Time Management in Islam

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Bibliographic Information
Journal Al-Idah
Title Time Management in Islam
Author(s) Razi, Shama
Volume 32
Issue 1
Year 2016
Pages 98-106
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Chicago 16th Razi, Shama. "Time Management in Islam." Al-Idah 32, no. 1 (2016).
APA 6th Razi, S. (2016). Time Management in Islam. Al-Idah, 32(1).
MHRA Razi, Shama. 2016. 'Time Management in Islam', Al-Idah, 32.
MLA Razi, Shama. "Time Management in Islam." Al-Idah 32.1 (2016). Print.
Harvard RAZI, S. 2016. Time Management in Islam. Al-Idah, 32.
عصرحاضر کے تقاضوں کے تناظر میں جامعات دینیہ کا قضیہ: عملی تجاویز
طبی میدان عمل میں ضرورت کی بنیاد پر رخصت کا اطلاق
تعلیمی نظام کی اصلاح کے بارے میں امام بخاری کا نظریہ
فلسفہ احکام میراث
ریاست کے اداراتی مقاصد کے تناظر میں نظریہ انفرادیت اور اجتماعیت پسندی
ام المؤمنین حضرت ام حبیبہ رضی اللہ تعالی عنہا: احوال و خدمات کا تحقیقی مطالعہ
شریعت اسلامی میں رسم و رواج کے ساتھ تعامل کا جائزہ: مختلف اسلامی ادوار کی روشنی میں
تفسیر قرآن میں ام المؤمنین سیدۃ عائشه کا مقام
اشیاء خورد و نوش و ادویہ میں جلاٹین کے استعمال کا طریقہ کار اور اس کا شرعی جائزہ
عقیدہ تناسخ اور عہد الست میں فرق کے حوالے سے امام رازی کے موقف کا جائزہ
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موقف محمود سامي البارودي ومحمد إقبال من السياسة: دراسة تحليلية وموازنة
المحاسن البلاغية والأدبية في الأحاديث النبوية في كتاب الفرائض
المحكم والمتشابه وموقف المفسر منهما
الجملة المعترضة فى القرآن الكريم: دراسة بلاغية
The Analytical Study of Well Thought-Out Legitimate Pakhtun’s Trends Regarding Marriage Binding Shariah Perspective
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Concept of Peace and Harmony in the Buddhism amd Islam: A Comparative Study
Social Media and Cyber-Jihad in Pakistan
Economic Facilities for Non-Muslims in a Muslim Country in the Light of Quran and Sunnah
A Proposed Islamic Microfinance Impact Assessment Methodology
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Time Management in Islam
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Abstract

The concept of time management is practice from decades. Time management has grabbed the attention of many scholars and there were many writings and analysis made. Time management is an important issue of human life as you cannot add more hours in a day, you have to plan yourself with the limitation of time. Islam focuses on the time management so that a believer should balance his life (spiritually, socially and economically). Islamic teachings are dynamic in their approach, they teach Muslim from every aspect of life and allow them to spend their time productively. Islam’s main focus is on the planning and organizing the time and our main focus is to depict what Islam teaches about time management and how it is practiced in the world. Then conventional methods of management are similar to the Islamic teachings.


INTRODUCTION

The concept of time management refers to the act or process of scheduling and exercising sensible control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity. It has been given immense significance over the years and many people recognized it as a major issue in every aspect of life. In today’s world planning and organizing it is important to plan and schedule duties to avoid any wastage of one’s precious time, as time keeps on passing with its pace. So people have to organize themselves according to its pace to shun any discrepancies. Islam has also led important instruction for time management and through saying of the prophet Muhammad (SAW) and teaching of Holy Quran. Time management is a very important factor for businesses as the output depends on it, without the proper time management many businesses suffer, but people are more involved in adapting worldly ways of this management. They are far away from the teachings of Islam and how Islam guide Muslims to manage their precious asset of life effectively so that you would be better off in life here and hereafter.6

Time management is important concept not only for business sector but, its significance cannot be neglected in other aspect of life. The concept of time management according Claessens, B. J., C., et al. (2007) started in 1950s and 1960s. Authors mentioned the importance of how to maximize the limited time on jobs to increase output and productivity. It is important to highlight here that the concept of time management started 1400 years ago when Messenger of Allah the Almighty taught the followers about the pillars of Islam. Prayer, Hajj, Fasting, and Zakat all of them strongly emphasize on the time management.

