IN THE NAME OF ALLAH THE MOST BENEFICENT THE MOST MERCIFUL
BEING THE FIFTH SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF DHUL HIJJAH 29TH/ DHUL HIJJAH 1440 AH (30TH AUGUST, 2019 CE)
THE VALUE AND IMPORTANCE OF TIME IN LIFE
All praises are due to Allah, the Lord of the Universe, who says in His secure Revelation “(1. I swear) by time. 2. Indeed, mankind is in loss. 3. Except those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to te Truth and advised each other to patience” – al-Asr:1-3.
We praise Him, the Perfect and Most Exalted, we give thanks to Him, we believe in Him and put our complete trust in Him. We seek refuge with Him from the evils of our souls and our misdeeds. Whoever Allah has guided is the one that is indeed guided and nobody can lead such astray. And whoever is led astray, then for such, there is no helper/protector that can guide him. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. He is One and has no partner. I testify also that Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him) is Allah’s slave and messenger, who sais in his noble speech: “…The Hour (Day of Judgement) will not come until time passes quickly, such that a year seems like one month, a month seems like one Jumuah (to another), and one jumuah (to another) seems like one day, one day seems like one hour, and an hour seems like the burning of a braid of pal leaves with fire.” (Al-Tirmidiyy). Oh Allah! Let you Benedictions and Peace and Blessings be on him and his household, his companions and on all those that follow them in goodness till the day of Judgement.
Thereafter… Oh servants of Allah! I enjoin you and myself with the fear of Allah, the Most High and Majestic, as this is the goal of all desired rites and all acts of (seeking) closeness to Allah in the pure (uncorrupted) religion, in truth with the words of Allah, the Exalted: ““…Verily Allah accept (the good deeds) only from those who are pious”. – (Al-Maaidah: 27).
Brothers in faith, this is the last meeting (Jumuah) in this blessed year. We ask Allah to make the coming crescent of Muharram come upon us in safety and faith, and make the (coming year) better for us than the last.
Brothers in faith, our talk today shall be aboutone of the favours of Allah Ta’alah, for its importance in the life of the individual and the society. Behold! It is time. Time has an important value in the life of man. It differentiates the night and day, and it is what makes days, months and other periods passes by. The sun and the galaxies move with time. There’s no gainsaying that man must take great care of his time much more than he cares for his property. It is thus said that: ‘The loss of time is more painful than the loss of property because property can be recovered’. Others said: ‘Time is life’.
The Concern for Time in the Qur’aan and Sunnah
The Qur’aan and the sunnah is concerned with ‘Time’ in various respects and with a number of chapters. At the heart of this concern is the (clear) expression of the importance of time and the greatness of the favour of Allah in it (time). Allah said: “And He has subjected the sun and the moon to you, both constantly in their courses. And He has made the night and day subject to you. And He gave you all that you asked for, and if you count the favours of Allah, you will never be able to count them.” (Ibraahim: 33-34). In order to further state the importance of time, Allah, the Exalted swore with time in the opening of a number of chapters in the Qur’aan. He swore with the night, the day, the dawn, the forenoon and with the evening, like (we find) in His word such as: “And by the Forenoon and the Night when it darkens”, “By the Dawn and the ten Nights”. It is known by muslims that when Allah the most Exalted swears with any of His creatures, it calls their attention to the importance and the effects of that thing.
Allah made the night to cover the day and the day to cover the night, so anyone that misses a good deed in either of them can try to achieve it in the other. Allah , the most Exalted said: “And it is He who has made the night and the day in succession for whoever wants to remember or wants to be grateful” (Al-Furqaan:62).
The Sunnah too emphasizes the importance of ‘Time’ and harps on the questioning of people about it before Allah on the Day of Resurrection, including four fundamnetal questions that is put to all the eligible persons, two of which are particularly about time. Mu’aadh bn Jabal repoerted from the prophet (May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him) that he said: “No servant (of Allah) would move a foot until he has been asked things: about his life, on what he spent it; how he used his youthful age; how he gathered his wealth and on what he spent it; and about his knowledge and what work he did with it”. (Al-Tabaraani).
