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Surah 103 AL-ASR-Vital importance of timeline for reflection of humanity to learn lessons from for believing in what is actually true and thinking and doing what is truly right as that is the only way for human beings to ensure their own well being through help and full support of each other as a proper human community in the kingdom of their creator and sustainer.

This surah is named AL-ASR because the Quran talks about philosophy of history and therefore tells stories of human communities and how they got on with life in their time as a people. The Quran points out their stories as evidences so that people observe them and learn lessons from them. It is because there are only three ways open for mankind to learn to live properly in this world a) through direct interaction with things in the universe which we humans call our life experiences b) through learning from and teaching to each other. In learning and teaching we share our life experiences and our conclusions about our understandings of things. However, our this much learning is not enough to guide us about how we should live in this world properly. This is why so far we have not managed to live in this world properly. The main reason for that is, we human beings on our own cannot know some of the vitally important information about ourselves and about all that surrounds us. For example, we cannot know with reasonable certainty how we came about and how all this universe came about. We cannot know with reasonable certainty the purpose of our own creation or purpose of creation of this universe or things in it. Not only that we cannot know with reasonable certainty how can these purposes be fulfilled properly and what is supposed to be our part in all this grand scheme of things. This is why as we learn and teach each other about this universe we come to a point where at we start asking questions about things like the ones pointed out. This is where we come to realisation that there is more to learn than meets the eye. Our observations and conclusions at most only lead us to assume a creator for all these things because nothing otherwise makes any sense at all. For this reason we assume that if all this has a creator then he must have informed us about all this to help us come out of our confusion about it. This is how we start searching for his message. As we look for message from God we come across different people in this world who tell us they have with them revelation from God.

This creates a problem for us because when we examine these revelations which are attributed to God, we find them contradicting each other. This tells us all of them cannot be from God because God cannot contradict himself. Our logically consistent thinking tells us that only one of them can be true. This creates a big hurdle for us because we need to work out a way which could help us find, which of them is actually true. Our logically consistent thinking tells us that any revelation attributed to God must be examined very, very carefully to make sure it does not contradict itself or the real world realities. Not only that but we must also make sure that it does contain the vitally important information we expect in it because that is the whole point of having revelation from God. In short we are not just looking for revelation from god but a revelation that serves the purpose we think it should. If it does not then it is useless for us and we cannot expect that God who has created all this creation will reveal to us a revelation that does not address our vitally important concerns. However this is not as easy as it looks. It is because before any of us human beings claims he can understand revelation of God properly he has to show the way to do so. If one cannot do this then one’s understanding of the alleged message of God cannot be relied upon one hundred percent. This is why we must not accept just anything anyone clams but make sure as much as is possible that one is telling the truth. This means we must come up with a proper way that actually works for proper understanding of the revelation of God. That way has been explained in detail already so one should look into it. Here I will only draw attention of people to just a few points. Our main problem is human language as to how it came about and developed ie origin of words and their meanings and the mechanism involved. Originally human language was not what it is today. For example, originally human language has had less number of words but more meanings for each and every word. Just like baby language.

A human baby when he starts talking, he uses same sound for everything and gradually adds more and more sounds to his language to express more and more ideas. Human language also grew in its words and meanings the same way. Why do we need to know this? Because God is all knowing already and human beings only come to know what they learn. God knew the end of things in all its detail even before beginning them. People can only know things up to their time and not beyond it ie human beings cannot predict future but God can, so they cannot know what new words will be invented by future generations of people and what new meanings will be given by them to the words already in use. When God sends his revelation to a people it is for a time period, so for people it contains information about their past generations as well as for their future generations. This means God will have to use words already in existence at the time of revelation of his message to express his message about the future long beyond the time of revelation. This is why learning the mechanism involved for decoding language of God becomes vitally important. This is why humanity needs a dictionary that helps them decode messages from God. Unless people who are looking for proper understanding of message of God realise vital importance of these like points they can never understand the message of God properly no matter how hard they try. All these points help contextualise the Quranic text properly. This is why when anyone will interpret the message of the Quran out of its proper context it will become obvious like daylight. This is how the Quran helps us connect ourselves to our distant past as well as our distant future. All sources of information are of vital importance be they God revealed or human made. All we human beings need to do is work out proper ways of using them properly so that we could benefit from them rather than suffering losses by their misuses. Similarly all historical and archaeological records or accounts are also important all we need to do is try and understand them properly in their own proper contexts. The Quran gives basis to them all. However the question is, how does the Quran do that?

