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Seize Time, Hasten Your Good Deed: The Journey’s Seventh Step

(Ibn Ata’s Words of Wisdom: Part 8)

“Postponing good deeds until you have free time is an indication of an immature soul.”

Sometimes we postpone the good that we need to do and we have an intention to do, and we say that: “Well, I will do that tomorrow, next week, next month, next Ramadan, when I get a job, when I get married, when I get a promotion, when I retire…” Any of the landmarks in my life that I put as a timing for doing the good deeds.

The sheikh here is saying that this is immature. And if you have an intention to do a good deed, then you go and do it right away; otherwise, your soul is an immature soul.

This is inspired by the hadith of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) warning the believers from saying: “I will… next time…, or I’m postponing this for the future.”

Hasten the Good Intention

And it is inspired by the verses in the Quran in which Allah Almighty is asking us to:

Hasten towards the forgiveness from Allah and the Paradise that is as wide as heavens and earth prepared for the righteous. (The Quran, 3:133)

The other verse is saying:

Race towards Allah.

So Allah Almighty and Prophet Muhammad are teaching us to hasten when we have a good intention, not to postpone what we would like to do.

Procrastination is unacceptable and is eventually regrettable. Every believer should seize time and should make the best out of the time that they’re allowed in their lives.

Good Time Management

It’s very important to be efficient with your time. And it’s very important to time manage as you journey to Allah Almighty.

It’s not only important for organizing the worldly life: You wake up in the morning and you have a schedule for your day, you probably have a schedule for your week, and your month, and you have a calendar… It’s very important to have a calendar with Allah as well.

What are you going to do before Ramadan or during Ramadan?

What am I going to do tonight or this evening?

When am I going to give this charity?

And I should not postpone the good deeds that I have intention to do because that is immature, as the sheikh is teaching us here.

A major component of time management is to set priorities, is to ask myself, ‘what is more prior in what I’m intending to do?’ And to take the highest priority and go ahead and do it, and to avoid and not to waste time with the least priority.

The top objective is actually to please Allah Almighty and to come closer to Him. A believer should spend their time pleasing Allah and should not postpone what they have to do.

The postponement and the procrastination hinders you from the next step towards Allah Almighty, which is a step of realizing your will and your intention.

Don’t Postpone a Good Deed

When you have a good intention and you have an opportunity to serve Allah Almighty and His deen, then just go ahead and do it. And don’t postpone because this is a sign of immaturity.

People in this life, later in their lives and in the Hereafter might regret the time that they wasted. We have many examples in the Quran for stories of that. And to avoid that regret is to simply go ahead and do what you intend to do that pleases Allah and fulfill the highest priority in that and not to procrastinate or waste time.

This is the seventh step in the journey.

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About Dr. Jasser Auda

Jasser Auda is a Professor and Al-Shatibi Chair of Maqasid Studies at the International Peace College South Africa, the Executive Director of the Maqasid Institute, a global think tank based in London, and a Visiting Professor of Islamic Law at Carleton University in Canada. He is a Founding and Board Member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, Fellow of the Islamic Fiqh Academy of India, and General Secretary of Yaqazat Feker, a popular youth organization in Egypt. He has a PhD in the philosophy of Islamic law from University of Wales in the UK, and a PhD in systems analysis from University of Waterloo in Canada. Early in his life, he memorized the Quran and studied Fiqh, Usul and Hadith in the halaqas of Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo. He previously worked as: Founding Director of the Maqasid Center in the Philosophy of Islamic Law in London; Founding Deputy Director of the Center for Islamic Ethics in Doha; professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada, Alexandria University in Egypt, Islamic University of Novi Pazar in Sanjaq, Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, and the American University of Sharjah. He lectured and trained on Islam, its law, spirituality and ethics in dozens of other universities and organizations around the world. He wrote 25 books in Arabic and English, some of which were translated to 25 languages.

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