Overview - Surah 103: al-`Asr (Time)

Surah Introduction

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The Surah tells us that human beings are generally losers.  Then it informs what is the way to success and salvation.

This Surah takes its name from the first Ayat, وَالْعَصْرِ "By time," [103].

There are 3 Ayat in this Surah.

Overview

Total Ayat3
Total Words *14
Root Words *12
Unique Root Words *0
Makki / MadaniMakki
Chronological Order* 13th (according to Ibn Abbas)
Year of Revelation* 4th year of Prophethood
Events during/before this Surah*
Public Invitation to Islam - Persecution of Muslims; antagonism - ridicule - derision - accusation - abuse and false propaganda., Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam , Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam , Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam
Events during/after still to occur*
Physical beating and torture of some Muslims - 1st Migration of Muslims to Abyssinia,2nd Migration to Abyssinia,Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 1,Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 2,Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 3,Death of Abu Talib - Death of Khadijah - Stoning at Ta'if - al-Isra wal Mi'raj - Night Journey,1st Pledge of Aqabah,2nd Pledge of Aqabah,,Migration from Makkah to Madinah - Building of Masjid Nabi in Madinah - Treaty with Jews of Madinah - Marriage of Prophet to Aishah,Change of Qiblah from Jerusalem to Makkah - Battle of Badr,Battle of Uhud,,Battle of Ahzab - Expedition of Banu Quraydhah,Treaty of Hudaiybiyah - Letters to Kings and Rulers,,Conquest of Makkah - Battle of Hunain,Hajj led by Abu Bakr - Expedition of Tabuk,Farewell Hajj by Prophet - Death of Prophet - End of Divine Revelation
Names of Prophets Mentioned
No Prophets names are mentioned in this Surah
Surah Index
Adversity (patience during) , Time

Central Theme

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This Surah is a matchless specimen of comprehensiveness and brevity. A whole world of meaning has been compressed into its few brief words, which is too vast in content to be fully expressed even in a book. In it, in a clear and plain way it has been stated what is the way to true success for man and what is the way to ruin and destruction for him. Imam Shafi’i has very rightly said that if the people only considered this Surah well, it alone would suffice them for their guidance. How important this Surah was in the sight of the Companions can be judged from the tradition cited from Abdullah bin Hisn ad-Darimi Abu Madīnah, according to which whenever any two of them met they would not part company until they had recited this Surah to each other. (Tabarani)

Connection of the name of the Surah and its Ayaat

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Connection between the beginning and the ending of the Surah

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Manuscripts / Inscriptions

Connection of the Surah to the Surah before/after it

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The Virtues of the Surah

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  • Shuyaib ibn Hudaifah said, "When two Companions of the Prophet [saw] would meet they would not depart until they had read Surah al-Asr [103] and then they would give salam [and leave]." [al-Awsat of Tabrani and Shu'b of al-Baihaqi]
  • Imam Shafi'ee said, "If only mankind reflected upon this Surah it would be sufficient for them."

Special Features of the Surah

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Important key and unique words of the Surah

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123 Total Word Count per Ayat (shows how many words per Ayat) *

Period of Revelation

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Although Mujahid, Qatadah and Muqatil regard it as a Madīnan Surah, a great majority of the commentators say it is Makkan; its subject matter also testifies that it must have been sent down in the earliest stage at Makkah, when the message of Islam was being presented in brief but highly impressive sentences so that the listeners who heard them once could not forget them even if they wanted to, for they were automatically committed to memory.

Background Reasons for Revelation

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Relevant Hadith

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Lessons/Guidance/Major-Issues/Reflections

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  • The formula for the way to salvation is to become a Believer, do good deeds, be truthful and patient and advise the same to others.
  • Allah(swt) starts this Surah by an oath taking in order to attract the attention of people.
  • Verily, the human being is in lost state if he/she thinks that they can manage life without guidelines

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Miscellaneous Issues

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