So, people will be asked about thier life in general and about their youthful age in particular. Youthful age is a part of ones life, but it has a peculiar value considering that it is the lively energetic years as well years of purposefulness and determination. It is the stage of strength between two (stages) of weakness: the weakness of infancy and the weakness of old age. Allah the most Exalted said: “Allah is the one who created you from weakness, and the made strength (for you) after weakness, then made weakness and white hair after strength…” (Ar-Ruum:54).
The Special Features of Time
Time has certain special characteristics that are peculiar to it. We need to be well aware of them and then relate with it in that light.
1. Its Quick Passage:Time moves like the clouds and passes like the wind regardless of whether it is easy and pleasant time or difficult and depressing period. The days of joys (seem to) move more quickly while the days of worries pass slowly and slugishly not really but in the feeling and sense of the concerned person. No matter the longevity of a person in this life, it is really short so long as death is the end of it! A poet said:
If the end of life is death…then it does not matter whether life is short or long.
At the time of death, all the years and decades that a person lived are shrunk until they are like passing moments like rapid lightening flashes. Thus it is said in a story that when the angel of death came to prophet Nuh (AS) to take his soul. Nuh (AS), who was the longest-living of all the prophets, when he was asked: ‘how did you see life?’ He said: “It is like a house that has two doors, I entered from one and went out from the other”. Allah , the most Exalted said: “It will be , on the Day they see it, as though they had not remained (in the world) except for an afternoon or a morning thereof”. (An-Nazi’aat:46).
2. Whatever has passed (of time) does not return and cannot be recovered: Every day passes and every hour fades away, every moment passes with no possibility of returning them or recovering (regaining) them. Hassan al-Basriy said: “There is no day you breathe its air at dawn except that a caller calls: Oh you son of Aadam! I ama new creation and a witness upon you deeds. Make provision from me (now) because if a pass away, I will not come back until the Day of Resurrection”. Imaam Aliy Zaynul-’Aabideen said regarding the words of Hassan Al-Basriy: “This his words are like the words of the prophets”.
When a man reaches old age, he wishes he could bring back the days of his youth again but that is impossible and absolutely out of the question! When days and night pass and people sleep and wake up, they move farther away from (this) life and closer to the grave.
3. It is the most precious of man’s possession: Time indeed is the most precious of mankind’s possession to the extent that it is the space (container) for all that he does. It is in reality the chief (most important) property of an individual or even the society. Time really is not only golden as it is said in the popular adage, it is really more expensive than gold and pearl and diamond and all precious essential jewels and precious stones. It is indeed as it is said by Shahid Hassan Al-Banaa: “It is life”. What is the man’s life other than time, from the hour when he is born until the time (hour) of (his) death. Hassan Al-Basriy said: “Oh son of Aadam! You are only a collection of days, everytime a day goes by, a part of you goes!”.
Any day that a person does not increase his good deeds is a loss for him. (Abdullah) bn Mas’uud said: “I do not regret anything like I regret any day that its sun sets, reducing my lifespan and I do not increase my (good) work in it”.
Whoever is ignorant of the value of time today will regret his ignorance tomorrow in two situations: when life goes round and he approaches his death and wishes he is given a respite in time and delayed for a short time to make amends on his misconducts, and he realizes that it is late! Allah, the most Exalted said: “Oh you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. And whoever does that, then those are the losers. And spend (in the way of Allah) from what we have provided for you before death approaches one of you and he says, ‘My Lord, if only You would delay me for a brief term so I would give charity and be of the righteous. But Allah will never delay a soul when its time has come. And Allah is aware of what you do”. (Al-Munaafiqun: 9-11).
Similarly, he regrets in te second situation on the Day of Accountability when evry soul is given recompense for what they had done, rewarded for what they had earned, and the people of Paradise enters it and the people of the Fire enters it. There, the people of the Fire will wish that they are returned one more time to life, when the time (period) of work has ended and time of reward has come. “…And they will cry out therein, ‘Our Lord, remove us! We will do righteous deeds other than what we used to do’. But did we not grant you life enough for whosoever would remember therein to (do) remember, and the warner came to you? So taste (the punishment), there is no helper for wrongdoers”. (Al-Faatir: 37).
