Posts Tagged time management in islam

The Hidden Secret

Translated by Abu Sabaya

“…We can prove the existence of this secret with tangible evidence from the words of those who do not believe in the Hereafter but who do believe in being active and energetic, and believe in the necessity of making good use of their time. We will present this only for the sake of knowledge and comparison, nothing else.

Many studies have been carried out regarding the subject of human potential and the extent and power of this potential, and this is a topic that we can all gain something from. Everyone who studies the human being and his hidden potential says that it is something quite extraordinary! The human – any human – has unbelievable hidden reserves of power and energy! Let’s take a normal person with an average level of intelligence. If we tap into his hidden potential, it is possible for this person to become from the greatest geniuses – greater than we can imagine – and it is possible for him to be from the greatest leaders in the world, and it is possible for him to be from the greatest authors in the world, and it is possible for him to be from the greatest scientists in the world.


They say that this potential is reserved and exists. However, it needs something to tap into it and bring it out.

For example, take the long distance swimming marathon race – and it is from the practices and innovations of Greek jahiliyyah and religion. They made it a religious ritual in which they race around the Alps, which they considered to be a holy mountain, saying that the gods live in these mountains. These are all false religious beliefs that have spread around the world since then. So, if the one who races ten or twenty kilometers runs out of energy and quits, the doctors who observe him will say that he still has hidden energy reserves until now – an natural, organic reserve of energy that is endless. This is indeed something amazing.

So, what is the proof for this?

They say that if someone who is in a race and becomes exhausted and quits suddenly encounters a hungry lion who is trying to eat him, he will get up and run away as fast as he can. So, subhan Allah! Where did he get this energy? Did it descend from the sky? They say that this is proof that these hidden reserves of energy exist, and it is possible for the racer to take advantage of them in the time he has left to win the race. The only limiting factor is the weakness of whatever is being used to tap these reserves and bring them out. If such a factor exists and is strong, these reserves will be accessed on a greater scale.

What if we were to apply this principle to the reality of the first generation – the Companions – and how they were?

They were regular bedouins, just like all of the Arabs. They included those from Quraysh – and they are a virtuous people – and those from Banu Tamim and Yemen, just like other people. However, when they believed and entered Islam, look at how their potential and abilities were tapped!

For example, look at ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud. He was a sheep herder on the outskirts of Makkah, and there have been thousands and millions of other sheep herders throughout history. However, when this herder and the other Companions believed and entered Islam, they became transformed into something amazing. He was from the most famous scholars of the city of Kufah in the Islamic state, which is famous all over the world. People would travel there from all over to visit ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud, the sheep herder! How was his potential tapped and how was his hidden power brought out?

So, the entire issue has to do with what it is that brings it out. This instigating factor would come to the Companions – and I ask Allah to grant us this in our hearts – and you would never see from them one who sought Paradise or was escaping from Hell sleeping.

One of the Salaf said: “Whenever I want to sleep, I would remember Paradise or Hell and jump up like someone who was crazy, and I’d be unable to sleep afterwards.” Subhan Allah, he would recite the Qur’an and pray, he would want to sit down, and he would suddenly remember an obligation he had of Jihad, enjoining the good and preventing the bad, etc. So, how can you make this a time to relax while for him it is a powerful instigator?

Praise Allah that this is the nature of the believer, as it can be the case that he is sleeping on his bed, has one of his brothers ask his help in something, and he then wakes up and becomes enthusiastic in fulfilling this task. It is as if he didn’t want to sleep in the first place and was instead looking for something to do, and he might even spend long hours doing whatever it is his brother asked of him. Here, we come to know the secret of the victories of the Companions, as all of their hidden potential was tapped. There is the Paradise, and you want to sleep. Suddenly, you remember the maidens and servants that are in it, just like the Companion said: “There is nothing between me and Paradise except for me to be killed.” So, he threw away some dates he was eating and entered the battlefield because this is Paradise, and the strongest instigator is for you to remember Paradise and go forth to do something, or for you to remember Hell and step back from doing something.

