Life is a few breaths that are interrupted by death at a time that one would not be aware of. When the breaths in the lungs of man are taken away, man will begin to regret wasting life on something that is of no benefit, alas, the regret does not benefit him at all.
Such is the journey of this life. A fleeting one, that goes within the blink of an eye. If an opportunity is not seized, it becomes a pain and regret! Khalid bin Ma’adan said: “If a good door is opened for one of you, let him hurry to it, for he does not know when it will be closed.” In the life of a Muslim, there are many opportunities to gain good in this world and hereafter, which may not be compensated at all for the length of life. Many people do not pay attention to this, while most are negligent and forget that these opportunities may not be repeated in your life and as they say: it is impossible to perpetuate the situation.
Can we now see that, now is the only moment we have?!
Ibn Abbas reported:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your free time before your work, and your life before your death.”[Shu’ab al-Imān 9767].
The Prophet, (ﷺ), guided his ummah [nation] to seize opportunities in life; To work for the hereafter by filling the times with acts of obedience; Because it is a person’s life in this world, and his treasure is in the hereafter.
His saying, may peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, Grace does not last as it is in all cases; Because,
In this hadith, the sayings of the Prophet (ﷺ) “Take advantage of” implies, taking the chance, opportunity, and the gift, “five”, that is: five conditions in which a person will be. What this means is and what is mean to be careful and make good advantage the five moments in our lives.
That is: make good use of the five periods in ones life, whereby one can use self-control to use the blessings of the five periods, before the unavoidable trials that would manifest in the life of every one of us in the nearest future. That is, wisely benefiting from five blessings before five trials; one can think of it as follows,
“Take advantage of the time of your strength in youth for worship and other good deeds before you become old and weak in obedience to your Lord, the Most Exalted. Remember! Youth wears out and withers, health weakens and shrinks, money is a fleeting shadow, it quickly disappears, and passes from inheritance to inheritance, and emptiness is one of the blessings in which a person is oppressed, and soon concerns arise while heedless, and a person finds himself unable to achieve his goals and dreams; even his duties; To miss the free time and miss the opportunity that he did not seize. How then can one ‘take advantage of five before five’
The First of Those Opportunities is to Take Advantage of Your Youth Before Your Old Age
To take advantage of this amount of life in what benefits you in your religion and your world, and do not waste it on amusement, games, and desires.
Each of us goes through several stages throughout our life: The stage of childhood, then the stage of youth, then the stage of old age. Youth is the time for hard work; Because it is a period of strength between two weaknesses: the weakness of childhood and the weakness of old age, and youth is the time of the ability to obey completely, and youth is a guest who is quick to leave.
What a heartbreak for the man among us who is over thirty years old, who has passed the stage of youth, and did not grow up to obey Allah. It is an opportunity that has been missed and may not be compensated. If you miss this opportunity that will never be compensated, it is necessary to attach your heart to mosques, and to hide your alms; So that your left hand does not know what your right hand has spent, and that your eye overflows at the remembrance of Allah empty-handed; In order not to be deprived of shade under the throne of the Most Merciful.
As for The Second Opportunity, it is to Seize ((Your Health Before Your Illness));
That is: to gain the time when you are in a healthy body; To spend it in the field of righteous deeds, and not to delay one of the virtues and say: Until I grow old and devote myself, you do not know whether you will remain healthy and healthy, or will you be overwhelmed by things that enhance your health and reduce your activity, so you say: I wish I had prayed at night, and I wish I had been silent from the supererogatory, and what I did my best when I was strong in calling to Allah and the like.
As for the one who does not take advantage of his health before his illness by doing many good deeds, he will miss out on a lot of good, and he will regret it while regret is of no use. It is also a great opportunity to do many good deeds while you are healthy; To write you the full reward in the event of your illness; The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
((If a servant falls ill, or travels, the same is recorded for him as what he used to do as a valid resident))[Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī].
