The Value of Time in Islam by Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
Time wasting is one of the problems we need to address. It's important for a Muslim to know the value of his time, for time is life (not as always been told in Malay proverb time id gold). A Muslim should not waste his time in things that do not bring him closer to Allah, in things that will not serve as a contribution for the betterment of his people, his society and mankind in general.
In Islam things should be categorized according to their level of importance. Early Muslims used to capture every moment of their time. Thabit Al-Bunany said: "When my father was on his deathbed, I went to assist him in pronouncing the Shahaadah (Testification of Faith). He said: 'Son! Leave me alone, for I have recited all my supplications five times and I'm on my sixth cycle now.'"
Delving into the issue of the value of time in Islam, we would like to cite for you the following from "Time in The Life of The Muslim" by the prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi:
1-"The Qur'an and the Sunnah make it clear that time is very valuable. Almighty Allah says: "By the time! Verily man is in loss." (Al-'Asr:1-2)
2-The Sunnah of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is also a rich record of many Hadiths that acknowledge the value of time and confirm the responsibility of man on how he maintains it; he will be brought to account by Allah on the Day of Judgment.
3-Mu'adh ibn Jabal quotes the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, as saying: "A servant of Allah will remain standing on the Day of Resurrection until he is asked about four things: his life and how he spent it, his youth and how he used it up, his property and how he acquired and managed it and his knowledge and how he utilized it."
The Characteristics of Time
We are to bear in mind that time has certain characteristics, among of which are the following:
1-Time passes quickly.
2-Time that passes can never return, nor can it be compensated for, for time is irretrievable.
3-Time is the most precious thing that man possesses.
Muslim's Duty Towards Time
1-Having all this great value and importance, time is to be duly appreciated and managed. Imam Al-Hasan Al-Basri says: "At the beginning of every day a herald calls: 'O son of Adam! I am a new creation and a witness of your deeds. So take a provision from me because when I pass, for I never come beck till the Day of Resurrection.'"
2-In Islam there is no room for slogans like the so-called "killing time", for in Islam time is really valuable. In fact, wasting time is much more dangerous than squandering property, because unlike property, time cannot be compensated. Free time is a blessing that is overlooked, and not wholly appreciated by many people. In the Hadith, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: "There are two of Allah's favors that are forgotten by many people: health and free time."
3-This indicates that it's very important for a Muslim to try his utmost to husband his time and make the best use of it in beneficial things. A Muslim may use portion of his time in making invocations and supplications, celebrating the praises of Allah. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, used to supplicate: "O Allah! I seek refuge in You from sorrow and distress, and I seek refuge in You from disability and laziness."
4-A Muslim should learn how to organize his time, and make a realistic plan for his worldly and religious duties, without any of them overlapping the other. That is to say that one should know how to arrange his priorities: the most important and the most urgent comes first, and carried out according to schedule. Organizing time also includes leaving a place for relaxation and entertainment, for 'all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.'
5-One of the methods of managing his time properly is for a Muslim to get up early and sleep early, for early hours always yield great blessings. Starting his day with prayer and the supplication of the morning brings the Muslim Allah's grace. A Muslim should always bear in mind that every time has its own task that suits it. Doing tasks in their due times brings about peace of mind and comfort.
6-Finally, we would like to cite the following Hadith of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, quoting from the Book of Ibrahim, peace be upon him: "A sane person, unless he is mindless, should have four hours: an hour to invoke to his Lord, an hour to count his own deeds, an hour to contemplate about the creation of Allah and an hour to satisfy his worldly needs."
Source: Islam Online