This is why the believer can turn away from the most intense, strongest, pressing desires, just as what happened with Prophet Yusuf. In fact, this happened to the man who was trapped in the cave when his cousin came and they were about to sleep together, and she said: “Fear Allah and do not break the seal unlawfully!” So, the fear of Allah came to him while his lust was thriving, and he left it all for Allah because this thing came to him that was stronger than every lust and stronger than every desire and stronger than every instigator. So, the person forgets everything and goes back to being strong and upright, and he uses this energy and power in something good.

One of the Salaf was very old, and he was very pious even in his old age. So, the people were amazed and said: “An old man who is able to maintain his piety to this level?” So, he replied: “I protected these limbs from what Allah had forbidden when I was young, and He protected them for me when I became old.” Amazing! The energy and potential is still there!

So, look at the potential that Allah has given us. Concentrate on it and you will find the most amazing things. However, this potential is like petroleum: if its owner leaves it to spill on the ground, nobody will gain anything from it. However, if he puts it in his car and starts the engine, the car will move with the permission of Allah…”

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Making People Feel Unworthy

Bismillah walhamdulillah

Would you be surprised to hear that there is such a thing as going to an extreme with Time Management? Well, there is.

One of the symptoms of it is that you make the people in your life feel unworthy of your time. They shy away from contacting you with legitimate concerns out of fear that they might be wasting your time.

You should be stingy with your time, but that “stinginess” means that you use it only to benefit yourself in this world and the aakhira (that includes benefiting others when you can). It doesn’t mean that you shun the masses entirely. You have to ask yourself, why are you trying to manage your time? For many, it is so that you can stop wasting time on useless matters, and spend your life in the service of Allah swt. One of the ways to serve Allah swt is that when your brother or sister is in a real need, and he or she contacts you for help, you put down what you are currently doing, and you help that person with whatever is in your capacity.

It is the time management that allows you to do this, because you have room for lee-way in your schedule when you cherish every minute. On the other hand, if you live life running from deadline to deadline, then when you are hit with something unexpected, things will come crashing down, and if someone contacts you for help at this time, you may not say it, but you’re thinking “Leave me alone! I can’t deal with this right now!”

Why don’t we just take a few minutes to ponder over Surah al-Asr, the whole thing:

By time,

Indeed, mankind is in loss,

Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.

Do you want to hear something interesting? The people that I know that engage in Time Management are actually the ones that are also the most reliable when I need to contact them for advice or help. Even though their schedule is packed, they somehow work you in and find a time to help you. May Allah SWT place barakah in our time. Ameen

waAllahu Alam

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A Day in the Life of a Scholar: Imaam Ibn Baaz

Just compare his day to your average day…subhanAllah. It’s difficult to complain that there is not “enough time,” and we don’t have “enough energy,” when you hear of how scholars like Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, and Imam an Nawawi, and Imaam Ibn Baaz, rahimahumullah, spent just one day.

A Day in the Life of a Scholar: Imaam Ibn Baaz

Shaikh Muhammad al-Musaa said, “Once when we were in Makkah, the Shaikh was called to participate in a da’wah gathering in Jeddah by someone dear to him, and he insisted that his eminence be present immediately after maghrib prayer, so the Shaikh said, ‘Good, inshaa Allaah.’

When the Shaikh prayed maghrib he felt it difficult upon himself to leave his established sitting with the people from maghrib to Ishaa, so he said, ‘We won’t go now and leave the people.  I have to sit with them up until Ishaa and tend to their needs and their demands,’ so he remained with them [in his house].

Then the mu’adhhin pronounced the call to prayer for ishaa and he went to the mosque, and delivered his regular [short] lesson before ishaa [i.e., between the iqaamah and the adhaan] and answered some questions.  Then he prayed ishaa and headed to Jeddah, and he was overjoyed and pleased at having sat with the people and not having left them behind.

[When he got to Jeddah] he listened to a detailed explanation of the da’wah project and its activities and then entered the lecture hall which was teeming with people and listened to all of the speeches and poetry that was read.  He then gave a lecture and after that had dinner and returned to Makkah.

