Mankind is in Loss…

Quran recitation of Surah Al-Asr (chapter of time) by Fahad Aziz Niazi

Ibn Kathir, one of the best commentators of the Quran, mentioned in his Tafsir a dialogue between ‘Amr ibn al-‘As (a companion of Prophet Muhammad PBUH) and “Musaylimah the liar” the man who claimed prophethood.

The dialogue occurred before ‘Amr ibn al-‘As accepted Islam

Musaylimah: Oh Amr, what has been revealed to your friend (Muhammad) during this time?

Amr: A short and eloquent surah (chapter).

Musaylimah: What is it?

Amr: “By the time, Indeed, mankind is in loss,  Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.”

Musaylimah thought for a while. Then he said, “Indeed something similar has also been revealed to me.”

Amr: What is it?

Musaylimah: “O Wabr (a small, furry mammal; hyrax), O Wabr! You are only two ears and a chest, and the rest of you is digging and burrowing.” What do you think of it Amr?

Amr: By Allah! Verily, you know that I know you are lying!


Surah Al-Asr is one of the shortest Surahs in the noble Quran, but, indeed, it is sufficient as Imam Al-Shafi’i said, “ If mankind contemplated and pondered over this chapter, it would be sufficient for them.

Imam Al-Tabarani said, “When two companions of prophet Muhammad peace be upon him meet each other, one of them would recite Surah Al-Asr to the other before they separate.

And that it is because Surah Al-Asr is indeed a great reminder. And the true friend is the friend who reminds you of Allah and the hereafter ـــــــ The writer’s comment 🙂


Verses explained

Verses 1 and 2

وَالْعَصْرِ (1) إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ 

Allah swore by the time that mankind is, indeed, in loss.

Verse 3

إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ

Allah excluded the people who believed with their heart and done righteous deeds, and advised each other to the truth and advised each other to patience.   

This is a simplified explanation from tafsir Al-Muyassar, tafsir Ibn-Kathir and tafsir Al-Tabari. All rights reserved.

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