Surah al-‘Asr is the 103rd sūrah of the Qur’ān, the Muslim holy book. It contains three āyāt. Surat al-‘Asr is the second shortest sura after al-Kawthar.
Benefits of reciting Surah al-‘Asr
- Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has said that the person who recites this surah in his recommended prayers will have a shining face on the Day of Judgement.
- The one who recites this surah will be patient in adversity and will be counted from among the people of truth.
- If this surah is written after ‘Isha prayers and kept, it will be a safety from the tyrant ruler in whose presence one is brought.
Further details on the importance of
- Ibn Kathir, a traditional exegetic holds that this sura, as a warning to believers not to waste time or they we could be humiliated or even ruined.
- Imam Shafi, a jurist and traditional scholar of Islam, held-that if God had only revealed this surah it would have been sufficient for the guidance of all humankind. It summarized the very essence of the Quranic message. Thus, Imam Shafi’i asserts that if one followed its counsel, it was enough for humankind to achieve success in life.
- Sayyid Qutb, a modern exegete of the Qur’an, asserts that this surah outlines a complete system for human life based on an Islamic viewpoint. He says that it defines, in the clearest and most concise form, the basic concept of faith in the context of its comprehensive reality. He further says that he is gravely shocked to see the loss and ruin in which humanity finds itself. He is critical of Muslims and non-Muslims and particularly witnessing that humankind is turning away from the goodness that God has bestowed upon it. He is confident that the guidance of this surah is what made the early Muslim great as it can do for those that follow it in the long history of humanity. He says that once the early Arabs were aroused by such surahs, they quickly burst the bounds of Arabia and zealously worked toward the salvation of humanity.
- Al-Tabarani: Interestingly, when humankind finds itself at a loss; it can revive itself by returning to the formula provided by the third verse and the four principles/conditions, which are adhered to as a foundation. We saw how these four principles operated on both physical and spiritual levels. This is probably the reason why the companions of the Prophet did not want to become heedless of the foundational message of Islam. Consequently, they used to meet one another and only depart until one of them recited surat-Al-Asr to the other and they bid peace upon one another.
All these exegetes offer a terse reminder of the importance of time and care in its utilization.