• This surah is a Makki surah, made up of 3
aayaat. One of the shortest surahs', but
contains many lessons.
In surah al-Fatiha, Allah has taught us to
seek the straight path, as-sirât al-
mustaqîm, and in surah al-’Asr the
essence of that straight path is revealed to
• These seemingly simple lines of divine
guidance tell us how to live our entire life.
• Many books, with thousands of words,
cannot say as much as is contained in
these three short verses.
• This surah shows us “the big picture”, and
undoubtedly anyone who truly
understands and lives by these ideals will
be on the straight path
AYAH 1) wa-al 'Asr
(I swear) By Time.
• Asr - [linguistically] time that is running
• Allah also swears by other Times in the
- wal fajri - I swear by the Dawn. - [Surah
ٰ َ ُّ َ
- -والضحىwad-duha - By the Morning Sun.
- [Surah Duha 93:1]
But 'Asr is a time associated with
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TIME
• IMAN SHAFEE has explained it rightly as:
• 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.
• Prophet Mohammed, may Allah bless him
and grant him peace said, "There are two
blessings that most delude people, free
time, and health."
• Every moment, when it has passed,
becomes past, and every moment of the
future, when it is passing, becomes
present, and when it has passed, becomes
past. Here, since the oath has been sworn
by time absolute
• It would be just like calling attention of the
candidate, who was expending the time
allotted for solving the question paper in
some other pursuit, to the wall clock in the
examination hall, to tell him that the
passing time bore witness that he was
causing loss to himself; the candidate
benefiting by the Time was he who was
using every moment of the allotted time in
solving the paper.
Time is a witness to the tragedy
of the human being
• People throughout history have chased
after wealth, beautiful things, power etc.
• People chased after all these things,
thinking they will achieve success, and
while they were in that state - they died.
This same process has been repeating
generation after generation, for thousands
of years, and there is one creation of Allah
which has continuously been witnessing
all this. It is al 'Asr - the Time.
TIME AS TRUST
• given to mankind by Allah, and the most
precious capital of an individual. This time
reduces with every passing second, and
every moment that passes by is an
opportunity gone, used, or abused, never
• Soon the allotted time will be up and the
angel of death will take the soul away from
TIME AS TRUST
• The reckoning on the Day of Judgment will
be based upon how we spend our time in
• On this day the feet of the son of Adam
(man) will not move till he is questioned
about four matters:
• how he spent his lifetime,
• how he spent his youth;
• from where he acquired his wealth and
how he spent it,
• and what he did with his knowledge"
[Hadeeth in Sunan at-Tirmidhi, no.
Wa-al 'Asr - We will remember
the special Days of Allah
• The Days when; Allah created the human
being (Adam), the Day He revealed the
Qur'an to Prophet Muhammad, the Day
Allah drowned the disbelievers of Prophet
Nuh, the Day Allah destroyed Pharoah and
saved Moses, the Day of Badr, the Day
when Allah spoke to Musa/Moses.
The Day of Judgment, the Day the
believers will see Allah.
• By saying al 'Asr - we will remember these
Days so we will not want to be in loss
Ayah 2) Inna al Insaan La Fee
• Inna - no doubt (it talks to people who
might be doubtful - it removes doubt).
Insaan - Nisyaan - forgetfulness.
The human might be reminded he's in
trouble - but soon he forgets.
• an-Naas: all mankind
Insaan: Each and every individual
forgetful human being - you are in loss
[in potential trouble]...
Why Insaan and Not An Nas
• Diffusion of Responsibility:
If you talk generally to people - they
assume someone else is to blame.
If you talk specifically you start thinking.
Innal insaana la fee khusr.. - no doubt, the
forgetful human is in loss
What is Khusr
• Khusr (loss) also is not merely
synonymous with worldly failure or distress
but comprehends man’s real failure and
disappointment from the world till the
• When the Qur’an states conclusively and
absolutely that Man is certainly in loss, it
implies loss both in this world and in the
Illa alladheena amanoo wa AAamiloo assaalihaati
watawaassaw bi-alhaqqi watawaassaw bi-as-sabr
• Except for those who have believed and
done righteous deeds and advised each
other to truth and advised each other to
• Four conditions must be met:
• 1) Faith
• 2) Good deeds
• 3) Encourage others towards truth
• 4) Encourage other to be patient
• The foundation to utilize time properly lies
in having faith and conviction in the heart -
• The Prophet, may Allah bless him and
grant him peace said, "Faith and Good
Deeds are partners and the one is
• The fruit of Emaan = Tranquility
• You are at Peace with your life and with
Allah because you know that everything
belongs to Him, so whatever you gain or
lose - you are thankful, not worrying that it
is yours to lose. Rather, Allah loves you
and He is deciding what is better for you
THIS WHY WE SAY
• "Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to
Him we will return." [Innaa lillahi wa inna
alayhi Raji'oon] (al Baqarah 2:156)
Correct and good actions So Allah is
implying; if you want to be a better
person - do good actions and you will
be a good person
• Salihat comprehends all kinds of virtuous
and good deeds. However, according to
the Qur’an, no act can be a good act
unless it is based on Faith and it is
performed in obedience to the guidance
given by Allah and His Messanger
Relationship between Faith and
• Unless the seed is sown in the soil no tree
can grow out of it. But if the seed is in the
soil and no tree is growing out of it, it
would mean that the seed is lost in the soil
• What man requires to do after the Faith in
order to remain secure from loss is to
perform righteous deeds.