It is imperative that people organize their time between their different tasks and activities, be it religious or worldly matters, so that his days are not all the same and some part of it or some activities or tasks dominates over others or uminmportant tasks overrides the important ones or the important ones dominates the more important ones or those that are not time-bound given priority over those that are time-bound. Those that are urgent should be prioritized over those that are not, and those that have deadline should be done within the time.
The prophet (May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him) narrated from the Scroll of Ibrahim (AS): “It is expected that for reasonable person to have four time periods – a time he worship his Lord therein; a time for self-assessment; a time for reflecting on the work of Allah, the High and Majestic; and a time he dedicates to seeking his sustenance (basic needs for food and drink)”.
Busy people with great responsibilities are more in need of organizing their time more as the responsibilities they have contend for attention and they realize the work is more than the time.
I have said all these, I seek Allah’s forgiveness for me and for you.
THE SECOND SERMON
Praise be to Allah, May the peace and blessing be upon the noblest of the prophets, Muhammad, his households, companions and those following them with righteousness till the day of recompense. Allah SWT says in the noble Quran: “Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous [who fear Him].” (9: 36)
Brethren in faith,
Allah has chosen friends among His creatures. He chose messengers among His angels and men, He chose His remembrance among His words, chose mosques on land,Chose Ramadan and sacred months among months,, chose Friday among days and night of majesty among night. Oh dear servants of Allah magnify what Allah has magnified.
These months are named sacred months because of two things:
1. Allah forbids killing and fighting among man in them in order for man to travel and perform hajj, out of His mercy. “They ask you about the sacred month – about fighting therein. Say, “Fighting therein is great [sin].” (Surat baqarah 217)
2. The months are called sacred in order to magnify committing sins therein in comparison to other months, and magnifying obedience and righteous deeds in them.
The Arabs met the act of magnifying these sacred months from the religion of Prophet Ibrahim and they continue to magnify it, forbid fighting and killing therein.
Among the sanctity of these months is that deeds are rewarded in manifolds, good for good and evil for evil, Allah says: “ so do not wrong yourselves during them.” (surat Tawbah 36.) Zulm mentioned in the verse includes all sins, minor or major, neglecting responsibilities and engaging in the forbidding acts. Abdullah Bn Abbas RTA said : “Guard your souls in them (sacred months) shun sins because righteousness deeds are rewarded in manifolds in them and wrong doings are punished in them in manifolds”.
Qatadah said: Righteous deeds and great reward are in the sacred months, so also sin and wrong doing is greater than in any other month although wrong doing/zulm is evil in every month, Allah magnifies what ever He likes.
Dear listeners, Allah commanded us to magnify the sacred months and among the acts of magnifying it include:
1. Increasing in fasting because the Prophet SAW was reported to have said: The best solah after the five daily compulsory solah is the solah observed in the mid of the night and the best fasting after Ramadan is the fast in the month of Allah called Muharram.” (Muslim)
Being keen of engaging in righteous deeds because these sacred months consist of ibadah not in any other months such as Hajj, the nights Allah swore with, the day of Arafah and the day of sacrifice (Eid ul Adha).
Part of the ways of magnifying these months is to have a strong determination to engage in sincere repentance and strong desires to enliven these months in acts of righteousness in the month.
Lastly, we are also expected to magnify these month by shunning all types of zulm (wrong doing) because Allah says, “so do not wrong yourselves during them.” (9: 36)
Oh people, we heard about the demolition of the Trans Amadi central mosque in Port Harcourt. It is known by people that this mosque is a centre of Islamic activities in Port Harcourt for the Muslim minorities. We could recollect vividly that Governor Wike of Rivers State had declared the state as a Christian state and that the Muslims have no religious nor social stake therein! Great indeed is the statement they utter from their mouths. Definitely, Gov Wike has wronged the Rivers states’ Muslims in particular and the entire Muslims in general. We leave Gov Wike and his aides and supporters to Allah and to the Federal Government for justice.