“(I swear) by the Time,
Man is in state of loss indeed,
Except those who believed and did righteous deeds, and exhorted each other to follow truth, and exhorted each other to observe patience.”
( Surah Al – Asr )
The loss mentioned in these verses represents the transgression and ignorance of man, the imbalance in his physical and mental powers. And its remedy lies in Faith (which means true knowledge) and in moderation (which means righteous deeds). In other words man remains in perpetual loss unless he attains a balance in the use of his physical and mental powers by gaining Faith and Righteous Deeds. As a witness to this fact ALLAH SWT has brought in the evidence of Time through Ages.
This means the events of man’s own history since the inception of this world. According to a historian’s famous remark, history is only the biography of great men. The history of men’s and nations clearly shows that all great men and all nations have always been the losers who lacked the essentials qualities of Faith and Righteous Deeds.
All the heavenly and religious books, morality stories and other records of human success and failure tell the tale of the eternal conflict between good and evil, between the darkness of ignorance and the light of faith. On the one hand you see the forces of oppression, ignorance, evil and gloom, and on the other hand, justice, righteousness, goodness and light.
Before Prophet MUHAMMAD (saws), the last of ALLAH’s prophets, many prophets were sent through the ages all over the world to preach the Divine Message through personal example so that their people or the virtuous among them could achieve eternal success by following those Prophets. And finally, Prophet MUHAMMAD (saws), ‘The Mercy To The Worlds”, was sent so that he should leave His Ideal life as a perfect model for the humanity for all the times to come. The Divine Revelation itself presents the Prophet’s (saws) Pure and virtuous life (before he was ordained a Prophet by ALLAH SWT) as a testimony to his prophet hood. The perfection of human spirit can be achieved only through following the ideal life of Prophet Muhammad (saws). The life of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) is the most comprehensive and eternal model for entire mankind.
(Maulana Syed Sulaiman Nadvi – Khutbaat-e-Madras)