We all know how uncertain life is and most of us may directly or indirectly know of young people who have passed away. Knowing this fact then what is it that is fooling us into thinking that we may not be next? What is stopping us from thinking that the next grave to be filled is not ours?
The youth will come and go and if we waste it then we will regret it forever without a doubt. This is the best time to gain god habits. This is the best time to go closer to Allah! There is no time like the present and there may not be anytime left for us to see tomorrow. So now is the time we have to make the changes before it’s too late!
This life is just a test and we are on a short journey here to our final and ultimate destination which is the hereafter. Hereafter is for eternity and this life is but a few short hours so what should we work for?
Here are some tips on how the youth should spend everyday of their lives in pleasing Allah and going closer to him before:
1. Having a good sleeping pattern
We need to structure our day and also get ourselves into a proper sleeping pattern where we sleep and wake up around the same times so our body gets used to it. The best time to sleep would be around half 10 no later than half 11 and this ensures that we can easily wake up for Fajr Salah and even wake up for Tahajjud which is one of the best prayers after Fard Salah and the best way to get closer to Allah and achieve high ranks in Paradise!
We should try to sleep and wake up around the same time so our body would then adjust to this pattern and we would even end up waking up naturally around the same time.
Sleep is meant to be for nights and the day is meant to be for activity so make sure you don't spend the nights awake if there is no valid reason for it or if it is not necessary to be awake after 11.
We should try and exercise at least 30-45 minutes a day. The best exercise is in the morning where one can go for a jog or swift walk or a gym which may be better motivation for most. It is best to do some resistance training as well which also aides in weight loss and keeping body in good shape for Ibadah(worship).
If you exercise then you will be able to get good sleep and also get up in the mornings easier especially for Fajr. So make a routine of going to the gym at least 3 to 4 times a week or doing 45 minutes swift walking a day or a jog in the morning or any part of the day. Cycling is also good as it takes the pressure of the knees.
3. Limit time watching TV, playing video games and on the computer
We should try to Limit our time watching TV and spent playing games and on the computer otherwise one can easily get carried away and spend hours on end watching TV, playing games and on the computer and waste significant amounts of time which we can NEVER get back!.
4. Watch what you eat
It is very important one eats right as what we eat will effect us day to day and many foods will make us feel lazy and lethargic which will effect our Ibadah (Worship). Therefore what we out into our stomachs everyday is extremely important.
We should always eat a good breakfast because it would give us the best start to the day. Rasulallah(Pbuh) used to have honey in some warm water when he woke up. This cleanses the stomach.
A while later a good breakfast to have would be oats and porridge as they slowly release energy and most other cereals have way too much sugar in them. Of one can have some yoghurt with honey and fruit. One can sweeten ones porridge with a little honey. One can also have brown wholegrain toast with boiled egg.
Have a light but filling lunch because if our lunch is too heavy then we will certainly begin to feel lethargic later on in the afternoon so make sure you don't have a heavy lunch. It is best to avoid fried foods and too much carbohydrates at lunch as in too much rice, pasta or potato as these can make you very lethargic later on in the afternoon.
Stick to eating a healthy wholegrain bread sandwich with salmon, tuna, chicken with salad or soup with some brown bread. Whatever you eat make sure its not too heavy as this will make one very tired towards the middle to end of the afternoon and make one groggy after coming home from work especially after a long day.
Avoid snacking on too many crisps, chocolates and biscuits. Rather replace with fruit with yoghurt or healthy snacks. Avoid too much coffee and tea throughout the day because ones body can get used to it and one would end up getting headaches and groggy if one doesn’t have tea or coffee. Stick to a cup or two of green tea as this is a very good source of antioxidants.
8. Evening meal
Rasulallah(Pbuh) recommended eating evening meal so one should have a good meal in the evenings but again not too heavy because the heavier the meal the more harder it will be too get up in the morning for Fajr and work.
Have a high protein meal with more fish and chicken and meat about twice a week. If one doesn’t eat meat then replace with tofu, Soya products and paneer in a healthy stir fry with vegetables.
Try not to have too much rice or too many chapatti’s. Always have as much fresh vegetables and salad as you can with your meals.
Best to eat between 6 to 7 and no later because one should eat no later than 4 hours before sleep.
9. Balanced diet
Have a good and balanced diet not eating too much of any particular thing. Have plenty of fruit and vegetables of different varieties as our body needs a variety of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Don't rely on supplements rather take your vitamins and minerals naturally from healthy and fresh food.
