Sura/Chapter:

Verse:    Count: 3
Tafseer/Commentary:
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Translations:
103: Al-Asr - العصر

103:1
[ Original ]
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ وَالْعَصْرِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
By (the Token of) Time (through the Ages),
[ Saheeh International ]
By time,
Tafseer Commentary

6262 Al 'Asr may mean: (1) Time through the Ages, or long periods, in which case it comes near to the abstract idea of Time, Dahr, which was sometimes deified by the Pagan Arabs (see Introduction to S. 76.); (2) or the late afternoon, from which the 'Asr canonical prayer takes its name (see n. 271 to 2:238). A mystic use of both these ideas is understood here. An appeal is made to Time as one of the creations of Allah, of which everyone knows something but of which no one can fully explain the exact significance. Time searches out and destroys everything material. No one in secular literature has expressed the tyranny of "never-resting Time" better than Shakespeare in his Sonnets. For example, see Sonnets 5 ("never-resting Time"), 12 ("Nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defense"), and 64 ("When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced, the rich proud cost of outworn buried age"). If we merely run a race against Time, we shall lose. It is the spiritual part of us that conquers Time. See verse 3 below. For the "afternoon" idea see next note.


103:2
[ Original ]
إِنَّ الْإِنْسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily Man is in loss,
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, mankind is in loss,
Tafseer Commentary

6263 If life be considered under the metaphor of a business bargain, man, by merely attending to his material gains, will lose. When he makes up his day's account in the afternoon, it will show a loss. It will only show profit if he has Faith, leads a good life, and contributes to social welfare by directing and encouraging other people on the Path of Truth and Constancy.


103:3
[ Original ]
إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy.
[ Saheeh International ]
Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.
Tafseer Commentary

6264 Faith is his armour, which wards off the wounds of the material world; and his righteous life is his positive contribution to spiritual ascent.

6265 If he lived only for himself, he would not fulfil his whole duty. Whatever good he has, especially in moral and spiritual life, he must spread among his brethren, so that they may see the Truth and stand by it in patient hope and unshaken constancy amidst all the storm and stress of outer life. For he and they will then have attained Peace within.


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