Surah 103. Al-Asr, Ayah 1

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وَالْعَصْرِ


Pickthall : By the declining day,
Asad : CONSIDER the flight of time!1
Malik : By the time through the ages!
Yusuf Ali : By (the Token of) time (through the Ages) 6262
Transliteration : WaalAAasri
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Asad   
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Asad 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.

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Yusuf Ali   
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Yusuf Ali 6262 Al-Asr may mean: (1) Time through the Ages, or long periods, in which case it comes near to the abstract idea of Time, Dahr; (2) or the late afternoon, from which the Asr canonical prayer takes its name (see n. 271 to ii: 238). An appeal is made to Time as one of the creations of Allah, of which everyone knows something but of which no one can fully explain the exact significance. Time searches out and destroys everything material. No one in secular literature has expressed the tyranny of "never-resting Time" better than Shakespeare in his Sonnets. For example, see Sonnets 5 ("never-resting Time"), 12 ("Nothing gainst Time's scythe can make defence"), and 64 ("When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced The rich proud cost of outworn buried age"). If we merely run a race against Time, we shall lose. It is the spiritual part of us that conquers Time. See verse 3 below. For the "afternoon" idea see next note.
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