وَقَالُوا۟ مَا هِىَ إِلَّا حَيَاتُنَا ٱلدُّنْيَا نَمُوتُ وَنَحْيَا وَمَا يُهْلِكُنَآ إِلَّا ٱلدَّهْرُ ۚ وَمَا لَهُم بِذَٰلِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ ۖ إِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَظُنُّونَ
وَمَا يُهْلِكُنَا إِلَّا الدَّهْرُ "...and nothing destroys us except time...(45:24) " The word dahr means ` time from the beginning of the world to its end'. It also refers to ` a very long period of time'. The atheists alleged that their life and death have nothing to do with Divine will and command. They happen under natural causes. Death is a process which they say they experience when their human limbs, organs and abilities diminish on account of constant use and, with the passage of time, the matter becomes dissolved and is destroyed; and that this is the be-all and end-all of human existence, there being no life hereafter. Likewise, life has nothing to do with Divine will and command. Life too, like death, happens under movement of material causes.
Reviling Time Is Inappropriate
Atheists believed that ` Time' is the cause of life, death, vicissitudes of conditions and adversities, and also the cause of the revolution of the entire universe. Every happening used to be attributed to ` Time' by them as indicated in this verse, whereas the fact is that everything happens with the Divine will and volition. Therefore, authentic Traditions prohibit reviling of time. The power which the unbelievers describe as ` time' is in fact the Divine power. When people curse or revile time for their adversities, they are in fact directing their reproach to Allah. The Messenger of Allah said: "Do not revile time because time actually is Allah." The ignorant who claim that a particular work was done by time is actually the work of Divine power - time is nothing. It does not necessarily follow from this proposition that ad-dahr is one of the names of Allah. Here Allah is referred to as ad-dahr metaphorically or figuratively.