Friday 12 May 2017

The Age of my Ummah

I was listening to a lecture recently about time management while I was making dinner and a few things really struck me from the talk. In the lecture (I think it was this one), Sheikh Muhammad AlShareef talks about how we use out time, not so much from a time management perspective, but from a perspective of how we will use the years of our life. He reminds us that our beloved Prophet (PBUH) was only 63 when he passed away and his Sahabah (companions) Abu Bakr (RA) who lived to the age of 63 and Umar (RA) who lived only till 60. The Sheikh also mentions a hadith that says:

"The age of my ummah is between 60-70 years". (Tirmidhi, Daavat 101; Ibni Maja, Zuhd 27).

We carry on about our daily lives as if we will live for ever, or assume that our life span is 100 years anyway. It certainly stopped me in my tracks. I am 38 later this year, well over halfway to that 60, and that again is an assumption, because as Muslim’s we know that not even one moment is guaranteed to us, let alone a span of 60 or 100 years. A lot of people reading this would think this is a very negative approach to life, particularly the way Muslim’s are encouraged to think about death a lot. But I think it energises us, it makes us realise that to bumble along in life with our eyes closed is not enough. We have to make our preparations for the next life, we have to think about how most effectively we can use the time in this world to make those preparations and to help others to do so as well.

It also made me look at the way I behave and the things I do. One of my big flaws is bad language astaghfirullah. But looking at the greater scheme of things, knowing you only have a limited time, has been a big help to me in controlling this bad behaviour. 

Another thing I have always struggled with is caring what others think and the way I act being heavily influenced by this. But taking the long perspective and remembering why we are here really makes you think whose opinion it is that matters – Allah (SWT) and is helping to be stronger in dealing with people.

One of the exercises that the Sheikh encourages people to try is to imagine themselves in their old age – what would you be doing, what does this look and feel like? I loved this exercise. I think this is one I can throw myself into wholeheartedly.

What would you like to see when you look back at your life?  What would you like your legacy to be?


  1. Salam alaikum dear sister,

    I would like people to remember me as someone who was kind, loving, patient and helpful when needed. As of late I'm trying to implement this attitude in my day-to-day life, because I've noticed that although I would like to have this attitude, if I don't pay attention I can slip into a grumpy, impatient mess. Usually I can pinpoint the reasons why, but that doesn't mean it's okay for me to do so. It's an ongoing battle, but incha Allah, I can better this.

    I really like the lecture "A Muslimah's Guide to Time Management" of the Rahmah Foundation ( Sister Sara Hussein pointed me to it actually.

  2. How true! but this is not a sad approach it is actually very healthy to constantly think about death.

    'We have to die, we are just given this life one, and we have to make it worthwhile'.

    This is the biggest motivation I got recently bc i am 30 now and i need a drive to start to revolutionize my life. and 'death' was that motivation. So i think it is definitely very healthy.