All Perfect Praise be to Allah Subhanau wa Ta’la (Glory be to Him the Most High), The Lord of the Worlds. We testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam ( Please and Blessings of Allah be upon him ) is His slave and Messenger.
Time is a gift from Allah Subhhana hu wa Ta’la and we are running out of it. Every minute that passes by is the last we see of it, we will never ever see that one minute again even if we were to spend millions to try to get it back.
But there is one thing that we will see for sure with utmost certainty – it is what we spent that one minute doing.
The Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said:
“Make the most of five things before five others: LIFE before death, HEALTH before sickness, FREE TIME before becoming busy, YOUTH before old age, and WEALTH before poverty.”
See Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 1077.
We as Muslims believe that there will come this Grand Day when we will stand before Allah, on which Allah will show us what we used to spend our time in and we will see it with our very eyes as clearly as we see the screen we are reading this on today.
Let’s try to spend our time efficiently in things that reap reward after reward from Allah. And what kind of a reward are we talking about here? Let’s say you bought the latest gadget in the market that you were looking forward to this season for yourself. Now imagine having the capability buying hundreds of thousands of them and then selling them again to buy yourself a car that you cruise in to a party held in your honour at the most expensive restaurant that exists on the planet, dressed in an attire of the most exquisite clothing brand on Earth. Let’s strain our imagination a little further and say that you had enough money to buy yourself that car company, that restaurant and that clothing brand too and to spend your entire lifetime lying on a beach under a shady tree with a bottle of chilled fruit juice by your side having nothing to do but to enjoy yourself all day.
All this is nothing compared to a single reward that Allah might have in store for you on the Day of Judgement. Why? Because all materialistic things in this world tend to come to an end by nature. But the reward of Allah will never die. It will be everlasting and far more superior to anything you have ever imagined because Allah says:
“And no soul knows what has been hidden for them of comfort for eyes as reward for what they used to do.”
( Surat As Sajda 32; Ayah 17 )
And our beloved Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam said:
“There would be bounties which the eye has not seen and the ear has not heard and no human heart has ever perceived them.”
And then he recited the ayah mentioned above.
Book 40, Number 6783: Sahih Muslim
So while we still breathe, let us spend our time accumulating good deeds for that Great day. And when better to spend such time than the blessed month of Ramadhan itself?
Below are six of the best ways you could engage yourselves in. It doesn’t consist of obvious things like praying five times a day because if you aren’t doing that already then please don’t fast as well and quietly place yourself in a trash can somewhere.
1) Help your parents
Read the following Hadith carefully and especially the letters in bold:
Al-Walid bin ‘Aizar RadhiAllahu ‘anhu (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated:
I heard Abi Amr ‘Ash-Shaibani saying, “The owner of this house”, he pointed to Abdullah’s house, “said: I asked the Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam:“Which deed is loved most by Allah?” He replied, “To offer prayers at their early (very first) stated times.” Abdullah asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” The Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “To be good and dutiful to one’s parents.” Abdullah asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” The Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “To participate in Jihad for Allah’s Cause.” Abdullah added, “The Prophet narrated to me these three things, and if I had asked more, he would have told me more.”
Volume 8, Book 73, Number 1:
Our parents aren’t going to be around forever, and we have to make sure that they are pleased with us while they still stand by our side. Throughout the year we do worse than that which Allah has commanded us not to do, which is to say ‘UFF!!’ to our parents. The deed of being kind and dutiful towards is so great that it falls right after prayer according to the hadith above, and one cannot simply imagine the reward which would be just as great.
Go help your mom in the kitchen even if it’s just helping her to open and close the fridge. Or even if it’s just picking up something that fell off the ground while she tirelessly works to ensure that she could provide you with a happy meal. Go help her do the cleaning and buying for the house or maybe help her finish off some unfinished work that’s giving her a headache to complete. Do it without even here having to tell you to. There will come a day when standing beside her will only be a wish that will never come true. Make use of the time you have with her today and reap great reward from Allah because what has Prophet Muhammad Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said about a mother?:
Mu’awiyah ibn Jahima (RadhiAllahu ‘anhu) reported:
Jahima RadhiAllahu ‘anhu came to the Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam and he said: “O Messenger of Allah Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam, I intend to join the expedition and I seek your advice.” The Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Do you have a mother?” He said, “Yes.” The Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Stay with her, for verily Paradise is beneath her feet.”
