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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

0010-TIME MANAGEMENT (PART II)

Lecture for 4th year medical students at the Kulliyah of Medicine, UIA on 28th October 2000

MANAGING INTERRUPTIONS

Seclusion, khalwat: Spiritual and psychological health require that a person set aside some time to be alone with the creator, al khalwat ma’a al llaah, in ibadat and meditation. Seclusion is also needed to be with oneself alone, al khalwat ma’a al nafs, to undertake muhasabar al nafs.

 

Welcome interruptions: The basic job of those in the service industry is customer service. Their job is to attend to interruptions and distractions. They have no work if they do not get customers or clients who disturb them. IN such occupations distraction is welcome and is encouraged.

 

Unwelcome interruptions: The commonest interruptions are: interruptions by too much paperwork, telephones, and drop-in visitors. These interruptions singly or together prevent listening, concentration, planning and implementation. A strategic approach is needed in managing interruptions. Prevention is the best approach. If the interruption occurs it should be dealt with decisively to make sure it does not affect goals. A distraction does not deserve any more attention just because it seems urgent. If any distraction does not fit the priorities set it should be ignored or dismissed politely. Sticking to priorities is always the best policy.

 

Saying 'no' and the consequences of refusal: Learn to control your time. Be prepared to say no if your schedule will not allow. Be polite when you turn down requests for your time so that you do not lose friends. When you turn people down, show understanding that their needs are important. Do something else as a substitute but at a time of your choice and convenience. Give more than time than was asked for when it is convenient to you.

 

Time robbers and drop-in visitors: Avoid people who waste time. They are robbers who take your time and leave you with the frustration of unfinished projects and missing deadlines. Teach others to respect your privacy. Communicate your displeasure firmly but politely. Be accessible at your convenience because a leader must be accessible. Make sure that you cannot be found sometimes so that you can accomplish important and time-sensitive work. Be tactful, save time but lose no friends. Learn or develop techniques of screening visitors. You must be able to handle people who have no business in your office.

 

Lengthy conversations: Avoid lengthy conversations that do not contribute directly to your time priorities. Control conversations by steering then to subjects that interest you and allowing no digression. Master polite ways of cutting off a useless conversation so that you may accomplish some other work in the meanwhile.

 

The telephone: Take care of the telephone, it is a proven time waster. Keep blocks of time for concentrated work when you do not answer the phone. Limit conversations on the phone and always ask specific questions and raise specific issues to save time. Organize and write down your thoughts before calling. Develop effective ways of screening telephone calls. Learn how to put callers on hold without irritating them.

 

Office paper work: Control your office paper work. There are only three ways of dealing with any piece of paper that comes to your office: throw it in the waste paper basket, file it away, or take action on it immediately. Sort your papers in a logical way that reflects priorities. Never handle a paper more than twice otherwise it will become part of your ‘pile’. Learn to work quickly and without mistakes. Mistakes waste time by requiring repeating the work. Concentration is the key to doing jobs faster. A well-organized work place saves time. Use model letters for routine correspondence. Make sure equipment and supplies are available. Organize your paper work on the desk. Keep a phone and address directory handy so that you do not have to waste time searching. Establish a systematic filing system to be able to retrieve documents easily.

 

Personal problems: Do not let personal problems interfere with your job performance.

 

Missing deadlines: Sometimes you may fail to keep a deadline. Acknowledge problem early. Accept responsibility. Negotiate a new deadline

 

POOR TIME PLANNING

Manifestations of poor time planning: poor scheduling, poor prioritizing, lack of contingency plans, trying to do everything and not delegating, poorly kept diary that is incomplete and with conflicts, overwhelming work, changing priorities, and too many meetings

 

Overwhelming work: Managers get overwhelmed with too much work to be done in a short time. They get bogged down in routine work and forget the essential functions of management, communication, and planning necessary for organizational growth. Managers find themselves overwhelmed when they fail to train subordinates and delegate work to them. When the manager does work that subordinates are supposed to do, gridlock results. One manager however efficient he may be can handle only so much load. Avoid over-commitments. When they occur try to reduce them to a manageable level. 

 

Meetings: Avoid meetings that waste time and achieve little. The characteristics of such meetings are: no objective, no agenda, no time limits, and late coming.

