As we all know, Allah has created mankind for a specific purpose. This is solely for His worship and that we single Him out in this worship. Allah did not create us so that we become teachers, doctors, lawyers, politicians, mothers, fathers or any other thing that you could possibly think mention. Rather theses are all things that Allah has blessed us with to aide us in living our lives and aiding the religion of Islam.
Allah has also given us things to make easy on us this worship. He has blessed some people with some things out of His wisdom and held them from others, also out of His infinite wisdom. Some of His blessings He has made permanent, and will stay with His slaves all throughout their lives. Yet, there are some blessings that will fade away at different times of their lives. This is the point of this particular article. We want to take a minute and point out some of these things, so that we take notice of them and begin using them before they begin to fade away and disappear.
When trying to figure out what some of these things are, the best place to look, as we all know, is the Book of Allah and in the Sunnah of The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him). When we do this, we find many great pieces of advice that are much like the hadeeth that we would like to discuss briefly today. If we look at the advise of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) here;
:عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ
:قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لِرَجُلٍ وَهُوَ يَعِظُهُ
” اغْتَنِمْ خَمْسًا قَبْلَ خَمْسٍ , شَبَابَكَ قَبْلَ هَرَمِكَ , وَصِحَّتَكَ قَبْلَ سَقَمِكَ , وَغِنَاكَ قَبْلَ فَقْرِكَ , وَفَرَاغَكَ قَبْلَ شُغُلُكَ , وَحَيَاتَكَ قَبْلَ مَوْتِكَ”
رواه الإمام المنذي و صححه الالباني
On the authority of Ibn Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him):
The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) said to a man while advising him:
“Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your time of sickness, your riches before your poverty, your spare time before you become busy and your life before your death.”
Related by Imaam Al Mundhari and Declared authentic by Sheikh al Albaani
It was from the concern of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) for his companions (may Allah be pleased with all of them) specifically and the Ummah in general, that he used to give pieces of advice that would aide in their success in both this life, as well as the next. We see here, that he pointed out that there are certain blessings that are not going to be there for ever. He explained that these are major blessings that we should take advantage of before the disappear. These blessings can possibly make it easy, by the permission of Allah, that we can do what it takes to gain the pleasure of Allah, His pardon and entrance into His reward for the believers.
In your youth, you will find that you have the strength, energy, desire and ability to accomplish much more, generally, than you do when old age reaches you. There are with out a doubt some exceptions to this, but generally this is how is it for most people. So the Muslim who understands that his life began at a time and will end at a specified time, and then their eternity will begin, will take care of doing everything possible to prepare for this. They will use the energy and extra strength that they have in their youth to send forth as much good as possible before they get to a situation where the energy and strength begins to fade.
The issue of taking advantage of your health before you become sick is not one that needs much discussion. Rather, it is understood that when and individual is healthy they are capable of doing much more than when sickness sets in. Again though, many times people do not take advantage of their healthy days as though they think that they will remain like this forever. The one that wants to gain Allah’s reward though, will take advantage of this time, realizing that at anytime this good health could be taken from us, and we be in a situation that we can not take care of ourselves, let alone performing other good deeds to be rewarded for on the day of judgement.
An individual that Allah has blessed with wealth is in a great situation. Many people for some reason think that is is bad for a Muslim to have wealth, but this is not true. There were many very well off companions of the Prophet (). What would be bad is what an individual does with this wealth, by wasting it and using it in manners that are displeasing to Allah. Someone that has wealth can do things with it that one who has no wealth could ever do. They could do things like build masaajid, open schools, hospitals, shelters, food kitchens for the homeless and the list goes on. So for those of you that Allah has blessed with wealth, use it for ways that will truly benefit you before you wake up one day and it is gone.
Another blessing that many do not think to take advantage of, is that of spare time. Now, sit back and think of all the spare time that you have had in the last month, or even week. Look at all the time that you did not take advantage of, in which you could have been earning reward by doing simple and easy things like glorifying Allah, exalting Allah or reading the Quran. These are things that do not take much effort at all. You could have made a couple units of prayer and sent forth good deeds to be waiting for you on that day you will need all the good deeds you could possibly obtain. But instead, some people sit around doing nothing, or worse, doing things that will add to our list of bad deeds. We need to make sure that we begin to use the free-time wisely, because there are many of us that know too well what being busy is like. There is no time for the extra prayers, studies and other acts of worship during these busy times of our lives. Doing these things along with that which we are busy with can be difficult. This is why it’s so important that we take advantage of our free-time before we become too busy.
Lastly, we have to take advantage of our life before our death. During the course of your lifetime you have a lot of opportunity to earn good deeds. You have ample time to send forth those things that will put you in good standing with Allah on that day. Death cuts all of that off. Once we die, there are no more chances for you to work on making your scales heavy with good deeds. There are no more chances to ask for forgiveness or pardon. The path is cut off, and there is no returning to do a better job. Therefore, we must take as much advantage of our lives to gain Allah’s pleasure before death comes and ends this opportunity.
In conclusion, we must look at these blessings for what they are. We must begin to use them while they exist before they are not longer there and we do not have access to them. Unfortunately so many Muslims do not realize the benefits of these blessings until it’s too late. By this time, it is too late to take advantage of them, and they will have missed out on so much good. May Allah protect us from being negligent of His blessings and write us down with those that not only take full advantage of His blessings, but as well are thankful for them. Allahuma ameen.