Free Time

“And when some shameless deed is committed by them (the Muttaqeen) or they wrong themselves then they remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins.” (Surah Aali Imraan, 135)

Remembering Allah Ta’ala

In other words, after sinning they think about the greatness and the chastisement of Allah Ta’ala. “Remembering Allah Ta’ala” as the Aayat conveys means to remember His greatness or His chastisement. And, truly the greatness of Allah Ta’ala is such that one can never sin by remembering it. It is really worthy of remembering. Thus, to forget about it and to resolve to sin takes extreme audacity.

Some people expect to make Taubah and make amends after finishing a certain act, whereas it is possible that one does not get the time due to a preponderance of occupations. Therefore, one should treasure the opportunity and free time available now.

Treasure These Things

Once it has been understood that by meditating on the greatness and the punishment of Allah Ta’ala one gets the taufeeq to make Taubah, now it is worthwhile considering that one requires free time to do this meditation.

Some people do not appreciate their free time, whereas it is an exceptionally great treasure. The Hadeeth Shareef states: “Treasure five things before five things.” One of the five things is: “Your free time before you become busy.”

By observing people who are loaded with work one can appreciate free time. Those who are caught in a rat race are in museebat (adversity and headache). They do not get free time to meditate. Their condition is as portrayed in this poem:

When they go to sleep, they go to sleep with their head heavy

When they wake up, they wake up dizzy

Free time is wonderful. Do not augment your desires and kill your free time. If you have sufficient wealth for your needs, then utilize the balance of your time for your Aakhirat.

The second thing mentioned in the same Hadeeth is: “Your health before you become sick.”

The third is: “Your youth before you become old.”

Another Hadeeth states: “Whoever finds himself in the morning safe, healthy and with provisions for the day has in effect accumulated whatever the world has to offer.”

This is true as a person, even if he is rich, can only consume for a day, a day’s food. Thus, such a person and a pauper who has only provision for a day are equal.

How much of the ocean can be filled in one jar? Similarly, how much food can be filled in a stomach? Even though a wealthy person has a pantry-full of foodstuffs, he can only digest roughly the amount a poor man can digest. If one has food and clothes to cover one’s body then every pore of your body is a king.

An incident has come to light of a rich man going to view his treasury which was in a cellar. He opened several doo of the treasury to admire his riches. He bided his time there whilst his attendants came to lock the main door of the treasury. They were unaware of their master being inside. The cellar was huge with many chambers, doors and gates. This rich man was very far inside where his voice could not rich those at the main door. In short, this Yahoodi died there among his gold, silver and jewels out of hunger and thirst.

If someone had to ask him at that time he would have acknowledged that a few crumbs and a glass of water are more precious than all his riches.

Similarly, there is another story of a hungry person in the wilderness finding a pouch of gold coins. He threw the pouch away and lamented that it was not a pouch of some food which could be consumed.

In short, free time, health and basic necessities are things to treasure. These do not stay with one always. Take care of these. Don’t waste your free time. Be quick in making Taubah.

(By Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi in Istikhfaaful Ma’aasi)