So, like I promised last week I’m back with…not a poem this time but an ESSAY! After a very long time I know. My bad. It’s just that I find it easier to write poems because basically they don’t always have to make sense. 😉 Well, “Islamic poems” are a bit different for the obvious reason that they are meant to make sense or writing them would be pointless, and, in Islam, we don’t do anything just for the heck of it. Okay, sometimes we do. But that doesn’t mean it is right. After all, time is precious and we must not waste it. Reminds me of the famous hadith of the Prophet (saAllahu alaihi wa sallam), “five before five”. Most of you must be familiar with it but those that are not, this is what I’m referring to:
The Prophet (ṣallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “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.” (Narrated by Ibn Abbas; Musnad Imam Ahmad.
Powerful, isn’t it?
This is the reality of life. One moment we have everything and the next it’s gone. We take for granted the blessings Allah (‘azza wa jal) has bestowed us with. We forget the significance of all that we have, what it means to us and how grateful we should really be. If I were to use an analogy, it’s like somehow we just float upon the waves and easily give in to the currents and let them drift us to just anywhere. Places we’ve never been to. We’d rather not, but we do anyway. And once we do this we get lost in the vast ocean of deception forgetting our priorities. The world we live in is vicious. Okay, I’m not being a pessimist or anything here. In fact, far from it. To be honest, I’m usually the one who is content in wearing those all too familiar rose-colored glasses and see the world as a big colorful beach ball. But doing that won’t change the facts in the slightest bit, will it? It’s great to be optimistic about our lives and generally the world but at the same time we should be concerned about our afterlife too. What usually happens is that we are told by people around us to be easygoing and carefree about life and just “do what makes you happy”. Who is to define what happiness is? They say the individual. I disagree. If I were to decide what makes me happy, I can so surely say that I’d go astray. It’s not making sense, is it? Well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you. LOL, okay I’m kidding. Let me put it this way: some may find happiness in doing community service while some in partying all night. Basically it’s just a matter of how we are raised and what our personal choices are. To a certain degree it’s justifiable. But this will not work in the bigger picture of our existence in this world.
There’s a reason why the Prophet (saws) said what he said. We live in a world constricted by the constraints of time and space. Those twenty or so years of youth once gone won’t ever return.
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Prophet (saws) said: “Allah will give shade to seven [people] on the Day when there will be no shade but His…” among whom he mentioned, “a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah.” (Al-Bukhaari, 1423; Muslim, 1031)
An hour that ticks away will not come back. The dollars that you spend in throwing the most extravagant parties won’t automatically get deposited in your bank once the party is over. But you know what will? The money you spend in charity, in feeding someone or providing them with clothes.
So next time you think about putting off a good deed like going to an Islamic lecture or visiting a sick person remember this hadith. It’s never too early to do something good. In fact that’s what we are being tested in.
This is such a beautiful hadith. I mean, I want to talk more on it yet I think it is self-explanatory. You will truly appreciate it if you read it carefully pondering on every word and reflect on its meaning and most importantly the fact that you can so easily relate to it. Maybe I might further elaborate on this hadith in another post insha’Allah.
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