It is very essential to consider time management concept in social life too. So that person should be having healthy and enjoyable life but many people go astray and are surrounded by different problems. They fail to keep a balance, which leads to unhealthy relations with wife, children, and parents. These social outcomes increases the pressure on people and causes high stress. According to the Islamic point of view Muslims are bound to build better relationships with family and friends and also fulfil their task timely. Today’s time management is largely based on the western methods and studies. Whereas values and principles of management were led by the holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) 14 centuries ago may serve as a foundation for the notion of management similar to the west.

Everyone wants to lead a successful life and success is achieved by managing your scarce resources effectively. Time is also scarce resource as no one have ability to bring back their past time. So utilization of this priceless gift from ALLAH Almighty effectively may lead to success. Muslims have to follow teachings of Holy Quran and sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in order to achieve blessing of ALLAH Almighty here and in the hereafter and success comes when you have true belief in religion and follow it effectively and timely makes your work easier. For example if a person performs his duties betimes then there are less chances for his failure, and this is what Islam says offer your obligatory duties timely and don’t delay them for worldly tasks. This shows the concept of prioritizing your work when important tasks are performed then there is less burden on person and he/she perform other task hurriedly and effectively which make them successful. So Islamic teachings are universal and they deal with man’s life dynamically solving every rising issues.

Objectives of study:

Time management in administration and business according to Islam.

  • Role of time management in life according to Islam.
  • How new innovation aiding time management

Methodology:

The study is desk and descriptive research, it is based on the secondary data. As the nature of the study is theoretical, I reviewed the existing available literatures like published books, journals, Quran, and research work related to the conceptual framework of time management according to Islamic ways. The data and information has been analyzed in order to make the study more informative and useful to the people interested in it.

Time management in administration and business according to Islam:

The process of time management consists of essential functions of planning, organizing, control and decision-making, all these tasks are imperative to begin a successful business, and administration. Different scholars and philosophers recognize this management as a significant tool for the businesses according to Covey, the author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," time management is the ability to "organize and execute around priorities. This means that time management is to design your administration and business resources in such a way that they should work effectively and efficiently to produce more out of given resources and lower cost incur in allocating them. Knowing exactly what you want to do, and ensuring that you do it in the best way at the lowest cost, the author gave the notion that management comes when your goals are clear to you and to your workforce and they are performing their tasks meritoriously.2 Islam is a complete code of life for the Muslims, they seek help from the Quran and refer to Sunnah on every issue they encounter in their daily life. Islam has led a great emphasis on the management of time which a Muslim can learn from Islamic history. One of the most credible element related to time management in Islam is offering the prayers. Today many people fail to achieve their required targets due to mismanagement of the time which leads to high stress. Lost time cannot be recovered and once you missed performing important assignment, task or duty then one cannot find the time to do it again. By offering Salat (prayers) one can discipline himself and learn how to prioritize his/ her time. A Muslim can learn management from The Holy Quran5 says “(43) And the king said LO I saw in dream seven fat kine and seven lean were eating, and seven green ears of corn and other (seven) dry. O notables expound for me my vision, if ye can interpret dreams. (44) They answered: Jumbled dreams and we are not knowing the interpretation of dreams. (45) And he of the two who was released and at length remembered said: I am going to announce unto you the interpretation, therefore send me forth. (46) (And when he came to Joseph in the prison he exclaimed) Joseph o thou truthful one Expound for us the seven fat kine seven lean were eating, and seven green ears of corn and other (seven) dry, that I may return unto the people so that they may know. (47) Ye sow seven years usual, but that which ye reap leave it in the ear and all save a little which ye eat. (48) Then after that seven hard years will come devour all that ye have prepared for them and save a little of that which ye have stored. (49) Then there will come a year when people will plenteous crop and when they will press.