 

Anticipation: Many mistakes in time planning arise out of failure to anticipate events such that emergencies get out of control and deadlines are missed. Emergencies and crisis management do occur but if they recur too often they indicate fundamental problems. You are in trouble if you spend all your time putting down fires. When a crisis occurs you must start by determining whose crisis it is. In many cases what we consider a crisis is someone else’s failure to plan well and is not our problem and we should tell him so. It is very bad to miss deadlines especially if this occurs repeatedly. It is an indication of poor planning or management. You must always have an internal deadline that is much earlier than the external deadline that you give to others. Be realistic when setting deadlines. Be ready to revise if the need arises. Make your commitments appropriate to your level of ability to deliver. Commitments should be soft when things are not that clear. Monitor progress as you go along so that you may revise the deadline in time.

 

HABITS AND ROUTINES

Procrastination: The prophet enjoined haste in starting work, al mubadarat bi al ‘amal (KS93: Muslim K1 H186). Avoid procrastination. Identify why you procrastinate. It may be unrealistic perfectionism, fear of failure, lack of self-confidence, lack of authority, worry about being criticized, not being satisfied with work etc. Commit yourself to deadlines and when the time comes present the best work you can do knowing that you could improve if you worked longer at it. Clarify others' expectations you may be trying to achieve unreasonable standards. Do not continuously revise.

 

Habits and routines: Certain routines of life lead to fixed habits and inflexibility. Habits can be good or bad. Bad habits are difficult to break. You need to find a correct balance between routines and a flexible life style. Ramadhan, I'itikaf are opportunities to break the daily routine of the year. They provide a welcome change.

 

Reactive and not pro-active behavior: Many people do not take control of their life and time. They do not plan and

pursue specific goals and objectives. They just wait for things to happen and then take action. This reactive behaviour wastes a lot of time and does not lead to any specific achievements over a time. Successful persons must be pro-active, they define goals and then pursue them. They know their priorities. They take pre-emptive action to resolve problems even before they are apparent to others.

 

MEETINGS

Chapter overview: This chapter discusses successful and unsuccessful meetings and gives practical hints on how to get the best out of a meeting

 

Good reasons for calling meetings

Goal clarification

Information

Decision-making

Introducing new ideas

Conflict resolution

Resolve implementation bottle-necks

 

When not to call meetings

Availability of alternative to meeting

Not enough time to prepare

Key players not available

Personal/sensitive matters

 

Success of meetings: Most of the group work is carried out at meetings. Success of meetings depends on: calling meetings when they are actually necessary, having a clear agenda, maintaining the meeting focus on the set agenda, and listening to others. Set specific objectives. Invite only those absolutely needed: those with knowledge and expertise, implementers of decisions, and those who will follow-up. Follow-up on invitations: verify that all participants will be available, remind them about dates and place. Choose meeting place with care. You should have a well-structured agenda: introduction, purpose of meeting, and key issues for discussion. Stick to the agenda. Plan to control discussions: give background, plan to reach conclusions, guide meeting to a consensus, give every one a chance to speak, encourage quiet ones, control domineering types, summarize decisions and task assignments, assign follow-up tasks and set deadlines, end on a high note. Time management: start on time, end on time, and establish time limits for each agenda item. Follow-up, circulate minutes and action lists.

 

Meetings that waste time: Meetings are the commonest time-waster in organizations. It is more important to do something about problems than to talk about them. Meetings that waste your time have the following characteristics: no objective, no agenda, no time limits, and participants come late. You have several alternatives of dealing with such meetings. If you have a good excuse do not attend. Finish your priority work and be late. Arrive on time and leave early. Bring work to do during boring meeting sessions. Excuse yourself for 15-20 minutes to do priority work. Meetings that wreck meetings: Invite as many people as possible. Invite anyone. Cover as many topics as possible. Discuss important issues last. Spend most of the time on unimportant issues

 

Decisions at meetings: Decisions taken at group or team meetings must be binding. If they are not there is no purpose in holding the meeting. If the meeting is meeting in a role other than decision-making, it is fair to inform the participants of that.

