1. the mutual rivalry for piling up of worldly things diverts you,
2. until You visit the graves (i.e. till You die).
3. Nay! You shall come to know!
4. again, Nay! You shall come to know!
5. Nay! if You knew with a sure knowledge (the end result of piling up, You would not have occupied yourselves In worldly things)
6. Verily, You shall see the blazing Fire (Hell)!
7. and again, You shall see it with certainty of sight!
8. then, on that day, You shall be asked about the delight (you indulged in, In This world)!
This surah is revealed in Makkah.
Loving the world and the heedlessness of the Hereafter
In this first ayah, Allah describes that the competition and the love for the worldly things that diverts you from the remembrance of Allah. Allah even warns us with this ayah Al Munafiqun 63: 9
O You who believe! let not Your wealth or Your Children divert You from the remembrance of Allaah. and Whosoever does that, Then they are the losers.
Even wealth and children can become distraction against the remembrance of Allah.
Exercise : Brainstorm how it can become a distraction.
Exercise : Identify what other things that can distract us from the remembrance of Allah?
Things we like or we own, such as wealth and having a great hobby can be a distraction. Does that mean we cannot have wealth? Or hobby?
No! Rather, these are blessings from Allah. Instead of allowing these pleasures to distract you from remembering Allah, remind yourself that these pleasures are from Allah and we must continuously give thanks to him. Doubling our worshiping to Him.
Exercise : How does it become a distraction?
Some of the characteristics of chasing of dunya that may distract you from the remembrance of Allah.
1 – The desire of having alot and a lot more.
“i want more money, a better car, a bigger house”.
2 – Competing with others in getting alot.
I want a better phone. I want a better video console. A better room. I want better than his, better than hers. I want to have his toy.
3 – Taking Pride in the Fact that you have more:
I have more things. I have a better bag. I have branded clothes.
Having occupy this in our mind will delude you, it distracts you.
Exercise : What does it mean by distracting you? Distracting you from what?
People will be in the distraction, happy and proud with what they have. Busy collecting more and more wealth and competing with others ensuring that he is at the top of the game. They will continue to be in this state UNTIL they are buried in the graves.
If in the business of competing for world purpose, one did not spend time thinking about Allah, worshiping Him and fearing the judgment day, then they will be doomed in the grave.
Allah used the word visit because one will only stay at the grave for a short time in relative to the Hereafter which is permanent. It will be a short stay. Just like this world, merely a transit.
Verse 3 & 4
كَلَّا – Which means NO! Or rather a STRONG NO!
سَوْفَ – In the future or coming soon
ثُمَّ – then
Man will continuously be in the state of distraction until (in one opinion) the day he dies and see the grave himself.
Ali bin Abu Talib says, “People are sleeping and when they die – they wake up.”
Some scholars said;
Ayah 3 was about; When you enter the grave, you will find out the reality.
Ayah 4 was; the second time you come out of the graves on Judgment Day.
Al Hassan Al Basri said, “These two ayahs are threat after threat.”
These ayah is repeated to give you double warning! So that people wake up from distraction!
According to Tafsir Ibn Kathir, this ayah means if one knows with TRUE KNOWLEDGE, one would not be diverted by rivalry for wealth and stay away from seeking the abode of the Hereafter until one reaches the graves.
What is TRUE KNOWLEDGE?
According to Qatadah
That is the knowledge of death. Whatever happens after death.
The death. The Hereafter. The questioning. The final permanent abode.
الجحيم – blazing fire
Can you name other names for hellfire.
علم اليقين – certainty by knowledge
عين اليقين – certainty by sight.
In verse 5, Allah says علم اليقين which is certainty with knowledge. In this verse 7, Allah mentions عين اليقين
علم اليقين Is being certain by knowledge. For example when you see smoke, by knowledge you would insinuate that the source of the smoke is fire.
And with عين اليقين, you actually get to see the fire. If you are already certain with your knowledge that the smoke comes from a certain fire source, the moment you actually see the fire, you would become even more certain.
This is what the verse is about. That you know by your knowledge that there will be the blazing fire, ready for those who do not obey Allah and come the judgment day, when one actually witness the fire, one will be more certain of the coming punishment!
So have taqwa to Allah and be mindful of your actions now!
يومئذ – that day
Can you describe what day is this verse referring to?
النعيم – delights of this world
Can you describe some of the delights of this world.
Ibn Jarir recorded that Abu Hurayrah reported,
Once while Abu Bakr and ‘Umar were sitting, the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasalam came to them and said,
“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 sallallahu alaihi wasalam said,
“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 sallallahu alaihi wasalam said to her,
“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 better than a prophet who has visited me today.” Then he hang his bucket near a palm tree, and climbed it and returned to them with a cluster of dates. So the Prophet sallallah alaihi wasalam said
“Why you didn’t 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 sallallahu alaihi wasalam said,
“Do not slaughter the one that gives milk.”
So he slaughtered a sheep for them that day and they all ate. Then the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasalam said
“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.”
Look at ourselves, we have even more ni’mah than them.
Even though, possessing wealth and having lots of children are not wrong. But remember we will be asked to what did we do with these ni’mah. Did we use our wealth to something good that is in Allah’s pleasure? Did we take the responsibility of raising our children to be among those who fear Allah? Or did we boast of them of only doing dunya matters?
Ibn Abbas said that Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasalam said, “Two favours are treated unjustly by most people: health and free time.”
These are another ni’mah that Allah has bestowed to most of us but we can easily misused them. Try and make daily schedule and also plans for the future. When you do this you can see how much time we have and how much we may have wasted it all this while. Or we can identify really how much time we can spend to do so many different things.
Let us also identify the things that make us waste our time.
Let us also ponder upon this hadith
On the authority of Ibn Mas’ud radiallaahu ‘anhu who said that the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “The two feet of the son of Adam will not move from near his Lord on the day of Judgement until he is asked about five (matters) about his life – how he spent it; about his youth – how he took care of it; about his wealth – how he earned it; and where he spent it and about that which he acted upon from the knowledge he acquired.”
Lessons from this surah:
- Mankind can be engrossed in the matter of dunya such that they are unmindful of the coming Hereafter.
- Would we only wake up only when we die?
- The highest level of knowledge is certainty of sight.
- All the blessings we have now, we will be questioned about in in the Hereafter
- The highest priority that we must compete is doing good in the pleasure of Allah.
1. Tafsir Ibn Kathir
2. Methodical interpretation of the Noble Quran – Dr Ahmad nawfal, darussalam
4. ilm fruits