Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
Many lessons can be learnt from the Seerah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sa). Time is precious, and it is an element of life that we often take for granted. It is important to find ways to constructively utilize our day in order to please Allah (swt). Our Prophet (sa) is an exemplary example for us all as he lived his life productively and encouraged us to value our time. He said: Two blessings which many people lose are health and free time for doing good. (Bukhari)
Following are five practical tips taken from the Seerah which can help you use your time efficiently for the benefit in this world and the next.
1. Prioritize the five obligatory prayers
Al-Aswad bin Yazid reported that he asked Aishah: “What did the Prophet (sa) do at home?” She responded: “He used to work for his family, and when he heard the Adhan (call for prayer), he went out.” (Bukhari)
The Prophet (sa) prioritized Salah in his daily life. While he ensured that he dedicated time to his family and his work, this act of worship came first. At times, we find our days to be hectic and challenging especially when we have to juggling many different tasks. However, establishing Salah (prayer) on time is part of the Sunnah.
2. Begin your day early
The Prophet (sa) said: “O Allah, bless my nation in their early mornings (i.e., what they do early in the morning).” (Ibn Majah; authentic) Getting up early and starting your day at Fajr means that you have a productive day as it is indeed blessed by Allah. You finish your most important tasks early in peace and quiet, you get more tasks done within the day, and you generally feel more fulfilled. On the other hand, you may often feel overwhelmed if you wake up late and have many things to do; the resulting stress only hinders your productivity. By waking up earlier, you not only follow the Seerah of the Prophet (sa), you also gain Allah’s blessings and have a more productive day.
3. Increase your good deeds
Abu Hurairah reported that Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “Hasten to do good deeds before six things happen: the rising of the sun from the west, the smoke, the Dajjal, the beast, and (the death) of one of you or the general turmoil.” (Muslim)
Having the urgency to do good deeds can benefit us in this life and the next. You may be thinking about giving charity but for some reason you keep procrastinating; you may want to perform Umrah (minor, non-obligatory pilgrimage) but have not got round to it. Hasten to do good deeds in your life and try not to delay them or procrastinate. Even the seemingly minor good deeds like smiling at your sibling, helping the needy, and cooking for your family or friends can earn you numerous rewards for time well-spent. Write a list of the good deeds you want to do during the week and see whether you can turn that list into action.
4. Respect others’ time
The Prophet (sa) was very considerate of other people’s time. Abu Wa’il reported that Ammar delivered a short and eloquent sermon. When he (Ammar) descended (from the pulpit), people said to him: “You have delivered a short and eloquent sermon. We wish you had lengthened (the sermon).” He said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (sa) say: The lengthening of prayer and the brevity of the sermon is the sign of a man’s understanding (of faith). So lengthen the prayer and shorten the sermon, for there is charm (in precise) expression.” (Muslim)
In line with this advice, ensure that you are punctual whenever you are asked to attend an event. If you’ve committed a time to someone, honour that commitment. If there is a genuine excuse, inform in advance so that you don’t end up wasting anyone’s time.
5. Quality time for everyone
Our beloved Prophet (sa) gave sufficient time to spiritual matters such as acts of worship. He also gave adequate time to his family. In line with his practice, chalk out how you can give time to your urgent and important chores as well as to your acts of worship and your family members. It might be helpful to have time blocks, for instance, for a stay-at-home mom, late night or after Fajr can be dedicated to voluntary prayers and recitation of Qur’an; chores can be completed while the spouse and children are at work and school respectively; once they are home, they can be given individual quality time.
Tasnim Nazeer is an award winning Freelance Journalist/Writer and Author who has written for a variety of print and online publications including CNN International, The Muslim News, Your Middle East, Islam Channel and many more. She was awarded The Muslim News Award for Excellence in Media 2013 and is an UN Universal Peace Federation Ambassador for Peace. For more information visit her website at www.tasnimnazeer.com or follow her on Twitter: @tasnimnazeer1
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© IIPH 2015