Reviling Time or How I Once Regarded Time

When you embrace Islam, after having been raised in another religion (for me it was Catholicism), we can’t help but bring along some previous conceptions or misconceptions. My early days of Islam were filled with anaylizations and reassessments. Of course, as it is with all of us, the more I studied, the more I became aware.

Let me tell you about one issue. I don’t know when it began, but somewhere along the line I developed into a night person. It was probably all those late night feedings of new born infants in the solace and quiet of the night. The whole house was sleeping and so I was more free to get certain tasks accomplished. I remember my first Ramadan with my first child… she routinely awoke around midnight for a feeding, so while I nursed her, I used to read Qur’an, keeping up with my juz a day. It was so peaceful and relaxing and nothing else was required of me at that time.

Mornings were not my best time of day and I developed the habit of saying, “I hate the mornings”. I never thought much about the ramifications of the statement — it was hard getting up early, so much to do: get the children ready for school, getting myself ready, breakfast, etc., — I just knew it was true. I guess I went along saying that or thinking that until Allah, subhaanahu wa t’ala placed us in Makkah. When the opportunity arose to study Arabic at the university here I glady took it. It was an answer to a prayer. At first, I used to ride with my neighbor in the apartment directly across from me. Her name was Azza and she was from Egypt. By that time I had 4 children, masha Allah, and so mornings were very hectic getting 3 children ready for school, one ready for the baby sitter and gathering my own books and things for a full day of classes. I greeted Azza with salaams and then I would say, “O, I hate mornings,” actually, in Arabic I said, “I don’t like mornings,” which is milder than hate, but I meant that I really disliked it. She looked shocked and then said, “Asthaghfirullah. Allah created the Subh.” I didn’t fully understand, but I stopped saying it around her after a couple of time of receiving the same reaction. Alhamdulillah, in the first year of the university, after I finished the language program, we studied the book, Fathul Majeed fi Sharh Kitaab At-Tauheed by Sheikh Abdur-Rahman bin Hasan Aali AsSheikh (d. 1258H., [with authentication of ahadith done by Muhammad Haamid Al Faqi, 7th Edition 1958.] One chapter in it was called, “Man Sabba Ad-Dahr Fa Qad Aatha Allah” Whoever Reviles Time Has Wronged Allah. I wept with remorse when I realized the depth of my careless words. I was reminded of this lesson again when looking over my son’s new books for this academic year.

This is how the lesson is presented:

The Ayaah: Al-Jathiyah: 24

Arabic:

…وَقَالُواْ مَا هِىَ إِلاَّ حَيَاتُنَا الدُّنْيَا نَمُوتُ وَنَحْيَا وَمَا يُهْلِكُنَآ إِلاَّ الدَّهْرُ ﴿

Translation from Noble Qur’an:

{And they say: “There is nothing but our life of this world, we die and we live and nothing destroys us except Ad-Dahr (Time). . . .}

In Hadith Sahih:

Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet, (may Allah send His blessings, forgiveness, mercy and greetings upon him), said, Allah, the Exalted said [this indicates that it is a Hadith Qudsi]

«يَقُولُ تَعَالَى: يُؤْذِينِي ابْنُ آدَمَ، يَسُبُّ الدَّهْرَ وَأَنَا الدَّهْرُ، بِيَدِيَ الْأَمْرُ، أُقَلِّبُ لَيْلَهُ وَنَهَارَه»

The Son of Aadam (mankind) has wronged Me (i.e., has done Me an injustice). He has reviled Time and I am Time; I rotate the night and the day.” [Al Bukhari, 4/1825-1826, Hadith No. 4549; Muslim, 4/1763, Hadith No. 2246] In another narration of this hadith it says: “Do not revile Time, for verily, Allah is Time.” [Muslim, 4/1763, Hadith No. 2246]

Translation from Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (Allah the Exalted says, “The Son of `Adam annoys Me when he curses Ad-Dahr (time), while I am Ad-Dahr. In My Hand are all matters; I cause the alternation of his days and nights.”) In another narration;

«لَا تَسُبُّوا الدَّهْرَ فَإِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى هُوَ الدَّهْر»

(Do not curse Ad-Dahr (time), for Allah is Ad-Dahr.)

Some vocabulary:

from the ayah….

