ENTITLED SURAT AL TAKASUR (THE EMULOUS DESIRE OF MULTIPLYING).
Revealed at Makkah.
THIS chapter is a sort of philippic directed against the covetousness and self-seeking of the Quraish, so often animadverted on in the Quran. For this reason, perhaps, the judgment-day is referred to only to warn the wicked, and not, as usual, to comfort the righteous. We have given the explanation of this chapter found in Muslim commentators in Sale's note quoted below, though regarding it as a pure fiction.
Like chap. ci., this one also belongs to the earliest period of the ministry at Makkah.
Men spend their time seeking the things of this world ... 1—3
The judgment-day shall reveal their folly . . . 3—5
In consequence they shall see hell-fire . . . 6—8
(1) The emulous desire of multiplying riches and children employeth you, (2) until ye visit the graves. (3)
(2) Until ye visit, &c., i.e., "until ye die. According to the exposition of some commentators, the words should be rendered thus':
By no means should ye thus employ your tirne: hereafter shall ye know your folly. (4) Again, by no means: hereafter shall ye know your folly. (5) By no means: if ye knew the consequence hereof with certainty of knowledge, ye would not act thus. (6) Verily ye shall see hell: (7) again, ye shall surely see it with the eye. of certainty. (8) Then shall ye be examined, on that day, concerning the pleasures with which ye hove amused yourselves in this life.
‘The contending,' or vieing ‘in numbers wholly employeth you, so that ye visit even the graves,' to number the dead; to explain which they relate that there was a great dispute and contention between the descendants of Abd Manáf and the descendants of Sahm, which of the two families were the more numerous; and it being found, on calculation, that the children of Abd Manáf exceeded those of Sahm, the Sahmites said that their numbers had been much diminished by wars in the time of ignorance, and insisted that the dead as well as the living should be taken into the account; and by this way of reckoning they were fOund to be more than the descendants of Abd Manáf."— Sale, Zamakshari, Baidháwi.
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