After many years, I went to the office of my friend to meet him. He offered me a chair and wrote a note on a file after concentrating on it for a while. He then went to another room and gave that file to his junior. I surprisingly asked, ‘Why did you not give the file to your junior by calling him here?’ He replied, ‘To save my time! Since I went myself, it took one minute, but if I had called him, he would have come here by my will but would have left by his will due to which I would have lost plenty of time.’
Dear Islamic brothers! From this fictitious parable, we can realize the importance of time. The rich and the poor, the lazy and the active all get the treasure of time equally. No one has the minute of 70 seconds or an hour of 65 minutes; everyone has the minute of 60 seconds, hour of 60 minutes and day of 24 hours. Then why do some people get more work done in a short period of time and some people keep making a complaint of shortage of time! The difference is that the person who wastes his seconds also wastes his minutes and the one who does not value even a minute, wastes many hours on daily basis. On the contrary, the one who saves even his one minute does not waste his time at all. In this way, he succeeds in carrying out more work. Let’s see how time is wasted.
Abundant use of mobile phone
There was a time when the mobile phone, as well as its SIM, was expensive. People even had to pay for receiving a call, so in this way, they used to waste little time. Now mobile phones are inexpensive, SIMs are almost free and the packages of thousands of minutes are available at very low rates due to which people talk to each other on mobile phones for hours besides necessary phone calls. The one who makes a call feels that this call rate is very low for him without paying any attention to the fact that he has also lost much precious time. Then the conversation (during the call) is very useless, sinful (consisting of backbiting, slandering and tale-telling), and impermissible. It can be judged by the person who not only possesses Islamic knowledge but who is also very sensitive. Remember, whether the phone call is expensive or inexpensive your time is very precious because the moment that has passed cannot be regained even after paying hundreds of thousands of rupees.
Eating in restaurants
Some people have the habit of eating meals in restaurants with family or friends on a holiday despite having the facility of cooking food at home. It may take half an hour to eat a meal at home, but takes two and a half hours in a restaurant. The food that is prepared at home is cooked by using quality cooking oil, clean onions and garlic and quality spices, etc., keeping in mind health and safety, whereas the food that is prepared in restaurants is spicy and tasty, but if you concentrate on the ingredients which it contains, you will find out their quality level. Furthermore, the owners of the restaurants are only concerned with selling their food without being bothered about your health!
Did not eat food by my own hands for 30 years
Sayyiduna ‘Ubayd Bin Ya’eesh [یعیش] رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ, the blessed teacher of Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِما, has said, ‘I did not eat dinner by my own hands for 30 years; my sister would feed me morsels with her own hands and during that time I would continue to write.’ (Siyar A’laam-un-Nubala, vol. 9, pp. 614)
We used to waste time even when there was no internet. Now the one having speedier internet has the more rapid chances of increase in wasting his time. Many people must have experienced visiting numerous websites when they opened the internet to get the necessary information for a single thing. They spent many hours, but could not realize how the time passed. When they came to senses, they realized that they could have done it in two to three minutes.
Shopping as a hobby
A poor person earns and buys on either daily or monthly basis, but the person who has a lot of money makes even the act of buying, his recreation, in the name of shopping. He does not know what items he needs to buy and nor does he care how much money he would spend. Such people enter a big superstore and try to buy whatever they like. Storekeepers are also clever. They store interesting items in the front side so that their sale may increase. Grocery items are kept either at the corner or in the basement. If the list of necessary items is prepared at home and adhered to, so one can save both time as well as money.
‘Allamah Ibn-ul-Haaj Makki رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ has written: Before going to buy necessary items one should stay for a while at home so that his family members think properly as to what items are needed so that he may buy those items by going to the market once, lest family members ask for more necessary things and he may have to go to the market again and again. If it happens, he may get deprived of virtuous deeds like (attending the Majlis for) gaining knowledge, etc., which are more important than visiting the market frequently. (Al-Madkhal, vol. 1, pp. 292)
The person who has many friends and relatives has to attend many wedding and Valimah feasts. It happens very seldom that the meal starts on time. If the time of 10 o’clock is mentioned, it starts at 12 o’clock, then it breaks up until 2 o’clock. When will the attendees reach home? When will they sleep? What will happen to their Fajr Salah? They may take a day off from their offices or business activities! The host does not get bothered by all these things. It is surprising that even attendees do not pay attention to these either. At that time, they do not think about anything but the feast. Such kind of feast takes 4 to 5 hours, though the real purpose is achieved in just half an hour.
We cannot stay away from society, but it is not necessary to meet everyone. If we overcome our unnecessary meetings, we can save many hours every month. Imam Ibn Jawzi رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ was a pious person, who has written hundreds of books on exegesis, Hadees, history and other sciences and arts, he رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ has said: If I stay completely away from people, it is not appropriate either as it totally ends my relationship with them. If I continue to have useless meetings with them, there will be loss and waste of time. Therefore I have adopted this way that first of all I try my best to avoid meetings and if there is no choice but to meet a person, then I talk very briefly. Further, for such time I leave some work which does not require much attention. For example, I carry out the work of sharpening the nib of a Qalam (reed-pen), cutting paper and such type of simple other pieces of work during the meetings. In this way, I meet people and also carry out such pieces of work. Thus, I do not waste the precious moments of my life in only conversation. (Qeemat-uz-Zaman ‘Ind-il-‘Ulama, pp. 58)
Dear Islamic brothers! In addition to them, there are things like recreational activities, getting busy with less important work, lying on the bed idly, and dozens of such things which cause a person to waste his time. The time which has passed cannot be regained, but the time we have, we should save it. If we save it, then we will pass the time which is about to come in a better way, اِنْ شَـآءَ اللّٰہ عَزَّوَجَلَّ. How unwise we are! If someone snatches our possessions, we become angry, and also feel sad, but unfortunately, if someone wastes our time, we even do not feel its loss though time is far more precious than possessions because possessions can be regained after being lost, but time once lost cannot be regained. May Allah Almighty make us the one who values time!
اٰمِيۡن بِجَاهِ النَّبِيِّ الۡاَمِيۡن صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيۡهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم