1-Competition in [worldly] increase diverts you
2-Until you visit the graveyards.
3-No! You are going to know.
4-Then no! You are going to know
5-No! If you only knew with knowledge of certainty.
6-You will surely see the Hellfire.
7-Then you will surely see it with the eye of certainty.
8-Then you will surely be asked that Day about
Period of Revelation
.Abu Hayyan, Imam Suyuti and Shaukani say that this Surah, according to all commentators, is Makki.
, Some scholars think it is Madani Surah. We reviewed their arguments and believe these are not sound
1- Imam Bukhari and Ibn Jarir have cited this view of Ubayy bin Ka'ab: "We took the Holy Prophet saying:
“If the son of Adam had two valleys full of wealth, he would long for a third valley; the son of Adam's
belly cannot be filled but by earth, to be from the Quran until Alhakum at takathur was sent down.”
. This Hadith has been regarded as an argument for Surah At-Takathur to be a Madani Surah on the
ground that Ubayy had become a Muslim in Madinah
, It can also mean that when the Companions who entered Islam in Madinah, heard this Surah for the first
time from the Holy Prophet, they thought that it had been revealed just then
2- Ibn Jarir Tirmidhi, Ibn al Mundhir and other traditionists have related this view of Ali: "We were in
doubt about the torment of the grave until Alhakum at takathur was sent down." This view has been
regarded as an argument for Surah At-Takathur to be Madani on the ground that the torment of the grave
was first mentioned at Madinah.
But the torment of the grave has been mentioned in many Makki Surahs so clearly that there can be no
doubt; for example, see Al- An'am: 93, An-Nahl: 28, Al-Muminun: 99-100, Al-Mu'min: 45-46, which are all
People are warned of evil of running after this material
They spend their lives in acquiring more and more of
worldly wealth, material benefits and pleasures, and
position and power, till death
They engage in vying with one another and bragging and
boasting about their acquisitions.
This one pursuit has so occupied them that they are left
with no time or opportunity for pursuing the higher things
Warning is given that everyone is going to Akhirah and will
certainly see Hellfire.
So, there should be more concern for saving our neck from hellfire
and we must prepare for it.
These blessings which you are amassing and enjoying
thoughtlessly, are not mere blessings but are also a means of your
For each one of these blessings and comforts you will surely be
called to account in the Hereafter.
Distractions of this world
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in Surah al-Munafiqun Ayah 9,
ْمُكُد ََل ْوَأ ََلَو ْمُكُلاَوْمَأ ْمُكِهْلُت ََل واُنَمآ َينِذَّلا اَهُّيَأ اَيُأَف َكِلََٰذ ْلَعْفَي نَمَو ۚ ِ َّاَّلل ِرْكِذ َنعََٰلوُمُه َكِئ
“O you believe! Do not let your wealth and children divert you from the
remembrance of Allah.” meaning that our wealth and children should be
considered a blessing drawing us closer to Allah and not be a source of
distraction which distances us from Him.
Distractions of this world
Our wealth and children should be considered a blessing drawing us
closer to Allah and not be a source of distraction which distances us
Alhakum at-takathur would mean, ‘greed for more and more has
occupied you so much that its pursuit has made you heedless of every
higher thing in life’.
This applies to all the gains and benefits, pleasures and comforts,
power and authority, etc.
Competition in [worldly] increase diverts you102:1
Alhakum is from lahv which originally means heedlessness
It means that man has become so obsessed with something ( material world)
that he has lost sight of everything more important than it.
Takathur is from kathrat, which has three meanings:
(1) That man should strive to gain more and more of everything;
(2) That the people should vie with one another for gaining more and more; and
(3) That they should brag and boast of possessing greater abundance of things
What are some worldly distractions?
1- The desire of having a lot – For example, I want more money, a better car, a bigger house.
2. Competing with others in getting a lot – For example, competing in wanting to get a better job
than someone else. Even in petty things like competing in wanting a better chair than a friend at
school or colleague at workplace, getting a bigger slice of cake.
3. Taking pride in the fact that you have more – For example, getting a brand-new car every year,
moving to a bigger house and showing it off to friends with statements like “I got it before you
4. Wanting more and more. No one desires frugal living. The one thing that unites humans is the
fact that we always want MORE.
These distract you from what?
1. AL-Haq-The truth
2. ALLAH-The One who sent the truth. Your worldly affairs kept you away from Allah.-
3. SELF-MUHASIBA-Looking into yourself: "What am I doing in life? What is my
4. PURPOSE OF LIFE- You wasted your life in worldly pursuits, forgetting what your real
5. MESSAGE OF ALLAH-Paying Attention to this Message:
6. GUIDANCE OF ALLAH- You were supposed to get guidance in this life.-
7. This distraction distracted you from Judgment Day: preparing for it
Greed for money
َف َألْمَي ْنَلَو ،ِانَيِداَو ُهَل َُونكَي ْنَأ َّبَحَأ ٍبَهَذ ْنِم اًيِداَو َمَدآ ِنْبَِل َّنَأ ْوَلَيَو ،ُابَرُّتال ََّلِِ ُُاَابَت ْنَم َلَع ُ َّاَّلل ُوبُت" .
Allah's Messenger(SAW) said, "If Adam's son had a valley full of gold, he would like to have
two valleys, for nothing fills his mouth except dust. And Allah forgives him who repents to
(َمَدآ ُنْبا ُلوُقَي:ْوَأ ،َتْيـَنْفَأَف َتْلَكَأ اَم ََّلِِ َكِلاَم ْنِم َكَل ْلَهَو ،يِلاَم يِلاَمَضْمَأَف َتَّْقدَصَت ْوَأ ،َتْيَلْبَأَف َتْسِبَل؟َتْي»
The Son of Adam says, "My wealth, my wealth.'' But do you get anything (of
benefit) from your wealth except for that which you ate and you finished it, or
that which you clothed yourself with and you wore it out, or that which you
gave as charity and you have spent it)'' Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i
«ٌد ِاحَو ُهَعَم َقْبَيَو ِانَنْثا ُع ِجْرَيَف ،ٌةَث ََلَث َتِيَمْلا ُعَبْتَي:ْهَأ ُع ِجْرَيَف ،ُهُلَمَعَو ُهُلاَمَو ُهُلْهَأ ُهُعَبْتَيهُلَمَع َقْبَيَو ،ُهُلاَمَو ُهُل»
(Three things follow the deceased person, and two of them return while one remains behind with him. The things which
follow him are his family, his wealth and his deeds. His family and his wealth return while his deeds remain.) This Hadith
has also been recorded by Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i. Imam Ahmad recorded from Anas that the Prophet said,
«ِانَتَنْثا ُهْنِم َقْبَيَو َمَدآ ُنْبا ُمَرْهَي:لَمَ ْاْلَو ُصْر ِحْلا“
The Son of Adam becomes old with senility, but yet two things remain with him: greed and hope.) Both of them (Al-
Bukhari and Muslim) recorded this Hadith in the Two Sahihs.
َرِباَقَمْال ُمُت ْرُز ٰىَّتَح-102:2
Until you reach the graves
Ziyara is to go meet someone. In ancient Arabic it also means to go hug someone
Also the zurto is temporary ie not going to be forever. Therefore your going to greet the graves.
Soon you will realize that it was a stupendous error in which you remained involved
throughout your life
"Soon" may mean the Hereafter or it can also mean death
Death is not very far away from any man, and
Soon after death man will come to know whether the occupations which engaged him
throughout life were a means of good fortune and success for him, or of misfortune
َكََ ُْمَََْْت ََ ََْْ َّاَّل-ََْْ َّاَّلَك َّمُثََ ُْمَََْْت ََ:
No! You are going to know. 102,3,4
A group of commentators have considered these two verses as a repetition and
emphasis on one matter.
Some have related the first verse to the chastisement in the graves and
purgatory after the death that Man is faced with, and the second to the
punishment in the Hereafter.
Soon after death man will come to know whether the occupations
which engaged him throughout life were a means of good fortune
and success for him, or of misfortune and failure.
Why verse 4 is just repetition?
Kalla – usually translated as no – implies all that you have been concerned yourself with was a waste of time, so do
not engage in it.
There are four major opinions on why verse 4 is essentially a repetition of verse 3:
1) The first view is based on a very common understanding of repetition and that is emphasis. Imam Zamakhsharī
points this out in his commentary. In English, it would be tantamount to saying something along the lines of, “I am
telling you not do to sleep, I repeat, do not sleep.”
2) First verse is speaking about the knowledge of the affairs of this world, while the second verse refers to the what
humans will come to learn of in the Hereafter. Word thumma indicates sequence.
A similar view has also been mentioned by Ṭabrisī in Majma’ al-Bayān, but it says that the first verse refers to
knowledge one will gain in the grave, and the second is a reference to the Hereafter.
Why verse 4 is a repetition?
3) A third opinion says that the first verse is applicable to when one will see the homes of the
transgressors, and the second verse is applicable to when one will see the homes of the
The proponent of this interpretation has made a very vague remark and in fact the
interpretation is almost nonsensical.
