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Time is running out

By: Sayema Zulfiqar

What is the greatest blessing of all? Food? Shelter? Wealth? Fame? Family?

The greatest blessing of all, that each and every one of us has is TIME. Yet, it is a blessing that is constantly diminishing. A wise man once said: “Lost time is never found again.”

How many of us have regretted at some point in our lives wasting time on things that were unimportant when we could have spent that time being more productive? How many hours do we waste doing absolutely nothing? How much do we take our time for granted?

How do we make the most of this blessing? How do we make sure we don’t waste our time?

Given that time is such an important blessing, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala speaks about it with great clarity and eloquence in the Quran. Surah Asr, one of the shortest Surahs of the holy Quran talks about Time Management. You might be wondering how this 3-versed Surah deals with such a vast and complicated subject? This is the beauty of the words of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala: Concise eloquence. 

Ayah 1:


(By Al-Asr.) [103:1]

The word ‘Asr’ literally means time is running out’.  Asr was the time when the Merchants and the Travellers were always in a hurry, because it was a time of danger. Asr is a time associated with urgency. It is the time right before sunset and thus right before the end of the day. Whatever Allah has to say now- it is a matter of urgency. The sunset of our life is passing by. The ending of our day/life is coming soon. We need to take heed.

Ayah 2:

إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ

(Verily, man is in loss.) [103:2]

You might think that this refers to disbelievers only but it in fact it is refering to all of mankind. Each and every one of us. We are in a state of Emergency. The day is ending-we need to gain as many good deeds as possible before our day (life) ends. So only those people will be saved from loss (in the hereafter) who have the following qualities:-

Ayah 3:

إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ

(Except those who believe and do righteous deeds, and recommend one another to the truth, and recommend one another to patience.) [103:3]

Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds…

Here Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala gives us the first two qualities of those whom will be saved from loss. Belief and righteous deeds. They have believed first, and followed this by righteous deeds.

Faith = Righteous deeds

Faith in Allah leads one to perform all sorts of good deeds. Faith is thus the root of all goodness.

“And advised one another to the truth…”

The third quality of such people is that they call other people to do good. We cannot remain steadfast in our faith and good deeds unless we make an effort to spread this to other people as well and call them to faith and righteous deeds.

“And advised one another to patience.”

The last and final quality is that such people are patient. The road to paradise is tough, filled with hardship and so in order to gain success on this journey, one needs to have PATIENCE.


Thus, we can derive a simple formula to protect ourselves for great loss and to attain great success:

Faith + Good deeds + Calling people to do good + Patience = PROFIT/SUCCESS

If we can implement this simple equation into our lives, we will be able to use the blessing of time that Allah has given us to attain eternal success in the hereafter.

Linguistic Miracle
Surah Reviews by Dr. Farhat Hashmi

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