وَقَالُواْ : they said : those who deny the resurrection

مَا هِىَ إِلاَّ :it is only: it refers to life – life is nothing more

حَيَاتُنَا الدُّنْيَا : our life in the world: the complete statement reads, “…life is nothing more than our life in this world, i.e., there is no resurrection, no Hereafter

نَمُوتُ وَنَحْيَا : we die, we live: some of us die and some of us live….the process of giving birth

وَمَا يُهْلِكُنَآ إِلاَّ الدَّهْرُ : and only Time will destroy us: the passage of Time will put an end to us, and there is no Lord having control over us

from the hadith:

يُؤْذِينِي : to wrong Allah: because He is described with a defective description — a description that is less than perfect

يُؤْذِينِي ابْنُ آدَمَ، : has wronged me (from the hadith): he has detracted from my Rouboubiyyah — the aspect of being Lord.

ابْنُ آدَمَ، يَسُبُّ الدَّهْرَ : (man) reviles Time: to rebuke it, criticize it, disparage it, blame it during problems and crises that befall mankind

وَأَنَا الدَّهْرُ، : I am Time: I possess Time, I am the Possessor of Time and the Planner of affairs which they attribute to it (to time)

أُقَلِّبُ لَيْلَهُ وَنَهَارَه: I rotate his night and his day: Allah is responsible for continuance of them and what happens during them — the good and the evil

verily Allah, He is Time: He is the One Who controls what happens during it (time) — good or bad

Main Points of this Subject:

[1] To attribute life and death to Time is an act of disbelief/kufr:

Verily, from within the meaning of Tauheed (the Oneness of God) and the bearing witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah is the attribution that life, death, harm and/or benefit to Him — He has control over these things and whoever attributes them to other than Allah, like attributing them to Time or nature, has disbelieved.

Some people in the Jaahiliyyah (the Pre-Islamic Days of Ignorance) did not believe in life beyond the life of this world, nor did they believe there was a Lord for them; they believed that their lives were ended by the passage of nights and days, that is, Time.

[2] The difference between reviling Time and describing it:

Ad-Dahr: it is the passage of Time and this refers to the days and nights.

Sabb Ad-Dahr: It is to revile Time, to insult it, to curse it, to pray against it during a crisis or time of anger, or hating it.

As for describing it as being difficult or harsh, this does not constitute reviling Time, like saying, “Today was extremely cold,” or “It was a very hard winter in the North.”

[3] Whoever reviles Time has committed one of the following.

a) If he believes that Time is an active participator with Allah, then he has committed shirk in that he has ascribed a partner to Allah.

b) If he believes that Allah alone has the ability and power over all things that happen and he insults this ability or power, then he has insulted Allah, the Exalted.

[4] Examples of reviling Time:

a] Saying “Qaatil Allah this hour in which I see you”….literally, “Damn the hour that I see you.”

b] Saying, “May God curse the day I failed the exam”.

c] La’in Allah — May Allah curse the hour that the rain began to fall (as in the case of a flood or perhaps an automobile accident happened because of rainy conditions, etc)

d] Damn the day that so-and-so died or was born.

[My comments: In some dramatizations of life where a son may have gone bad, a parent would say, “Damn the day that you were born” or some words to that effect. In the West, the words, “damn it”, “damn you” and other curses have come to be the norm…..rolling off the tongue of disbelievers and, unfortunately, believers alike. It is everywhere and used by almost everyone, so much so that we feel that these words have little meaning. The fact is that these words have enormous meaning, but we have been “desensitized” to their meanings and consequences. If such expressions are a part of a Muslim’s vocabulary, coming out, perhaps, in a time of anger or grief, they should be gotten rid of lest our tongues testify against us on that Day, saying that not only were we ungrateful for Allah’s blessings, but also that we reviled and blasphemed them. Time is a barakah — one that Allah has given us and shown us many ways of pleasing Him during it. If we are around people whose vocabulary includes such language, we should ask them to stop or minimize our time around them and seek refuge in Allah whenever we hear it.]

As for my saying, “I hate mornings”, I never say it; I never think it. I only ask…

May Allah forgive me

May Allah forgive me

May Allah forgive me

Omm Rafiq

May Allah grant us intense love of Him and we pray to Him in humble submission.

اللهم إني أسألك حبك
و حب من يحبك
و حب كل عملِ يقربني إلي حبك

O Allah, grant me love for You
for those who love You
and for every deed that brings me close to Your love

Allahumma inni ‘asaluka hubak,
wa hub man yuhibik,
wa hub kullu ‘amalin yuqrabani ‘ila hubik

1 thought on “Reviling Time or How I Once Regarded Time”

  1. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

    Jazakallah khairan sister for keeping your writings alive on your blog. I am a sister from a mailing list we both belonged to some time in the late 90’s. I looked you up because one of my daughters was asking me how the people on the Sunnah were when I was younger. As I was telling her I remembered this mailing list and I remember your posts in particular. Masha’Allah I was so excited to find them on your blog. I still remember many of these entries.

    I would like to email you privately if you would allow me.

    Jazakallah khairan

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