Is the believer allowed to use his time sometimes in activities that don't have many benefits or any benefits for him, such as videogames, watching movies, and the like,

Question: what is the ruling on "wasting" your time?


2 Answers 2


In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, Most Merciful

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. We cannot find words to praise Him, as He only sees fit how laudation should be addressed to Him. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils within ourselves and the evils of our bad deeds. Whosoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whosoever He leads astray will never find guidance. We bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the One without any associate, and We bear witness that Muhammad is His Messenger and bondman, peace and blessings be upon him, his kith and kin, his Companions and all those who follow their guidance until the Day of Judgment.

Your Question: What is the ruling on "wasting" your time?

Answer The basic principle is that, it is sinful to waste time, because you are doing things that does not benefit you. A Muslim should engage a lot in dhikr.

The Prophet 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."

Allah Says:

"O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger, and make not vain your deeds! Qur'an" (47:33)

Both the Quran and the Sunnah emphasize the importance of time in the life of a Muslim. Allah swears at the beginning of many Chapters by time or moments in time, for example, Allah Says (what means): “By the dawn and the ten nights (i.e. the first ten days of the month of Thul-Hijjah)...”[Quran 89: 1-2]

Allah also Says (what means): “By the night when it covers, and by the day when it appears...” [Quran 92:1]

Another verse reads (what means): “By the morning brightness and by the night when it covers with darkness...” [Quran 93:1]

Also, Allah Says (what means): “By the time...” [Quran 103:1]

The whole of mankind is in great loss, except those who fulfill the four qualities or characteristics mentioned in the Surah. Why is the whole of humanity in great loss?-simply because they have lost the meaning and the use of time. And whoever loses these days, these months, these years; whoever loses time, he is in loss; because this is your capital. Any trade that you do, you must have a capital. And our capital in life is our ‘Time.’

When Allah swears by something of His creation, it is evidence of its importance, and this directs our attention to the benefit of that thing.

For example, Mu’aath bin Jabal, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention ) said: “A person will not move on (on the Day of Judgment) until he has been asked about four things: his life and in what he spent it, his knowledge and what he did with it, his wealth, from where he acquired it and on what he spent it, and his body and how he wore it out.”

Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on his soul, said:

"Wasting time is worse than death, for wasting time severs one from Allah and the hereafter, whereas death severs one from the present world and the people living in it." Whoever wastes his time will inevitably regret losing every single moment of it; and whoever spends a day in his life without discharging a duty, fulfilling a religious obligation, or acquiring some useful knowledge, has indeed wasted that day can squander his whole life in this way.

One’s time is the period for work, either to achieve eternal happiness in the hereafter or to cause oneself destruction and misery. Due to the importance of time, Allah has sworn by some of its parts. He has even sworn by the entire time including its nights and days.

Imam Ibn al-Qayyim offers a wonderful metaphor for the year (al-sana) as a sprawling tree and highlights the worse consequences of wasting time that leads to the disobedience of Allah:

"A year is like a tree: the months are its branches; the days are its limbs; the hours are its leaves and breaths are its fruits. He whose every breath was spent in the worship of Allah has reaped the fruits of the tree but he whose every breath was spent in disobedience to Allah, his fruits are poison”.



“Wasting time cuts you off from Allah and the hereafter, whereas death cuts you off from worldly life and its people.” - Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim

If the video games or movies don't boost your spirituality but include inappropriate scenes and language then this can affect your spirituality and perhaps take away focus in prayer.

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