Time Management - An Islamic View
worry and distress is a great blessing, and to have a body free from diseases is a great blessing, too. However, they are the very blessings on which people are deceived. The Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam was reported to have said, "There are two blessings in which people are cheated: health and leisure time." [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Book 81, Chapter 1, Hadith No. 6412, p. 1232.] This Hadith implies how people are unaware of the real value of health and leisure time; they are not properly invested in what is good for them in this world or the Hereafter. What a real loss!
Calling on Muslims to utilize their time, to benefit from it and not to waste it, the Prophet said, "On the Day of Resurrection the feet of the son of Adam [man] will not move away till he is questioned about four matters: how he spent his lifetime, how he spent his youth; from where he acquired his wealth and how he spent it, and what he did with his knowledge." [Abul-Qasim Attabarani, “Al-Mu`jam Al-Kabeer” (The Great Dictionary), 20/61. Sunan at-Tirmidhi, no. 2417]
He also said, "Grab five things before five others: your youth before your decrepitude, your health before your illness, your wealth before your poverty, your leisure before your work, and your life before your death." [Al-Hakim, “Al-Mustadrak”, Book No. 44, 4/341] This Hadith is a direct call on Muslims to invest their time as early as possible when conditions are favourable, i.e., youth, health, wealth and time before being handicapped by impediments, such as old age, sickness, poverty or preoccupation.
The Righteous Salaf were extremely careful about occupying their time with useful deeds, and they hated laziness and unemployment. Umar Ibn-Al-Khattab was reported to have said, "I do hate to see any of you unoccupied, doing nothing for this world or the Hereafter." [Abul-Qasim Azzamakhshari, “Al-Kashshf “, in Arabic, investigated by Mohamed A. Shaheen, 4/761]
On the authority of Ibn-Mas'ud, the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said, "I do hate to see a man doing nothing for this world or the Hereafter." [Abul-Qasim Attabarani, ”AI-Mu`jam Al-Kabeer”, 9/102]
Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi says, "Leisure time will never remain unoccupied. It will be occupied with good or evil. If one does not occupy himself with truth, that self will make him occupied with falsehood. Successful is he who fills his time with what is good and righteous, and woe to him who fills it with evil and corruption.” [Time In The Muslim’s Life, p. 15]