The Merits of Punctuality

By Eisha Furrukh

How important is punctuality in our daily lives? We are always running for different tasks and wish to be on time everywhere. While educational institutes, families, and traditions teach prompt us to internalize the importance of punctuality, Islam also holds punctuality as a very important part of our lives. Punctuality is not just an ethical trait but also brings balance in our daily routines. It also helps us become better human beings with a proportionate lifestyle.

Time is an undervalued blessing that needs our attention and focus for its importance to be realized. Time does not wait for anyone and therefore we must learn the art of utilizing it in the best way possible, at our earliest. A deeper look into our religion, Islam, reveals that punctuality is required even for religious obligations. The command of the five daily prayers teaches us how to pray on time and eventually, this habit of punctuality helps our all our worldly tasks fall into place. Every Friday, mosques are filled with Muslims, most of them rushing to be there at the time of prayer and as soon as the Imam starts reciting, silence prevails in the hall and all worshippers align in symmetric lines, prostrating, and standing together with a rhythm, making a sublime view that is worth our reflection.

Punctuality teaches us harmony and peace too. When everyone is on time and not in a rush, they are relaxed and perhaps even ready to even wait for a few minutes, owing to any potential inconvenience. However, like we often see on roads these days, people who are in a hurry are more frustrated and tense, and therefore are more prone to accidents. Such people also do not tend to have enough control on their anger at such times and may find themselves releasing anger through ill speech, which they may regret sooner or later. Being late brings embarrassment and a bad image to one’s personality as well. People who are not punctual may give an impression of being unproductive and disinterested in a specific task.

Time is a precious asset and we must value it and be mindful of how we utilize it. Having free time is a blessing, and being punctual gives us numerous instances of getting free time that can be spent in productive worldly and religious activities such as reciting Quran or trying to understand Islam better.  The Prophet (S.A.W.) said: “There are two blessings concerning which many people are cheated: health and free time.” [Al-Bukhari]

Wasting time is a trick of Satan, who wants us to waste this precious blessing given by Allah and we must not fall into this heinous trick. The Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.), used to call on Muslims to take the initiative to do good deeds before any obstacles arise. Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) taught us about the importance of time and showed us through his exemplary conduct how time can be perfectly managed and how one should value this resource. Prophet (S.A.W.) also said in one of his Ahadith: 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). Learning from Islam, we get various instances and examples that teach us how we can value time and be punctual in our daily lives in order to prevent ourselves and others from inconvenience. We must pledge to become better and beautiful Muslims and make our lives purposeful.

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