Miscalculating Time: Learning To Invest For the Here-After
We often miscalculate time like we miscalculate money. Some of us, with no money sense, often spend all of what we have living hand to mouth. If we receive a windfall of money, we splurge. One sign of good money habits is that one’s money makes more money. Money builds wealth and is never mistaken for being the same as wealth.
If we live for a 100 years, which most of us don’t, we only get 5,200 Mondays, give or take. Imagine if instead of having 5,200 Mondays we were given $5,200. For those with no money sense they may think they’ve “won the lottery” and recklessly spend it all. Their money builds no wealth and then when a moment presents itself where having some wealth would be advantageous, they miss out.
Likewise, time is not only a problem of this life, but potentially a problem of the next. How we spend our time Here will have consequences of having time There. If our time has been invested wisely, then we’ll enjoy the fruits of our labor, literally kicking back and collecting those dividends. But if we squandered or mismanaged our time, then we’ll curse ourselves, for we’ll be in a place where despite having all the time in the world, it’ll literally be a punishment.
كُنْ فِي الدُّنْيَا كَأَنَّكَ غَرِيبٌ أَوْ عَابِرُ سَبِيلٍ وَعُدَّ نَفْسَكَ فِي أَهْلِ الْقُبُورِ
إِذَا أَصْبَحْتَ فَلاَ تُحَدِّثْ نَفْسَكَ بِالْمَسَاءِ وَإِذَا أَمْسَيْتَ فَلاَ تُحَدِّثْ نَفْسَكَ بِالصَّبَاحِ
وَخُذْ مِنْ صِحَّتِكَ قَبْلَ سَقَمِكَ وَمِنْ حَيَاتِكَ قَبْلَ مَوْتِكَ فَإِنَّكَ لاَ تَدْرِي يَا عَبْدَ اللَّهِ مَا اسْمُكَ غَدًا
The Prophet said to Ibn ‘Umar, “Be in this world like a stranger or like someone passing by on a journey, and count yourself as someone amongst the graves.”
Having understood this, Ibn ‘Umar said to me (Mujahid), “When you wake in the morning, do not immediately talk to yourself about what you’ve got to do this evening. Likewise, when you reach the evening time, don’t immediately speak about what you’ve got to do in the morning.”
“Rather, take from your health before you become sick. And take from your life before your death for you have no idea, o’ slave of God, what Allah has named for you tomorrow.” — Jami’ al-Tirmidhi, #2333