In another narration, The Prophet(ﷺ), said:
“No Muslim is afflicted with any affliction on his body, except by Allah the Almighty, who protects him. He said: Every day and every night, write to my servant according to what good he has done, as long as he is shut up in my bonds.[Ahmad]
As For The Third Opportunity, It Is To Seize The Opportunity Of Your Wealth Before Your Poverty
By giving a lot of alms and giving money to charitable causes, before your economic conditions change or before the conditions of the society around you change. It is an opportunity for you to get to know Allah, [The Most Exalted] in prosperity so that he knows you in adversity, as it is possible that the meaning of his saying, peace be upon him: ((and your riches before your poverty)) that this is a warning to the rich of poverty if he does not spend his money in the time of riches; Especially since the Messenger of God, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, told us that two angels pray every morning:
((O Allah, give a successor to every spendthrift, and give damage to every afflicted one)).
Almighty Allah has told us that a Muslim would wish, if he died, that if he were given another chance to return to life, not to enjoy it or have fun in it; Rather, he should give alms and be good, and hasten to the opportunities that he missed throughout his life; Allah said:
“And spend [in the way of Allah] from what We have provided you before death approaches one of you and he says, “My Lord if only You would delay me for a brief term so I would give charity and be among the righteous.” ‘But never will Allah delay a soul when its time has come. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.”[Surah Al-Munafiqun-Q63:10-11].
The Fourth Opportunity Is To Take Your Free Time Before Your Work
That is, to take advantage of your spare time to occupy yourself with what will benefit you. So, if you do not occupy the soul with truth, it will preoccupy you with falsehood, to seize the opportunity of your free time to spend it not in tourism or entertainment; But what will benefit you in the matter of your religion and your world. To take advantage of this void that abounds in youth and before assuming responsibilities is to exploit it in memorizing the Book of Allah and learning the Islamic legal sciences; Because if you grow up, you may be ashamed to learn, and it may be difficult for you to memorize, and you may not even find enough time to learn; Because you will discover that duties are more than times; This is why Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, may God be pleased with him, was right when he said: “Learn knowledge before you become dominant.” That is: learn before you become responsible and ocupied, so that you do not find time to learn; Also, benefiting from the scholars and learning closely from them before their death is an irreplaceable opportunity.
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:
“Allah does not take away the knowledge, by taking it away from (the hearts of) the people but takes it away by the death of the religious learned men till when none of the (religious learned men) remains, people will take as their leaders’ ignorant persons who when consulted will give their verdict without knowledge. So, they will go astray and will lead the people astray.”[Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī]
The Fifth And Final Opportunity In This Hadith Is To Seize Your Life Before Your Death
That you offer yourself what will benefit you after your death, and do not procrastinate even when death comes, I said: I wish I had come for my life, I wish I had given in charity, I wish I had kept silent, I wish I had prayed, I wish I had done; So your situation will be like those of whom Allah Almighty said:
“And brought [within view], that Day, is Hell – that Day, man will remember, but what good to him will be the remembrance? He will say, “Oh, I wish I had sent ahead [some good] for my life.”[Qur’aan 89:23-24].
Therefore, our presence in this life is the greatest opportunity to collect good deeds, and to advance in Paradise to the highest levels, so seizing our life before our death is by initiating repentance before the time comes. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:
“Allah accepts the repentance of His slave so long as the death rattle has not yet reached his throat.”[At-Timidhee]
Every minute of your life is a missed opportunity; Because it cannot be returned or redeemed, the people of the time who passed away yesterday are unable to return it. “Take advantage of your life before you die”, is the best comprehensive word in the use of time.
One Of The Irreplaceable Opportunities Is The Sixth Opportunity:
To Take Advantage Of The Presence Of Your Parents Alive To Obey And Be Dutiful To Them.
