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Why Muslims should manage time efficiently

By Onike Abdul-Azeez
15 January 2015   |   11:00 pm
MORE often than not, we hear the statement “Time is Money”, whereas the more apt description of this concept of time is “Time is Life”. It has been rightly observed that one of the major determinants of how successful or otherwise an individual is how he manages his time. In the light of the above,”The…

MORE often than not, we hear the statement “Time is Money”, whereas the more apt description of this concept of time is “Time is Life”. It has been rightly observed that one of the major determinants of how successful or otherwise an individual is how he manages his time.

In the light of the above,”The Qur’an and the Sunnah make it clear that time is very valuable and that its proper management is incumbent on every Muslim,

The Almighty Allah says  

“By the time! Verily man is in loss.”     (Al-`Asr,   Q103:1-2 

“By the break of Day,” (Qur’an, 89:1)

Q59 VERSE 18,”O ye who believe! Fear Allah, and let every soul look to what (provision) He has sent forth for the morrow. Yea, fear Allah: for Allah is well-acquainted with (all) that ye do”. Qur’an (59:18)

There are also numerous sayings (hadith) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) that corroborates the above quoted qur’anic verses,among this hadith,there is one that usually makes me shiver,it was reported by Ana’s bn Malik,He says “ The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,”If the Resurrection were established upon one of you while he has in his hand a sapling, then let him plant it.”

Other hadith of the prophet elucidating on the importance of time management are as follows:

“Take benefit of five before five:

your youth before your old age,

your health before your sickness,

your wealth before your poverty,

your free-time before your preoccupation,

and your life before your death.”[Hadith- al-Haakim, al-Bayhaqee, Saheeh]

“There are two things that people are not aware of how important they are: health and time.” (bukhari 8/421)This Hadith stresses two facts: People are not aware of the importance of being in good health till they fall ill and people are not aware of the importance of time and therefore waste their time doing trivial things

Mu`adh ibn Jabal quotes the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, as saying: “A servant of Allah will remain standing on the Day of Resurrection until he is asked about four things: his life and how he spent it, his youth and how he used it up, his property and how he acquired and managed it and his knowledge and how he utilized it.”

The Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), used to call on Muslims to take the initiative to do good deeds before any obstacles arise. For instance, he said, “Lose no time to do good deeds before you are caught up by one of seven calamities awaiting you: a starvation which may impair your wisdom; a prosperity which may mislead you; an ailment which may damage your health; an old age which may harm your senses; a sudden death; the Dajjal (Antichrist); or Doomsday, which is indeed the hardest and most bitter.” (at-Tirmidhi, al-Baihaqi)

To better drive home the point of the need for every human to ensure that,every second he has the opportunity of living is accounted for,The scenario reportedly found in the wallet of the legendary football coach- Bear Bryant  paraphrased below is self explanatory

SCENARIO;Imagine there is a bank which credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day, allow you to keep no cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day.

What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course!

Well, everyone has such a bank. Its name is TIME. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose

In the same vein,in order to appreciate the value of time in all ramifications,this simple exercise is recommended in an article on Time by the E-islam,even though its ascribed to an unknown author,its very educative,it goes thus:


 To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who has failed a grade,and will have to resit the failed paper the following year

   To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who has given birth to a pre-mature baby.the doctor says,oh the child would have been alive or okay if he had spent one more  month in the womb.

   To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask an editor of a weekly newspaper,

  To realize the value of ONE DAY, ask a daily wage labourer,e.g a danfo or molue driver who has kids to feed,ask him not work for one day

    To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the bride who is waiting to meet her groom,the groom has been held up possibly in a traffic jam,the guests are waiting and the husband is not in sight

   To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who has missed the train,or his air flight by just one minute.