4) A fourth opinion says that the third verse is addressing the believers, while the fourth verse is
addressing the disbelievers. While this interpretation is within the realm of possibility, the
proponent has not demonstrated how they arrived at this conclusion.
ِينِقَيْال َمَِْع ََ ُْمَََْْت َْْل َّاَّلَك-102:5
No! If you only knew with knowledge of
Certitude (yaqin) has degrees which are referred to in the verses of the Surah under discussion and in Surah Waqi'ah, No. 56,
"Verily, this is the very truth and certainty".
Certainty of knowledge (yaqin) has been described as having three stages:
1. Certitude of knowledge or certainty of mind ('Ilm-ul-yaqin) which is the Faith that a person obtains by various means such
as the one who sees smoke and believes there is fire there.
2 Certainty of Sight (‘Ain-ul-yaqin) which is what one sees with one's eyes; for instance, one sees the fire, himself.
3. The absolute truth of assured certainty (Haqq-ul-yaqin) which means the 'realization' or the 'knowledge proper' and is the
personal experience as when the one who arrives in the fire oneself and feels the heat of it and takes the attributes of fire
into his entity. This very state is the highest degree of 'yaqin'.
َيم ِحَجْال ََّ ُوَرَتَل-102:6
You will surely see the
This ayah has two different commentaries.
1. The first is the observation of Hell in the Hereafter, by disbelievers, or
generally for all humans and Jinn.
2. The second meaning is its observation by spiritual intuition in this very
world. In this case the phrase is the answer to the conditional
“...Were you to know with the knowledge of certainty, (you would beware)”.
“You shall certainly see the blazing fire"
Relationship Between Verse 5 & 6
There are three popular opinions on this:
1) The first opinion is the popular opinion which says that law is a hypothetical counter-factual particle (al-ḥarf al-
imtinā’) and it is being used in this meaning as well. The response to the statement “if you had the knowledge of
certainty” is essentially “you would have stayed away from those things which are vain.”
La-tara-wunna al-jaḥīm, therefore, is the beginning of a new sentence and is not connected to verse 5. It instead is a
response to an oath which has been omitted, in which case the verse should be understood as, “I swear” innakum la-
According to this opinion, there is no relationship between verse 5 and 6 as far as the grammatical structure of the
sentences is concerned. Proponents also bring an alibi for their claim and say that the letter lām used in la-tarawunna is
the lām used to indicate the contents of an oath, and the letter nūn with a tashdīd used at the end of the verb is another
indicator to show that this is an oath.
Relationship Between Verse 5 & 6
2) Kallā is related to the previous two verses, and the continuation of the next two verses should be
understood as: if you had the knowledge of certainty that you will see al-jaḥīm in the future, you
would have stayed away from vain acts.
This interpretation is very beautiful and reasonable, and the only critique one can really do on it is if
they say that the prima-facie of these two verses simply does not signify this. In other words, it will
become a discussion of what the prima-facie indicates.
3) Some scholars have said that law is not indicating a hypothetical situation, rather it is being used to
denote a conditional statement, like the preposition idhā. Meaning: if you attained the knowledge of
certainty, then you will see al-jaḥīm.
ِينِقَيْال َنْيَع اَهَّنُوَرَتَل َّمُث-102:7
Then you will surely see it with the eye of certainty
Relationship Between Knowledge (‘Ilm) and Certainty (Yaqīn)
Four different analysis exist in the words of scholars:
1) The combination is nothing complicated, it is an elucidative annexation (al-iḍafah al-
bayānīyyah) which is very common in the Arabic language. ‘Ilm and Yaqīn mean the same thing
and they are combined together here to further emphasis on their concept for emphasis.
2) Yaqīn is not the same as ‘ilm linguistically. Yaqīn is a psychological state, a state of
contentment; whereas ‘ilm is cognition. In other words, ‘ilm al-yaqīn is a causal annexation (al-
iḍafah al-manshaīyyah), where cognition of something which results or causes contentment.
Relationship Between Knowledge (‘Ilm) and
3) There are three ways humans gain knowledge and we need to identify and differentiate between these three
modes. In technical terms these three modes are called: ‘ilm al-yaqīn, ‘ayn al-yaqīn and ḥaqq al-yaqīn.
We can give an example of a person who sees smoke from a distance. He deduces there must be fire there. This
is Ilmal-yaqin. Getting close, he now not only sees the smoke, but he actually sees the fire with his own eyes.
This is Ainal-yaqin. For whatever reason if he jumps into the fire, his whole existence would be feeling and
sensing the reality of fire. This would be an instance of ḥaqq al-yaqīn.
