All praise is due to Allah ﷻ the Creator of the heavens and the earth and everything in them. We praise Allah ﷻ for allowing us to enter yet another season. Summer! Allah ﷻ created everything in pairs and one must simply reflect on this beautiful miracle of Allah. Allah ﷻ plans and does everything for a reason. In fact, it’s very strategic that Allah ﷻ has given us different seasons. If we did not experience the cold, we would not truly appreciate the heat. This concept pertains not just to the external environment, but internally as well. Our faith fluctuates as well. The more active or progressive we are with our faith the more it will increase, and the less proactive we are the more our faith will decrease. Again, without those moments of low faith we would not truly appreciate all the times our faith was high and strong. Allah gives us this beautiful balance for our own good and reflecting upon it alone is a means of allowing our faith to increase.
Summertime is right around the corner, fun long days in the sun, bonfires at night, and good ol’ BBQs. But does it end there? Does the summer play a role in our faith? We as Muslims take every opportunity as a means of getting closer to Allah ﷻ. The biggest opportunity many of us are given in this season is time. Many are off school, work hours may shift, etc. How can we be sure to take advantage of all the free time we will have? Our beloved Prophet (SAW) said about time: “There are two blessings in which many people incur loss. (They are) health and free time (for doing good)”. Time and Health are indeed taken for granted. We truly don’t appreciate them unless they are taken from us. It’s essential as Muslims that we try to change before we need a wakeup call, because we never know when our end time is. Oftentimes what happens in the summer is we are given so much time we begin not to know how to utilize it, so therefore we waste it. This season is yet another test for us and it’s important that we pass. The Prophet (SAW) also said in one of His Hadiths: “Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth before you become old; your health, before you fall sick; your wealth, before you become poor; your free time before you become preoccupied, and your life, before your death” (Musnad Imam Ahmad). Specifically, our free time is an opportunity for us to gain knowledge and strength in our faith.
We must balance the amount of time we share with others with keeping some time for our own mental and spiritual health. Summertime is a wonderful opportunity for us to contemplate on all the beautiful creations of Allah. Outdoor activities are not only beneficial for your physical health, but your spiritual health as well. Now we may begin to say “It’s tough because of my busy schedule…” but I’m referring to all free time we have that we’re not aware of. Those moments of driving in the car, walking from place to place, sitting on the bench waiting for your turn to play, those are the moments I’m referring to. If we really added all that time up, it’s hours and hours of free time. Imagine how many audio books or podcasts we can benefit from in our cars instead of the things we listen to. Imagine the beneficial knowledge we would gain if we were consistently listening to lectures during our workouts. The opportunities are endless. The more we utilize our time and care for it, the more we will realize its value and the more we will realize all the opportunities for goodness there are. May Allah ﷻ allow us to take advantage of our time.
By Sh. Hassan Natour