Assalamualaikum

Surah At-Takathur or sometimes spelt Surah takasur (Arabic text: التكاثر‎) is the 102nd Surah of the Qur’an. The English meaning of Surah Takathur is “Rivalry, Competition”. It is classified as a Meccan surah and is short Surah consisting of just 8 Ayat (verses).

The main theme behind this Surah is factionalism (the splitting of a group into different sects and parties). It also touches upon disagreements between individuals and groups. Three times in a row the sura warns the reader that “you shall know” that those who sow discord (disagreement between people) are headed towards Jahanam or hell.

 

Read Surah Takathur Translation and Transliteration

Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

Al haaku mut takathur
1. Competition in [worldly] increase diverts you

Hatta zurtumu almaqabir
2. Until you visit the graveyards.

Kalla sawfa ta’lamoon
3. No! You are going to know.

Thumma kalla sawfa ta’lamoon
4. Then no! You are going to know.

Kalla law taAAlamoona AAilma alyaqeen
5. No! If you only knew with knowledge of certainty…

Latarawunna aljaheem
6. You will surely see the Hellfire.

Thumma latara wunnaha ‘ainal yaqeen
7. Then you will surely see it with the eye of certainty.

Thumma latus alunna yauma-izin ‘anin na’eem
8. Then you will surely be asked that Day about pleasure.

Tafsir of Surah Takathur

For those looking to gain a deeper understanding into this historical context, significance and purpose of revelation of Surah Takathur we turn to the various tafseers. By reading the different interpretations or explanations of the Surah we can form a comprehensive view regarding this Surah.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Surah Takathur

Which was revealed in Makkah

﴿بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ ﴾

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

 

The Result of Loving the World and Heedlessness of the Hereafter

Allah says that all are preoccupied by love of the world, its delights and its adornments, and this distracts you from seeking the Hereafter and desiring it. This delays you until death comes to you and you visit the graves, thus becoming its inhabitants. In Sahih Al-Bukhari, it is recorded in the Book of Ar-Riqaq (Narrations that soften the Heart) from Anas bin Malik, who reported that Ubayy bin Ka`b said, “We used to think that this was a part of the Qur’an until the Ayah was revealed which says;

﴿أَلْهَـكُمُ التَّكَّاثُرُ ﴾

 

(The mutual increase diverts you.)” He was referring to the Hadith in which the Prophet said,

«لَوْ كَانَ لِابْنِ آدَمَ وَادٍ مِنْ ذَهَب»

 

(If the Son of Adam had a valley of gold, he would desire another like it…) Imam Ahmad recorded from `Abdullah bin Ash-Shikhkhir that he said, “I came to the Messenger of Allah while he was saying,

﴿أَلْهَـكُمُ التَّكَّاثُرُ ﴾

 

يَقُولُ ابْنُ آدَمَ: مَالِي مَالِي، وَهَلْ لَكَ مِنْ مَالِكَ إِلَّا مَا أَكَلْتَ فَأَفْنَـيْتَ، أَوْ لَبِسْتَ فَأَبْلَيْتَ، أَوْ تَصَدَّقْتَ فَأَمْضَيْتَ؟»

 

((The mutual increase diverts you.)” He was referring to the Hadith in which the Prophet said,

«لَوْ كَانَ لِابْنِ آدَمَ وَادٍ مِنْ ذَهَب»

 

(If the Son of Adam had a valley of gold, he would desire another like it…) Imam Ahmad recorded from `Abdullah bin Ash-Shikhkhir that he said, “I came to the Messenger of Allah while he was saying,

﴿أَلْهَـكُمُ التَّكَّاثُرُ ﴾

 

يَقُولُ ابْنُ آدَمَ: مَالِي مَالِي، وَهَلْ لَكَ مِنْ مَالِكَ إِلَّا مَا أَكَلْتَ فَأَفْنَـيْتَ، أَوْ لَبِسْتَ فَأَبْلَيْتَ، أَوْ تَصَدَّقْتَ فَأَمْضَيْتَ؟»

 

((The mutual increase diverts you.)( 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 also recorded this Hadith. Muslim recorded in his Sahih from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,

«يَقُولُ الْعَبْدُ: مَالِي مَالِي، وَإِنَّمَا لَهُ مِنْ مَالِهِ ثَلَاثٌ: مَا أَكَلَ فَأَفْنَى، أَوْ لَبِسَ فَأَبْلَى، أَوْ تَصَدَّقَ فَأَمْضَى، وَمَا سِوَى ذَلِكَ فَذَاهِبٌ وَتَارِكُهُ لِلنَّاس»

