Surah Al-Asr 103 (3DS – Three Dimensional Spirituality)

Verses and Translation

وَٱلۡعَصۡرِ / إِنَّ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ لَفِى خُسۡرٍ / إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلۡحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلصَّبۡرِ

“By 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.”


This is one of the shortest chapters in the Quran but one that scholars have expounded on in great detail. It summarises the attributes of those who are not in loss, i.e. the successful. The surah addresses three dimensions of spirituality–metaphysical, physical, and personal.

3D Spirituality


At-Tabarani recorded from Abdullah bin Hisn Abi Madinah that he said, “Whenever two men from the Companions of the Messenger of Allah used to meet, they would not part until one of them had recited Surat Al-Asr in its entirety to the other, and one of them had given the greetings of peace to the other.”

Ash-Shafi’i said, “If the people were to ponder on this Surah, it would be sufficient for them.”

Al-Asr is the time in which the movements of the Children of Adam occur, whether good or evil.

Malik narrated from Zayd bin Aslam that he said, “It is the evening.” However, the first view is the popular opinion. Thus, Allah swears by this, that man is in Khusr, which means in loss and destruction.

“Except those who believe and do righteous good deeds.” So Allah makes an exception, among the species of man being in loss, for those who believe in their hearts and work righteous deeds with their limbs.

“And recommend one another to the truth.” This is to perform acts of obedience and avoid the forbidden things.

“And recommend one another to patience” meaning with the plots, the evils, and the harms of those who harm people due to their commanding them to do good and forbidding them from evil.

[Ibn Kathir]

Foundational Attributes

conviction, teaching, patience