The way to Salvation in the light of Surah Al-Asr
Author/Translator: Dr Israr Ahmad
SURAH AL-â€™ASR, a very early Makkan surah is one of the
shortest surahs of the Quran. The words used in this surah are also commonly
used in Urdu and are familiar to those who have a fair knowledge of this
language. This is why a sketchy meaning of the surah is grasped without much difficulty
by every Urdu-knowing individual. But studied and pondered over at a deeper
level, this Surah opens up a treasure house of knowledge and wisdom.
As a matter of fact, there is a striking analogy between
this surah and Surah Al-Ikhlas. Surah Al-â€™Asr sums up in a few concise words
the way and practical guidance that leads to eternal success and salvation just
as Surah Al-Ikhlas delineates in a few words the nature and unity of Godhood in
Islam. Though very short and compact, both of these surahs are extremely rich
in meaning relating to their respective themes. On this ground Maulana
Hamid-ud-Din Farahi has categorized Surah Al-â€™Asr as an aphorism of great
wisdom, whereas lmam Al-Shaâ€™feii maintained that a deep and thoughtful study of
this surah alone provides adequate guidance for attaining oneâ€™s salvation.
This surah is composed of three verses. The second verse
is of central importance in meaning and significance. This verse expresses the
painful and tragic state of man generally, a state of loss and deprivation. The
evidence for this is presented in the first verse, in the form of an oath or
adjuration. The third verse of the surah carves out an exception from the
general condition of man laid down in the second verse.
In this way, this surah is clearly divided into two
parts. Its first part â€˜By fleeting time, verily man is doomed (or destined) to
loss and ruinâ€™â€”consists of a statement and its proof and as such is of immense
philosophical significance, whereas the second part of the surah â€”â€˜Save those
who believe, and do righteous deeds, and unite for the sake of truth and
steadfastnessâ€™â€”is of utmost practical importance, giving the essential
requirements and conditions of a successful life, a precise but nevertheless
complete and comprehensive elucidation of the â€˜right pathâ€™.
|The way to Salvation in the light of Surah Al-Asr