Suratul Asr 103: 1-3

Alhamdulillah we enjoyed doing this session tremendously. We discussed in more details on our daily timetable and identified what is the crtical time that we need to pay attention to. We also identified how we can improve our routine to include more good deeds.

My children are in the range of age 12, 10 and 6 currently. So for this surah our main focus is managing our time. I shared my aspiration and the activities that I would love them to do with me. And they lovethe idea and agreed to be more discipline so we can incorporate more things.

I also shared them the values that I am trying to nurture in them. They must help me to help them, bi idznillah.

We’ll see how much they can adhere. But like all of us, they all need constant reminder. And by introducing the quran and the sunnah, insya Allah the reminder is easier.

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By Al-‘Asr (the time). (1)
Verily, man is in loss, (2)
Except those who believe (in Islâmic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma’ruf) which Allâh has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar) which Allâh has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allâh’s Cause during preaching His religion of Islâmic Monotheism or Jihâd). (3)

This is a Makki Surah. It has three verses and it is surah no 103

Allah begins this surah by swearing on one of His creation – the time.

In the Qur’an, there is a relationship between oaths and what follows the oaths. When Allah ta’ala swears by something, it shows the importance of the object He is swearing by and that object will be elevated. Furthermore, whatever comes after the oath is very important as well.

Imam ibnul Qayyim wrote about aqsaam (plural of qasm) in the Qur’an and he mentioned that there is a reason for the oaths that are mentioned in one surah. He mentions that aqsaam:

a) begin the surah in a powerful way; a powerful introduction to the subject and how the whole surah is tied to the oath.

b) every oath is an evidence, worldly or religious, that one could see if they reflect upon it.

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We should refrain the habit of swearing and making swearing a casual remark of exclamation, like Wallahi!. You are swearing on Allah’s name, thus you must be very aware that you are speaking the whole truth. On the other hand we are not allowed to make an oath on other things than Allah. This is SHIRK.!

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Let us look on what people celebrate birthdays about. Birthday is the celebration that someone has increased another year of their life. A popular belief is that Man struggles against nature to live as long as possible and to enjoy as much as possible.  That’s why birthdays are celebrated.  It’s one more year that a person has “beat Mother Nature.”

In Islam, it is not about how long you manage to live, not about how you can survive the world – because our lifespan has been predetermined. If you think about it, we are essentially living on a timer counting down. Time is slipping away at each second we are living. It is not about increasing age, but rather counting down to the end. Except that we do not know when the timer ends. But it will surely end.

Allah swears on this time that is fleeting away from you. To tell you how important this time is.

We know how time is important. Should we not give full attention to how we use it. Let us discuss a schedule of our daily life so we can make sure we are fully using time to something good and that Allah is pleased with.

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We can never hold the time we have now. It slips away in every second. Every second, we are counting down our life. And Allah says in this verse, by starting in the previous verse making an oath on time, that we, the humankind are all at loss.

Are we all at loss? Do be alert when Allah says that we are all at loss! Be scared and worried and ponder why we are all at loss. Because Allah is talking to YOU!

We have already loss of so much opportunity that comes with time.

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Allah starts verse 3 with the word“except” which refers to the verse previously; when Allah says that we are all at loss. Allah says there is an exception for some of us. Alhamdulillah!

If we were panic earlier that we are at loss, we should now be eager to know who are those that Allah has given exception to. Not all of mankind is at loss. Then Allah proceeded describing who among us that is not among the losers.

They are

1. Those who believe.

Believe in what?

2. Do righteous deeds

Can you list some of the righteous deeds that you can do

3. Advise one another to the truth

You should try to do this if you have not already. Calling people to do good things. Here are some suggestions that you can do

4. Advise one another to patience.

This means giving advice and forbidding bad things that people do. The key word is also patience for it is not easy to do this. People might not like you and you may lose some friends.

To fulfil all these you need to have knowledge. With knowledge you will know what is to advise to good and what nasiha to give when people do evil. With knowledge you will learn to be wise, Insya Allah.

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Lessons from this surah:

  1. The importance of time for man’s salvation
  2. Mankind is actually in the state of loss.
  3. To not be among the loss we must believe, do righteous deeds, calling people to good and forbidding evil.

Reference

1. Quranic Oath : The Fleeting Passage of Time by Amatullah

2. The reality of Time by muhammad Al shareef.

3. Tafsir Ibn Kathir

4. Mmethodical interpretation of the Noble Quran – Part 30 by Dr Ahmad Nawfal, Darussalam.

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