 

(The servant says “My wealth, my wealth.” Yet he only gets three (benefits) from his wealth: that which he eats and finishes, that which he eats and finishes, that which he wears until it is worn out, or that which he gives in charity and it is spent. Everything else other than that will go away and leave him for the people.) Muslim was alone in recording this Hadith. Al-Bukhari recorded from Anas bin Malik that the Messenger of Allah said,

«يَتْبَعُ الْمَيِّتَ ثَلَاثَةٌ، فَيَرْجِعُ اثْنَانِ وَيَبْقَى مَعَهُ وَاحِدٌ: يَتْبَعُهُ أَهْلُهُ وَمَالُهُ وَعَمَلُهُ، فَيَرْجِعُ أَهْلُهُ وَمَالُهُ، وَيَبْقَى عَمَلُه»

 

(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,

«يَهْرَمُ ابْنُ آدَمَ وَيَبْقَى مِنْهُ اثْنَتَانِ: الْحِرْصُ وَالْأَمَل»

 

(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.

The Threat of seeing Hell and being questioned about the Delights  

﴿ كَلَّا سَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُونَ • ثُمَّ كَلَّا سَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُونَ ﴾

 

(Nay! you shall come to know! Again nay! you shall come to know!) Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “This is a threat after a threat.” Ad-Dahhak said,

﴿ كَلَّا سَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُونَ ﴾

(Nay! you shall come to know!) “Meaning, `O you disbelievers.’

﴿ ثُمَّ كَلَّا سَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُونَ ﴾

(Again nay! you shall come to know!) meaning, `O you believers.”’ Then Allah says,

﴿ كَلَّا لَوۡ تَعۡلَمُونَ عِلۡمَ ٱلۡيَقِينِ ﴾

(Nay! you shall come to know! Again nay! you shall come to know!) Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “This is a threat after a threat.” Ad-Dahhak said,

﴿ كَلَّا سَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُونَ ﴾

(Nay! you shall come to know!) “Meaning, `O you disbelievers.’

﴿ ثُمَّ كَلَّا سَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُونَ ﴾

(Again nay! you shall come to know!) meaning, `O you believers.”’ Then Allah says,

﴿ كَلَّا لَوۡ تَعۡلَمُونَ عِلۡمَ ٱلۡيَقِينِ ﴾

(Nay! If you knew with a sure knowledge.) meaning, `if you knew with true knowledge, you would not be diverted by rivalry for wealth away from seeking the abode of the Hereafter until you reach the graves.’ Then Allah says,

﴿ لَتَرَوُنَّ ٱلۡجَحِيمَ • ثُمَّ لَتَرَوُنَّہَا عَيۡنَ ٱلۡيَقِينِ ﴾

(Verily, you shall see the blazing Fire! And again you shall see it with certainty of sight!) This is the explanation of the previous threat which was in Allah’s saying,

﴿ كَلَّا سَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُونَ • ثُمَّ كَلَّا سَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُونَ ﴾

(Nay! you shall come to know! Again nay! you shall come to know!) Thus, Allah threatens them with this situation, which is what the people of the Fire will see. It is a Fire, which if it exhaled one breath, every angel who is near (to Allah) and every Prophet who was sent would all fall down on their knees due to fear, awe and the sight of its horrors. This is based upon what has been reported in the narrations concerning it. Allah then says,

﴿ ثُمَّ لَتُسۡـَٔلُنَّ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ عَنِ ٱلنَّعِيمِ ﴾

(Then on that Day you shall be asked about the delights!) meaning, `on that Day you all will be questioned concerning your gratitude towards the favors that Allah blessed you with, such as health, safety, sustenance and other things. You will be asked did you return His favors by being thankful to Him and worshipping Him.’ Ibn Jarir recorded that Al-Husayn bin `Ali As-Suda’i narrated to him from Al-Walid bin Al-Qasim, who reported from Yazid bin Kaysan, who reported from Abi Hazim, who reported from Abu Hurayrah that he said, “Once while Abu Bakr and `Umar were sitting, the Prophet came to them and said,

«مَا أَجْلَسَكُمَا ههُنَا؟»

(What has caused you two to sit here) They replied, `By He Who has sent you with the truth, nothing has brought us out of our houses except hunger.’ The Prophet said,

«وَالَّذِي بَعَثَنِي بِالْحَقِّ مَا أَخْرَجَنِي غَيْرُه»

