A Period Of Ajal And The Process of Takwir

Maulana Abul Kalam AzadThe Tarjuman al-Qur’an1968

Look at the laws of life and death. The life of a thing advances slowly and steadily from its growth across the stages of its development, and then even as slowly and as steadily, it passes its stages of decline till its final stage marked by death. The phenomenon is observable not merely in the life of man, but in the life of every other creation. For everything is set a period or ajal as styled by the Qur’an. And this period varies with every object of creation; so much so, that what is but a moment with nature, may seem a thousand years in the life of man.

“And verily, a day with thy Lord is as a thousand years as ye reckon them!”

Surah: Al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage) – Chapter: 22 – Verse: 47

This gradual process of Nature is also called Takwir in the Qur’an. The day does not dawn instantly in all the brightness. It comes in slowly, even as the night.

“For a serious purpose, hath He created the heavens and the earth: it is of Him that the night returned upon the day, and that the day returneth upon the night: and He controleth the sun and the moon to an appointed goal.”

Surah: Al-Zumar (The Crowds) – Chapter: 39 – Verse: 5

This process of gradualness is evidently intended, it is application to human life, to help man pause and reflect at every stage and adjust himself with the laws inherent in him or operating in the process. The provision of this opportunity for correction is a provision of Rahmat or the grace of God. The Qur’an says that were this provision absent from life’s equipment, none would have profited by life, and every slip would have spelt ruination to it.

“If God should chastise men according to their deserts, he would not leave any moving thing on the surface of the earth. But to an appointed term, doth He respite them. And when their time shall come, then verily God’s eye is on his servants.”

Surah: Fatir (The Creator) – Chapter: 35 – Verse: 45