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Surah Al-Humaza

Ayat/pg: 5 | 10 | 15 | 20 | All

Maududi's Commentry (Tafseer) on Surah Al-Humaza

Mecca Mecca (32)
9Total Ayat: 9
1Total Ruku: 1

Name

The Surah takes its name from the word humazah occurring in the firstverse.

Period of Revelation

All commentators are agreed that it is a Makki Surah; a study of itssubject matter and style shows that this too is one of the earliestSurahs to be revealed at Makkah.

Theme and Subject Matter

In it some of the evils prevalent among the materialistic hoarders ofwealth in the pre-Islamic days have been condemned. Every Arab knewthat they actually existed in their society; they regarded them asevils and nobody thought they were good. After calling attention tothis kind of ugly character, the ultimate end in the Hereafter of thepeople having this kind of character has been stated. Both thesethings (i. e. the character and his fate in the Hereafter) have beendepicted in a way which makes the listener automatically reach theconclusion that such a man fitly deserves to meet such an end. Andsince in the world, people of such character do not suffer anypunishment, but seem to be thriving instead, the occurrence of theHereafter becomes absolutely inevitable.

If this Surah is read in thesequence of the Surahs beginning with Az-Zilzal, one can fully wellunderstand how the fundamental beliefs of Islam and its teachings wereimpressed on the peoples minds in the earliest stage in Makkah. InSurah Az-Zilzal, it was said that in the Hereafter man's full recordwill be placed before him and not an atom's weight of good or evildone by him in the world will have been left unrecorded. In Surah Al-Adiyat, attention was drawn to the plunder and loot, bloodshed andvandalism, prevailing in Arabia before Islam; then making the peoplerealize, that the way the powers given by God were being abused, wasindeed an expression of sheer ingratitude to Him, they were told thatthe matter would not end up in the world, but in the second life afterdeath not only their deeds but their intentions and motives too wouldbe examined, and their Lord fully well knows which of them deserveswhat reward or punishment. In Surah Al-Qariah after depictingResurrection the people were warned that in the Hereafter a man's goodor evil end will be dependent on whether the scale of his good deedswas heavier, or the scale of his evil deeds was heavier:In Surah At-Takathur the people were taken to task for the materialistic mentalitybecause of which they remained occupied in seeking increase in worldlybenefits, pleasures, comforts and position, and in vying with oneanother for abundance of everything until death overtook them. Then,warning them of the evil consequences of their heedlessness, they weretold that the world was not an open table of food for then to pick andchoose whatever they pleased, but for every single blessing that theywere enjoying in the world, they would have to render an account totheir Lord and Sustainer as to how they obtained it and how they usedit. In Surah Al-Asr it was declared that each member, each group andeach community of mankind, even the entire world of humanity, was inmanifest loss, if its members were devoid of Faith and righteous deedsand of the practice of exhorting others to truth and patience.Immediately after this comes Surah Al-Humazah in which after presentinga specimen of leadership of the pre-Islamic age of ignorance, thepeople have been asked the question: "What should such a characterdeserve if not loss and perdition?"

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