The greatest opportunity for you to enter Heaven is to abide and honor your parents; They are two gates for you to the gates of Paradise. The Prophet (peace and blessing Allah be upon him) said:
“Let him be humbled! Again, let him be humbled! Again, let him be humbled!” It was said, “Who is it, O Messenger of Allah?” The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “One whose parents reach old age, one or both of them, and he does not enter Paradise by them.”[Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim].
What a pity for his parents who died and did not honor them; for he missed a great opportunity that he could in no way make up for; In order to obtain their approval and enter Paradise because of them, the Lord’s pleasure is in the parents’ approval, and the Lord’s wrath is in their wrath.
As For The Seventh Opportunity, It Is To Follow A Bad Deed With A Good Deed.
It is a great opportunity for every believer; The prophet (ﷺ) said,
“Fear Allah wherever you are, follow a bad deed with a good deed and it will erase it, and behave with good character towards people.”[Sunan al-Tirmidhī].
The Eighth Opportunity Is To Be Certified
It is neither a master’s nor a doctorate nor an experience certificate; Rather, the opportunity for martyrdom for the sake of Allah, for it is known that whoever fulfills the meaning of the two testimonies will enter Paradise by the mercy of Allah. But who among us can attain the degree of martyrdom for the sake of Allah, which is the highest degree after the status of prophecy and sincerity, for there is no opportunity for you to realize this dream except by jihad for the sake of Allah, and if you cannot do that or there is a barrier between you and him, then the best way is to sincerely ask Allah for martyrdom, and whoever does that and is truthful with Allah, Allah will accept his sincerity. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,
“He who supplicates Allah sincerely for martyrdom, Allah will elevate him to the status of the martyrs, even if he dies on his bed.”[Muslim]
The Ninth Opportunity Is That You Hasten To Break Free From The One You Wronged Before Your Good Deeds Are Taken Away From You On The Day Of Resurrection;
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “He who has done a wrong affecting his brother’s honor or anything else, let him ask his forgiveness today before the time (i.e., the Day of Resurrection) when he will have neither a dinar nor a dirham. If he has done some good deeds, a portion equal to his wrongdoings will be subtracted from them; but if he has no good deeds, he will be burdened with the evil deeds of the one he had wronged in the same proportion”[Al-Bukhari]
The Tenth And Last Opportunity Is That We Hasten To Denounce The Evil Before The Torment Descends;
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “By Him in Whose Hand my life is, you either enjoin good and forbid evil, or Allah will certainly soon send His punishment to you. Then you will make supplication and it will not be accepted”[At-Tirmidhi]
How many of us still bite the fingers of regret whenever he remembers how he missed an opportunity of life, which cannot be repeated or compensated, and few people do that in matters of the hereafter, either because of their ignorance of the reward that they missed, or their negligence of the punishment that awaits them.
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler along a path.” Ibn Umar would say, “If you make it to the evening, do not wait for the morning. If you make it to the morning, do not wait for the evening. Take from your health for your sickness, and from your life for your death.”[Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī ]
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
‘Two blessings which many people misuse: Good health and free time.’[Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī].
What we must know is that every obedience that is offered to you and that you miss is an opportunity that cannot be compensated; Because the days are not repeated, but every day is a new creation, and if it passes, it does not return till the Day of Resurrection.
If you want to exploit something, do so for the Hereafter these are the things that remain. As for the affairs of the world, if you prosper in them; they will vanish. Thus, there are many opportunities that if missed cannot be compensated, and every good deed that you miss cannot be compensated, and every minute that passes you in disobedience, you had an opportunity that cannot be compensated or redeemed; Therefore, grab the opportunities and exploit the times, and make up for the rest of the ages. The mindful are those who repeatedly seek repentance and make good use of their time.
May Allah make me and you among those who listen to the saying and follow the best of it, and may the peace and blessings be upon our master Muhammad and his family and companions.
Jazakhumullahu khayra for reading. May it be beneficial for us, and may Allah facilitate for us the ability to act upon the good.