 

QUR’AN TEXT

CONCEPTS OF TIME

Jahiliyyat Concept of time: Dahr: And they say: " What is there but our life in this world? We shall die and we live, and nothing but Time can destroy us." But of that they have no knowledge; they merely conjecture Qur'an 45:24 ….. "Narrated Abu Huraira : Allah's Apostle ( may peace be upon him ) said, " Allah said, The son of Adam hurts me for he abuses Time though I am Time: in My Hands are all things, and I cause the revolution of day and night". Bukhari 6:337, hadith # 351…. "Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger ( may peace be upon him ) as saying: Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, said: The son of Adam causes Me pain as he says: Woe be the time. None of you should say this: Woe be upon the time, as I am the Time ( because ) I alternate the day and the night, and when I wish I can finish them up. Muslim 3:1217, Chapter 940, Hadith #5582…           "Abu Huraira reported the Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) as saying: Allah Most High says: " The son of Adam injures me by abusing time, whereas I am time. Authority is in My hand. I alternate the night and the day". Abu Daud 3: 1452, Chapter 1890, Hadith # 5254

 

Concept of time in Qur'an: time before man: Has there not been over man a long period of time, when he was nothing ( not even ) mentioned ? Qur'an 76:1

 

Relativity of time (nisbiyat al waqt): MM p. 541 7:54 … 70:4

 

Concept of finite life-span (ajal) MM p. 73 7:34, 7:135, 10:49 …. MM p. 73 2:231-227 … 65:4 … MM p. 74 13:2 … 63:10-11

 

 

IMPORTANCE OF TIME

Health and free time are most important resources: "Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet (may peace be upon him) said, " There are two blessings which many people lose: " They are ) health and free time for doing good". Bukhari 8:282, hadith # 421

 

Self-perpetuating Activities: There are only three human endeavours that will continue bearing fruit even after death: a righteous offspring who prays for the parent, knowledge that benefits others, or charity that is used by others (sadaqat jariyat) (KS p. 523).

 

Importance of time: Swearing by time: By ( the token of ) time ( through the Ages ). Verily man is in loss, Except such as have faith and do righteous deed, and ( join together ) in the mutual teaching of truth, and of patience and constancy. Qur'an 103:1-3

 

Accountability over use of time: hadith: La yazaal qadam ‘abd yawm al qiyamah hatta yus’al ‘an khams. Tarmidhi Kitaab al Qiyamah

 

Time passes, use it: "Ightanim khamsa qabla khamsi..... "Narrated Mujahid : Abdullah bin Umar ( may peace be upon him ) said, " Allah's  Apostle ( may peace be upon him ) took hold of my shoulder and said,  " Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveller." The subnarrator added: Ibn Omar used to say, " If you survive till the evening, do not expect to be alive in the morning, and if you survive till the morning, do not expect to be alive in the evening, and take from you health for you sickness, and ( take ) from your life for your death". Bukhari 8:284-285, hadith # 425

 

Constant strife: imal liduniyaak kannaka taishu abadan; wa amal li akhiratika kannaka tamutu ghadan

QUALITY OF TIME

Variation in time dimension on earth and the hereafter: Yet they ask you to hasten on the Punishment! but Allah will not fail in His promise. Verily A Day in the sight of your Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning. Qur'an 22: 47 …. The angels and the Spirit ascend unto Him in a Day the measure whereof is ( as ) fifty thousand years: Qur'an 70:4

 

Excellence of the month of Ramadhan: "Abu Huraira: reported Allah's Messenger ( may peace be upon him ) as saying: When there comes the month of Ramadan, the gates of mercy are opened, and the gates of Hell are locked and the devils are chained". Muslim 2:524, Chapter 405, Hadith #2361 ... Umrat in Ramadhan is equivalent to hajj (umrat fi ramadhan ta’dil hajjat): KS p. 403, Abu daud Kitab 1 Bab 79 ... Excellence of the first 10 days in ramadhan ( al ‘ashar al awa’il fi ramadhan): KS p. 94 .... Excellence of the last 10 days in ramadhan ( al ‘ashar al awakhir fi ramadhan):

 