The above verses of The Holy Quran shows that how prophet may Allah’s blessing upon him plan for the future of the state and planning does not contradict Islamic teaching but it is legitimate way of dealing with the upcoming problems of administration and businesses . Regarding Islamic planning it is defined as a collective style of work that takes necessary future measures that is based on religious, intellectual approach which is compatible with divine destiny and trust in Allah Almighty, and that pursue the legitimate goal of worshipping Allah (Almighty) while building this world. Targets are not met without input of any effort, men should put some effort and show binding with his work and seek Allah’s (Almighty) help. According the Holy Quran: “Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force”

Islamic planning is having clear view about your ambitions and taking practical measures for their achievements and having belief that whatever the outcome is ordained by Allah (Almighty). In this respect Allah (Almighty) says to the Prophet and all Muslims “And say not of anything, Lo I shall do it tomorrow, Except if Allah wills…..” According to Quranic, verse mentioned above explains the notion that we should complete our assigned work in given time and this is possible when you come up with a plan, which instructs you to perform each task on time. Objective of an action defines the consequences that one will encounter. It is essential to be familiar with the purpose and the outcomes beforehand .2

The prophet Muhammad (saw) said accomplishment of goals come when you take necessary actions and trust in Allah (Almighty). On an occasion a person come to Prophet Muhammad (saw) and asked that if he should lose his camel and put trust in Allah (Almighty) or tie his camel and put trust in Allah (Almighty). Prophet Muhammad (saw) replied tie and put your trust in ALLAH Almighty. This hadith explains that this should not be taken that you have put trust in Allah Almighty now you have to do nothing thus persons should take such a measures to prevent uncertainty to happen and seek help from Allah (Almighty) .

Organization is significant element of the element of the management in general and time management in particular. According to the book findings7 the concept of time management is in itself a contradiction as time is unmanageable, it is indeed the activities and manners which are coped against it. To manage resources you need to organize them by adopting different strategies like delegation, division of labor, and hierarchy which will save time and perform important task first and least important at the end. Hierarchy is also practice by prophet Muhammad (SAW) when he became head of state and appointed regional ruler, army head, zakat collectors and further they were delegated different tasks to perform and give the message of prophet to people.

Before assigning task to people it is better to know their abilities that at which particular task they are good at , as person lacking skill cannot perform required task efficiently than those who have , on some occasion Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: the most compassionate to my people is Abu-Bakr , most rigorous to Allah’s (Almighty) affairs is Umar , most generous is Usman ,one who knows most about obligatory duties is Zaid ibn Thabit ,one who knows most how to recite Quran is Ubbay Ibn Kab , one who has most knowledge about what is lawful and unlawful is Muath ibn Jabal. Every person has trustworthy guardian, trustworthy guardian of these people is Abu Ubayyada Ibn Jarha. This hadith clearly illustrates concept of specialization as Prophet Muhammad (Saw) explains everyone’s distinctive task in which he was good at, so specialization does not contradict Islamic teachings but it is applied by Prophet Muhammad (SAW). And businesses using specialization at their different department are managing time efficiently and producing more from the given resources according the researcher6 choosing a right person for the task is also one of the main element towards efficiency and time saving, doing work one third of the day and producing something good and perfect is more preferable then working whole day and sacrificing quality.

Islam also focuses more on quality than the quantity and allow Muslims to divide their time according to prioritizing work and making day most productive.

Role of time management in life according to Islam

The very first verse of Surah Al’Asr starts with the importance of time. Allah Almighty says by taking the oath of time and telling mankind through His messenger that time is important to fulfil your duties and task. And once it’s passed you can never get it back and will only regret.11

As mentioned in a hadith narrated by Bin’ Abbas; “There are two blessings which many people lose: (they are) health and free time for doing good”12

Life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is a complete eye-opener for all of us. The way he operated in his daily life and how organized he was sets an example for all humanity. His attributes of being truthful, trustworthy, and honesty are commendable. He always avoided ill-talk which depicts the importance of time. The same concept can take out from the Quran13, where Allah Almighty states “And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate”. For leading the successful life and having the blessings of Allah, Muslim should rise early as Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “O Allah, bless my nation in their early mornings”. This hadith clearly demonstrates that Muslims should plan for his day in the early mornings and start with his work, rising early for Fajar prayer is mostly likely by Allah (Almighty) and person may have blessings of Allah (Almighty) who wake for Fajar prayer. When person starts his day early in morning he have plenty of time to complete his task prioritize which is important one should perform earlier. The traditions and customs of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) indicated that the day is divided into three main portions.

