The this Surah (Surah Al-Asr) was named as such because Allaah swears by time, in the opening verse.
The Arabic letter waw, baa, and taa, are used to swear (by something), e.g. Wallaahi, the first letter waw is used to swear.
Al-Asr also means the last part of the day. The majority of the scholars say the word al-asr refers to time here in this Surah.
By Al-‘Asr (the time). (1)
إِنَّ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ لَفِى خُسۡرٍ (٢)
Verily, man is in loss, (2)
The whole of mankind are being referred to here.
Allaah is swearing by time; Then Allaah says
which is used to emphasise. After this Allaah says
showing three places of emphasis
إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلۡحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلصَّبۡرِ (٣)
‘Except those who believe (in Islâmic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth and recommend one another to patience.’ (3)
Eemaan cannot be acquired except through learning the pillars of Eemaan, its nullifiers and learning what contradicts it.
From this Surah we learn that we must have four characteristics:
- To have belief and to seek knowledge
- Perform actions upon this knowledge
- Enjoin others to this truth that we have been guided to
- To have patience upon all of that.
Patience is required because no doubt all of this will bring difficulties. Every single one of us will be in loss, except those who come with these four characteristics.
Surah Al-Asr comes straight after Surah At-Takathur (which mentions what destroys people) and this Surah (Al-Asr) tells the people what saves them.
Two companions would not leave each other except that they would recite this Surah (Al-Asr) showing the virtue of this Surah.
Imaam Shafi’ee said: “had Allaah not revealed another Surah, it would have sufficed them”
In the general sense, this Surah suffices the people and advises how to be saved from the hellfire.
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