Excellence of Friday: Abu Huraira  reported Allah's Messenger ( may peace be upon him ) as saying: The best day on which the sun has risen is Friday; on it Adam was created, on it he was made to enter Paradise, on it he was expelled from it". Muslim 2:405, Chapter 302, Hadith #1856 …. KS p. 156, MU Kitab 17 Hadith 18, Abu daud K2 Bab 202.... Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger ( may peace be upon him ) as saying: There is a time on Friday at which no Muslim servant would pray and would ask Allah for a thing ( that is good ) but He would give it to him. Qutaiba pointed with the help of his hand that it ( the time ) short" Muslim 2:404, Chapter 31, Hadith #1849 …. "Narrated Abu Huraira: Abu I Qasim ( the Prophet may peace be upon him ) said, " On Friday there is a particular time. If a Muslim happens to be praying and invoking Allah for something good during that time, Allah will surely fulfill his request." The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) pointed out with his hand. We thought that he wanted to illustrate how short that time was". Bukhari 8:273, hadith # 409 ….. "Ali said on the pulpit in the mosque of Kufah: When Friday comes, the devils go to the markets with their flags, and involve people in their needs and prevent them from the Friday prayer. The angels come early in the morning, sit at the door of the mosque, and record that so and so came at the first hour, and so and so came at the second hour until the imam comes out ( for preaching ). When a man sits in a place where he can listen ( the sermon ) and look ( at the imam ) keeps silence and does not interrupt, he will get a double reward. If he keeps himself away, and sits in a place where he cannot listen ( to the sermon ) and keeps silence, and does not interrupt, he will get the reward only once. If he sits in a place where he can listen ( to the sermon ) and look ( at the imam ) and he did not keep silence, he will have the burden of it. If anyone says to his companion sitting beside him to be silent ( while the imam is preaching ) he is guilty of idle talk. Anyone who interrupts ( during the sermon ) will get nothing ( no reward ) on the that Friday. Then he ( the narrator ) says in the end of this tradition: I heard the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) say so". Abu Daud 1:270-271, Chapter 360, Hadith # 1046 ….. KS p. 156, BU Kitab 11 Bab 37, MU Kitab 7 Hadith 13 & 16, Abu daud K 2, Bab 200 & 201

 

Excellence of some days: KS p. 94 MU Kitaab 45 hadith 37, Muwatta hadith 632 ... Excellence of the night of power (fadhl lailat al qadar): KS p. 472 ... Excellence of the first 10 days in dhi al hijjat ( al ‘ashar al awakhir fi dhi al hijjat): KS p. 94 Muwatta Hadith # 2283, 2631

 

Excellence of time towards the end of a task (khawatiim al a’amal): KS p. 93 BU Kitab 81 Bab 33, MU Kitab 46 hadith 11, Abu daud Kitaab 39 Bab 16

 

Time periods disliked for salat: KS p. 314, BU Kitaab 9 Bab 30, MU Kitaab 6 hadith 285, Abu Daud Kitaab 5 Baab 10.

MEASUREMENT OF TIME

The Islamic calendar: The number of months is the sight of Allah is twelve ( in a year ) so ordained by him the he created the heavens and the earth of them four are sacred that in the straight usage so wrong not yourselves therein, and fight the Pagans all together as they fight you all together but know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves. Qur'an 9:36 .... "Narrated Abu Bakra: The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) said."( The division of ) Time has turned to its original form which was current when Allah created the Heavens and the Earths. The year is of twelve months, out of which four months are sacred: Three are in succession: Dhul Qada, Dhul Hijja and Muharram, and ( the fourth is ) Rajab of ( the tribe of ) Mudar which comes between Jumadiath Thaniyah and Shaban". Bukhari 4:281, hadith # 419

 

Fixed time for salat: Qur’an 4: 103

 

Fixed time for Ramadhan: 2: 185

 

Hajj season fixed: For Hajj are the months well-known. if any one undertakes that duty therein, let there be no obscenity nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj and whatever good you do ( be sure ) Allah knows it. and take a provision ( with you ) for the journey, but the best of provisions is right conduct so fear me O you that are wise. Qur'an 2:197

 

Measurement of the month: sight (al shahar bi al ru’uyat): KS p. 198, BU Kitaab 30 Bab 13, MU Kitaab 13 hadith 15, Abu Daud Kitaab 14 Bab 4.... Month is 29 days: KS p. 198 BU Kitaab 30 Bab 11, MU Kitaab 13 Hadith 5, Abu Daud Kitaab 14 Bab 4 & 7

 

MULTIPLE PRIORITIES

Some tasks are more important (fadhl al a’amal): KS p. 93 MU Kitaab 33 Hadith 111

 

Ibadat has priority in time allocation: O ye who believe ! when the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday ( The day of Assembly ) hasten earnestly to the remembrance of Allah, and leave off business ( and traffic ) that is best for you if you but knew !.Qur'an: 62:9-10 … But when they see some bargain or some Amusement, they disperse headlong to it, and leave you standing. Say: " The ( blessing ) from the Presence of Allah is better than any amusement or bargain! and Allah is the Best to provide ( for all needs ). Qur'an 62:11 ….. By men whom neither traffic nor merchandise can divert from the Remembrance of Allah, nor from regular Prayer, nor from the practice of regular Charity: their ( only ) fear is for the Day when Hearts and eyes will be transformed ( In a world wholly new).