   To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who has avoided an accident.(he narrowly misses an accident by one second because accident usually occurs within a second

    To realize the value of ONE MILLI-SECOND, ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.(that’s why you have e.g 100m gold medal winner,9.35sec and silver winner 9.37sec

   Having known the value of time,there is need for an individual to be conscious of the common time wasters in our environment and day-to-day activities,its after knowing this that he will able to manage his time nay his life properly,The common ones that have been recognized in recent times according to Jim Hennig and other motivational speakers are 

    (1) Failure to have “ TO DO LIST”,what are the things you set out,Our creato has not created us without purposes,goals and objectives,Q23:115 “Did you think that We had created you for nothing,and that you would not be returned to us”

(2) LACK OF TIME ANALYSIS:Our highly revered second caliph,Sayidina Umar bn Khatab was quoted to have said”Self Examine Yourself before you are examined” ,An individual will only appreciate what quantum of his time has been wasted daily by carrying out daily time analysis before going to be by Analysing  WHAT HE DOES HOUR TO HOUR  THROUGH OUT THE DAY, E.G   9AM -10AM INSIDE TRAFFIC JAM,10-11AM  HOLDING MEETING, 11-12noon CHATTING/GOSSIPING,ETC,its after this exercise that one will either commend or condemn himself,if he is not proud to show his analysis to either his child or anybody for that matter,there is cause for concern

LACK OF TIME SCHEDULING TECHNIQUE,:i,e Not Appropriating time to activities correctly and properly by concentrating on the non essential,To overcome this however,the following strategies are recommended:

(a)Apply 80:20 Rule, by concentrating on the a 20% activity that will give you 80% values,for example if you have a lot to do and you know of a particular task among the task,that once its done,the remaining task value is just 20%,moreover if the activity should not be sequentially done.

 (b)USE PERFECTIONIST PRINCIPLE  i.e  REDUCE THE NORMAL TIME  TO DO A TASK INTO HALF,A job that is to take one hour,assume that it will take 30 minutes

(3)  UNNECCESSARY INTERRUPTIONS(Telephone calls,Drop -In-Visitor etc),To overcome these,an individual is encouraged to try the followings

(a) close the door to your office when you need to finish a task on schedule

     (b)re arrange the furniture in your office,don’t provide many chairs

                                                       To seat

  (c)delegate responsibilies ,this is different from giving instructions

      (d)fix meeting outside your office

  (e)control “have you got a minute to spare me style” say NO

  (f)have someone to interrupt,when there is somebody with you

                                                          Wasting your time

 (g)STAND UP ,when you have to discuss with someone 

                                                        (h)use your schedules



(8)PROCRASTINATION:”Procastination is the thief if time,collar him”(Chales Dickens,David Copperfield) This is great time waster,The Almighty Allah refer to the non believer who procrastinate till his end time and have cause to regret later,Q23:99-100, “Until, when death comes to one of them, he says: “My Lord! Send me back so that I may do good in that which I have left behind”.Even our Noble Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)usually prays against laziness nay procrastination,he would pray often 

“O Allah! I seek Your protection from anxiety and grief, from incapacity and laziness, from stinginess and cowardice, and from the burden of debt and domination of people.” [Bukhari]

To guide against procrastination, Pray, using the above stated Prophetic Prayer and employ the following 

       (a)get to do the work immediately  It comes to your mind,even if its just to make a phone call,do it straight away

                                                                       (b)do the task first

                                                                     (c)take the task in small bits

                                                                   (d)commit the tasks to others      /delegate,Then follow up

                                                                 (e) promise and reward yourself

                                                                (f) Simplify the complex task




(11) Lack of WRITTEN Agenda and Specific GOALS for every meeting or task being embarked on.

Conclusively,We  should constantly  bear in mind that “yesterday is history,tomorrow is mystery,today is a gift” perhaps that’s why it’s called the present,

And   must also always avoid discussions harping on personality way of life, grouses, styles,conducts and behaviour that have tendency to

consume enormous time without helping with attainment of defined goals as The Almighty Allah says in quran chapter 23:115 quoted above.

Imam Abdul-Azeez is the deputy chief missioner, NASFAT Headquarters, Lagos