Monday 16 July 2018

The Holy Qur'an (Summary): Chapter 103 Surah Al-'Asr - The Time

Surah Al-'Asr is a unique surah  of the Holy Qur'an in which the Allah Almighty reminds the mankind about the importance of time. We have been listening to the advice from our elders to not to waste time as it flies and never returns. And that one can never make good of the lost time for Time and Tide wait for none.

Therefore in this surah Allah cautions that Mankind is in loss except for those who chose to believe in the oneness of Allah and then do good deeds as demanded of them after accepting the will of Allah and guide others to be on the righteous path.Thus those who did not believe in the last of the commandments of Allah sent down onto Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are really at loss for they have missed the bus.

Herein under is the English translation of this short but very meaningful chapter of the Holy Qur'an:
Time is witness that,
indeed, Mankind is in loss, 
Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.” 
Thus making good of one's time and dividing it for one's wordily needs and preparation for the life in the hereafter is very important. And this surah also emphasizes the need to not only believe in Allah and his apostle, but also spread the message to others who may not be able to read or not in access of the right knowledge. This will thus ensure that word of Allah is spread so as to provide an opportunity to others to make good  of their time by following Allah's chosen path for them.

While looking for better explanation of Surah Al 'Asr, I came across an excellent Research Paper on Surat 103 Al-Asr (SUMMARY OF QURAN) By Abu Bakr Karolia of which am sharing a few excerpts herein under. But I would suggest my readers to read the paper in full for it is an excellent paper to read to really understand the timings of revelation of this surah and its detailed explanation:
This surah opens to an admonition to humankind by God. God takes an oath by “time” and declares that humankind is in a state of loss (khusr) if it does not secure four conditions/principles  of this oath: First, to have faith (iman); second, to do righteous deeds and act ethically (̀amal-al-salihat); third, to encourage the truth (watawasaw-bil-haqq) and finally, to urge each other to have fortitude/steadfastness/patience (watawasaw-bis-sabr).
The Shafi-Ash’arite theologian, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi(d. 1209) states that he understood the meaning of Surat-al-Asr  from an ice seller who was appealing to people in the bazaar to pity him and buy his ice before it melted away (Al-Razi, 2010). The analogy of melting ice to time instantly gives a feeling of life withering away and the urgency to do something to stop the loss. The surah effectively appeals to believers to learn about the consequence of time before the age limit that humankind is allotted with, which will pass away as the melting of ice. 
Herein under are the commentary of some of the prominent Muslim scholars about Surah Al 'Asr:
Abul Ala Maududi, prominent Muslim scholar from Pakistan opines that: This Surah is a matchless specimen of comprehensiveness and brevity. A whole world of meaning has been compressed into its few brief words, which is too vast in content to be fully expressed even in a book. In it, in a clear and plain way it has been stated what is the way to true success for man and what is the way to ruin and destruction for him. Imam Shaafi has very rightly said that if the people only considered this Surah well, it alone would suffice them for their guidance.
Mufti Muhammad Shafi, an well known South Asian Islamic scholar comments: the Struggle of the human being is like the one who is trying to sell ice. It is melting away and he needs to sell it quickly and make as much sales before the end of the day comes. Otherwise - all his valuables' and efforts will go to waste. [In the past - there were no Freezers, so your ice would melt into water by the end of the day.]
Al-Zamakhshari, Persian scholar has this to say about this surah: People are in tremendous loss because of that which they buy and sell in life (of good and bad), except for the Saaliheen (righteous). O Allah, make us of the Saliheen (righteous), Aameen. Because the Saliheen buy for the next life instead of for the pleasures of this life. And then they were profitable and happy on Judgment Day, and whoever was an enemy to their buying - then he was in loss and despair.

Now you may like to listen to the recitation of Surah al 'Asr along with its English translation (Each verse will be repeated thrice for those who wish to memo rise the surah):

Calligraphy by Shahid Rana | References: |1|2|3|
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