 

Consideration for priorities and needs of others: KS p. 100 BU Kitaab 3 Bab 28, MU Kitaab 4 Hadith 179-190, Abu Daud Kitaab 2 Baab 122 & 123

 

No time to waste: "If the last hour strikes and finds you carrying a nursing to the grove for planting go ahead and plan" Musnad Ahmad

 

Time for leisure: Entertain the hearts in between hours for if the hearts get tired they become bored " Sunan Al Daylami

 

Regularity of action (khayr al a’amaal adwamuha): KS p. 94, BU Kitaab 2 Baab 32, MU Kitaab 77 Baab 43, Abu Daud Kitaab 5 Bab 27 … "Alqamah said: Aishah was asked about the actions of the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ). Did he perform some actions exclusively on some particular days? She said: No, he performed his actions regularly. Which of you has the strength as much as the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) had" Abu Daud 1: 358, Chapter 408, Hadith # 1365 …

 

Doing what is manageable (khayr al a’amaal ma tutiqunahu): BU Kitaab 19 Bab 18, MU Kitaab 6 Hadith 219-223, Abu daud Kitaab 5 Baab 29

 

Choosing the right priorities: "Jabir b Abdullah reported that the Apostle ( may peace be upon him ) was delivering the sermon on Friday in a standing posture when a caravan from Syria arrived. The people flocked towards it till no one was left ( with the Holy Prophet ) but twelve persons, and it was on this occasion that this verse in regard to Jumu'a was revealed: " And when they see merchandise or sport, they break away to it and leave you standing". Muslim 2:408-409, Chapter 37, Hadith #1877

 

Biological  needs have preference: KS p. 315, BU Kitaab 10 Bab 42, MU Kitaab 5 Hadith 64-67, Abu Daud Kitaab 1 Bab 43

SCHEDULING TIME

Plan and schedule time but say Inshah Allah: Nor say of anything, "I shall be sure to do so and so tomorrow. Without adding, " SO please Allah! and call your Lord to mind when you forgetest, and say " I hope that my Lord will guide me ever closer ( even ) than this to the right road. Qur'an 18:23-24

 

The Prophet's time daily time management: It was reported from Hasan bin Ali...(hayat 1:43)

 

Prophet and dividing time among wives: KS p. 480, BU Kitaab 51 Baab 15, MU Kitaab 18 Hadith 46-48, Abu Daud Kitaab 12 Baab 37

 

Transition between prayer and work:  And when the Prayer is finished, then may you disperse through the land and seek of the Bounty of Allah and celebrate the praises of Allah often ( and without stint ) that you may prosper. Qur'an: 62:9-10

 

Time to sleep and work: And He is Who makes the Night as a Robe for you, and Sleep as Repose, and makes the Day ( as it were ) a Resurrection. Qur'an 25:47 nahar maash, layl libaas

 

Retiring to bed early: "Hazrat Abu Barza...after it". Riyadh 2:838, hadith # 1746

 

Mind pre-occupation in salat (ishtigal al fikr fi al salat): "Abu Darda said: " It is a sign of comprehension ( of a person ) to fulfill or turn to his needs first so as to pray attentively with a clear mind". Bukhari 1:362 …  "Narrated Aisha: The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) said, " If supper is served, and Iqama is pronounced one should start with the supper". Bukhari 1:362 …. "Umar said I organize my troops while in prayer". Bukhari 2:175

 

Shaitan distracts during prayer: "Narrated Abu Huraira: When the Adan for the prayer is pronounced, then Satan takes to his heels passing wind so that he may not hear the Adahn and when the Muadh dhin finishes, he comes back; and when the Iqama is pronounced he again takes to his heels and when it is finished, he again comes back and continues reminding the praying person of things that he used not to remember when not in prayer till he gorgets how much he has prayed". Bukhari 2:175, hadith # 313

 

Keeping appointments: KS p. 516 BU Kitaab 19 Baab 31

 

Benefits of I'tiqaf:  KS p. 92 … "Aisha said: The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) used to observe retirement ( itikaf ) to the mosque during the last ten days of Ramadan till Allah took him and then his wives observed retirement to the mosque after his death". Abu Daud 2: 679, Chapter 843, Hadith # 2456

PUNCTUALITY

Fixed times for salat (awqat al salat): KS p. 308, BU Kitaab 9 Baab 1, MU Kitaab 5 Hadith 166-167

 

