How many times have we heard or recited Surat al-Asr, and maybe not really thought about how deep it is? I know a lot of times when I'm out with my friends, they usually lead the prayer and it's one of the most commonly recited surahs... because it's short. No comment about that, for now.
Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem
Inna al-insana lafee khusr
Illa allatheena amanoowaAAamiloo assalihati watawasaw bilhaqqiwatawasaw bissabr.
In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate
By the 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.
Allah swt is swearing by the time--and saying that all of mankind is in loss. Everyone is a loser, for sure. Well, not quite everyone, as we read in the third ayah, because the surah excludes the people described by four things. First, that they believed in Allah and done righteousness--submitting to God. But the last two, the Saheeh International translated (which I posted) reads as "advised"--this is advising to truth (haqq) and to patience.
And isn't that exactly what da'wah is? Exhorting to truth and patience. When the Prophet Muhammad (saws) was in Mecca before the migration to Medina, he was telling people about Islam--and this was the jihaad. To convey the message of Islam, and be patient even as people reject it.
And yet instead of that, we spend our time doing what? Watching the NCAA Tournament maybe? Watching ball games, watching TV, watching funny videos on youtube? Maybe talking on forums, blogging... and for what? Just wasting time... I know I waste a lot of time.
But more to the point, if anyone had doubt about the responsibility of every Muslim to convey the message of Islam (i.e., give da'wah), then they can recall that all of mankind is in loss, except for those that have believed, done righteousness, and called people to truth, and to patience.