فَإِذَا فَرَغْتَ فَانصَبْ
Therefore, when you are free (from one task), resume (another task). (Al-Inshirāh 94:7)
This verse presents Muslims with an important philosophy of life. Indeed, a believer should always be active; both their working and resting should be an activity. In other words, believers should arrange their working hours in such a way that there should be no gaps in their lives. In fact, as a requirement of being a human, people should rest as well, yet this kind of resting should be an active resting. For instance, when people whose minds are busy with reading and writing become tired, they can rest by lying and sleeping, but they can also rest by changing the work or activity they do. They may read the Qur’ān, perform the Prayer, do physical exercise, or engage in a friendly conversation. After a while, they can return to their normal activity. In sum, it must be the manner of believers that they are always active and remain active by changing activities. That is, they rest by working and work while resting.
If we consider this matter in relation to the service of belief and the Qur’ān, it can be said that we enjoy the bounties and blessings that God bestows for nothing in return. God Almighty has created us as humans and has honored us with Islam and with the service to the faith and the Qur’ān. This is manifest in the lives of many people among us. For example, many wealthy people who pursue God’s good pleasure and desire to serve both their society and humanity at large rent out houses that accommodate many poor and talented students. Without being content with this, they build hostels for the accommodation of greater numbers of students and open private schools for their education in better and more favorable conditions. In the face of the sincere demands of some “hearts” that desire serving humanity in much broader spheres, God has given them the opportunity to open schools or other institutions of education throughout the world. They taste the pleasure of serving lofty ideals in the highest degrees. In sum, at every point where many have suffered worries about whether there is no longer room for volunteering services, God Almighty has opened new fields of service before them. This means that the meaning of the verse, “When you are free (from one task), resume (another task),” manifests itself systematically in our lives whether or not we are aware of this.
Essentially, believers have no other alternatives than to act in such a manner. First of all, every bounty that God grants to the believers is very great. His creating us as human beings is a bounty; good health is another bounty. Belief and perception of these as God’s bounties with the light of belief is another, greater, bounty. Eating and drinking and anticipating eternal bounties are other great bounties. In fact, everything is a bounty for us; we are surrounded by bounties. However, unfortunately, we cannot appreciate their worth due to our over-familiarity with them and thus fail to give proper thanks for them. While people in many countries suffer deprivations, many others die or are left widows or orphans or without children in pitiless wars, and still many others are in the darkness of unbelief or in the clutches of tyrannical regimes, it is a great blessing that we follow right guidance, have possibilities to fulfill our duty of worship, and do not suffer as much as many before us have suffered because of their belief. Therefore, we should always be active, hasting from one activity to the other, fulfill the duties that fall upon us within the framework of services rendered for God’s sake and for the happiness of humanity, and experience fully the spiritual pleasures that are intrinsic to activities themselves.
Indeed, it is out of question for believers to stop and demand a comfortable, lazy life thinking that there is nothing left to do. What is expected from believers is that they engage in another good and positive activity when they are free from the previous one. They find rest in exertion and make rest the beginning of another exertion; they experience ease in hardships and make ease a propitious ground for overcoming hardships. Believing that the metaphysical and the physical are the two faces of a whole unity or complete each other to form unity, they live without leaving any gaps in their lives.
O God! Guide us to what You love and are pleased with, and may God’s blessings and peace be upon our master Muhammad, the chosen one with whom God is pleased!