(By He Who has sent me with the truth, nothing has brought me out other than this.) So they went until they came to the house of a man from the Ansar, and the woman of the house received them. The Prophet said to her,

«أَيْنَ فُلَانٌ؟»

(Where is so-and-so) She replied, `He went to fetch some drinking water for us.’ So the man came carrying his bucket and he said, `Welcome. Nothing has visited the servants (of Allah) better than a Prophet who has visited me today.’ Then he hung his bucket near a palm tree, and climbed it and returned to them with a cluster of dates. So the Prophet said,

«أَلَا كُنْتَ اجْتَنَـيْتَ؟»

Why didn’t you pick (some of them)) The man replied, `I wanted you to choose with your own eyes.’ Then he took a blade (to slaughter a sheep) and the Prophet said,

«إِيَّاكَ وَالْحَلُوب»

(Do not slaughter one that gives milk.) So he slaughtered a sheep for them that day and they all ate. Then the Prophet said,

«لَتُسْأَلُنَّ عَنْ هَذَا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، أَخْرَجَكُمْ مِنْ بُيُوتِكُمُ الْجُوعُ، فَلَمْ تَرْجِعُوا حَتَّى أَصَبْتُمْ هَذَا، فَهَذَا مِنَ النَّعِيم»

(You will be asked about this on the Day of Judgment. Hunger caused you to come out of your homes and you did not return until you had eaten this meal. So this is from the delights.)” Muslim also recorded this Hadith. It has been confirmed in Sahih Al-Bukhari and the Sunans of At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah from Ibn `Abbas that the Messenger of Allah said,

«نِعْمَتَانِ مَغْبُونٌ فِيهِمَا كَثِيرٌ مِنَ النَّاسِ: الصِّحَّةُ وَالْفَرَاغ»

(Two favors are treated unjustly by most people: health and free time.) This means that the people are lacking gratitude for these two favors. They do fulfill their obligations to them. Therefore, whoever does not maintain the right that is obligatory upon him, then he is unjust. Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said,

«يَقُولُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ قال عفان: يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ : يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ، حَمَلْتُكَ عَلَى الْخَيْلِ وَالْإِبِلِ، وَزَوَّجْتُكَ النِّسَاءَ، وَجَعَلْتُكَ تَرْبَعُ وَتَرْأَسُ، فَأَيْنَ شُكْرُ ذَلِكَ؟»

(Allah the Mighty and Majestic says on the Day of Judgment, “O Son of Adam! I made you ride upon the horses and camels, I gave you women to marry, and I made you reside and rule (in the earth). So where is the thanks for that”) Ahmad was alone in recording this Hadith in this manner.

***
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat At-Takathur, and all praise and blessings are due to Allah.

Special Merit of Surah At-Takathur

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ is reported to have once asked the noble Companions: Is there anyone from amongst you who has the strength to recite one thousand verses a day?” The blessed Companions replied: “Who can recite a thousand verses a day?” The Holy Prophet ﷺ said: “Can you not recite Surah At-Takathur?” This implies that Surah At-Takathur equals in weight and worth to a thousand verses, thus stressing its great importance. [Mazhari with reference to Hakim and Baihagi on the authority of Ibn Umar].

Warning Against Materialistic Attitude
Verse [1] أَلْهَاكُمُ التَّكَاثُرُ‌ (You are distracted by mutual competition in amassing [worldly benefits].) The word takathur is derived from the root kathrah, and means ‘to amass much wealth’. Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ and Hasan Basri (رح) have assigned this interpretation to it. Qatadah رحمۃ اللہ علیہ says that this word is also used in the sense of ‘taking pride in the abundance of material goods’. Sayyidna Ibn Abbas ؓ reports that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ recited this verse and explained its meaning, thus: “Acquiring wealth but not paying out of it the obligatory dues.” [Qurtubi].

حَتَّىٰ زُرْ‌تُمُ الْمَقَابِرَ‌Verse [ 2] (until you reach the graves.) Here the words ‘reaching the graves’ mean ‘to die and be buried in the graves’, as the following Prophetic Hadith bears testimony to this interpretation. Referring to verse [ 2] of this Surah, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: حَتّٰی یِأتیکُم الموت “until death overtakes you” [ Ibn Kathir, from by Ibn Abi Hatim ]. The verse thus implies that many people are engrossed in acquiring worldly goods and racing each other in wealth and children etc. and remain neglectful of the Hereafter till death comes upon them, and then they are seized by the divine punishment. Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Shikhkhir ؓ reports that one day he visited the Holy Prophet ﷺ while the latter was reciting Surah At-Takathur and was saying:

یقُول ابن اٰدم مالی مالی و ھل لک من مالک الَّا ما اکلت فافنیت او لبست فابلیت اوتصدّقت فامضیت، وفی روایۃ لمسلم وما سویٰ ذلک فذاھب و تارکہ للناس
“The Son of Adam says: ‘My wealth, my wealth.’ But you do not reap any 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.”

