Will you give information about arranging time?

Details of the Question

What is the religious degree for wasting time? How to use and arrange time according to the religion of Islam?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It is a fact that needs to be accepted that every moment spent in vain takes many opportunities away because the time of man is very short compared to the life of the world. Therefore, time, whose one second is more valuable than gold, needs to be spent by things that will shed light on the eternal life. Therefore, the worship and work of man are related to good deeds; the remaining time needs to be spent meaningfully and legitimately so that man will not lose something while winning something.

Today, there are so many unnecessary things that kill man’s time that most of them are not related to any material or spiritual development; they drive man away from the purpose of his creation. The more man keeps away from theses purposeless and unnecessary things, the more benefits he will obtain.

“There are two things; most people are not aware of their value; they are health and free time.”(Bukhari, Riqaq 1; Tirmidhi, Zuhd 1; Ibn Majah, Zuhd 15)

The understanding of “time” is very important for a person to be successful in life. Sociologists who make research on “time” have observed that time is regarded differently by the people of developed and developing countries. According to those researchers, it is necessary to arrange things based on time beforehand and to do everything in the period of time specified for it in developed countries. Acting in accordance with the schedule means to discipline life and to make human life as efficient as possible.

TIME IN THE QURAN

The Quran uses phrases that remind people of time frequently in order to keep people active. All kinds of fard, wajib and nafilah prayers contain aims that are related to arranging time. From this point of view, the religion teaches man to make maximum use of time as much as possible through most of its orders. It can even be said that this is the main purpose.

The way the Quran Expresses Time:

“Time” lexically means “long or short time”. The word waqt is generally preferred and used by the Quran. Waqt means “the end of the time period determined for a certain thing”. The words day, week, year, century, time and hour are used and repeated many times in the Quran based on its importance for an individual. The most important one among them for an individual is the word “yawm” (day), which is mentioned 475 times in the Quran. The Quran reminds its readers the concept of time from its first pages to the last pages constantly.

In Arabic the word “layl” (night) expresses the time period between the sunset and the dawn. The remaining period is called nahar (day). In the Quran, the word day (nahar) is mentioned 57 times and night (layl) 92 times. When the period of night is considered annually, it covers half of the 24-hour day. Therefore, it needs to be evaluated in the best way.

One of the most important aims of the fard prayers is to make a Muslim have the habit of dividing and programming time.The Quran gives importance to qiyamu'l-layl (getting up at night). Getting up at night has an important place in the life of those who prepared the bright periods of the great Islamic civilization. Qiyamu'l-layl was fard for the Prophet but it is nafilah for his ummah. This sunnah is the command of the Quran.

“And celebrate the name of thy Lord morning and evening. And part of the night, prostrate thyself to Him; and glorify Him a long night through.” (al-Insan, 76/25,26).

“Is one who worships devoutly during the hours of the night prostrating himself or standing (in adoration), who takes heed of the Hereafter, and who places his hope in the Mercy of his Lord― (like one who does not)?” (az-Zumar, 39/9).

However, some moderations were expressed about getting up at night in the Quran later (it is stated to be sent down after a period between 8 months and 10 years). Ill people and those who are on an expedition of jihad were regarded as exempt from getting up at night. The period of getting up and worshipping at night is at least one fourth and at most three fourths of the night. This difference is due to the lengthening and shortening of the night.

Getting up at night is primarily for performing prayers and reading the Quran. Studying is also permissible. Getting up at night is regarded as more important because the word night is mentioned more than the word day in the Quran and this command was sent to the Prophet (pbuh) during the first years of his prophethood.

VIEWS AND PRECAUTIONS RELATED TO TIME

Taking conscientious measures is defined as a “view”. A person should not spend all of his days in the same style in order to be conscious of his being alive. Some months, some hours should be different from the others. In our religion, holy months and days provide it. Thanks to these months and days of different values, the monotony that could happen for man is interrupted. An important view for a person who believes in the hereafter and who feels in depths of his conscience the anxiety of being accounted for every day and every hour is to regard his life as the day he is living currently. The desire for living long called tul al-amal is regarded as the source of many evils.

The religion of Islam orders us to program the day based on three main aims:

1. Worshipping,
2. Making one’s living,
3. Controlling and meditating one’s life.

ARRANGEMENT OF TIME IN THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET

The Prophet (pbuh) followed weekly programs based on days and daily programs based on hours. The Prophet did the same things on certain days of the week. There were also some daily things that emerged without programming; for instance, accepting a delegation, application of a stranger, the emergence of a necessity. Usual chores and tasks were done at the same hours. There was some time for each work. That work was completed during the same time period every day.

HOLIDAY AND RELAXATION IN ISLAM

The wordholiday” will be used in the sense of free time here. Islam does not accept a period of time that will be spent without doing anything.The Quran tells us that one can relax by changing the thing, work or task he is doing. It can be called “relaxing through working”. Muslims should be away from an understanding of weekly holiday that will be spent “without doing anything” like Jews and Christians.

It is unanimously agreed that it is haram to look at something or somebody if there exists the possibility of lust and mischief during entertainment.

When it is stated “Islam does not accept free time”, it does not mean that Islam rejects relaxation. It is stated in the Quran that the best way of relaxation is sleeping in one’s own house. 

“And He it is Who makes the Night as a Robe for you; and Sleep as Repose and makes the Day (as it were) a Resurrection.” (al-Furqan, 25/47).

“It is Allah who made out of the things He created, some things to give you shade; of the hills He made some for your shelter...” (an-Nahl, 16/80).

Forbidden games and entertainment are gambling, playing with animals, entertainment with alcoholic drinks, music and women.Some games are preferable because they prepare man for jihad. Therefore, Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) encouraged them insistently. Swimming, archery, riding horses, running and wrestling are included in this category.

Legitimate occasions of entertainment are various ceremonies, feasts (circumcision, wedding, returning from an expedition, moving to a new house, getting rid of a trouble) and wedding receptions.

ANXIETY OF TIME IN ISLAMIC SCHOLARS

The common view of Islamic scholars about time is as follows:

“The past has gone; the future is unknown; then, the moment that you are living in is the time for you.”

Islamic scholars always mentioned the relationship between eating and time, relationship with other people, always being busy with something and making an effort until one dies. They even calculated the difference between eating small pieces of bread in the form of crumbs and loaves of bread in order to decrease the time spent for eating. Dawud at-Tai determined that there was a difference of time enough to read 50 verses of the Quran between these two types of eating bread. Imam Abu Yusuf was busy with learning and teaching until he breathed his last.

CONCLUSION:

Everything is based on belief. Therefore, our religion does not give importance to sheer belief and knowledge without practice. The knowledge which is not practiced is called “useless knowledge”.

Some principles related to time in order to make young people healthier and more efficient are as follows: 

1. Young people should be taught about the consciousness of time.

2. Annual, monthly, weekly and daily plans should be made and they should be applied.

3. Making use of the night should be dealt with as a separate issue and the amount of sleep should be taught well.

4. The government should determine the views and habits that young people need to be taught based on their age levels.

5. The government and parents should deal with the period of youth carefully; they should determine the problems and work hard to solve them.

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