Almost all of us are guilty of procrastinating at times in our lives; whether it’s beginning to study at the last minute of the day before an exam or catching up on a semester’s worth of homework halfway in, we’ve all done our fair share of not doing anything. It seems almost natural to repeatedly find ourselves in the situation where we’ve put things aside so much to the point that we’re scrambling to finish what would have been a simple task and now has accumulated to hours and hours of work. In the end, we find ourselves promising never to make the same mistake of saving things for later, but we eventually end up slipping once again down the slippery slope of procrastination. What’s important to realize, however, is that procrastination is not just dangerous to keeping up a good GPA, but it is also hurtful to our eternal fate in the Akhirah.
In fact, in our preoccupation with worldly matters, we usually tend to turn a blind eye towards this type of procrastination, simply because we don’t really see the direct consequences of our actions. We push aside studying Islam in depth and staying up for qiyaam with the mentality that we’re going to have so many more opportunities later on in life to fulfill these tasks before we meet Allah (swt). What many fail to realize is that Allah (swt) will ask us of how we spent all of our time in this Dunya. When you really consider it, as Muslims, we don’t have the concept of “free time” wherein we can justify being unproductive; we are accountable for every minute and thus do not have a minute to spare. When taking a final for a class, we exert so much effort in making sure our answers are correct and are constantly checking to make sure we have enough time to finish the exam. Would you consider it okay to stop and take a break, look around, sleep, talk to the person next to you, and so on? In that situation we would all agree that we have absolutely no time to waste doing any of those things; every minute that passes is one less minute we have to ensuring that everything is correct. Why don’t we treat the biggest exam of our lives – this test from Allah (swt) – the same way? Moreover, in this case there is no option of retaking the class if you fail; your result stays with you for eternity. We are given such a short amount of time in this life to begin with, and what’s even scarier is that we don’t even know how much time we have. Imagine taking an exam with that sort of pressure? Thinking that we can spare a few years of our life for “fun” and then get serious about the deen later in life is really just a sign of not understanding the pressure that’s on us. Allah (swt) warns us against people who waste their time when he says, “Until, when death comes to one of them, he says:
“My Lord! Send me back. “So that I may do good in that which I have left behind!” No! It is but a word that he speaks, and behind them is Barzakh (a barrier) until the Day when they will be resurrected.” [23:99-100]
Time only moves in one direction, but you can have it work for you or against you. Would you rather struggle and push aside your desires to “chill” for a few years in this Dunya in exchange for an eternity of bliss, or would you instead give up the precious time given to have fun in turn for an eternity of regret? The choice is up to you…the clock is already ticking.