Meal Seç / Sure Seç

(ENGLISH) COMMENTARY BY MUHAMMED ESED
( BY MUHAMMED ESED )
103 - AL-ASR
In the name of god, the most gracious, The dispenser of grace: (1)

1 - According to most of the authorities, this invocation (which occurs at the beginning of every surah with the exception of surah 9) constitutes an integral part of "The Opening" and is, therefore, numbered as verse I. In all other instances, the invocation "in the name of God" precedes the surah as such, and is not counted among its verses. - Both the divine epithets rahman and rahrm are derived from the noun rahmah, which signifies "mercy", "compassion", "loving tenderness" and, more comprehensively, "grace". From the very earliest times, Islamic scholars have endeavoured to define the exact shades of meaning which differentiate the two terms. The best and simplest of these explanations is undoubtedly the one advanced by Ibn al-Qayyim (as quoted in Mandr I, 48): the term rahman circumscribes the quality of abounding grace inherent in, and inseparable from, the concept of God's Being, whereas rahrm expresses the manifestation of that grace in, and its effect upon, His creation-in other words, an aspect of His activity.

        
REVEALED shortly after surah 94.
1. CONSIDER the flight of time! (1)

1 - The term "asr denotes "time" that is measurable, consisting of a succession of periods (in distinction from dahr, which signifies "unlimited time", without beginning or end: i.e., "time absolute"). Hence, asr bears the connotation of the passing or the flight of time - time which can never be recaptured.

2. Verily, man is bound to lose himself
3. unless he be of those (2) who attain to faith, and do good works, and enjoin upon one another the keeping to truth, and enjoin upon one another patience in adversity.

2 - Lit., "man is indeed in [a state of] loss, except those. . .", etc