Reward for arriving early at mosque: KS p. 157, BU Kitaab 11, Baab 4, MU Kitaab 7 Hadith 10, Abu Daud Kitaab 2, Baab 202

 

Punctuality for salat:  KS p. 314, BU Kitaab 9 Baab 5, MU Kitaab 4 Hadith 129, Abu Daud Kitaab 2 Baab 9…"It is reported on the authority of Abdullah that the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) observed: The best of the deeds or deed is the ( observance of ) prayer at its proper time and kindness to the parents". Muslim 1:50, Chapter 37, Hadith #155 … "Uqbah b Amir said: I heard the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) say: He who leads the people in prayer, and he does so at the right time, will receive, as well as those who are led ( in prayer ) will get ( the reward ). He who delays ( prayer ) from the appointed time will be responsible ( for the delay ) and not those who are led in prayers". Abu Daud 1:152-153, Hadith # 580 .... Being busy with other matters and delaying salat: KS p. 314 ... Punctuality on Friday: "Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) said, " On every Friday the angels take their stand at every gate fo the mosques to write the names of the people chronologically ( i.e. according to the time of their arrival for the Friday prayer ), and when the Imam sits ( on the pulpit ) they fold up their scrolls and get ready to listen to the sermon". Bukhari 4:297, hadith # 433

 

Prayer at other than its time: KS p. 314, BU Kitaab 64 Baab 12, MU Kitaab 5 Hadith 26, Abu Daud Kitaab 2 Baab 10

 

Punctuality in fasting: Hastening breakfast (ta’ajil al fitr): KS p. 330, BU Kitaab 30 Baab 45, MU Kitaab 13 Hadith 47-51, Abu Daud Kitaab 14 Baab 21  ... Delaying suhur: KS p. 331

 

Hastening the janazat: KS p. 161, BU Kitaab 23 Baab 51, MU Kitaab 11 Hadith 51-59, Abu Daud Kitaab 20 Baab 33 & 45

 

Delay of debt repayment: KS p. 239, BU Kitaab 38 Baab 12, MU Kitaab 22 Hadith 33

 

BALANCE IN TIME MANAGEMENT

Time for yourself and family: "Narrated Abdullah b Amr: Once Allah's Apostle ( may peace be upon him ) said to me," I have been informed that you pray all the night and fast during the day." I said" ( yes ) I do so" He said, " If you do so, your eye-sight will become weak and you will become weak. No doubt, your body has a right on you, and your family has a right on you, so fast ( for some days ) and do not fast ( for some days ) pray ( for some time ) and then sleep". Bukhari 2:140 … "Aisha said: The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) called Uthman b. Mazun. When he came to him, he said: Uthman, did you dislike my practice? He said: No, by Allah, but I seek your practice. He said: I sleep, I pray, I keep fast, I ( some times ) leave fast, and I marry women. Fear Allah, Uthman, your wife has a right on you, your guest has a right on you, your self has a right on you; you should keep fast and ( sometimes ) leave fast, and pray and sleep".Abu Daud 1:358, Chapter 468, Hadith # 1364 …. "Narrated Abdullah b Amr: The news of my daily fasting and praying every night throughout the night reached the Prophet ( may peace be upon him ). So he sent for me or I met him, and he said, " I have been informed that you fast everyday and pray every night ( all the night ). Fast ( for some days ) and give up fasting ( for some days); pray and sleep, for your eyes have a right on you, and you body and you family ( i.e. wife ) have a right on you." I replied. " I have more power than that ( fasting )." The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) said, " Then fast like the fasts fo ( the Prophet ) David. " I said, " How?" He replied, " He used to fast on alternate days, and he used not to flee on meeting the enemy." I said, " From where can I get that chance?" ( Ata said, " I do not know how the expression of fasting daily throughout the life occured.") So, the Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) said, twice, " Whoever fasts daily throughout his life is just as the one who does not fast at all". Bukhari 3:112-113, hadith # 198 .... Prophet doing domestic chores: KS p. 482, BU Kitaab 69 Baab 38

 

Exaggeration in ibadat forbidden (ghuluw fi al ibadat): KS p. 330, BU Kitaab 30 Baab 51, MU Kitaab 13 Hadith 181-182-186, Abu Daud Kitaab 14 Baab 54 & 57 …  "Narrated Anas b Malik: Once the Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) entered the Mosque and saw a rope hanging in between its two pillars. He said, " What is this rope?" The people said, " This rope is for Zainab who, when she feels tired, holds it ( to keep standing for the prayer.)" The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) said, " Don't use it. Remove the rope. You should pray as long as you feel active. and when you get tired. sit down". Bukhari 2:139, hadith # 2517