And in a narration by Muslim: “Everything else other than that will go away, and he will leave it for other people. (i.e. inheritors) ” [ Ibn Kathlr and Qurtubi as transmitted by Muslim, Tirmidhl and Ahmad ].

Imam Bukhari records from Sayyidna Anas ؓ عنہ that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

لو کان لابن آدم وادیاً من ذھب لا حبّ ان یکون لہ وادیان ولن یملاء فاہ اِلَّا التراب و یتوب اللہ علٰی من تاب۔
“If the Son of ‘Adam has a valley of gold, he would love to have two valleys, and nothing but the dust of grave will fill his mouth. And Allah accepts the repentance of him who turns to Him in penitence.”

Sayyidna ‘Ubayy Ibn Ka`b ؓ ، referring to the Tradition quoted above, says, “We used to think that this was a part of the Qur’an until the first verse of Surah At-Takathur was revealed.” It seems that the Holy Prophet ﷺ recited the verse and interpreted it in his own words. As a result, some of the Companions were under the impression that the Prophetic words were part of the Qur’an. Later on, when the Surah was recited in its entirety, it did not contain the Prophetic words. This made them realize that the Prophetic words were actually of explanatory nature, and not part of the Qur’an.

Verse [102:3] No! (This is not a correct attitude.) You will soon know (the reality).

Verse [102:4] Again, you will soon know.

Verse [102:5] كَلَّا لَوْ تَعْلَمُونَ عِلْمَ الْيَقِينِ (No! if you have had sure knowledge..) The word ‘if requires a principal clause that seems missing here, but the context suggests that the sense is the following: “If you had the sure knowledge of accountability on the Day of Judgment, you would not have engrossed yourselves in mutual competition in acquiring worldly goods and taking pride in their abundance.”

Verse [102:7] ثُمَّ لَتَرَ‌وُنَّهَا عَيْنَ الْيَقِينِ (…then you will see it with an eye of certainty.) The phrase ‘ain-ul-yagin’ (translated above as ‘eye of certainty’ ) refers to the certainty attained by physical observation, and this is the highest degree of certainty. Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ reports that when Holy Prophet Musa (علیہ السلام) was on the mount of Tur, his people started worshipping a calf. Allah informed him about this while he was still on the mountain. This piece of information did not affect Musa (علیہ السلام) so much. However, when he returned and saw the Children of Israel, with his own eyes, worshipping the calf, he became so indignant that the tablets of Torah involuntarily fell from his hands. [Transmitted by Ahmad and Tabarani with an authentic chain of narrators, as quoted by Mazhari].

Verse [102:8] ثُمَّ لَتُسْأَلُنَّ يَوْمَئِذٍ عَنِ النَّعِيمِ (Then you will be asked about all the pleasures [ you enjoyed in the world ].) This means that, on the Day of Judgment, all of you will be questioned whether you had shown gratitude towards Allah’s favors, or did you misuse them and were ungrateful to Allah? Some of these favors and bounties are explicitly mentioned elsewhere in the Qur’an:

إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ‌ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَـٰئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولًا
(…Surely, the ear, the eye and the heart – each one of them shall be interrogated about.) [ 17:36]

These organs and their faculties comprehend millions of blessings of Allah, and man will be questioned as to how he used them every moment of his life.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ is reported to have said that first question that will be put by Allah to every person is: “Did I not give you good health, and did I not give you cold water to quench your thirst?” (Tirmidhi, and Ibn Hibban, with rating as sahib, from Abu Hurairah, as quoted by Ibn Kathir)

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ is also reported to have said that no man will be able to move from his place unless he answers five questions: [ 1] How did he spend his life? [ 2] In what pursuits did he expend his youthful energy? [ 3] How did he earn his wealth – (by lawful means or unlawful means?) [ 4] Where did he spend his wealth – (in lawful ways or unlawful ways?) and [ 5] Did he act upon the knowledge Allah gave him? (Bukhari).