On our way to Jeddah and back to Makkah, I, Dr. ash-Shuwai’ir, and the brother Saalih took turns to read to him, with not a single minute wasted.

When we got to his house in Makkah it was midnight and it was from the Shaikh’s habits to stand to pray the night prayer at about three in the morning.  He would always wake me and Shaikh Abdul-Aziz ibn Naasir, wake us for the night prayer so that we could have our share of [prayer during] the night.  So this time [it having been a long day] we were sure that he would not wake up and would leave us to sleep.  Yet the set time for him to stand to pray hadn’t come except that he was there waking us up to stand for the night prayer.

He continued to pray, and supplicate and recite until the call to prayer for fajr and then went to the mosque, the al-Qattaan mosque which was next to us, and this was before the Shaikh’s own mosque was built.

The Imaam was late and so Shaikh Ibn Baaz led us in prayer with a voice more beautiful and more humble than which you will not have heard.  When he gave salaam he turned to face the people and thanked Allaah and extolled Him and then gave them a talk.  Upon finishing he went home and we said, ‘The Shaikh is exhausted and has been up all night, maybe he will not sit after fajr.’

He went to his sitting room, put his scarf and hat to the side, sat down and said, ‘Bismillaah.  What do you have?’  So I started to read the requests/matters he had to deal with to him, and I could see comfort, energy and joy in him that would cause one to wonder in amazement. I carried on reading to him until 7:20 a.m. approximately,  and thought that he would thereafter have a long sleep, when instead he said, ‘Set the alarm clock for 8:20.’

So we woke him up at 8:20 a.m. and took him to Raabita al-Aalam al-Islaamiyyah to attend some lengthy symposiums and meetings.  He got home at his regular time of 2:30 pm.

We were all about to fall on our faces out of exhaustion and fatigue but we didn’t notice any of that on him.  May Allaah, the Most High, have mercy on him.”

Mawaaqif Mudee’ah, p. 149.

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Wasted Time by Ammar AlShukry

Wasted Time


Wasted Time
By Ammar AlShukry


Thinking about the time we waste

Holding onto the past a fading face

Afraid to love forward so while you’re waiting wait

For more of your life to pass while you stay in place

There are those that have problems they’re afraid to face

Use drugs and alcohol lay their brain to waste

I need my mind sharp so when I state my case

My venom is bitter so my spray they taste

It’s time to raise the gates

Cuz the people are tired and its way too late

For us to be appeased with a lil taste of cake

Born Muslim so I’ve tasted hate

War and genocide, sisters gave tasted rape

It’s bitterness countered only by the sweet taste of faith

Dreaming dreams of success long days away

So we need a generation that we pray awakes

And when you do we need you to stay awake

Cuz we seen too many an inferno have its blazes fade

In my mind I’m looking forward to amazing days

Where the hypocrites leave and the faithful stay

To take their place in a world where the stakes are raised

History is knocking, will you grace a page?

Paradise is waiting, will you case your place ?

Or will you be one of those who doesn’t know which way to take

Forever pausing and hesitating at the fates he waits

Until time passes him by, finally he fades untraced

Gaining neither of both worlds, a wasted fate..

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How to Sleep Early

When a sister contacts me for help about time management, assuming she contacted me via text or email, I immediately look at the time stamp on the message.

Woah…2 AM? Okay sis, there’s your problem.

I can’t remember a single time when they contacted me at a time like 7 PM. Why? Because, they don’t realize how bad their problem is until it is 2:30 AM and they are still awake, trying to get some work done or perhaps just wasting time. Their families are asleep, and they’re sitting at their desk pulling all-nighters.

The reason I bring this up is because something interesting about time-management is that it starts the night before. If you don’t sleep on time and wake up on time, then your day is not going to be as productive as it could have been. We’ve all heard of the phrase “getting up on the wrong side of the bed,” which basically indicates that something seemingly-insignificant that takes place in the morning can have a negative effect on the rest of your day. Similarly, every hour that you waste and then later try to “make-up for” by pushing your bedtime up an hour, will have an effect on you the next day.

