6 Key Sayings From Islam on the Importance of Time and Time-Keeping

“Whoever resists time is spited by it even more, and whoever surrenders to it is not safe either.” (Ali Ibn Abi Talib)

“Whoever resists time is spited by it even more, and whoever surrenders to it is not safe either.” (Ali Ibn Abi Talib)

Our lives here on earth are but temporary, and Islam helps teach us the importance of seeing the bigger picture in life – why the universe is here, why we are here on earth, and if there truly is a purpose to our lives. Oftentimes, these questions revolve around the ever-constant notion of time.

Time is either taken for granted or pondered at as one of the greatest mysteries – we often take little notice of time slipping by or we become frustrated or saddened at the apparent loss of time. But what does Islam say about time, and how we should reevaluate our lives within the Islamic notions of time?

1. We must strive to understand the notion of time

“The man who best understands time is he who is not taken aback by its proceedings.” (Ali Ibn Abi Talib)

Whether that means reevaluating how you spend your day or whether that means we look into the history of time, space, and the universe, understanding how we live our lives alongside the notion of time will help us become better Muslims – and inshallah will help us better work towards the things that really matter, and refocus our attention towards Allah.

2. There are five key matters to take notice of before time slips by

“Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth before you become old, your health before you fall sick, your wealth before you become poor, your free time before you become preoccupied, and your life, before your death.” (Prophet Muhammad)

Here, the Prophet helps remind us of the important aspects of life so we do not remain absent-minded in our day to day lives, and helps us refocus our time to ensure we are not forgetting our blessings from Allah. Our lives are indeed very temporary here on earth, and we must constantly strive towards being active, aware, and God-centric in everything we do.

3. We must never trust time

“Whoever trusts time is betrayed by it, whoever attaches great importance to it is abased by it, whoever is angry with time, it spites him even more, and whoever takes refuge with time is forsaken by it.” (Ali Ibn Abi Talib)

This is another important reminder on the need for us to stay vigilant in our day to day lives – we cannot become lazy and expect to become better Muslims or better people tomorrow. We must act today, for time is never forgiving and ever moving.

4. On the Day of Judgement, we will be asked about our time

“The feet of a servant will not touch the ground until he asked about his life and how he spent it, his knowledge and how he acted upon it, his wealth and how he acquired it and spent it, and his body and how it was used.” (Prophet Muhammad)

While our intentions must always be good, we must also realize that we will not be judged by our intentions alone – we will also be judged by our deeds and actions here on earth. Here the Prophet reminds us that we should constantly be aware of how we are spending our time, and that we must strive towards centering our time around Allah always.

5. We must battle with time

“Whoever resists time is spited by it even more, and whoever surrenders to it is not safe either.” (Ali Ibn Abi Talib)

Time is ever-moving and yet always constant, which means our battle with time will be a life-time of struggle as well. While recognizing the struggle, we must be prepared and open to our fight to ensure we are spending our lives here on earth in a God-centric manner, with our sole focus to worship Allah.

6. If time could speak, it would surely mock us

“All of the people place the blame on time, When the trouble with time is only ourselves. We reprove time while the fault lies within us. If time could speak, it would surely mock us. The wolf shuns the meat of a fellow wolf, Whereas we devour each other in broad daylight. Attired to deceive with our beautiful clothes, Yet woe betides the stranger when he approaches us.” (Ali Ibn Musa Al-Ridha)

We must constantly be aware that time will, in the end, overtake us – we cannot assume that we will conquer time ourselves. With our short time here on earth and our daily struggle to ensure we are living a God-centric life without wasting what little time we have left, all we can do is act within our abilities and pray for a life worthy of Allah’s blessings. Only time will tell the rest.

Find TMV’s original source on this topic here.