10. Brain food
Almonds are a very good brain food as are oily fish which contain a lot of Omega 3 oils like Mackerel, sardines and salmon.
Also opt for a lot more wholegrain in your diet like whole grain bread, rice and pasta.
Seeds are also brilliant so get some mix seeds and put some in your porridge or on some yoghurt with honey every morning or as a desert or snack with honey. Have a lot of tomatoes as well which contain a lot of lycopene which is really good for your brain and for your skin.
11. Structure day
Structure your day properly and try to make a timetable or plan for yourself. You have to be determined and think to yourself "I cannot waste anymore time like this for death can come at any second and i need to make the best of my time".
Making the best use of time in our lives is crucial. The time we have now has to be spent as much as possible worshipping Allah or no doubt it will become a source of regret for us in the hereafter. Here is what you can do to make the best use of your free time:
12. Salah (prayers)
We should all be praying our Fard Salah everyday 5 times without fail. If there is a discrepancy in our Fard Salah then we should really sort our act out because this is very serious. Watch this short clip on the importance of Salah:
On top of praying our Fard Salah we should also pray our Sunnah Mu’kkadah which is the Sunnah that we should read unless we have a valid excuse includes 2 Sunnah Mu’kkadah before Fard of Fajr, 4 Sunnah Mu’kkadah before Fard of Dhuhr and 2 after Fard of Dhuhr 2 after Fard of Maghrib, 2 Sunnah Mu’kkadah after Fard of Isha.
The Ghair Mu’kkadah is the Sunnah is not emphasised but we should still read it as it is a lot of reward and a means of getting closer to Allah. These include the 4 Sunnah before 4 Fard of Asr and 4 Sunnah before 4 Fard of Isha.
As much as possible we should try to pray our Nafil Salah as this is one of the best ways to get closer to Allah and it also makes up for any deficiencies in our Fard salaah. Here are the nafil prayers we can pray everyday in addition to Fard and Sunnah.
We should try our best to do all of our Fard, Sunnah and nafil everyday as we need as many good deeds as we can whilst we are alive and will regret the good deeds we missed out on.
13. Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah)
The easiest thing to do each day is the Dhikr and glorification of Allah. Rasulallah (Pbuh) advised us to always keep our lips moist with Dhikr. This is also one of the best deeds and once we get into the habit of it, it is the easiest and feels the sweetest in ones heart. The more Dhikr we do the more good acts like will gravitate towards. If we remember Allah all the time then we will remember the world less. When we remember Allah then Allah remembers us. If we forget Allah then Allah forgets us.
Dhikr is so east that we can do it anytime and anywhere especially in our free time, when were at school, college, university, work, or even out shopping or in paying a bill. Whatever were doing we should remember Allah and keep our lips moist with glorifying him.
It is best to use our fingers or a rosary (Tasbih) or even a metal Dhikr counter which is available in any Islamic shop. The reason why it is best to use a rosary and a counter is because they are the best reminders for one to do Dhikr in the first place. When you have it in your hands then you get reminded to do Dhikr but if you don't then most often you would forget or not do as much as you could do if you had a counter.
I would recommend all to get a metal counter which I find most practical as one can use it where ever one maybe. You click the metal counter every time you repeat a glorification of Allah or a durood and you can count your Dhikr so as to quantify it so you can do different types of glorifications.
One should never let Shaythaan put one off doing Dhikr and one should note down how much Dhikr or glorifications one I going to do everyday so as to remind one self what one has to do. It is always best to keep targets so as to reach them otherwise one will not have any goals or motivation to do it in the first place. Here are some glorifications we can all do everyday and it is best to make a minimum target how much of each we are going to do:
14. Reciting the Qur’an
One of the greatest worship is reciting the Qur'an. We actually get rewarded for every letter that we read and we will be raised in Jannah depending on how much we recited and memorised so we should try our best to recite as much Qur'an as possible and also memorise as much as we can.
We should set ourselves a target of memorising at least an Ayat a day and make effort to memorise Sura’s like Surah Yaasin and Surah Mulk which a believer should have in their hearts.
You could consider buying a smaller copy of the Qur'an which you can carry around with you and read whenever you have free time or on your breaks.
We should set ourselves a target of reading at least 1 juz (chapter) a day. If not then at least half a chapter a day or as much as one can read but it is best to set a target so one will do their best to reach it.