Mujahid (رح) ، the leading authority on Tafsir, says that this question on the Day of Judgment relates to every delight of the world that he enjoyed – whether it is in connection with food, clothes, house, wife, children, kingdom, government or honor. Qurtubi, having cited this, concludes that this is absolutely true, because the question does not specify any particular blessing.

Al-hamdulillah
The Commentary on
Surah At-Takathur
Ends here

Greedy Preoccupations

Al-Takathur This surah has a rhythm that is both majestic and awe-inspiring; as if it were the voice of a warner standing on a high place, projecting his voice as it rings out in weighty emphasis. He calls out to people who are drowsy, drunken, confused. They approach a precipice with their eyes closed and their feelings numbed. So the warner increases the volume of his voice to the limit: “You are preoccupied by greed for more and more, until you go down to your graves.” (Verses 1-2)

You drunken and confused lot! You who take delight and indulge in rivalry for wealth, children and the pleasures of this life, from which you are sure to depart! You who are absorbed with what you have, unaware of what comes afterwards! You who will leave the object of this rivalry, and what you seek pride in, and go to a narrow hole where there is no rivalry or pride! Wake up and look around, all of you! For indeed, “you are preoccupied by greed for more and more, until you go down to your graves.” (Verses 1-2)

With a deep and grave rhythm the surah then strikes their hearts with the terror awaiting them after they are left in their graves: “Nay, in time you will come to know.” (Verse 3) Then it repeats the same note, employing the same words and the same firm and terrifying rhythm: “Again, in time you will come to know!” (Verse 4) Then it adds to the depth and awe of this assurance, and hints at the grave prospect that lies beyond, the terrifying essence of which they do not recognize in their flush of intoxication and rivalry for worldly riches: “Indeed, were you to know [the truth] with certainty…” (Verse 5)

The conditional sentence is not completed in the text. This is acceptable as a refined form of Arabic. It adds to the feeling of awe generated by the surah. The inference here is that had they known what they should know for certain, they would not have indulged in such rivalry for petty gain. The surah then discloses the fearful fact which has been withheld: “You would, most certainly, see the fire of hell.” (Verse 6)

It then emphasizes this fact and enhances its impact on people’s hearts: “Again, you will, most certainly, see it with your very eyes.” (Verse 7)

Finally, it puts the last statement which makes the drunkard sober, the lethargic conscious, the confused attentive and the self-indulgent tremble and feel apprehension at his indulgence in comfort and pleasure: “Then on that day you will certainly be questioned about your joys and comforts.” (Verse 8) You will be questioned concerning all this: How did you get it? How did you dispense with it? Was it obtained from a lawful source and dispensed with lawfully? Or was it gained unlawfully and used in a sinful manner? Have you praised and thanked God for it? Have you given the poor their due? Have you spent some of it on others? Or monopolized it all for yourselves? “You will be questioned” about your rivalry in Al-Takathur gathering and amassing wealth and about what you take pride in. It is a burden which you, in your preoccupation and enjoyment, think little of. But beyond it lie heavy responsibilities.

This is a self-expressing surah. It leaves its impact on us by its meaning and rhythm. It leaves the heart occupied, burdened with the problem of the hereafter, inattentive to the trivialities of this worldly life and its petty concerns.

It portrays the life of this world as a fleeting wink in the long span of existence: “You are preoccupied by greed for more and more, until you go down to your graves.” (Verses 1-2) The wink of this life is over and its small leaf is turned. Thereafter time stretches on and the burdens become heavier. The style of the surah presents this inference, achieving harmony between the actual reality and its manner of expression.

Whenever we read this awe-inspiring and majestic surah, we feel its rhythm travelling upwards in space at the beginning and downwards to the deep, deep level at the end. We feel the burden of this wink of a life on our shoulders as we walk heavily along the road. Then we start questioning ourselves about the smallest and most trivial of our deeds.

Tafsir Surah Takathur by Abul A’la Maududi

The words alhakum at-takathur of the original are too vast in meaning to be fully explained in a passage. Alhakum is from lahv which originally means heedlessness, but in Arabic this word is used for every occupation which engrosses man so completely that he becomes heedless of the more important things in life.

When the word alhakum is made from this root, it will mean that man has become so obsessed with some occupation that he has lost sight of everything more important than it. He is preoccupied with it, is wholly lost in pursuit of it and this obsession has rendered him heedless of everything else in life. 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.
(3) That they should brag and boast of possessing greater abundance of things than others.

