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Tick Tock - The Clocks Ticking

Publishing Date : 12 March, 2019

IQBAL EBRAHIM
UNDERSTANDING ISLAM



The sad reality is that regardless of who we are, old or young, rich or poor, the high and mighty or just a ‘commoner’, the clock is running down on our lives on this earth. Every breath that we take may be our last; no one knows when and how but, our lives on this earth will one day come to an end.



The Qur’an says; “Every living thing must taste death and surely each will then be recompensed on the Day of Resurrection, so whosoever is saved from the Fire will be admitted to Paradise, such indeed gain the ultimate goal. And what is the life of this world except a provision of vanity. Wherever you are death will surely overtake you”. Verse 3:184 and 4:78.


Among the Biblical verses: ‘Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die’ (1Cor. 15; 32). “A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to breakdown, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn…..’ (Ecclesiastes 3: 1 – 22)


Let us embark on that journey that will be starting point to changing our lives so that we live a life as ordered by our Creator. Let us daily remind ourselves of the inevitability of death, it is only then that we will see our foolish worldly ways and consider changing them so that we find the way to the path of Our Lord. We need to change our lifestyles and even it may seem difficult we can start with the ‘small’ and daily things in our lives. We usually open a savings account at the bank to save money for our old age, but why don’t we also open a parallel ‘savings account’ to ‘deposit’ our good deeds so that they stand for us when the day of Judgement arrives?


It is therefore incumbent upon us to ensure that we live our lives in the manner as directed by our Lord and Creator. Let us embark on that journey that will be starting point of changing our lives so that we live a life as ordered by our Creator. Let us daily remind ourselves of the inevitability of death, it is only then that we will see our foolish worldly ways and consider changing them so that we find the way to the path of Our Lord. We need to change our lifestyles and even it may seem difficult we can start with the ‘small’ and daily things in our lives.


It is not too late to start – regardless of our age or time spent on this earth. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said; ’Take benefit of: 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.’


We have been granted great Blessings from the Almighty and it is up to us to ensure that we recognize those blessings and live a life in a manner which Pleases Allah. ‘So bring to remembrance the benefits you have received from Allah, and refrain from evil and mischief on the earth’ (Qur’an 7: 74)


Youth before old age

One of the things that most of us take for granted is our youth. When we are young we believe that we have a long life ahead of us so, why worry about doing it today there’s always tomorrow. We pay scant attention to religion and see it as something that we will start ‘practising’ as we get older. We should remember that people do not just magically become ‘good’ overnight; often, we find that bad habits of our youth follow us into our old age and are harder to dump.

Health before sickness

Even if we are blessed with a long life, how can we be sure that we will have the health both physical and mental to practice righteousness? We often take our health for granted and we often don’t realise is that our health is a blessing from Allah. When we are in good health, we take it for granted and seldom appreciate it. We should take advantage of our good health before we are overcome with illness or disability. It is only when we fall ill that we realise what a great blessing we had and how we let it go to waste by not practicing our religion as we know we could and should have done.


Wealth before poverty

Wealth is another blessing granted to us by Allah. Wealth does not necessarily mean that we have large amounts of savings, or that we can afford a huge house, a top-of-the-range car, fancy clothing and other worldly desirables. When we compare ourselves with people that have a lot more worldly possessions than we do, we often seem to overlook the simpler things such as a roof over our head clothes on our backs and food in our homes make us amongst the world’s wealthier people


There are millions of people in the world today that don’t have a roof over their heads, clean water to drink, and they don’t know where their next meal will be coming from. These are the people that we need to be helping with our wealth. Even a small donation can go a long way.


We should give as much as we can in the way of Allah, and we are assured of the rewards for doing so by Allah: ‘The likeness of those who spend their money for Allah’s sake, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn), it grows seven ears, every single ear has a hundred grains, and Allah multiplies (increases the reward) for whom He wills, and Allah cares for all and He knows all things.’. (Qur’an 2: 261)


Free time before preoccupation

Islam encourages us to make the most of our time, and to spend as much of it as possible in the way of Allah. We should utilise the time we have available to do as much good as we can, because before we know it, this time will have passed. We should use the time we have to do as much in the way of Allah as possible, because as time passes, we will have a lot more things to worry about, like jobs, homes and families – things that at present we aren’t necessarily worried about.


If we think that finding the time to practise our faith is difficult now, what will we do when life really starts to pick up pace? The concept of time is also important in Islam: ‘By (the token of) Time. Verily Man is in loss, except such as have faith and do righteous deeds, and in the mutual teaching of truth, of patience and constancy.’ (Qur’an 103: 1-3).


 Life before death


The last thing that we have been advised to take advantage of is our life before our death. Every night when we go to sleep, without realising it, we enter a state ‘semi death’ because rarely do we know what goes on around us. When we wake up, it is only because Allah has blessed us by returning our ‘life’ and granting us the opportunity to worship Him for at least one more day. Upon waking up in the morning we do not fully appreciate how great a blessing it is to be given another chance.


We don’t fully appreciate that at some point – and only the Almighty knows – when our life will be taken away from us for good, leaving no second chance, no opportunity to make up for the wrongs we have done, and no turning back time. We should savour every moment and use it to our best advantage in pleasing Allah in order to achieve our goal of Heaven. ‘He Who created life and death, that He may try which of you is the best in deed… (Qur’an 67: 2)

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