In a discourse, Maulāna Ashraf Ali Thānvi rehmatullāhi alayh mentioned that idleness is the root of all evil. Shaytān seeks those who are idle to make them involve with his mischief. One old sheikh was walking along with his servant when they saw a man sitting idly on the side of the road. The Sheikh passed by without saying salaam.
On the way back the sheikh saw the same man on the side of the road, but this time he has a small branch in his hand and was making marks on the dusty road. The Sheikh said salaam to him. The servant asked his master about the difference in treatment. The Sheikh replied that when he was idle, Shaytān was closer to him and when he busied himself with making marks on the road, Shaytān became distant from him. Even though this action of his was also not beneficial as well, it was safer than being idle.
Malfuzāt Hakīmul Ummat Malfuz # 331 – vol. 1 pg. 250
NOTE : We should take a great lesson from this discourse, especially in the current days of Ramadhān. We should continuously monitor our time spent throughout the day, lest we be counted among the warning of Allah when He said,
“وَالْعَصْرِ إِنَّ الْإِنْسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ”
By the time! Indeed Man is in a state of perpetual loss
We all know the English equivalent of this saying, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. This is a fact which even the psychologists accept in the light of modern medicine. One day I had the opportunity of getting a personal discourse from Hazrat Mufti Ebrahim Desai Saheb (db) and I complained to him about my constant habit of wasting time in idleness.
Hazrat Mufti Saheb replied, “I can tell you one way to solve this problem of yours, but only if you adhere by it.”
I said, “Sure, if that helps me rid of this disease”
Hazrat Mufti Saheb said, “One wastes time when one has the free time to waste. So schedule yourself such that you are not left with any free time. Fill your day with such tasks which are religiously oriented and stick by the policy. You will see that your time will be spent in path of Allah doing His work and gaining His pleasure. This will also attain you a unique satisfaction in the end of the day, when out of sheer tiredness you will rest your head on the pillow”.
I have tried this advice of my teacher and found it to work wonders. May Allah give me and all of us the ability to utilize our time in the best way possible, Ameen.