Exploiting time with good deeds

Since 2012-11-27

Explanation of Hadith number forty from the body of forty Nawawi Hadiths gathered by Imam Al-Nawawi




Praise be to Allah, and prayers and peace be upon the Master of Messengers, his household, and companions

This small message is an explanation of Hadith number forty from the body of forty Nawawi Hadiths gathered by Imam Al-Nawawi, may Allah have mercy on him, where Al-Hafiz ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali has fully explained the Hadith in his book called (The Collector of Science and Wise Sayings in Explaining Fifty Hadith From Comprehensive Talks), citing verses and Hadiths of the Prophet, using a lot of quotations from the words of the Prophet and his companions and their followers, so that his explanation is full of effective lessons. The house of Ibn Khuzaima deemed it necessary to publish this Message under the name (Prompting to Benefit from Times by Performing Good Deeds before Regretting It); so that people will benefit from it. We ask Allah that it will benefit Muslims, and that He may forgive us our sins and shortcomings, He is oft forgiving and Merciful.

Prompting to prepare for the Hereafter

Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with them both, said: "the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, grabbed my shoulder and said: Be in this world like a stranger or a passer-by, and Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with them both, used to say: "If you enter into the evening do not wait for the morning, and if you enter into the morning do not wait for the evening, and take from your health for your illness, and from your life for your death." [Narrator: Abdullah ibn Umar, in Sahih Al-Bukhari]

‹‹ أخذ رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بمنكبي فقال: ( كن في الدنيا كأنك غريب أو عابر سبيل ) . وكان ابن عمر يقول : إذا أمسيت فلا تنتظر الصباح ، وإذا أصبحت فلا تنتظر المساء ، وخذ من صحتك لمرضك ، ومن حياتك لموتك››
رواه البخاري

This Hadith is root of shortening our hope in this worldly life, and that the believer should not take this world as his homeland or abode, where to rest, but he should consider himself a traveler who prepare himself for leaving, as Allah the Almighty said: “O my people, this worldly life is only [temporary] enjoyment, and indeed, the Hereafter - that is the home of [permanent] settlement.” [Ghafir 40:39]

{يَا قَوْمِ إِنَّمَا هَذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا مَتَاعٌ وَإِنَّ الآخِرَةَ هِيَ دَارُ الْقَرَارِ}ِ
غافر: 39

Transliteration: Ya qawmi innama hathihi alhayatu alddunya mataAAun wainna alakhirata hiya daru alqarari

And the Prophet used to say: "what am I with the world? What have I to do with this worldly life? I and the world are like a traveler who stayed under a tree and then he has gone away and left it". [Narrator: Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, declared by Al-Albani as Hassan (good) Sahih (authentic)]


‹‹مالي وللدنيا ، ماأنا والدنيا ؟ إنما مثلي ومثل الدنيا كراكب ظل تحت شجرة ثم راح وتركها››
قال الألباني حسن صحيح

And Ali ibn Abi Talib used to say: "This worldly life has come with the intention of departing, and the Hereafter has come with the intention of staying, and each one of them has children, so be the children of the Hereafter, and do not be the children of this world, because today is work with no reckoning, but tomorrow is reckoning with no work."

Some wise man said: "I wonder about someone who ignores the Hereafter although it is coming to him, and who welcomes the worldly life although it is leaving him".

Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz said in his speech: "The world is not your House of settlement, Allah has ruled that it will perish, and that its people will strife, so, may Allah have mercy on you, make the best of this journey, And take a provision with you for the journey, and the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness)" (Al-Heliah (the ornament): 5 / 292)

The conditions of the believers in this world

If this world is not a place of settlement for the believer, then his status in it should be one of two case: either to be like an outsider resident in a foreign country, his main concern is to take supplies to return to his homeland, or to be like a traveler who is nothing like a resident, but in his nights and days is walking to reach his homeland, hence the Prophet, peace be upon him, recommended Ibn Umar to be in this world on either one of these two states.

The first: the believer considers himself a stranger in this world, to imagine the residence, but in a foreign country, his heart is not attached to this country, but his heart is hanging to his homeland which he is due to return to. Al-Hassan said: "The believer in this world is like a stranger, he does not panic from its chagrin, nor competes in to attain its riches; he has his concerns and people have theirs"

When Adam was created, he and his wife lived in paradise, then they were sent down from it, and were promised to return to it with their righteous offspring; the believer is always yearning for his first home.

Atta' Al-Sulaimi used to say in his supplications: "O Allah have mercy on my estrangement in this world, and have mercy on my loneliness in the grave, and have mercy on my status tomorrow between your hands" (Al-Heliah (the ornament): 6 / 217)

How well the words of Yahya ibn Mu'adh Al-Razi are: "The world is the wine of Satan, whoever gets drunk by it will not regain consciousness until he is in the camp of the dead, in a state of remorse with the losers."

The second: that the believer considers himself in this world as a non-resident traveler, but he is covering some stages of travel till the end of his journey, which is death. Whoever has such a state in this world must take provision for the journey, not to take provision for this worldly life, therefore, the Prophet recommended some of his companions that their share in this world be just like the provision of a traveler. Mohammed ibn Wasi' was asked: "How did you become?" He said: "What do you think of a man who travels every day a stage closer to the Hereafter?"