Therefore, alhakum at-takathur would mean: Takathur (greed for more and more) has so occupied you that its pursuit has made you heedless of every higher thing in life. In this sentence it has not been indicated as to abundance of what is meant in takathur, heedlessness of what is implied in alhakum, and who are the addressees of alhakum. In the absence of such an explanation, the words become applicable in their most general and extensive meaning. Thus, takathur does not remain restricted in meaning and application but applies to all the gains and benefits, pleasures and comforts, the passion for acquiring more and more means of power and authority, vying with others in pursuit of these and bragging and boasting of their abundance. Likewise, the addressees of alhakum also do not remain limited but the people of all ages, in their individual as well as collective capacity, become its addressees. It gives the meaning that the passion for acquiring more and more of the worldly wealth, vying with others in pursuit of it and bragging and boasting of its possession has affected individuals as well as societies. Likewise, since in alhakum at-takathur it has not been pointed out as to which people are engrossed in acquisitiveness and of what they are rendered heedless, it has also become very extensive in meaning. It means that the passion for piling up more and more has made the people heedless of everything more important than it. They have become heedless of God, of the Hereafter, of the moral bounds and moral responsibilities, of the rights of others and of their own obligations to render those rights. They are only after raising the standard of living and do not bother even if the standard of humanity be falling. They want to acquire more and more of wealth no matter how and by what means it is acquired. They desire to have more and more means of comfort and physical enjoyment and, overwhelmed by this greed, they have become wholly insensitive as to the ultimate end of this way of living. They are engaged in a race with others to acquire more and more of power, more and more of forces, more and more of weapons, and they have no idea that all this is a means of filling God’s earth with tyranny and wickedness and of destroying humanity itself. In short, takathur has many forms, which have engrossed individuals as well as societies so completely that they have become heedless of everything beyond the world, its benefits and pleasures.

That is, you spend your whole life in the same craze and endeavor, until the time comes when you must die and leave the world.

That is, you are under the delusion that the abundance of the worldly goods and surpassing others in it is real progress and success, whereas the opposite is the case. Soon you will know its evil end and you will realize that it was a stupendous error in which you remained involved throughout your life. Soon may mean the Hereafter. That is, for the Being Whose sight comprehends all ages, from eternity to eternity, a few thousand years or a few hundred thousand years can only be a short span of the eternal time. Soon it can also mean death, for 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 and failure.

“Then” in this sentence does not mean that accountability will be held after the culprits have been cast into Hell, but it means: Then We give you the news that you will be questioned about these comforts of life, and obviously this questioning will be held at the time of accountability in the divine court. Its main argument is that in several Ahadith it has been reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) 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, and those who proved thankless to Allah for His blessings and committed ingratitude by word or by deed, or by both; will emerge as failures.

Jabir bin Abdullah says: The Prophet (peace be upon him) 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 be questioned. (Musnad Ahmad, Nasai, Ibn Jarir, Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Marduyah, Abd bin Humaid, Baihaqi in Ash-Shuab).

Abu Hurairah has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) once asked Abu Bakr and Umar to accompany him to the place of Abul-Haitham bin at-Taihan Ansari. Thus, he took them to the oasis of Ibn at-Taihan. The latter brought a bunch of dates and placed it before them. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Why didn’t you pluck the dates yourself? He said: I thought you would yourselves select and eat dates of your choice. So, they ate the dates and drank cool water. At the end, the Prophet (peace be upon him) 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. (This tradition has been narrated in different ways by Muslim, Ibn Majah, Abu Daud, Tirmidhi, Nasai, Ibn Jarir, Abu Yala and others, on the authority of Abu Hurairah. In some of which the name of the Ansari companion has been mentioned and in some he has been referred to as a person from among the Ansar. This incident has been related with several details by Ibn Abi Hatim from Umar and by Imam Ahmad from Abu Asib, the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) freed slave. Ibn Hibban and Ibn Marduyah have related a tradition from Abdullah bin Abbas, which shows that an almost similar thing had happened in the house of Abu Ayyub Ansari.

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 Quran says: If you try to count the blessings of Allah, you will not be able to calculate them. (Surah Ibrahim, Ayat 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 and endeavor. About the blessings that accrue to man in consequence of his own labor and skill, he will have to render an account 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, on the whole, 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 whether he thought he had received all that accidentally, or as a gift from many gods, or whether he held the belief that although those were the blessings of One God, in their bestowal many other beings also had a part, and for that very reason he had taken them as his gods and worshipped and thanked them as such.