Introduction of At-Takathur
(Revealed before Hijrah)
By common consent this is one of the earliest Surahs revealed at Mecca. Its subject matter also shows that it belongs to that period.
In the preceding Surah, mention was made of the communities of disbelievers whom the Holy Prophet was to reform in his own time, in times following his death, and later, particularly, in the time of his Second Coming, in the person of the Promised Messiah. In the two chapters that immediately precede the present Surah, special mention was made of the punishment that was to overtake disbelievers in the Holy Prophet’s own time and in the subsequent long career of Islam including the Age of his Second Advent. The Surah under comment deals with the factors which engender in man an inclination to, or a liking for, disbelief and which divert his attention away from God and truth.
The Surah deals with a very common and deadly spiritual disease, viz. vying with one another in amassing worldly goods and taking pride in their abundance. The Holy Prophet often used to recite the Surah; he is reported to have said that the Surah was equal in weight and worth to a thousand verses (Bayan, Baihaqi & Dailami), thus stressing its great importance.
یہ سورت مکی ہے اور بسم اللہ سمیت اس کی نو آیات ہیں۔
اس سورت میں انسان کو متنبہ کیا گیا ہے کہ وہ دولت کی محبت کے نتیجہ میں قبروں تک پہنچ جائے گا۔ اس میں ایک طرف تو بڑی قوموں کو خبردار کیا گیا ہے کہ اس دوڑ کا نتیجہ سوائے ہلاکت کے اَور کچھ نہیں ہوگا اور بعض کمزور قوموں کا حال بھی بیان ہوا ہے کہ وہ اپنی مال و دولت کی طلب اور آرزوؤں کو پورا کرنے کے لئے قبروں کی زیارت سے بھی باز نہیں آئیں گے۔ اس کے نتیجہ میں انسان کو دو دفعہ خبردار کیا گیا ہے، دنیاوی قوموں کو بھی اور توہم پرست مذہبی قوموں کو بھی کہ اس کا آخری انجام یہ ہوگا کہ تم اس آگ کا علم پالو گے جو تمہارے لئے بھڑکائی گئی ہے۔ اور پھر تم اسے اپنی آنکھوں کے سامنے دیکھ لو گے۔ پھر جب اس میں جھونکے جاؤ گے تو تم سے پوچھا جائے گا کہ اب بتاؤ کہ دنیا کی نعمتوں کی اندھادھند طلب نے تمہیں کیا دیا؟
بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ﴿۱﴾
بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
a. 1:1. (close)
a. See 1:1. (close)
اَلۡہٰکُمُ التَّکَاثُرُ ۙ﴿۲﴾
3423. Acquisitiveness and man’s inordinate desire to outstrip others in wealth, position and prestige lie at the root of all human troubles and of the neglect of higher values of life. It is man’s great misfortune that his passion for acquiring worldly things knows no limit and leaves him no time to think of God or the Hereafter. He remains entirely engrossed in these things till death comes upon him, and then he finds that he had wasted his precious life in idle pursuits. (close)
b. 24:38; 48:12; 62:10. (close)
4827. Important Words:
التکاثر (mutual rivalry in worldly increase) is derived from کثر i.e. it was or became much, abundant, copious, great in number; it multiplied; it accumulated. تکاثروا means, they contended, one with another, for superiority in numbers. التکاثرmeans, contending with one another for superiority in numbers or property, children and men. تکاثرت أمواله means, his riches multiplied by degrees (Lane).
Acquisitiveness and man’s inordinate desire to outstrip others in wealth, position and prestige lies at the root of all human troubles and the neglect of the higher values of life. It is man’s great misfortune that his passion for acquiring worldly things knows no limit and leaves him no time to think of God or the Hereafter. He remains entirely engrossed in these things till death comes upon him.