Reciting the Qur'an which is the sacred words of Allah and the most beautiful and best words in the universe is one of the best ways to spend our time. On top of reciting the Qur'an in Arabic those of us that are non Arabs should also read its translation and tafseer so as to understand what we are reading and understand what Allah is telling us in the Qur'an and ponder and contemplate over it.
One of the greatest deeds we can do is to read what Allah has written in the Qur'an and implement it into our daily lives. Once you have read the meaning of the Qur'an and ponder over what Allah is saying then you will feel the most amazing feelings you have ever felt it is truly beyond words!
So set yourself a target of how much one will recite and how much of its meanings will one read. A good way of doing it is read a chapter or half a chapter and then read its meanings. Or whatever one finds easiest.
14. Acquiring Islamic knowledge
There is so much to learn in Islam so get some good and reliable books on Islam that you would enjoy reading and learning about. It is always best to start from the basics and then build your way up. So get advice from those who are learned as to which books you should read and where you should start from.
Here is one of the best books for learning about the basics of Islam including Tawheed, how to pray do Wudhu, Ghusl. It also contains stories of the Prophets and much more. It is written in a very easy to read language style and is a very enjoyable read where one will be better acquainted with the basics.
15. Building a close relationship with the Masjid
If you are a brother then know that all Muslim males should read their Fard prayers at the Masjid and one should not be praying Fard salaah at home without a valid excuse. Rasulallah (Pbuh) has said that a person who prays at home without a valid excuse then he would get the youth to gather together wood to burn those houses. He is saying this as a metaphor but we should take it as a warning. Salah in the Masjid is rewarded up to 27 times or more than a prayer at home. That is a lot of reward.
So if there is no valid excuse then you should be praying all of your Fard Salah at the Masjid and one can and should pray their Sunnah and nafil at home. If you’re a female then you should pray at home and you will get the same reward as a person who reads at the Masjid.
If your a male and have a Masjid within 20 minute walk then you should try and walk there for all of your Salah or as many as you can go to. This would be reward for you as well as exercise.
Build a close relationship with the house of Allah because it is the most favourite place of Allah and the worst places in the sight of Allah are the market places or in modern day times the high street and shopping malls where one will find a lot of fitna and evil.
16. Repentance and dua
We should realise that Allah is most merciful and he loves it when his slaves ask of him in dua and repent to him for our shortcomings, mistakes and minor and major sins.
Dua is the weapon of the believer therefore we should use it as much as we can in our daily lives and ask of Allah to help us in EVERY aspect of our lives. We should try to share everything with him no matter how big or small it is and we will find much peace and solace in making dua to Allah!
We should not keep dwelling over the sins we committed in the past. What’s done is done now we have to look to the future and not keeping looking at our past. We should take lessons from our past and do things better now and the future.
We should be remorseful over our past and present sins and have the intention of NEVER committing them again and make sincere repentance feeling bad about the sins we have committed.
We should constantly ask for forgiveness always and have hope in Allah that he will accept our repentance. We should also realise that Allah hears every dua and if you think he is not accepting your dua then it is because he has something better for you because as humans we tend to think we know what is best for us but we clearly don't as ONLY our creator knows what is best for his creations.
So never stop asking of Allah for Allah gets angry with those who don't ask of him:
"Whosoever does not make dua to Allah, He will be angry with Him." [Saheeh Jaami`as-Sagheer #2414]
17. Choose your friends carefully
Once you have built a close relationship with the Masjid you then you will have built a closer relationship with Allah. If you’re a brother then one will find good and pious brothers at the Masjid where one has the opportunity in meeting good and pious brothers who will benefit and help us towards the right path.
If your a sister then join a sisters circle, halaqas and sisters programmes as these are beneficial gatherings where you can learn knowledge and mix with and find good and pious sisters who you can befriend and a good friend will help you towards Jannah and encourage you in doing good deeds which will please Allah and the bad friend will have the opposite effect.
We should try to spend as much time as possible with pious, righteous and learned people and keep away from keeping bad friends and those who are loose in their talk and have a bad influence towards you. These people are not your real friends trust me.
The Prophet (saws) said, “The case of the good companion and the bad companion is like that of the seller of musk and the blower of the bellows (iron-smith). As for the seller of musk, he will either give you some of the musk, or you will purchase some from him, or at least you will come away having experienced its good smell. Whereas the blower of the bellows will either burn your clothing, or at least you will come away having experienced its repugnant smell.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Remember: “All friends will be enemies of one another on that Day (Day of Judgment) except those of the virtuous.” (Al-Qur’an 43:67)
One of the most important things we must do, which sadly many people neglect, is that we should avoid bad company. People we should avoid taking as friends those who speak too freely, who miss Salah, who do not dress modestly, who backbite, slander etc.
