SATAN’S DISTRACTION: SQUANDERING TIME

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Squandering time and regarding it as something pleasant is an idea suggested to people by satan. In the society of the ignorant, frittering time away or “killing time,” as they put it, is very common. But believers must spend every moment of the time Allah (God) blesses them with to increase their proximity to Him, reflect ever more deeply and serve Muslims and Islam.

Someone who sincerely believes in Allah must keep away from empty pastimes that satan portrays as attractive in the life of this world. Only in that way can one properly reflect deeply with a clear mind. Believers are described as turning their backs on empty and worthless things in the Qur’an:

[They are] those who turn away from what is vain. (Surat al-Muminun, 3)

Time is very valuable for people in this world. People must spend every moment seeking the greatest measure possible of Allah’s approval. Just think, what if a person spends his time on hollow matters that will be of no benefit to him and if many things he thinks about are of no use or benefit in the Hereafter? A believer must be aware of the possibility of that at every moment and keep well away from ideas that are “pointless and unnecessary” but that satan portrays as very attractive and easy. Our Prophet (saas) said this on the subject:

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:

The Prophet (saas) said, “There are two blessings which many people lose: [They are] Health and free time for doing good.” (Sahih Bukhari)

People who fritter away their time never reflect deeply on death, Paradise and Hell in the way they should. Believers, on the other hand, never for a moment forget that death is rapidly approaching and that everything in the world is created as a test. They reflect on their countless weaknesses that Allah shows them every day and turn to subjects that will draw them closer to Him. For instance, let us consider someone who spends his life on empty purposes and who prefers the life that satan portrays as so attractive, even though he can see the genuine intellectual struggle being waged by Muslims to tell people of the moral values of the Qur’an. On the Day of Judgment, that person will be asked why he spent his time on empty matters when he could make efforts to that end. Believers must take pains to avoid such behavior by using their consciences in this world, before encountering such a situation on the Day of Judgment. As we are told in one verse of the Qur’an, “What reason could you have for not fighting in the Way of Allah – for those men, women and children who are oppressed and say, ‘Our Lord, take us out of this city whose inhabitants are wrongdoers! Give us a protector from You! Give us a helper from You!’?” (Surat an-Nisa’, 75), believers must spend their lives preaching the word for Allah’s approval in a manner that He will be pleased with, reflecting deeply and spreading Islamic moral values. Otherwise, many things they think about during the course of the day and many worldly matters they concentrate on will be of no benefit to them. On the contrary, this wasted time they will be unable to account for may inflict great losses on them in the Hereafter. The important thing is for the believer to be aware of this and to squander not even one single moment. Believers who make such genuine efforts are referred to as follows in the Qur’an:
Give the good news to those who believe and do right actions that they will have Gardens with rivers flowing under them. When they are given fruit there as provision, they will say, “This is what we were given before.” But they were only given a simulation of it. They will have there spouses of perfect purity and will remain there timelessly, for ever. (Surat al-Baqara, 25)

As for those who believe and do right actions – We impose on no self any more than it can bear – they are the Companions of the Garden, remaining in it timelessly, for ever. (Surat al-A‘raf, 42)

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