim brothers everywhere to gain victory over Your enemy and theirs.
O Allah! Help our Muslim brothers and sisters, and all the peace loving people in Nigeria and in everywhere.
O Allah! Raise the standing of Islam and Muslims, and let our country, Nigeria, and all the Muslim countries be peaceful and prosperous. By Your Mercy, O The Most Merciful.
O Allah! Raise the standing of Islam and the Muslims, O Allah raise the standing of the Muslims, and degrade the standing of Kufr and the Kafirin, and Shirk and the Mushrikin. Destroy the enemies of Your religion, and protect the lands of Islam, O Lord of the Worlds.
O Allah! Grant Victory to Your religion, Your book, and the Sunnah of Your Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), and Your monotheist servants.
O Allah! break free the shackles of our sincere prisoners and all the sincere prisoners of the Muslims, O Allah, break free the shackles of our sincere prisoners and all the sincere prisoners of the Muslims, O Allah, break free the shackles of our sincere prisoners and all the sincere prisoners of the Muslims, and return them safely to their families.
O Allah! Guide us among those You guide. Grant us health and pardon among those You grant health and pardon, look after us among those You look after, grant us grace in what you have given us, and protect us from the evil of what you have ordained; for You decree and none decrees against You, and none is abased whom You befriend. And none is exalted whom You are at enmity with. O our Lord, who is above all things, sacred and exalted, all praise is Yours for what you decree. We ask Your forgiveness and turn to You in repentance.
O Allah! Creator of the Heavens and Earth, O Protector! O Sustainer! Protect our people in Nigeria and in everywhere. O Allah! Protect them from all that is evil and bad. O Allah! Grant victory to the Muslims all over your Land. Ameen O Allah! Ameen O Allah! Ameen O Allah!
And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.
Written by your brother, Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: email@example.com or +2348038289761.