 

Equilibrium in time management: Narrated Abu Juhaifa: The Prophet made a bond of brother­hood between Salman and Abu Ad‑Darda. Salman paid a visit to Abu Ad-Darda' and found Um Ad‑Darda' dressed in shabby clothes and asked her why she was in that state. She replied, "Your brother Abu Ad‑Darda' is not interested in (the luxuries of) this world." In the meantime Abu Ad‑Darda' came and prepared a meal for Salman. Salman requested Abu Ad‑Darda' to eat (with him), but Abu Ad‑Darda' said, "I am fasting." Salman said, "I am not going to eat unless you eat." So, Abu Ad‑Darda' ate(with Salman). When it was night and (a part of the night passed), Abu Ad‑Darda' got up (to offer the night prayer), but Salman told him to sleep and Abu Ad‑Darda' slept. After sometime Abu Ad‑Darda again got up but Salman told him to sleep. When it was the last hours of the night, Salman told him to get up then and both of them offered the prayer. Salman told Abu Ad‑Darda', "Your Lord has a right on you, your soul has a right on you, and your family has a right on you; so you should give the rights of all those who has a right on you." Abu Ad‑Darda' came to the Prophet came and narrated the whole story. The Prophet said, "Salman has spoken the truth.". Bukhari 3:107‑108, hadith # 189

 

Moderation in time management: Narrated Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-As: Allah's Apostle said to me, "O Abdullah! Have I not been informed that you fast during the day and offer prayers all the night." Abdullah replied, "Yes, O Allah's Apostle!" The Prophet said, "Don't do that; fast for few days and then give it up for few days, offer prayers and also sleep at night, as your body has a right on you, and your wife has a right on you, and your guest has a right on you. And it is sufficient for you to fast three days in a month, as the reward of a good deed is multiplied ten times, so it will be like fasting throughout the year." I insisted (on fasting) and so I was given a hard instruction. I said, "O Allah's Apostle! I have power." The Prophet said, "Fast like the fasting of the Prophet David and do not fast more than that." I said, "How was the fasting of the Prophet of Allah, David?" He said, "Half of the year," (i.e. he used to fast on every alternate day). Afterwards when Abdullah became old, he used to say, "It would have been better for me if I had accepted the permission of the Prophet (which he gave me i.e. to fast only three days a month).". Bukhari 3:110-111, hadith # 196           

 

Balancing different activities: Yahya reported: I and 'Abdullah b. Yazid set out till we came to Abu Salama. We sent a messenger to him (in his house in order to inform him about our arrival) and he came to us. There was a mosque near the door of his home, and we were in that mosque, till he came out to us. He said: If you like you may  enter  (the house) and, if you like, you may sit here (in the mosque). We said:  We would rather sit here and (you) relate to us. He (Yahya) then narrated that Abdullah b 'Aml b. al-As (Allah be pleased with them) told him: I used to observe fast uninterruptedly and recited the (whole of the) Qur'an every night. It (the uninterrupted fasting and recital of the Qur'an every night) was mentioned to the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) or he sent for me, and I went to him and he said to me : I have been informed that you fast continuously and recite (the whole of the Qur'an) every night. I said: Apostle of Allah, it is right, but I covet thereby nothing but good, whereupon he said: It suffices for you that you should observe fast for three days during every month. I said: Apostle of Allah, I am capable of doing more than this. He said: Your wife has a right upon you, your visitor has a right upon you, your body has a right upon you; so observe the fast of David, the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him), for he was the best worshipper of Allah. I said: Apostle of Allah, what is the fast of David? He said: He used to fast one day and did not fast the other day. He (also) said: Recite the Qur'an during every month. I said: Apostle of Allah, I am capable of doing more than this, whereupon he said: Recite it in twenty days; recite it in ten days. I said: I am capable of doing more than this, whereupon he said: Recite it every week, and do not exceed beyond this, for your wife has a right upon you, your visitor has a right upon you, your body has a right upon you. He ('Amr b. 'As) said: I was hard to myself and thus I was put to hardship. The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) had told me: You do not know you may live long (thus and bear the hardships for a long time), and I accepted that which the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) had told me. When I grew old I wished I had availed myself of the concession (granted by) the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) This hadith has been narrated by Yahya b. Abu Kathir with the same chain of transmitters and he made this addition after these words: During every month, (fasting) for three days, there is for you ten times for every good and that is perpetual fasting (for three days would bring a reward for full thirty days). I said: What is the fast of the Apostle of Allah, David? He said: Half of the age (observing fast on alternate days for the whole life). And in the hadith no mention has been made of the recital of the Qur'an, and he did not say: Your visitor has a right upon you, but (instead) he said: Your son has a right upon you. Muslim 2: 563, Chapter 436, Hadith #2588