Against general practice, the verb الھا has not been followed by the preposition عن in this verse. This enlarges the meaning of the verb, covering, as it does, all the things that are calculated to divert man’s attention from God and not from any particular thing or object. (close)
حَتّٰی زُرۡتُمُ الۡمَقَابِرَ ؕ﴿۳﴾
حَتَّىٰ زُرۡتُمُ ٱلۡمَقَابِرَ
Man remains engrossed in acquiring worldly goods till death comes upon him and then he finds that he had wasted all his precious life. The verse also signifies that competition for superiority in wealth, position and numbers has led to the undoing of individuals and even of nations. Moral rather than physical death is meant here, because physical death comes uninvited, but man himself brings about his moral death. So it is not unqualified rivalry and vying with one another that is condemned here. On the contrary, believers have been exhorted in the Quran to endeavour to outstrip one another in doing good (2:149 & 35:32). It is the blind craze for worldly things, to the detriment of higher values, to which exception has been taken in this verse. (close)
کَلَّا سَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ۙ﴿۴﴾
كَلَّا سَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُونَ
ثُمَّ کَلَّا سَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ؕ﴿۵﴾
ثُمَّ كَلَّا سَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُونَ
3424. Repetition of the verse is intended to add emphasis to and render more effective the warning contained in the Surah. Or, the Surah may refer to the nemesis that will come in the wake of blind engrossment by man in the acquisition of worldly things in this life. (close)
Repetition of the verse is intended to add emphasis to and render more effective the warning contained in the Surah. Or the Surah may refer to the Nemesis that will come in the wake of blind engrossment in the acquisition of worldly things in this life and in the Hereafter. (close)
کَلَّا لَوۡ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ عِلۡمَ الۡیَقِیۡنِ ؕ﴿۶﴾
كَلَّا لَوۡ تَعۡلَمُونَ عِلۡمَ ٱلۡيَقِينِ
لَتَرَوُنَّ الۡجَحِیۡمَ ۙ﴿۷﴾
3425. Had man used common sense and what little amount of knowledge he possesses, then, surely, he would have seen a veritable Hell yawning before his eyes in this very life, i.e. he would have realized that his engrossment in the pursuit of pomp, circumstance and the material advantages of this temporary existence causes his total moral ruin. (close)
ثُمَّ لَتَرَوُنَّہَا عَیۡنَ الۡیَقِیۡنِ ۙ﴿۸﴾
ثُمَّ لَتَرَوُنَّهَا عَيۡنَ ٱلۡيَقِينِ
3426. Verses 5-8 leave no doubt as to the commencement of a hellish life in this very world. The Hell of next life is prepared in this life, hidden from the human eye, but can be recognised with the knowledge of certainty by those who reflect upon it. These verses describe three stages of certainty of human knowledge with regard to Hell, viz. ‘Ilmul-Yaqin or certainty by inference; ‘Ainul-Yaqin or certainty by sight and Haqqul-Yaqin or certainty by realization. The certainty of knowledge can be had in this very life by inference by those who reflect upon the nature of evil, but after death man will see Hell with his own eyes, while on the Day of Resurrection he shall have a full realization of the truth of certainty by actually entering into Hell. (close)
The verse administers a severe rebuke to disbelievers. It seems to say to them: "Why can’t you understand the simple thing, that the wages of sin is death and that no spiritual life is left in you. Had you used common sense and what little amount of knowledge you possess, you would have seen a veritable Hell yawning before your eyes in this very life, i.e. you would have realized that your engrossment in the pursuit of pomp, circumstance and the material advantages of this temporary existence will cause your total ruin. But you give no thought to these stark realities of life. You do not believe that such a thing will ever happen, but the time is fast approaching when you will see Divine punishment overtaking you in the form of diverse calamities."
It may be stated here that there are three stages of certainty, viz. علم الیقین i.e." certainty by inference, عین الیقین i.e. "certainty by sight" and حق الیقین i.e. "certainty by realization." In the first stage a thing itself is not visible but from its visible effects a man can conclude that it exists. In the second stage not only the effects of a thing but the thing itself is visible, though its nature is not completely comprehended. In the third stage which is the stage of perfect realization or personal experience a man both through observation of the effects of a thing on others and through realization of its effect on himself, can have as complete an understanding of the nature of a thing as it is possible for him to have. These are also the stages of human knowledge with regard to Hell. A man can, by inference, attain certainty about the existence of Hell in this very life but it is after death that he will see it with his own eyes, though it is on the Day of Resurrection that a sinful man will have full realization of it by personally experiencing it. (close)
ثُمَّ لَتُسۡـَٔلُنَّ یَوۡمَئِذٍ عَنِ النَّعِیۡمِ ٪﴿۹﴾
ثُمَّ لَتُسۡـَٔلُنَّ يَوۡمَئِذٍ عَنِ ٱلنَّعِيمِ
When disbelievers will be brought face to face to Hell, they will be told that God had bestowed upon them all kinds of favours, especially His greatest favour—the Holy Prophet—but they rejected and opposed him. (close)