4) A fourth opinion says that yaqīn does not mean certainty or knowledge, rather it means death.
ُينِقَيْلا َكَيِتْأَي َٰ َّتَح َكَّبَر ْدُبْعاَو-15:99
in the Qurān it says [15:99] And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death).
What Are ‘Ilm and Yaqīn Related To
Knowledge (‘ilm) always needs an object (ma’lūm) – that which is known. There are three
1) Hell: if you attain knowledge of certainty with regards to hellfire, you will stay away from vain
acts. [I swear], you will see al-jahīm.
2) Allah: some scholars have said the verse means, if you attain knowledge of certainty with
regards to Allah (swt), you will stay away from vain acts.
3) Some scholars say the Qurān has left it vague for a reason and that is because it does not
intend on pointing towards anything specific. It is simply trying to allude that if you knew the
reality of affairs – whatever that maybe – you will stay away from vain acts.
ِيمِعَّنال َِنع ٍذِئَم ْوَي َّنُلَأْسُتَل َّمُث-102:8
Then you will surely be asked that Day about blessings
Then you will be questioned about these comforts of life,"
Obviously, this questioning will be held at the time of accountability in the
In several Ahadith it has been reported from the Holy Prophet (upon whom be
peace) that the believers and the disbelievers, both will have to account for the
blessings granted by Allah.
However, the people who did not show ingratitude but spent their lives as
grateful servants of Allah, will come out successful from the accountability
Those who proved thankless to Allah for His blessings and committed
ingratitude by word or by deed will emerge as failures
What Are Al-Na’īm?
There are three opinions amongst scholars on what al-na’īm in this verse refers to:
1) Some scholars have said al-na’īm refers to the blessings and pleasures of heaven. One will
regretfully say on that day, where is heaven and where am I?
2) Al-Na’īm is a reference to pleasures of both the world and hereafter.
3) The definite article of alif-lām is being used to denote a genus of the word al-na’īm.
Meaning, any type of blessing, be it shelter, food, health, world, heaven, faith, ease in the
Divine law, and so on.
The last opinion is inclusive of all previous interpretations as well.
Jabir bin `Abdullah says: "The Holy Prophet (SAW) once visited us
and we served him with fresh dates and gave him cool water to drink.
Thereupon he said: "These are of the blessings about which you will
(Musnad Ahmad, Nasa'i, Ibn Jarir, Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Marduyah, `Abd
bin Humaid, Baihaqi in Ash-Shu `ab).
Abu Hurairah has reported that the Holy Prophet once asked Abu Bakr and `Umar to accompany him to
the place of Abul-Haitham bin at-Tahan Ansari.
Thus, he took them to the oasis of Ibn at-Tahan-The latter brought a bunch of dates and placed it before
The Holy Prophet(SAW) said: "Why didn't you pluck the dates yourself? `
He said: "1 thought you would yourselves select and eat dates of your choice."
So, they ate the dates and drank cool water.
At the end, the Holy Prophet(SAW) said: "By Him in Whose hand is my life: this is of the blessings about
which you will be questioned on the Resurrection Day: the cool shade, the cool dates, the cool water.
(Muslim, Ibn Majah, Abu Da'ud, Tirmidhi, Nasa'i, Ibn Jarir)
Lessons from these Ahadith
These Ahadith make it explicit that not only the disbelievers but the righteous believers
too will be questioned.
As for the blessings which Allah has bestowed on man, they are unlimited and
countless. There are many blessings of which man is not even conscious.
The Qur'an says: ۚ ُُوُمُتْلَأَس اَم ُِلك نِم ُمكاَتآَوُصْحُت ََل ِ َّاَّلل َتَمْعِن ُّوادُعَت نَِِواَهوٌارَّفَك ٌموُلَظَل َانَسنِْاْل َّنِِ-14:34
"If you try to count the blessings of Allah, you will not be able to calculate them."
(Ibrahim : 34).
Countless of them are the blessings which Allah has granted directly to man, and a
large number of these are the blessings which man is granted through his own skill
Accountability for blessings of Allah
The blessings that a man acquires with his own labor and skill, he will have to answer as to
how he acquired them and in what ways he spent them.
In respect of the blessings directly bestowed by Allah, he will have to give an account as to
how he used them.
And in respect of all the blessings, overall, he will have to tell whether he had acknowledged
that those blessings had been granted by Allah and whether he had expressed gratitude for
them to Allah with his heart, and by word and deed, or
Did he think he had received all that accidentally, or as' a gift from many gods, or
Did he believe that although those were the blessings of One God, many other beings also had
a part, and for that very reason he had taken them as his gods and worshiped and thanked
them as such.