Apart from refraining from worthless talk, believers should not engage in purposeless and futile deeds that bring no rewards in the Hereafter. In the Qur’an, Allah speaks of;
Those who turn away from worthless talk; (Surat al-Muminun, 3)
Engaging in purposeless deeds is a characteristic of hypocrites and unbelievers, as described in this verse:
Leave them to eat and enjoy themselves. Let false hope divert them. They will soon know. (Surat al-Hijr; 3)
All kinds of action that is not intended to earn the good pleasure of Allah would fit in this category. Even the good behavior commanded in the Qur’an could be futile if a person exhibits it for any purpose other than earning the good pleasure of Allah -for example, because it has become a habit, because it is a way to avoid another more difficult deed or because it is something everyone around him does. (Allah knows the truth.)
Besides the obligatory acts of worship that a Muslim performs at particular times in the course of the day, he should also spend the rest of his time in acts that will benefit Islam and for attaining the good pleasure of Allah, and he should strive to improve himself in order to obtain the best results.
The priority and urgency of the work is also very important for believers. Scheduled routine work may be a waste of time and energy when there are more urgent duties waiting to be done at that moment. A believer must not consider it sufficient not to indulge himself in the useless pastimes that occupy unbelievers. Rather, he must always have pure intention and not prefer a deed that is less likely to deserve Allah’s approval over a more important one. (See “12. Continuation of Good Deeds and Worship.”)