Prompting to profit from life time

Al-Hassan said: "you are but a collection of days; when a day passes by, some part of you passes by".

He also said: "O son of Adam, you are but between two mounts that drive you: the day drives you to the night and the night drives you to the day, until they drive you to the Hereafter."

Dawud Al-Ta'i said: "the day and night are stages taken by people, one by one, until they reach the end of their journey, so if you can take provision from each stage to the one that follows, then do so. Soon your journey will end, sooner than you think, so take provision for your journey and accomplish your affairs, it will be a sudden thing"

Some ancestor has written to a brother: "O Brother, you think that you are a resident, but you consistently walk, you are driven forward actively, death is heading towards you, and life is ending behind you, and what is spent from your life, will not come back to you."

Some wise men said: "How could someone be happy with this world when his day destroys his month, his month destroys his year, and his year destroys his life, and how could he be happy whose life leads him to his death?"

Al-Fadhil ibn Ayad said to a man: "How many years have you lived?" He said: "Sixty years," he said: "so it has been sixty years since you are walking to your Lord and you are about to reach Him," the man said: "then what can I do?" He said: "easy", he said: "What?" He said: "be righteous in the remainder of your life you will be forgiven for what has gone; if you commit evil in the rest of your life you will be reckoned for what has gone and for what is to come"

Some wise men said: "if nights and days were the mounts of someone, they will drive him even if he was reluctant."

Al-Hassan said: "night and day are fast in shortening lives, and bringing death closer"

Al-Auza'i wrote to a brother of his: "you are surrounded, and know that every day and night brings you close to death, so beware of Allah and standing between His hands, and let your last time with Him, and peace be with you."

Condemning high expectations and urging to shorten them

The commandment of Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with them both, is taken from the Hadith narrated by him, which includes the extreme of hope, and that if a man enters into the night he must not wait for the morning, and that if he enters into the morning he must not wait for the evening, but he must think that he may die before that. Al-Marwadhi said: "I said to Abu Abdullah –he meant Ahmed– what is worldly asceticism?" He said: "shortening of hope, whoever enters into the morning says I will not survive till the night."

When Mohammed ibn Wasi' wanted to go to sleep, he used to say to his family: "Farewell, it might be my death and that I may not wake up again," which was his practice whenever he wanted to go to sleep. Bakr Al-Muzani said: "if anyone of you could not go to sleep unless his will is written and kept under his head, let him do that; because he would not know, he might go to sleep alive and enters the morning dead."

'Aoun ibn Abdullah said: "he does not understand the essence of death who thinks it is tomorrow (not now) which is for it". Bakr Al-Muzani said: "If you want your prayers to be beneficial for you, say: I might not pray another one but this, which is taken from the Prophet's saying: "Pray the prayer of a dead man (i.e. as if you will have no chance to pray again)" [Narrator: Abdullah ibn Umar, authenticated by al-Albani as Sahih]


‹‹صل صلاة مودع››
صحيح الألباني

Encourage the exploitation of the days of life in good deeds

His saying: "Take from your health to your time of illness, and from your life for your death", which means: grab the opportunity to do good deeds when you are healthy before illness prevents you from doing them, and when you are alive before death comes in-between you and doing good deeds." the meaning of this commandment was narrated about the Prophet: "There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good." [Narrator: Abdullah ibn Abbas, in Sahih Al-Bukhari]


‹‹نعمتان مغبون فيهما كثير من الناس: الصحة والفراغ››
رواه البخاري

And Ibn Abbas narrated that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said to a man preaching him: "seize five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before your being busy, and your life before your death" [Narrator: Abdullah ibn Abbas, authenticated by al-Albani as Sahih]

‹‹اغتنم خمسا قبل خمس: شبابك قبل هرمك ، وصحتك قبل سقمك ، وغناك قبل فقرك ، وفراغك قبل شغلك ، وحياتك قبل موتك››
صحيح الألباني

Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet said: "Hasten to do good deeds before six things happen: the rising of the sun from the west, the smoke, the Dajjal, the beast and the death of one of you or the general turmoil." [Narrator: Abu Huraira, in Sahih Muslim]

‹‹بادروا بالأعمال ستًا: طلوع الشمس من مغربها، أو الدخان، أو الدجال، أو الدابة، أو خاصة أحدكم، أو أمر العامة››
رواه مسلم

It is futile to do any deeds after the appearance of some of these things as Allah the Almighty said: “The Day that some of the signs of your Lord will come no soul will benefit from its faith as long as it had not believed before or had earned through its faith some good.” [Al-An'am 6:158]

{يَوْمَ يَأْتِي بَعْضُ آيَاتِ رَبِّكَ لا يَنْفَعُ نَفْسًا إِيمَانُهَا لَمْ تَكُنْ آمَنَتْ مِنْ قَبْلُ أَوْ كَسَبَتْ فِي إِيمَانِهَا خَيْرًا}
الأنعام: 158

