Wasting Time Is Worse Than Death
Q: What did Ibn al-Qayyim mean when he said: “Wasting time is worse than death”?
A: He said this because wasting time cuts you off from Allah and the Hereafter, while death only cuts you off from this world and its inhabitants. If the human being dies while he is a God-fearing believer, he is only cut off from this dunya and its inhabitants, and resides with those of the highest levels, leaving these people behind, and this is in no way considered a loss. Rather, it is the supreme success, and every person will die and depart. However, such a person will depart this level of people for those of the higher levels, and from this world to the world of eternity, pleasure, and praising of Allah.
The problem is in wasting one’s time in things other than the obedience to Allah, because this cuts you off from Allah and the Hereafter. Because of this, you find those who waste their time in pointless talk and entertainment neglecting these acts of obedience. You find that their hearts are hard and sealed. You find that one of them acting like a donkey by day, and a corpse by night – in fact, you might even find the opposite, as now, some act like donkeys by night, since this is when they are most active. So, he is like a donkey when he is active, and is like a corpse when he is sleeping. We seek refuge with Allah from this, and this is because he is cut off from Allah…the connection between him and Allah is cut off, and because of this, he is dead:
The one who has died and is relieved is not the one who is dead * Rather, the one who is dead is he who is from the living dead
And the living dead is he whose senses and emotions are living, but his heart and faith are dead.
We ask Allah for relief from this.