• In other words, mere Faith without
righteous deeds cannot save man from
What Good Deeds?
• Deeds stipulated in the Quran and sunnah,
like Prayers, Fasting, Zakat, Hajj, Charity,
kindness to orphans, taking care of
parents and a host of other things.
• Good deeds also refer to abstaining from
the prohibited like dealing in interest,
fornication, lying, backbiting, eating impure
food and others.
Tawwasu Bil Haq
• Tawwaassi -- to charge someone,
command them, encourage them (i.e.
emotional encouragement - heart to heart.)
i.e. "I'm telling you, make salaah, it's good
for you in this life and the next."
This is tawwaassu - from Wassiya - to
leave a will - for a loved one.
• In a Wassiyya - You are leaving these
important words because you are about to
die, so you don't have alot of time left, so
people need to hear your last words.
This word signifies; sincere loving
advice, Urgency, telling the truth.
• Wassiyya also implies - when you die, you
pass on alot of your valuable wealth
and property to someone else.
• So Allah is using this word to imply that we
give sincere, loving, and valuable
• You are handing them a treasure of advice
which will really be of benefit to them, just
like wealth and property is benficial to the
• The second implication of Tawwaassaw is;
things that are done mutually (ishtiraaq) -
when you give someone good advice, they
might advise you back. They might even
reply to you back in a loud voice i.e. "Well
you don't do that other good!"
• So you would humble yourself and say;
"Yes, i should be doing that aswell".
I.e. It is a two way sharing of advice, which
- if you give, you should be waiting to
recieve back aswell.
• Because even if there is a truth in it - you
accept it. This shows sincerety in following
This is part of the Tawwaasiy.
• tawaassaw bil haqq - includes tawheed,
obedience to Allah and His Messenger
• bil haqq (with truth) refers to advising each
other with the Qur'an.
Reminding each other through the Qur'an
• Tawaassaw bis Sabr:The significance of
patience in the Islamic Way of Life can be
gauged from the fact that the Prophet, may
Allah bless him and grant him peace
considered it as half of Faith and as the
key to Paradise.
How are they interrelated
• This is because the invitation to truth is
usually not welcomed and it has often to
face resistance. It is necessary for those
who are dedicated to truth to put up with
oppression and persecution.
• Perhaps all of us have experienced that
even a little piece of moral advice can be
disliked by people.
• For example, if a person owes five dollars
to some one, and is putting off its payment
and you ask him to pay that amount to his
creditor, he will frown at you. If he is in an
angry mood, he may warn you not to
interfere in his affairs. Now you can well
imagine how much resistance would be
offered and to what extent people will
oppose the preaching which demands
from them the fulfilling of their major
obligations and religious duties
• In Quranic terminology, this is called
‘istiqamat’ i.e., steadfastness. This is the
acid test which proves to what extent a
person is committed to his objectives
• Humanity is kept from accepting the truth
of Islam by 2 obstacles;
1 - Shubuhaat (Doubts)
2 - Shahawaat (Temptations)
Either one of these lead people astray.
• It is an intellectual problem (people feel
answers by callers to Islam are not
It is a psychological problem (people want
to follow forbidden desires).
• ta waassaww bil Haqq - and they enjoin
upon each other the truth. (This get's rid of
the intellectual problem.)
Wa ta waassaww bil Sabr - and they
enjoin upon each other patience. (This
encourages people to remain upon the
truth even through tempting times
• The most important truth flowing forth from
this sura is that time is much more than
money. Time is in fact life
• This sura then reveals the real criterion of
man's success and failure.
• Any one who has all these four
prerequisites is successful and triumphant
in the hereafter, even if he has no wealth,
friends or recognition in this world