The company of such people is poison; just even sitting and talking with them will lead one to commit sins. Just as a person who sits for a long time with a perfume seller begins to smell nice, and a person who sits by a gutter cleaner begins to smell awful, similarly a person who spends time in the company of the wicked eventually gets affected badly by them.
Rather, we should seek out pious friends who fear Almighty Allah and who have the qualities of humility, charity, compassion, modesty and knowledge. If we sit with them we will always benefit and they will be a means for us to get closer to Allah the most compassionate most merciful and kind!
21. Being the best towards others in character and manners
Many of us think that “a perfect Muslim” is simply one who is correct in the observance of the salaah (ritual Prayer), the fasting, the Zakaah (payment of a certain portion of one’s wealth to the poor), and the Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah). This indeed is not the case.
If the ritual observances do not help the person to be humble, virtuous and truly God-fearing, then he or she is not a real Muslim. A Muslim should be good and just in dealing with others, no matter their religion, and take special care to keep away from all the shameful and sinful things Allah has forbidden.
One can never get close to Allah by being arrogant, full of pride and having a bad character and manners. Those who have humility and are humble and have good character and manners are the closest to Allah and Allah raises their ranks in the hereafter. The best person is the one who is best towards others.
22. Spend time with family and maintain ties between family and close relatives who are mahram
Don't forget to spend time with your family and close relatives as Islam emphasises a lot about maintaining ties of kinship. If there is a dispute then be the first to try and resolve it or get an elder of the community or family involved to mediate matters and get advice from a learned scholar. The disputes should not be allowed to continue because of petty worldly matters and should be resolved straight away.
23. Keep away from non mahram and be-friending members of opposite sex
One should not be mixing with or spending time with any family or relatives that are non mahram and one should certainly not be alone with any of them as Shaythaan is always third party when a mahram and non mahram are together.
One should also not be mixing with those of the opposite sex because Allah tells us to keep away from anything that leads to adultery and be-friending a member of the opposite sex always starts off with something innocent and leads to haraam and major sin so totally avoid contact with the opposite gender for it is only for your own good. It is Shaythaan that deceives one into thinking that it is ok to befriend the opposite sex but the main aim of Shaythaan is to take us towards destruction and HELL!
So let us not listen to our enemy but abide by the commandments of Allah and know that he sees all that we do!
24. Keep away from sin by fearing Allah and remembering death can come ANY second!
We constantly get distracted in our daily lives as to our purpose in this life and why we are here. That is why we should constantly remember death as death is the destroyer of all pleasures and brings us back to reality that we are mortals and that our time here is only very temporary and can end at ANY second. Read more here about death the destroyer of pleasures:
We should always fear Allah and know that he is watching our every move and that at ANY moment death can overcome us like it did for these three people:
Please watch these three very short clips which will certainly shock us into realising that one second we may be normal and smiling and getting on with things and the next second overcome by death!
25. Controlling our body parts from sin
We should cleanse our hearts by remembering Allah as much as we can and doing good deeds because this will purify our hearts and take away the blackness of our hearts from sin. The heart is the leader of the limbs and if the heart is cleaned then it will commend the other limbs to do good but if it is blackened with sin then it will command the limbs towards sin.
Let us keep away from sin of our tongue in particular which is the main reason for the majority why a majority of people will enter Hell.
We should also lower our gaze because the adultery of the eyes is to gaze at that which we should not look at.
We should guard our ears from listening to music which is forbidden in Islam due to the fact that it creates artificial emotions inside of us and weakens our Imaan distracting us from worship of Allah. The first to sing was also Shaythaan.
We should guard our privates against masturbation, fornication and adultery as all of these are major sins and will lead us towards destruction. Know that Allah sees all that we do!
26. Helping parents
We should help our parents as much as is possible because the greatest reward after prayer is helping your mother. Do as much good towards them as you can and be the best towards them and never even say "uff" to your parents. If we be bad towards our parents then Allah will make our children the same towards us.
Remember we only have one pair of parents and they will not be with us for long or many of us may have already lost or both parents. So make the best use of the time you have with your parents because when they are gone then all we will have left is regret forever!