 

MANAGING INTERRUPTIONS

Brevity and precision: KS p. 492, BU Kitaab 7 Baab 1, MU Kitaab 5 Hadith 3, Abu Daud Kitaab 2 Baab 174

 

Etiquette of visiting

 

Etiquette of conversation

HABITS AND ROUTINES

Routines of life: The mutual rivalry for piling up ( the good things of this world ) diverts you ( from the more serious things ). Until you visit the graves. But nay you soon shall know ( the reality ). Again, you soon shall know!. Nay, were you to know with certainty of mind, ( you would beware! ). You shall certainly see Hellfire! Again, You shall see it with certainty of sight!  Then, shall you be questioned that Day About the joy ( you indulged in !).

Qur'an 102

 

Forgetting and negligence: KS p. 315, BU Kitaab 9 Baab 37, MU Kitaab 5 Hadith 309-316, Abu Daud Kitaab 2 Baan 11

 

Omar against procrastination: According to Umar b. al Khattab said, " Strength in what one does ( comes only ) when you do not put off today's deed until tomorrow. Trustworthiness ( comes only ) when what is kept secret does not run counter to what is made public. Fear Allah, piety ( comes only ) through fear, anyone fearing Alalh will be preserved by Him.". Tabari 14:120

 

Initiative to take action quickly: KS p. 83 … Husain b Abd al‑Rahman reported: I was with Sa'id b Jubair when he said: Who amongst you saw a star shooting last night? I said: It was I; then I said: I was in fact not (busy) in prayer, but was stung by a scorpion (and that is the reason why I was awake and had a glimpse of the shooting star) He said: Then what did you do? I said: I practiced charm. He said: What urged you to do this? I said: (I did this according to the implied suggestion) of the hadith which al‑Shu'ba narrated. He said: What did al‑Shu'ba narrate to you? I said: Buraida b Husaib al‑Aslami narrated to us: Tho charm is of no avail except in the case of the (evil influence) of an eye or the sting  of a scorpion. He said: He who acted according to what he had heard (from the Holy Prophet) acted rightly, but Ibn Abbas narrated to us from the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) that he said: There were brought before me the peoples and I saw an apostle and a small group (of his followers) along with him, another (apostle) and one or two persons (along with him) and (still another) apostle having no one with him. When a very large group was brought to me I conceived as if it were my Ummah. Then it was said to me: It is Moses and his people. You should look at the horizon, and I saw a very huge group. It was again said to me: "See the other side of the horizon, and there was (also) a very huge group. It was said to me: This is your Ummah, and amongst them there were‑seventy thousand persons who would be made to enter Paradise without rendering any account and without (suffering) any torment. He then stood up and went to his house. Then the people began to talk about the people who would be admitted to Paradise without rendering any account and without (suffering) any torment. Some of them said: They may be those who (have had the good fortune of living) in the company of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and some of them said: They be those who were born in Islam and did not associate anything with Allah. Some people mentioned other things. Thereupon came forth the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) before them and he said: What was that which you were talking about? They informed him. He said: They are those persons who neither practice charm, nor ask others to practice it, nor do they take omens, and repose their trust in their Lord. Upon this 'Ukkasha b. Mihsan stood up and said: Supplicate for me that He should make me one among them. Upon this he (Messenger of Allah) said: Thou are one among them. Then another man stood up and said: Supplicate before Allah that He should make me one among them. Upon this he said: 'Ukkasha has preceded you. Muslim 1:141-142, Chapter 91, Hadith #625

 

MEETINGS

Dua at leaving a group meeting: "Hazrat Abu Burdah reported that when his holiness intended to stand up ( to go ) from a majlis, he used to say at the end: Subhank allahum wa bihamdik ashahdo an la illah ila ant astghfrk wa toub ilaik. So a man said: O Messenger of Allah! You make a statement which you did not utter formerly. His holiness said: I say it for the atonment of that thing which happens in the majlis" Hayat 3:313

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. October 2000