Time is a precious and limited commodity which should be used in the best way possible. In this day and age, there are many ways to spend free time: with cell phones, magazines, sports, Facebook, real books, and video games being just a few of the things many people choose to fill their time with.
Time is something that we can have too much of, while not having enough. We can lose track of it while doing our favorite activities, while wishing that second hand would move a little faster as class nears its end. Time is always marching on, constantly leaving the past behind it and looking to the future. It is indeed a tool given to us by Allah with which we can benefit greatly in this world and the next if used wisely, or suffer in both worlds if used incorrectly.
There is even a chapter in the Holy Qur’an named after time in which Allah gives us the formula for the best way to spend our time:
“I swear by the time, Most surely man is in loss, Except those who believe and do good, and enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience.” (103:1-3)
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) clearly and concisely spoke about time and other precious bounties given to us by Allah. He says, “Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth, before you become old; and your health, before you fall sick; and your richness, before you become poor; and your free time before you become busy; and your life, before your death.” (Makarim al-Akhlaq)
Time is a precious and limited commodity which should be used in the best way possible. In this day and age, there are many ways to spend free time: with cell phones, magazines, sports, Facebook, real books, and video games being just a few of the things many people choose to fill their time with. All of these things can be time wasters, but if used properly they can enhance our spirituality and knowledge. The following are just some ways to use these tools in order to spend our time wisely.
Remember the Library?
With internet research and electronic book readers, the local public library has been under-utilized in some cases. This is a shame because most libraries have books on any subject you can think of – audiotapes for people on-the-go, movies and even the occasional video game. We are paying for it anyway with our tax dollars, so why not take advantage of it? Many libraries nowadays have made it so easy online that you can search for a book from home and it will be waiting for you at the front desk. Think of a subject you have always wanted to master or brush up on, look it up at the library and proceed to make use of your time.
The Internet has a wealth of knowledge at our disposal, not including Facebook and fantasy football. Sites such as YouTube and ShiaTV have many videos on any topic you can think of. If you have an hour to spare, why not sit down and listen to a lecture by one of our many Shi’a scholars featured on the web? The internet can be the ultimate time waster, but it can also be our own personal Islamic university if we use it the right way.
Lace ’em Up
Many of us spend most of our day sitting in a classroom or behind a computer screen, so we might not get the exercise we need. Humans were made to benefit from physical activity, so we should always find time to work out and stay in shape. There are many hadith which speak about the virtues of staying physically fit. Be it basketball, soccer, or just taking a brisk walk, getting up and moving can sometimes be the best way to spend our time. Besides, how can we hope to help our final Imam (may Allah hasten his reappearance) in the field if it takes us 20 minutes to run a mile?
Video Games. Really?
People get burned out. Be it from work, school or family life, everyone needs to find time to unwind and recharge. If we do not find time for this, it can affect our performance in the important aspects of life. Video games, watching your favorite TV show or reading a good book are just some of the things people do to recharge and perform better in the future. Now of course watching TV when you have the energy to do something more productive is when the problems start, so tread carefully.
These are just a sampling of things we can do to spend our free time more effectively. The one thing to remember is that whatever we do should be done for the sake of Allah and none else. Even a mundane task like going to the grocery store can be a form of worship if we do it for the sake of Allah and have Him in mind throughout our day. Let us all try to be more efficient and effective in using our time as our Holy Prophet and Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them) were.