Here are some steps in how to sleep early*:

  1. Acknowledge it is late.Seriously now, for most of the people who go to bed late it is mostly a problem of mentality. You look at the clock and think “2:00? Oh, no problem, I’ve still got plenty of time”. No, you don’t. When you make it a habit to go to bed way past midnight, your idea of late becomes an increasingly later hour. So, the next time you look at the clock and see it’s past 11:30 pm (or any time you’d consider ‘early’), abandon everything you were doing at that time and start hurrying to go to bed. The first step in starting to go to bed early is redefining your definition of “late.”
  2. Give yourself reasons for getting to bed earlier. One good incentive is recalling a time (or several) when your lateness in getting to bed had disastrous results: you overslept, didn’t get enough sleep, became sick, etc. Also, if you’re a habitual late-nighter (e.g. college student), this will give you a chance to see that rarest of natural phenomena: a sunrise! Staying up through the night to see the sunrise does not count!
  3. Determine what time you need to wake. The default answer to this is that you need to wake up for Salatul Fajr. If you want to wake up earlier than that, and get in a few rak’aat of Satul Tahajjud, then that is even better. Your wake-up time needs to be the same every day except for rare occasions. Weekends are not rare.
  4. Subtract 8 hours from the time you wake up. Determine how long it actually takes you to fall asleep. Don’t glance at the alarm clock constantly to test this, just think whether you lie in bed for what seems for hours, or does your head barely hit the pillow? If the first one is the case you should subtract one hour from the time you have. If your head barely hits the pillow you only need about five minutes in bed before your -8 hour time. If you’re somewhere in between 30 minutes should be a safe amount of time to be in bed before you need to fall asleep. If you sleep at 9 pm every night, you can wake up at 5 am and you will have completed 8 hours.
  5. Do something calming before bedtime. The computer may be calming but your brain naturally makes you sleepy when it is dark, so by staring at a screen you are keeping yourself alert and wide-awake for longer than you should. A shower is an excellent thing to do before bed. Make your activity a sort of habit. This helps. We know that it is from the sunnah to make wudoo’ before bed. This is very calming and it will help you fall asleep. Sisters, you can do this even when on your monthly cycle; I know one sister who does. Also, don’t forget your evening adhkar. What can be more calming and relaxing than some dhikr of Allah? After that maybe review some Qur’an, not out loud but quietly while moving your lips. Another thing that I like to do, that helps me fall asleep, is to imagine myself in one of the Gardens of Jannah, talking to Rasoolullah SAWS. :)
  6. Go to bed right when you start feeling tired. The best time to go to bed is when you can’t stop yawning and feel the need to just close your eyes and lay your head down. If you force yourself to stay awake, after this stage is over, you’ll have a slight headache because of tiredness, but stop feeling that urge to go to sleep, which makes you stay awake even more.
  7. Be strict about your bedtime. Force yourself to turn off the computer and TV before bed. By turning off the computer (not the monitor) you would have to wait for it to reboot and normally that is enough to persuade you to get off the computer. Throw the remote for your TV across the room or onto the floor (gently). Getting up to turn on the TV hardly seems worth it, huh? My suggestion is actually to work your way towards cutting TV out of your life. Besides the negative influence it will have on you as a Muslim, it is nothing but an extremely convenient and easy way to waste a whole time of time without ever realizing it. Computers also are not harmless, but if you are doing stuff of benefit, even then you must realize that you can continue your work in the morning, preferably in the time of barakah (the time that is blessed), and when you are nice and fresh.
  8. After you have been following a bed time for a week or so, if you are still tired or very unwilling to get up in the morning you may still owe yourself a few hours. Have you been taking advantage of the “sunnah nap?” This is a short nap you can take between Dhuhr and Asr. You can take one every day, and it will help you to recharge inshaa Allah.
  9. Reward yourself for your discipline.  Notice how much better you feel in your day-to-day life, in school, or at your job. If you’re getting somewhere around 8 hours of sleep per night, and at the right time, you’ll probably notice a dramatic increase in your physical and mental health.

*Source of the Steps: wikihow, edited and with my own comments in blue

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