Spiritual development: This was the time he dedicated solely to Allah. It was typically the late part of the night when the Prophet would recharge himself spiritually for the next day. It was during the night that he engaged in intimate communication with his Lord, the source of all strength and empowerment, through qiyam (night prayer), dua (supplication) and zikr. Family affairs: The prophet was consistent in making time for family matters.

Personal/Social affairs: He consistently made time for his companions, so no one felt neglected or had their affairs undiscussed and remain confused. This was the time when men and women would come with their personal, marital, financial, spiritual and even health problems. This is when he would receive delegations from other nations and faiths or attend to nerve-racking issues of politics, conflicts and leader.

Islam has led great emphasis on the human rights and each person has to fulfil them in order to seek Allah (Almighty) blessings, right of wife , children , parents are important in men life with whom he have to spend his time and men are there to meet the needs of their wife , children and parents.

To understand how one should set priorities for oneself an interesting theory called “the bucket theory” was proposed by a scholar4. In this theory the author used a bucket which he filled with rocks and asked whether the students thought that it was full, once they agreed he went on to fill the bucket with small pebbles and repeated his question to the students, on their agreement he again filled the bucket with sand which filled in all the empty areas. He then went on to explain that this bucket depicted our life with the rocks being the important things such as our family, companions, health, and children, while the pebbles signified the other things such as job, car, house etc. that mattered and lastly the sand represented everything else in life. The author elaborated that if the pebbles and sand are lost our life would still be complete whereas if we put in the sand first in the jar there will be no place for the rocks and pebbles (the more important things). This analogy is a perfect example of showing how if we prioritize minor things over the major ones we will never have adequate time to deal with the imperative. So we should line up our work which leads to happiness and fulfilment of our duties. As Prophet Muhammad (saw) also gave symbolic portion of his daily time to family and meet their needs. Relationships are important in life, they play significant role which make your life comfortable. Prioritizing is also important when carrying out the daily chores.

It is very important for person to distinguish between what matters to him a lot and what is least important to him, because this will set important works to be done first. The purpose of time management is to understand the task first and then take required steps to implement it. This is all about making strategies to deal with your affairs and getting rid of chaotic schedule and making your life more productive and lively. To get work done and solve problems requires one to acquire effective and efficient techniques which utilize time more proficiently rather than wishing for extra hours in a day. The focus should be to learn techniques for efficient & effective use of time. By seeking advice from religion and the religious scholars one can manage to avoid stress from his/her life and also it will help people who are overloaded with different natures of work and taking stress due to their deadlines.8

In the event that something is taking longer than it ought to, and deferring different commitments, then this is time waster. Time waster would at last cause stress, we have to figure out how others are utilizing our time for their motivation, and these are the potential time wasters, once we will have the capacity to conquer these wasters we can make the most of our time the way we need it. Just by wiping out time wastage diversions, we can accomplish composed day by day schedule.8

As Prophet Muhammad (saw) devoted his time to religion and spiritual obligations, a Muslim should schedule his activities according to five daily prayers which start day with early in the morning and end at after sunset. Prayers enable us to remember our obligatory duty and worshipping Allah (Almighty) five times a day which organized day with healthy routine as person who offered prayer five times a day his exercise is equaling to walk of 2-3 km which make you live healthy life. Delaying prayers for the worldly work is not allowed in Islam and it is obligatory work which should not be sacrificed for other works. Many studies concluded that on normal a person should sleep for 7-6 hours a day which make his muscles relaxed and stress free the same schedule is taught by Islam in which Muslim conclude their day after Isha prayer and wake up early in the morning at time of dawn. Islam do not command Muslims to waste their times and sit idle. Once Prophet Muhammad (saw) did not greet the person who was sitting idly And on his way back he greet the same person when he was occupied with an activity.

Muslims should organize themselves in such a way that they can get everyday blessing and spend their time in most productive way they should consider time as an investment which should not be wasted by spending it .There are two concepts which are crucially related to time that is effectiveness and efficiency. And Islam also focuses on quality rather than quantity so doing every work with best effort is considered as a good deed in Islam.

