Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) would say:
إني لأكره أن أرى الرجل فارغا لا في عمل الدنيا ولا في عمل الآخرة
“I don’t like to see a man idle, not involved in any deeni work, nor in any worldly work.” (Hilyatul Awliyaa vol. 1, pg. 178)
We all know the famous adage: “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” No one is saying that we must perform salaah or read tasbeeh the entire day. If it’s not some deeni work, then let us involve ourselves in some permissible worldly activity. Some scholars mention that a person should rather plant potatoes if he doesn’t have any work to do, since some benefit will still come out of it.
We all know in today’s time of technology how detrimental it is to remain idle. If a person is idle he has the whole world at his finger tips and he can get involved in so many types of wrongs and vices.
We need to also ensure that our children are occupied with some activity. Today the child has a car, all the money in his hand, and is free to do as he pleases. Thus he experiments with the wrong things and gets involved in wrong habits. Let us get them involved in something, even if it be some business, so that they will be occupied.
[Extracted from our detailed book on the life of ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), The Classic Resemblance of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)]