Transliteration: yawma yatee baAAdu ayati rabbika la yanfaAAu nafsan eemanuha lam takun amanat min qablu aw kasabat fee eemaniha khayran

Abu Huraira (in the Two Sahih: Bukhari and Muslim) narrated that the Prophet said: The Hour will not be established until the sun rises from the west; and when the people see it, then whoever will be living on the surface of the earth, will have faith, and that is (the time) when {no soul will benefit from its faith as long as it had not believed before}" [Narrator: Abu Huraira, in Sahih Al-Bukhari]


‹‹لا تقوم الساعة حتى تطلع الشمس من مغربها ، فإذا رآها الناس آمن من عليها ، فذاك حين: {لَا يَنفَعُ نَفْسًا إِيمَانُهَا لَمْ تَكُنْ آمَنَتْ مِن قَبْلُ} ››
رواه البخاري

Abu Huraira also narrated that the Prophet said: "When the following three signs appear, no good will it do to a person to believe then if he believed not before: The rising of the sun from the west, the coming of Al-Masîh Ad-Dajjal, the coming out of the Dâbbat-ul-Ard (i.e. a beast from the earth)." [Narrator: Abu Huraira, in Sahih Muslim]

‹‹ثلاث إذا خرجن ، لا ينفع نفسا إيمانها لم تكن آمنت من قبل أو كسبت في إيمانها خيرا: طلوع الشمس من مغربها. والدجال. ودابة الأرض››
رواه مسلم

So the duty of the believers is to take the initiative to do good deeds before they would fail to do so, either because of illness or death, or before they witness some of the signs after which none of their deeds will be accepted.

Abu Hazim said: "The merchandise of the Hereafter is stagnant and is about to be spent; nothing of it whether little or much reaches us. Whenever something stands between a man and doing good deeds, nothing will be left him but only grief and regret, he wishes to return back to a state where he can do good deeds, but alas the wishing will do him no good."

Allah the Almighty: “And return [in repentance] to your Lord and submit to Him before the punishment comes upon you; then you will not be helped. (54) And follow the best of what was revealed to you from your Lord before the punishment comes upon you suddenly while you do not perceive, (55) Lest a soul should say, "Oh [how great is] my regret over what I neglected in regard to Allah and that I was among the mockers." (56) Or [lest] it say, "If only Allah had guided me, I would have been among the righteous." (57) Or [lest] it say when it sees the punishment, "If only I had another turn so I could be among the doers of good."” [Az-Zumar 39:54-58]


{وَأَنِيبُوا إِلَى رَبِّكُمْ وَأَسْلِمُوا لَهُ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ يَأْتِيَكُمُ الْعَذَابُ ثُمَّ لا تُنْصَرُونَ (54) وَاتَّبِعُوا أَحْسَنَ مَا أُنْـزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ يَأْتِيَكُمُ الْعَذَابُ بَغْتَةً وَأَنْتُمْ لا تَشْعُرُونَ (55)أَنْ تَقُولَ نَفْسٌ يَا حَسْرَتَا عَلَى مَا فَرَّطْتُ فِي جَنْبِ اللَّهِ وَإِنْ كُنْتُ لَمِنَ السَّاخِرِينَ (56) أَوْ تَقُولَ لَوْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ هَدَانِي لَكُنْتُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ (57) أَوْ تَقُولَ حِينَ تَرَى الْعَذَابَ لَوْ أَنَّ لِي كَرَّةً فَأَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ}
الزمر: 54-58

Transliteration: Waaneeboo ila rabbikum waaslimoo lahu min qabli an yatiyakumu alAAathabu thumma la tunsaroona (54) WaittabiAAoo ahsana ma onzila ilaykum min rabbikum min qabli an yatiyakumu alAAathabu baghtatan waantum la tashAAuroona (55) An taqoola nafsun ya hasrata AAala ma farrattu fee janbi Allahi wain kuntu lamina alssakhireena (56) Aw taqoola law anna Allaha hadanee lakuntu mina almuttaqeena (57) Aw taqoola heena tara alAAathaba law anna lee karratan faakoona mina almuhsineena

And “[For such is the state of the disbelievers], until, when death comes to one of them, he says, "My Lord, send me back (99) That I might do righteousness in that which I left behind." No! It is only a word he is saying; and behind them is a barrier until the Day they are resurrected.” [Al-Mu'minun 23:99-100]


{حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ رَبِّ ارْجِعُونِ (99) لَعَلِّي أَعْمَلُ صَالِحًا فِيمَا تَرَكْتُ كَلا إِنَّهَا كَلِمَةٌ هُوَ قَائِلُهَا وَمِنْ وَرَائِهِمْ بَرْزَخٌ إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ}
المؤمنون: 99-100

Transliteration: Hatta itha jaa ahadahumu almawtu qala rabbi irjiAAooni (99) LaAAallee aAAmalu salihan feema taraktu kalla innaha kalimatun huwa qailuha wamin waraihim barzakhun ila yawmi yubAAathoona

Peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad and his household and companions


Dar Ibn Khuzaimah

Translated by
Wathakker.info website

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