How new innovations aid time management:

Modern technology has enhanced time management a lot today. It is being used in every office and factories, saving time and cost both at the same time. People now a days rely more on technology to perform different task as it save time and produce quality which is required most and at the first priority of an organization, household and economy. To compete in this global village Muslims have to adopt new ways but the concept behind these enhancement is the same so there is no contradiction with the teaching of the Islam. This includes use of technology such as computers, fax machines, electronic calendars, answering machine, and internet.

Use of computer is very popular among managers of the companies and other employees other than the working class students and instructors are also relying on the computers to complete their task in the fastest possible time with accuracy. As time management awareness is getting among many people they start considering time as a scarce resource which should be used to its optimal point. People are today able to utilize there every minute due to technology as they are doing their work even when they are traveling. Which is making everyone single to pocket himself to compete in this global village. Use of internet in today’s world is very common along the use of computers it connects whole world with each other and made transfer of information quicker without wasting single second. Due to use of this, people are producing their best and utilizing their time up to maximum they can. As part of internet email gas brings tremendously expedite the data transfer and written information which is supported by Islamic teachings. Also that to write everything when making agreements and laws.

Other machines like fax and mobile phones are today becoming essential for everyone in the society to communicate with each other and this communication is bringing enhancement in working process of the offices and other institutions. Previously people were having huge communication gaps which take many days to communicate with each other and arrive on the common decision today time is save through elimination of this gap and society is increasing its pace of advancement these all things are bringing discipline in men life when use for the correct purpose as it is said "Time Management is nothing but self-discipline and actually implementing into one’s life."7 The use of mobile phones today also acting for the computers purposes and due to communication devices encroachment people are getting a way to spread their voice as religious scholars are available online to provide guidance, this is again saving of time and managing your resources efficiently and effectively.

As Islam has laid emphasis on the organization of the task, today according to the need of modern world work become difficult and mot manageable without help of machines. So in order to organize work we can use new gadgets which aid us in completing our task .

Conclusion:

The aim of Islamic teachings is to allow people to utilize their time in most productive way which provide Muslims with best and successful outcomes. Muslims should distinguish between their obligatory and non-obligatory duties which they have to perform such as prayer, fasting giving of zakat these are obligations and remembrance of Allah Almighty. To perform their duties Muslims need to manage their time and prioritize their work accordingly so that they should be able to meet their targets set by themselves for each day and long-term goals.

Time management is important in life as it gives sense of organization, planning, division of work, and prioritizing. It assist men to realize that this time is the gift from Allah Almighty and we have to utilize it to its optimum. It can be achieve by making use of technology and strategize to execute our tasks. Islamic teachings underpin the two main concept that are planning and organization in life and lastly most important and above of all is belief in Allah Almighty. Hence, it can be concluded that the concept of time management is ultimately derived from the teachings of Islam.

References:

1. Al-Jeraisy, K., “Time Management from Islamic and Administrative Perspective” Al-Riyadh publisher: 1st ed., 2008.

2. Islam, R., and Wahra, M., A., “Time Management from an Islamic Perspective: An Exploratory Study”, 2013.

3. Covey, R. S., Merill, A. R., and Merill, R. R.,First things first”. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997.

4. Covey, R. S. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990.

5. The Holy Quran: 12/43- 49.

6. Taylor, F. The Principles of Scientific Management New York:  Harper & Row, 1911.

7. R. Alec Mackenzie. The Time Trap. AMACOM, 1997.

8. Marshall J Cook. Proven Techniques for Making the Most of Your Valuable Time. Adams Media Corporation, 1998.

9. Morgenstern, J. Time Management from the Inside Out. New York:  Holt Paperbacks, 2004.

10. Muhammad U. Sami, Dr. Nadeem Ehsan, F. Hameed, Mobeen A. Khan and J. Rahi. “High Level Principles of Time Management in Islam” Paper presented at ICSEP, 2011.

11. The Holy Quran: 103/1.

12. Sahih Bukhari. Book of Hadith Vol.8

13. The Holy Quran: 25/67

14. Claessens, B. J., C., et al. “A review of the time management literature”. Personnel Review Vol. 36 No. 2, 2007.