“Take benefit of five before five: Your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before you poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied, your life before your death.”
Reported by al-Hakim
I am so excited to write about this hadith today. The advice of the Prophet saws is so valuable, yet in this day and age it is something we rarely take heed of. How often do we fall sick and wish we had taken advantage of our health? How often do we get a new job, have kids, get married, etc., and begin to regret all of the things we didn’t do before we were so busy?
This advice applies to my life and situation in all of the five things, but I have been particularly thinking about the fourth piece lately: take benefit from your free time before you are preoccupied.
Here in Algeria I cannot work due to the economy and lack of market for my skills among other things (got told to take my hijab off for an admin post a few months ago!), and I do not yet have any kids. I can take care of any household duties pretty quickly when I wake up in the morning, so when my husband leaves the house in the morning, I have plenty of time to myself.
I have been complaining about this for ages; I wan’t to work, I want to start my life, make money, get moving. I wan’t to start having kids and get our own permanent place, etc. etc. I am so eager to move on to the next step and stop just sitting around doing nothing much all day.
But when I think about this hadith, I realise how much more I should appreciate the time I have now. I have time to pray sunnah prayers, I have the energy to fast voluntary fasts. I have time to work on my embroidery projects that I eventually want to put into an online shop. I have time to read and to write. Heck, the fact that I have no job and no kids and no major commitments beyond my husband and tiny house is the whole reason that I can keep up with this blog as consistently as I have been!
Another thing this hadith really makes me reflect on is technology and social media (which I want to write another post on in the future in shaa Allah!) How many minutes a day do we spend on our phones, checking emails, checking Facebook. How much does that add up to? It makes me ask myself, am I really taking all of the benefit I can from my free-time before I become preoccupied?
So I hope this has been some food for thought for y’all today. I am making a resolution to complain less about moving on to the next stage in my life, live more in the present, and make use and take as much benefit as I can from this time in my life.
It is all temporary, after all.
Of course I want to hear from you: which of these five are you not taking full benefit from? And what are you going to do to change that?