By: Magda Elkadi Saleh
Subhan'Allah, every time I write the date on notes I am taking or on a check I am writing, I am astounded by how quickly time is passing. I think to myself, and sometimes out loud, "How did it become February already?" Then, before you know it, it is March, and the school year is almost over. Then, before you know it, it is Ramadan. Wasn't it just Ramadan? Where did the time go?
Subhan'Allah, in Surat-il-3Asr, Allah SWT swears by the waning day, or the passage of time. It is one of the shortest surahs in the Qur'an, yet it has so much meaning, and its implications on our lives are great.
The following two sayings are attributed to Imam Shafii with regards to Surat-il-3Asr:
"If people just ponder over this surah, it is sufficient for them to get guidance for righteousness."
"If nothing else but this would have been revealed and nothing else, then this was enough for guidance and righteousness."
After swearing by the passage of time, or the waning day, Allah SWT makes His statement: Verily Mankind is in loss, EXCEPT those who have faith, and do righteous deeds, and enjoin themselves and others to be truthful and just, and enjoin themselves and others to be patient.
We ask Allah SWT to make us of those who embody all four of these conditions, so that, no matter how fast time is passing, we will be of those who are not in loss. Subhan'Allah, each of us is "stamped" with an expiration date before the day we are born, but, unlike the expiration date on a carton of milk, we cannot see ours and have no idea when it will be. We remind ourselves and each other of this, not so that we will live in constant fear of this date and/or of death, but to remind ourselves NOT to put off for tomorrow, what we should be doing today. We ask Allah SWT to make us of those whose faith and deeds are worthy of His acceptance and of those who are deserving of His blessings and His mercy.