The Quran does that by way of its proper understanding. What is the proper understanding of the Quranic text? Any understanding or interpretation of the of the Quranic text that is free of contradictions within the Quran as well as free of making the Quran contradict the real world realities and such flaws that show the Quran does not contain the vitally important information which is absolutely necessary to be in the Quran to fulfil purpose of its revelation. Once such an interpretation of the Quran is available, it can then act as basis or foundation or criterion for all other sources of information to judge them by. In other words we have a complete jig saw puzzle in form of the Quran in bits. All we need to do is, try our best to put these bits together properly by using all sources of information available to us. It is like making a yardstick first and then using it for measuring other things with it. Till we do this we can never make proper sense of anything at all in its proper context. Why the Quran can helps us sort our everything this way? It is because it is supposed to be revealed word of God and God does not make mistakes, so if the Quran is truly word of God then it will prove so if we could put it together properly as God meant it. If we fail then either it is due to our lack of needed knowledge or that it is not what it claims to be ie actual revealed word of God. Since everything depends upon the Quran alone for humanity therefore one has to make absolutely sure that one is not making any mistakes when interpreting the text of the Quran. This is why discussion or exchange of idea between mankind about the Quran is of vital importance so that if one has made any mistakes in interpreting it they become obvious to all including the person who has tried to interpret the Quran properly. This is how humanity can correct its mistakes in its interpretations of the Quran with help and support of each other. Putting the verses of the Quran in their proper context is just like the process of putting the components of a car together to make a car that works properly as it is supposed to. It is a very hard work but not beyond God given capability of human beings.

There was no need for going through this process all over again after the final messenger of God explained the Quran to mankind and brought about an ummah or a proper human community based upon it as well as the kingdom based upon this guidance of God. Unfortunately Muslims after the final messenger of God gradually got far too much involved in pleasures and fell away from the Quran and that way lost its actual proper understanding and now it has become a mere jumble of information which needs to be understood properly once again so that mankind could build a proper human community based upon it for their bright future in kingdom of God. Humanity is very lucky that they have message of God between them in its original form and all they need to do is try and decode it properly and adopt it faithfully. This is why and how the Quran gives importance to history of humanity as well as its future. This also makes absolutely clear for all how vitally important proper education and training is for humanity so that people could think and do things properly otherwise a lot of their effort or endeavour will be lost or come to nothing at all. This is why human beings must base their education and training systems or structures or procedure and practises upon the foundation of the Quran if they wish to have unity, peace, progress and prosperity for themselves as a proper human community in the kingdom of God. This is what this surah makes absolutely clear. Anyone who fails to learn through the ways and means explained can never learn at all to be a sensible human being. Also one will see that short surahs in the Quran take people back to longer surahs in the Quran which contain more information about what these short surahs talk about. Here people are told that most of the time most of the people lived by their own chosen ways of life based upon personal gains at the expense of each other and that only those who were thoughtful enough to look for guidance from their creator and sustainer were able to live better lives as proper human communities in kingdom of God but even they only lived along that path for short periods of time because their later generations forgot what the God sent guidance was all about and so they stepped aside from it and went their own ways. The same is case with current Muslim ummah that they are followers of the Quran only in name because a huge majority of them cannot even read Arabic never mind understand the Quran which also needs better understanding of universal realities or they cannot make proper sense of the Quranic text in its proper context. This shows why ummah is in the situation that it is in and how it can be dragged out of this situation ie by self help of individuals who want to live by guidance of God through learning and teaching each other. In short there is no future for ummah or for that matter for humanity as a whole unless people educate themselves and become wise enough to know the Quran properly and teach it to each other properly and wait for mankind to come together as a human brotherhood on basis of solid foundation provided by God for mankind through the Quran.

Proclaim! In the name of Allah, the provider of psychological, sociological and biological needs of mankind,

1] We cite as evidence the history of mankind

2] that certainly mankind always chose to live by way of life based upon idea of personal gains at the expense of each other due to their ignorance based arrogance whereby they always ended up with heavy losses,

Due to living by way of life based upon personal gains at each other’s expense people have been inflicting harms and destructions upon each other always for their petty personal gains at each other’s expense. This is how they have been losing a lot yet they still fail badly in realising about this terrible loss. It is not a very difficult point to understand that if people will fight with each other for wrong reasons needlessly then it is not going to be of any benefit for them. Not only that if people will waste their available time this way then when are they going to think and do things they need do to have a blissful, dignified and secure existence? This is why people must stop and think as to what they are really doing with their God given lives.

3] save those who committed themselves to working for unity, peace, progress and prosperity of mankind on basis of Our revelation due to which they thought and did works which helped them increase their capabilities greatly therefore they advised and encouraged one another about following the proven truth as well as they advised and encouraged one another to be steadfast in following the proven truth for becoming a proper human community in kingdom of their creator and sustainer.

This verse tells us that there were always small or large communities here and there in this world who lived by rule of law of God. Their reason for doing so was, the revelation of God made them more and more capable ie increased their capacity and strength. God sent messengers were not mere street preachers as we see today but people who campaigned for establishing rule of law of God in kingdom of God as their mission.

This surah tells mankind the way to success in a nutshell ie to learn properly about creation and revelation of God and fit in with them nicely to have blissful, dignified and secure life in this world as a community in kingdom of God through help and full support of each other. All other ways of life people have adopted so far and are going to adopt will keep on failing them every now and again.