I’ve always thought of writing something like this before but never actually got the chance to do it. Though funnily enough I started this post on my tube journey back home, see productivity already lol.
Anyway jokes aside, for many of us we may have a daily or regular commute to work, school or university and time adds up. Firstly though we need to understand the importance of time, so let’s begin in’sha’Allah.
Here is a short extract from Imam-al-Ghazali in regards to time.
…A person who leaves himself without a plan as animals do, not knowing what he is to do an any given moment, will spend most of his time fruitlessly. Your time is your life, and your life is your capital: by it you make your trade, and by it you will reach the eternal bounties in the proximity of Allah. Every single breath of yours is a priceless jewel, because it is irreplaceable; once it is gone, there is no return for it. So do not be like fools who rejoice each day as their wealth increases while their lives decrease… – Imam-al-Ghazali
Here is a short hadith.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are two blessings which many people do not make the most of and thus lose out: good health and free time.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6412
Time is a blessing! How we can disregard a blessing and more importantly, we all claim that we love our prophet Muhammed sal alahu alayhi wa salam so why don’t we listen to him and at least strive to follow him. If he sal alahu alayhi wa salam is saying, time is a blessing that people do not make the most of and lose out on, then surely we should take from this hadith to spend our time wisely?
Ok so hopefully we now understand the importance of time, and that it is truly a blessing that we must be aware of.
So I’ll use my personal commute as an example. From my door to my university it takes me about 1 hour 30 minutes without delays of any sort. Simple math tells us that I spend approximately 3 hours simply on my commute each day. 3 hours! That’s 15 hours a week, 60 hours a month and 30 days throughout the year, and then we have this arrogance at times when people invite us to something or we need to help our parents, oh I don’t have time! oh I don’t have time, subhan’Allah look at how we lie to ourselves! After acknowledging the hadith above and indeed reminders from the Qur’an regarding time, this is clearly a serious mistake to waste 3 hours each day in this manner.
So here are my tips that I’ve come up with from personal experience!
Well that’s simple isn’t it, just read. It can be anything not specifically Islamic. I personally find it’s a great opportunity to read books such as the biography of our prophet Muhammed sal alahu alayhi wa salam. Regardless of what you choose at least it’s something, and it’ll benefit you in one way or another! My top tip here is reading surat-al-Kahf on Fridays on your commute it takes between 15 – 40 minutes depending on your ability to read.
It’s one month to your exam and you’ve now realised you have to cramp because there just is not enough time. Use your commute to read some of your notes, download a quiz app and quiz yourself (study blue), make revision cards, watch academic videos and even listen to lectures again! Ok say you don’t want to revise or your not in the mood after a long day at university, then learn a language like arabic Buy a book and practice your writing, grammar and vocabulary. You can also download an app which will test you e.g. Duolingo
This is one of my favourites! Read an ayah five times, then repeat without looking. Repeat through the commute and you may end up memorising a short surah.
4. Remember Allah
Spend your commute remembering Allah by reciting subhanAllah, Alhumdulilah, Allah hu akbar and la ilaha il Allah or any others you know. You’ll be surprised by just how much dhikr you can complete on a 20 minute walk, and you know what? We never know when our death is, so with continuous remembrance of Allah our death would be in a good state in’sha’Allah.
With the new year under way most of us have probably bought a new diary/planner. It’s around about this time that we forget we even have a planner as the organisation and productivity hype slowly disappears. So either download an app like Wunderlist and evernote or purchase a diary/notepad or even just a piece of paper! At the start of the day plan what you intend on achieving today, make a priority list of what to do. On your commute back you can summarise how the day went, and even start managing your finances. If you really want you can then make a spreadsheet on the weekend monitoring your income and outcome as well as improving your organisation and time for the next week.
Sometimes your just too tired to do any of the above and thats ok. I tend to do this quite a bit on my way back. Just simply sit and think about everything, for example I tend to just plan my future, thinking where I’ll be in a few days, months and years. Education, family and religion, just reflect on how you are as a Muslim. How you behaved with those you met today, how will you improve your studies, how will you make your family happy. Just sit and reflect in’sha’Allah
7. Social media, Friends & Family
Islam teaches us to maintain our relationships with family. Whilst commuting you could text or phone those you haven’t spoken to in a while to ask if they are well. Message some old friends to see how they are, be a caring and considerate person. Get your daily dose of social media and check your mails and then make sure you don’t waste that time when you get to school/work/university and home.
These are just a few tips that you can slowly integrate into your commute. Just like anything in life It’s hard to incorporate changes immediately so perhaps start by reading a book once in a week. Then you can start planning your day and eventually make it so that commute has some signs of productivity. Time is something you can never get back so at least strive to not waste it. May Allah make is easy for us. Ameen.
If you have any more tips then comment and let us know in’sha’Allah.