In the Shade of the Qur'an - Surah # 102
In the Shade of the Qur'an - Surah # 102
Sura # 102
Rivalry for Wordly Gain
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent,
Rivalry for wordly gain distracts you, untill you visit your graves.
Indeed you shall
know! Again, you shall certainly come to know.
Indeed, were you to have certain knowledge ... You shall certainly
see the fire of Hell. Yes, you will it with your eyes. Then, on
that day, you shall be questioned about your joys
In the Shade of the Qur'an
This surah has a rhythm that is majestic and awe-inspiring - as if it were
the voice of a warner standing on a high place and projecting his voice
which rings out in weighty emphasis. He
calls out to people who are
drowsy, drunken, confused. They approach a precipice with their eyes
and their feelings numbed. So the warner increases the volume of
his voice to the limit: "Rivalry for worldly gain
distracts you until
you visit your graves."
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
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 wherein there is no rivalry or
Wake up and look around, all of you ! For indeed, "rivalry for
worldly gain distracts you until you visit your
With a deep and grave rhythm the Qur'an then strikes their hearts with
the terror awaiting
them after coming to the graves: "Indeed, you shall
know". Then it repeats the same note with the same words and
same firm and terrifying rhythm: "Again, you shall certainly come to
know". Then it adds to
the depth and awe of this assurance, and hints at
the grave future that lies beyond, the terrifying essence of
do not recognise in the flush of intoxication and rivalry for worldly
riches: "Indeed, were
you to have certain knowledge ..." The conditional
sentence is not completed in the text. This is acceptable as
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 have not indulged in such rivalry for petty gains.
The surah then discloses the fearful fact which has been withheld: "You
shall certainly see the fire
of Hell ".
Then it emphasizes this fact and deepens its striking impact on people's
you will see it with your very eyes". Finally, it puts the
last statement which makes the drunken sober, the lethargic
the confused attentive and the self-indulgent tremble and feel
apprehension at his indulgence
in comforts and pleasures: " Then on that
day you shall be questioned about your joys and comforts". You will be
questioned concerning all that: How did you get it? How did you dispense
with it? Was it obtained from
a lawful source and dispensed with in a
lawful way? Or from a forbidden source and in a sinful manner? Was it
legal or illegal? Have you praised and thanked Allah for it? Have you
given the poor their due? Have you given
some of it to others? Or have
you monopolised it all for your selves? " You shall be questioned " about
your rivalry in 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 man's feelings
by its meaning and rhythm. It leaves the heart occupied
burdened with the
problem of the Hereafter, inattentive to the trivialities of this worldly
its petty concerns which please hollow-minded people.
This surah portrays the life of this world as a fleeting
wink in the long
span of existence: "Rivalry for worldly gain attracts you until you visit
". The wink of this life is over and its small leaf is turned.
Thereafter time stretches on and so do the burdens.
The style of the surah
produce this inference, achieving harmony between the actual reality and
manner of expressing it.
Whenever a human being reads this awe-inspiring and majestic surah, he
feels its rhythm which travels upwards in space at the beginning and
travels downwards to the deep, deep level
at the end. He feels the burden
of this wink of a life on his shoulders as he walks heavily along the road.
Then he starts questioning himself about the smallest and even the most
trivial of his deeds.