27. Having the right intentions
Everything can become a reward for us with the right intention. That includes education, work, eating, drinking, sleeping, exercise etc All with the right intention that we are doing it only for the pleasure of Allah.
If we worship Allah as much as we can then Allah will help us in all other aspects of our lives including at school, college, university, work and also getting work and with whatever we need in regards to worldly matters.
With the right intention then all of our good deeds can be multiplied in reward but any good deed we do for the pleasure of others or to show off then those deeds will be replaced with major sin and we will be punished for it unless we change our ways and repent sincerely making sure we do ALL good deeds for the pleasure of Allah ONLY!
So we should always check our intentions before doing any act!
28. Overcoming laziness and procrastination!
Shaythaan will always try his best to slow down our progress that is why we must change our mindset and attitude and constantly remind ourselves of our purpose in life and that we can be overcome by death at ANY second! Shaythaan can only whisper but we have the power over our body’s and lives so let us take our body towards goodness and away from sin and evil!
Feeling this lazy cannot be good for your worship as it would make you lazy in your ship to.
Procrastination and laziness are two of Shaytaan’s strongest strategies to stop us from performing good deeds. It is necessary for the wise person to take matters into his/her own hand and harness his/her energy in a positive way everyday.
The person who breaks the back of Shaytaan in the start of the day will not just pass his time day dreaming and in mindless pursuits, he will make sure that every second of his time is spent fruitfully. In winter, Fajr Salaah is much later. So let us break the back of Shaytaan and kick-start our day with Salaat!
Shaytaan causes people to forget the truth and the Commands of Allah. ‘Shaytaan has overtaken them. So he has made them forget the remembrance of Allah. They are the party of Shaytaan…’ [Surah al-Mujaddilah (58): 19] But as soon as we remember, we should strive to leave that which distracted us from the remembrance of Allah and His Commands as the Qur’an commands us, ‘If Shaytaan causes you to forget, then do not sit after the remembrance in the company of the wrong-doers.’ [Surah al-An’aam (6): 68]
The one who wants to do some good deed should carry out his action with determination and resolve. Resolve means not wasting time and not delaying things. He should forget about the idea of having plenty of time because the one who has been warned (of the punishment of Allah) should not be assured.
What you miss, you cannot make up for it. The reason for every shortcoming or inclination of evil is the belief that there is plenty of time and a lot of hope, because man keeps thinking of giving up evil and turning towards good, but delays. No doubt, whoever thinks that he has the whole day ahead of him will take his time, and whoever has the hope that he will still be there in the morning will do very little during the night, but the one who thinks of death as imminent will strive harder.
You need to discipline yourself otherwise you will waste huge amounts of time which you will never get back and who knows when death will come for life is so uncertain and we need to prepare before preparations are made for our funerals!
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to make a du’a:
اللّهُمَّ إنِّي أعُوذُبِكَ مِن العَجزِ وَ الكَسلٍ
Transliteration: Allahumma inniy a’oothubika min al-ajzi wal-kasli
Translation: O Allah, I seek refuge in you from incapability and laziness.
29. Make good use of your youth before it’s over!
Make the best use of your youth until it is over because you will never be able to get it back. The youth is the best time for worship and getting closer to Allah so let us make the best of this time that we have and not waste it otherwise we will regret it FOREVER!
We will also be asked by Allah on the day of judgement how we spent our youth. There is no guarantee that we will make it another day so we should make the best of now and the present for tomorrow may never come!
Narrated by Ibn Abbas: Allah's Apostle said,
"Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth before you become old; and your health before you fall sick; and your richness before you become poor; and your free time before you become busy; and your life before your death."
[Musnad Imam Ahmad]
30. Self evaluation on a daily basis
Self-evaluation means to assess where you are in life, set goals for the future, and think of what you can do to get there.
The process of self-evaluation makes one pro-active in directing one's life in order to achieve the goals one sets for themselves. Unless we take the initiative our lives will be shaped by circumstances.
This is a brilliant tool for us to self evaluate ourselves just like people keep logs or diaries to remind them of things so that we can evaluate and improve ourselves on a daily basis.
Implement this new routine into our lives NOW for tomorrow may never come!
So let us put all of this into our daily routine so that everyday can be a rewarding day for us. Let us spend our youth pleasing Allah and being close to him and not waste our youth for we will never get it back and if we waste it then surely we will regret it FOREVER and by then it would have been too late!
May Allah guide us towards the straight path and make us the best of the good doers and the biggest benefactors of Islam!