“Allah said, ‘The son of Adam wrongs me for he curses Ad-Dahr (Time); though I am Ad-Dahr (Time). In My Hands are all things, and I cause the revolution of day and night’” (Al-Bukhari).
This hadith used to confuse me for many years until I asked one of my teachers for the meaning of the phrase ‘I am Time’ for I knew that Allah, Most High, is beyond time and does not resemble His creation. It was explained to me that the Arabs of the time of the Prophet (saw) were very proud people, especially proud of their strength, vitality, power, wealth and status. Since old age,and death would eventually erode all of these qualities they would grow despondent and curse time as they felt it ‘made them old’. Allah responded to this ignorant custom with this hadith qudsi, saying in effect, “I alone effect the changes in you (due to time).” Thus by cursing time, one is indirectly cursing Allah (just as one would be if you cursed destiny which is also only effected by Allah).
There is an immediate relevance to us here. Many a time, we find ourselves having a difficult situation or experiencing ‘one of those days’ where everything seemingly goes wrong. Sometimes, Shaytan overcomes us at such moments and we find ourselves thinking thoughts such as ‘Why does Allah create days like this?’. Na’uzu billah, such thoughts are like modern curses of time and we should guard against such words or thoughts. Indeed, if we contemplate the blessings of time in our times, there is much to be thankful for. Most readers of this article are living away from the many troubled Muslim lands where they are suffering carnage, warfare, famine, oppression or poverty.
How can we complain about lack of free time, when there are thousands of Muslims who have to spend their ‘free time’ searching for food, dodging bombs or just trying to survive? My wife attended a recent lecture by the famous modern muhaddith, Shaykh Mohammed Akram Nadwi, about women scholars in Islamic history (he’s researched thousands of them). When asked how they found time to do all their incredible studies of Hadith or Fiqh on top of their household duties, the shaykh explained that they were as busy as we were (indeed had to walk great distances without modern transport)and yet found time.
Women(and men) today are simply lazy compared to our great predecessors!
Alhamdulillah, we are blessed with ample time and modern conveniences to efficiently use it. Let’s increase this blessing by toiling hard to use it in ways most pleasing to Allah.