By Imam Jamal Rahman
“Truly by token of time, humankind is in loss..”(Qur’an 103:1-2)
“Half of life is lost in charming others. The other half is lost in going through anxieties caused by others. Leave this play. You have played enough.” ~Rumi
Time is precious. A moment gone is a moment lost. Alas, we often do not realize this simple truth until it is too late. When we finally move beyond the dramas and melodramas of our life and yearn to become and do that which gives meaning and substance to our life, we realize that our time on planet earth is limited.
Repeatedly, the Qur’an reminds us to be conscious of time and allow our hearts to engage in “Remembrance of God.” In a pointed verse, the holy book exclaims: “Be conscious of God with all the consciousness that is due to Him, and do not allow death to overtake you before you have surrendered yourselves to Him.” (3:102)
In a stark metaphor, Rumi points out that death is hoarse from shouting and that from so many astounding blows, death’s drum skin has split! But sadly, we have enmeshed ourselves in trivialities. Only now do we apprehend the mystery of time and death.
To honor time and steer our life journey in a meaningful direction, sages and elders offer invaluable advice. In my case, my parents repeatedly asked me to meditate on the insight that it is natural to seek approval of others. But know that whosoever’s approval you seek, you become their prisoner. It’s simply a law of the created world. Therefore, and, this is critical, strive to choose your jailors with care and deliberation.