SURAH AL–ASR (The Time)
THEME: TIME, IMAAN & RIGHTEOUS ACTIONS, PROPAGATION OF TRUTH AND PERSEVERANCE
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
1. (An Oath) by the token of the time of ASR.
2. Indeed man is at a loss!
3. Except those who believe and do righteous acts and then mutually advise with the truth and enjoin patience and perseverance.
This Surah is one of the shortest Surahs in the Qur’aan but with a message that is most relevant. Imaam Shaafi’ee Rahmatullaahi alaihi says with regard to this Surah that if this was the only Surah of the Qur’aan, it would have sufficed for the guidance of mankind.
Allah Ta’aala begins this Surah by taking an oath on ‘time’. The very first thought that would cross the mind of the one reciting this surah with understanding is, “Why the qasam (oath) on time?” It is in keeping with the well known maxim, “Time and tide wait for no man” or its modern version, “You snooze, You lose.” Likewise, if we do not spend our time on those actions that Allah Ta’aala commands us with, we shall be at a great loss.
Thereafter Allah Ta’aala declares that man is in a state of loss. However, exception is made of those who possess four qualities viz:
1) Those that have Faith (Imaan).
2) Those that perform righteous deeds.
3) Those who advise each other with the truth.
4) And those who advise each other in perseverance (patience).
This Surah is a beautiful measure or yardstick and a reason to engage in introspection. Each one of us should question ourselves, “In the light of this surah, am I in the group of losers or those whom Allah Ta’aala has classified as successful?”
If we endeavour to acquire these four qualities, we shall most definitely be successful. May Allah Ta’aala grant us the tawfeeq to practise and also grant us the wisdom to invest our time our time in such a way that pleases Him, Aameen.