Sunan An-Nasa’i, Book of Jihad, Number 3104
A man came to the Prophet and said, “O Messenger of Allah! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship?” The Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said: “Your mother.” The man asked, “Then who?” The Prophet said: “Then your mother.” The man further asked, “Then who?” The Prophet said: “Then your mother.” The man asked again, “Then who?” The Prophet said: “Then your father.”
Dad deserves our attention too. Let’s be on our toes to fulfil any command that he has to give us, just like he is on his feet 10 hours a day to make sure you are well fed and educated, who taught you how to stand and talk in the first place. What has Prophet Muhammad Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said about a father?:
Abu Darda’ RadhiAllahu ‘anhu said that he heard the Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam saying: “A father is one of the strongest doors of Paradise, If you wish you may pull it down, or if you wish you may protect it.”
Al-Tirmidhi- Hadith 127
Parents are a blessing that not even a trillion continuous sujoods will be enough to thank Allah for their presence, lets love them as much as we can and strengthen our relationship with them while we still have them around unlike many of our Muslim brothers and sisters, still young and bubbly, who have lost them in the most brutal of ways.
2) Understand the Quran, don’t just read it
Allah revealed the Quran in this month, as He says:
“The month of Ramadhan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)…”
( Surat Al-Baqarah 2; Ayah185 )
Now guys, lets be very clear and straightforward here. We are well educated people. We have enough intelligence by the grace of Allah to study our books pertaining to our profession alongside books and articles that we love to read in our pass time and understand them greatly. We go into great depths to understand this problem and that, we make sure we memorize things that seem important and interesting that we can talk about with our friends like a new computer programme you learnt (the nerdish kind) or the aero dynamics of a new car that you read about (the Vin Diesel’ish kind).
Why isn’t it the same with the mightiest Book that exists in the universe?! The Book which if were to be sent down upon a mountain, the mountain would be crushed into smithereens! [ Refer to Surah Al Hashr (59); verse 21 ]
Why do we just sit with the Quran and rush through it at 766 km per hour? Aren’t you aware that English translations and tafseer (explanation) of the Quran exist that are very easy to understand? (We recommend ‘Tafsir Ibn Kathir’.)
Spend your time pondering over the meanings and memorizing ayats that boggle and strike your mind for Allah’s sake.
Do two simple things:
a) Memorize an ayah a day with understanding from an easy surah of your choosing that you could use in your prayers besides the usual ‘Al nas and Al Falaq’. This would improve your concentration in prayer because now you would finally start to understand what Allah has to say and come closer to your Lord. The descriptions of Jannah (Paradise) and Jahannam (Hell) are so enriching that you will see the hair on your hands stand up in awe.
b) Recite the Quran following your usual routine, whether it’s a Juz (chapter) a day or a half. But do it with meaning in a language you understand and proper pronunciation (Tajweed) if possible.
Allah Subhanahu wa Tala says:
“..and recite the Quran (aloud) in a slow, (pleasant tone and) style.”
( Surat Al-Muzzammil 73:4 )
It was narrated from Aa’ishah that the Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said:
“The one who recites the Quran and learns it by heart, will be with the noble righteous scribes (in Heaven) and the one who exerts himself to learn the Quran by heart and recites it with great difficulty, will have a double reward.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4653; Muslim, 798
Refer to the trillions of YouTube videos to learn the proper pronunciation (Tajweed) instead of learning about what Vin Diesel ate for lunch.
3) Seek Knowledge
Includes both seeking knowledge of this world (other than studies of course) and knowledge of the religion (which is obligatory). Do we know the ar-kaan of salah (pillars of salah) or the ah-kaam of sajda sahw (rulings pertaining to the prostration of forgetfulness), or about how to enhance khushoo (tranquility and concentration) in Salah? Other than these matters of Fiqh, knowing the right Aqeedah (Creed/ Belief system) is very important due to the emergence of so many distorted beliefs and practices in our religion today. What was the Aqeedah and Manhaj (methodology of practising Islam) of the greatest generation to exist on this planet that is the Sahabah (the companions of the Prophet Sallahu Alayhi Sallam)? What did they understand of Islam and what were their practices of Islam like that we need to adopt? After all who were they taught all this under other than the greatest man to ever be Created by Allah Subhanu wa Ta’la?
