Rasulullah SAW asked us to hurry up with the good deeds, and this has been reported numerous times with variations:
Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Hasten to do good deeds before you are overtaken by one of the seven afflictions.” Then (giving a warning) he said: “Are you waiting for poverty which will make you unmindful of devotion, or prosperity which will make you corrupt, or a disease which will disable you, or senility which will make you mentally unstable, or sudden death which will take you all of a sudden, or Ad-Dajjal who is the worst expected, or the Hour; and the Hour will be most grievous and most bitter.” (At-Tirmidhi).
Don't drag your feet any longer! Otherwise, one of the seven elements will overtake you.
Today, we keep delaying and making excuses. Waiting to finish school, graduate from college, get a job, get married, wait for the children to grow up, wait until retirement. And after retirement, how many spend their free time on hobbies, desires and raising the grandchildren, so the cycle continues, and we claim we have no time. We allow ourselves to be utilised as Shaitan's tools for procrastination, until the best part of our lives have passed us by.
Wherever you are in life, what are your priorities? Parents can hang about patiently all afternoon waiting for their children to finish their extra classes. Those dedicated to work are willing to stay up all night and skip meals in order to ensure that their work is delivered flawlessly and within the deadline. A mother can send her child for one activity after another but has no time to do some community work in between the school runs.
When it comes to something we truly desire, nothing is insurmountable. We would be willing to shuffle our efforts, finances and time to achieve our goals – but only if it means enough to us.
Right now, all our souls are hanging in the balance. None of us knows where we are headed after we die. So, our highest priority should be akhirah. Every Muslim knows this, but does that match how we are spending our lives? Even if our time was filled with chasing the necessities to survive, how do we fill whatever precious spare leftover time? Some people cannot live without the television or turning the music on. Some others are engrossed in jigsaw puzzles, chess and irrelevant You Tube videos, which fill up hours of their time and utilise all their concentration. None of these make us better persons in dunia. What of these activities lead us to a good akhirah?
I met a man who meticulously recorded his schedules and to do lists for his job. One day, he realised that he did not maintain a similar system for akhirah. Upset with himself, he bought an elegant table which he placed by his front door. He put a notebook on this table, in which he recorded his daily plan for achieving success in the akhirah. Can we be as systematic and focused?
When we are in school, we behave well, do our homework, try to be the best and try to please our teachers and friends. At work, we obey our manager, and laugh at the client's jokes even if they are not funny. We do not question the decisions of those in authority and obey the most ridiculous commands and work ethics without complaint. We even breach the lines of halal and haram just to impress and gain the approval of others. We give an enormous amount of respect, commitment, manner, priority of time, even if we are ill, to our bosses. When it comes to the earnings of dunia, we behave impeccably. Why? It is because we have faith in the salary, and we believe that our good reputation in the market will increase our status in life. We want to be acknowledged and praised.
So how come we cannot stretch ourselves this way for Allah? We only see the rewards of dunia and are not patient enough to wait for our eternal rewards. We adopt the attitude that if something is unseen, it does not exist and not worth putting any effort for. We accept Allah's bounties – forgiveness, protection, mercy, and guidance – without appreciation or gratitude, and without doing our part by showing obedience and gratitude.
Don't we hate it when others feel entitled towards us? But why do we behave with the same attitude of entitlement with Allah?
We prefer to please the wrong people under the wrong conditions because something is wrong with our belief. We believe in the people over Allah. Shaitan has masked us and we cannot see the reality of Allah, and the Owner of the truth.
Be sincere – the reality of the journey as a Muslim is to submit to Allah. The submission is a fruit of our thoughts and desires, goal in life and the anticipation of death and beyond.
Digest what you have just read, and slow down. Your journey will end either with the pleasure or wrath of Allah, so make sure you behave with caution.