Won’t you agree that it feels like the years are passing like months and days like hours? Doesn’t it seem like only yesterday that our children were born and today they are leaving for college? Aren’t we always running behind schedule? We have so much technology helping us do more but still we seem to be doing less. I feel that life is passing way too fast and I need to figure out a way to slow it down.
While thinking about this and searching for a solution, I came across two verses of the Quran that seem to be addressing this issue head-on.
In the third chapter called “Family of Imran (Grandfather of Mary)” Allah (the Arabic word for God) says: “Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day (the passage of time) are signs for those (people) of understanding. (Those) who remember Allah while standing or sitting or (lying) on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying), “Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You (above such a thing); then protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” (Verses 190-191)
Notice how God says that the people of understanding contemplate the heavens and the earth and their deep analysis leads them to conclude that this creation was not a accidental or aimless . Rather, in it are signs of the one who created them.
These verses highlight the importance of taking time to contemplate what is going on around us. In modern terminology, one may call this meditation as well. Another way to explain this is that sometimes, we should do ‘nothing’.
Just relax in a comfortable setting and contemplate what is going on around us. Breathe in the air and think about the blessing of air.
Observe the leaves and the grass and think about what an amazing blessing it is. Think about all the things that you have in life, family and friends, a sane mind , a sense of humor, a glass of water and so on.
Think of your spouse and children and contemplate how much love you have for them and be glad that you still have them in your life and you can still express your love.
In Islam, contemplation is considered an act of worship. One of the famous disciples of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Abu Darda was a man known for his heart’s detachment from the luxurious temptations of this world and yearning for the hereafter said: “Contemplation for an hour is better than praying a whole night.” Perhaps he realized the fleeting nature of time and understood the importance of slowing down and taking a break.
This is what’s missing and this is why life just passes us by without us realizing what happened and when. So many things are happening so fast; everything and everyone asking for our attention; we tend to get disoriented. So here is the remedy, just slow it down, relax, and contemplate.
Jawad Rasul is the new Imam of the Islamic Society of Augusta. He can be reached at (706) 210-5030. Learn more at www.isaugusta.com.