SINCE Sunday (February 28) until this article was written on Wednesday evening, I spent most time in bed as I was down with food poisoning and running a high fever. My bones ached and my head felt dizzy. The doctor whom I visited, explained my stomach was 'bloated' with air and that explained why I frequented the toilet and discharged watery feces.
While lying in bed, I remembered how several 'ustazs' (religious teacher) had repeated this hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas: Allah’s Apostle s.a.w. said: “Take benefit of ‘five’ before ‘five’: your youth before your old age, you health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free-time before your preoccupation and your life before you’re your death.”
Subhanallah (Glorious is God), when Allah SWT tested me with this little difficulty that was regarding heath, I realized how disorganized I had become, tonight was the fourth 'maghrib-isyak takzirah' (Islam lesson) in a row I had missed; which during 'normal days' I tried my best not to skip the almost daily classes.
Look, just because of a minor heath problem, I 'dared' to skip perhaps the most important of all 'refreshment course' (the tazkirah) for a Muslim as the Prophet s.a.w. had declared attending lectures is like being in a garden of paradise. Other that that I too skipped recommended obligations.
Fortunately, reminders from some 'ustazs' kept banging in my head. An 'ustaz' said it is natural for human beings to like and love for the things they think are good for them such as having power, leading a healthy life, a big family and have abundance in properties but they would be dismayed and lost hope when tested with sickness, passing of their loves ones, loosing properties and power.
He then asked his audience: "Is it you who 'own' this world (universe) or Him?" If we acknowledged that He is the master of the universe, we must learned to accept everything that He bestowed upon us. As our Creator, He knows everything about ourselves. He knows what is good and bad for us. Falling sick is a trail by Him to see how is our 'iman' (faith).
In society, there were people whose 'iman' increased when they were put into test such as when loosing their beloved ones or their homes burnt down. But there are also people who went astray...to some extend they blamed Allah SWT for their misery.
Some scholars told about a story of farmer who was a few days from reaping his bounty harvest, when it rained cats and dogs; his crops destroyed. The farmer could not controlled himself, he tried hard to drain the land; of course it was a fruitless effort. Angrily we went into the middle of the field; pointed his fingers into the sky to challenge God. It was a sad ending, suddenly there was lightning and thunder, the farmer was struck and burnt into ashes.
Gratitude helps increase one’s blessings. Allah says: “And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: ‘If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings); but if you are thankless, verily, My punishment is indeed severe’” (Ibrahim 14:7)
Then what does Allah SWT says about the purpose of Him created us (mankind)? In Surah Adh-Dhariyat (51), 'ayahs' (verses) 56 and 57 He says: "And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. I do not want from them any provision, nor do I want them to feed Me."
Yes 'our mission' in this world is to worship Allah. 'Subhanallah' (Glory to God) how is our days and years (time) spend on earth? Each and everyone of us is given 24 hours a day; let's us now evaluate on what we do in our everyday life. Perhaps our (the writer included) 24 hours were full of playful and useless activities and being wasted away without us being guilty! Perhaps some took granted the hadith: "Take benefit of ‘five’ before ‘five’: your youth before your old age, you health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free-time before your preoccupation and your life before you’re your death.”
If we were 'not serious' in our 'ibadah' (obligations) when we were healthy and full of energy, how could we increase our 'ibadah' when we lost four of the five situation mentioned. If we lost four of the five things mentioned, we still have time to repent..unfortunately after death it is up to Him The Most Gracious, Most Merciful to decide our fate in the Hereafter.
If we were in the best of health whats more when sick could not perform our obligation, for example we say he that we have no time for prayers or prayed 'in the nick of time' yet pious people during the same period of 24 hours could perform all five times daily prayers in congregation in masjids and some could offer up tens or even hundreds of ‘rakaat’ of ‘sunat’ (recommendation) prayers. If a ‘busy’ person complains he has no time to even flip the pages of the Qur’an, then there are pious people who could complete reading (khatam) the whole Qur’an in a day!
Allah SWT The Almighty has given us 24 hours a day, is it fair for us to give Him 'our lousy time'? If we have 'no time' to be with Allah SWT, then what could be said about our relationship to Him? I am afraid if we have 'no time' to Him, then 'He would also have to time to us'.
An 'ustaz' described the situation as such: "If you hired a worker what do you expect from him/her? Say his/her working hours is from 9 am to 5 pm (8 hours), what's your reaction if he/she spend 7 hours doing things of his/her wish and fancies and only an hour to do work subscribed by you? Of course you would get angry, would not pay him/her but 'kick him/her out'.
"Then please have a mirror to look at ourselves. Allah SWT has created us to worship Him but what's our attitude to Him. We not only 'do not do what He told us to do' but we go against Him; only once in a while we give 'our spare time' to Him. From our 'ill attitudes' we should be able to judge 'what rewards' we would get from Him.
Dear readers especially myself, please make full use of the opportunities given by Allah the Almighty, not to waste them. We should appreciate what we have especially the ‘five’ mention in the hadith - youth, health, wealth, free-time, and life. Jazakallah..du'a for my speed recovery of best health. - ES