There are basically two methods of seeking knowledge, through reading books or listening to the duroos (lectures) either live by going to the mosque or online. Youtube can either be a blessing or a cause of destruction depending on the way it is used. Watch an hour of a lecture after taraweeh or so to sooth your minds with knowledge and peace.
If you can attend in the mosque then Alhamdulillah but make sure that you are taking from the right sources, every bearded man giving a lecture in a masjid is not necesserily an ‘aalim (a scholar of Islam). You can listen to lectures online as well but the same thing should be applied that it is important to know where you take the knowledge from. You can contact us if you want and we will direct you to some beneficial websites which are authentic and online videos of speakers whom we trust and from whom proper knowledge can be leant from like the way it was taught by the Prophet Sallahu Alayi wa Sallam. Also please keep in contact with our HH network here:
HH on Facebook
4) Make lots and LOTS of dua
This is something that so many of us forget. Dua for most of us is just sitting behind the imam for those three minutes after Salah listening to what he says something in a language we don’t understand and rushing off. Why cant we sit for at least a reasonable period of time to make some proper, sincere, heart felt dua personally? When the deed of fasting of a person is so noble in the Sight of Allah, how do you think Allah the Most Just is going to deal with the dua of the fasting person? Read the following:
Narrated by Ahmad (8030) from Abu Hurayrah RadhiAllahu ‘anhu,
The Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said:
“There are three whose dua will not be rejected: a just ruler, a fasting person until he breaks the fast, and the prayer of one who has been wronged.”
It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin ‘As that the Messenger of Allah Salllahu Alayhi wa Sallam said:
“When the fasting person breaks his fast, his supplication is not turned back.”
Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 1, Book 7, Hadith 1753
Just for a while, sit alone in the corner of a closed room somewhere when no ones’s looking or in sujood which is the position in which you are closest to Allah and ask Allah for all that you had ever wished to have in the deepest depths of your heart. Beg Allah for it with humility, knowing that you are incapable of getting any of the things you are asking for without His Power. Ask Allah for the health, wealth and prosperity of everyone. Ask Allah for His Jannah and His Protection from the Hell fire. Ask Allah that He makes you a millionaire who will be able to spend millions for the sake of Allah on the poor and the oppressed, for this is nothing for Allah to answer, the OWNER of all bounty Who tells you to:
“….ask Allâh of His Bounty…..
(Surah An Nisa; Ayah 32)
5) Qiyam Al Layl (Taraweeh)
After having slept for eleven months, isn’t it time we take out a few moments of our lives for such a noble deed? Don’t stand with the imam for just two rakah’s to rush off for the ice cream waiting for you in the fridge in record time. Bear in mind the following hadith:
Al-Tirmidhi (806) narrated that Abu Dharr RadhiAllahu ‘anhu said:
The Messenger of Allaah Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said:
“Whoever prays qiyaam – i.e., Taraweeh – with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded as if he spent the whole night in prayer.”
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
It’s not about 8 rakah’s or 20 rakah’s. It’s not about how many you pray, but whether or not you stood praying before Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’la as long as the imam stood praying.
Now after doing all that work, you deserve to enjoy yourselves in a halaal manner, but that’s only AFTER you accomplish doing everything above, otherwise quietly place yourself in a trash can again.
Physical fitness is important so there should be some time for recreation or exercising. Start with a sincere intention of doing everything for the sake of Allah and take out some time to play games either indoor (with your younger siblings) or outdoor with friends so that love and friendship is instilled in our hearts for the people living around us along with the dual benefit of staying fit. (Extensive exercise and play may not be possible in Ramadhan though.)
Note: Playing Candy Crush is not on this list.
We wish you a very pleasant but productive and reward reaping Ramadhan that you utilize every minute of. Days have gone by so fast and the days to come will go by even faster. It’s time we pull our socks up and do as much as we can this Ramadhan for it may be our last.
If you haven’t already, please also go through our article on:
Important Sayings of the Prophet (PBUH) for a Pleasant but Productive Ramadhan
BarakAllahufeek (May Allah Bless you).