At-Takāthur (Arabic: التكاثر, "Rivalry, Competition") is the 102nd chapter (sūrah) of the Qur'an, with 8 verses (āyāt). Regarding the timing and contextual background of the believed revelation (asbāb al-nuzūl), it is an earlier "Meccan surah", which means it is believed to have been revealed in Mecca, rather than later in Medina.
Rivalry In Worldly Increase
|Other names||Hoarding, Competition, Worldly Gain, Rivalry|
|No. of verses||8|
|No. of words||28|
|No. of letters||122|
Text and transliteration
بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Bismi l-āhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm(i)
1 ’al hākumu t-takāthur(u)
حَتَّىٰ زُرْتُمُ ٱلْمَقَابِرَ
2 Ḥattā zurtumu l-maqābir(a)
كَلَّا سَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ
3 Kallā sawfa ta‘lamūn(a)
ثُمَّ كَلَّا سَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ
4 Thumma kallā sawfa ta‘lamūn(a)
كَلَّا لَوْ تَعْلَمُونَ عِلْمَ ٱلْيَقِينِ
5 Kallā law ta‘lamūna ‘ilma l-yaqīn(i)
6 Latarawunna l-jaḥīm(a)
ثُمَّ لَتَرَوُنَّهَا عَيْنَ ٱلْيَقِينِ
7 Thumma latarawunnahā ‘ayna l-yaqīn(i)
ثُمَّ لَتُسْـَٔلُنَّ يَوْمَئِذٍ عَنِ ٱلنَّعِيمِ
8 Thumma latus’alunna yawma’idhin ‘ani n-na‘īm(i)
After the bismillah, this Surah is concerned with factionalism and schism amongst people. Disagreements between individuals and groups follow us "even until you visit the tombs". Three times in a row the sura warns the reader that "you shall know" that those who sow discord are headed towards Hell. Here, proper understanding is required for entrance into Paradise, and should one not attain this on Earth, one will receive the "eye of certainty" on the Day of Judgment, when "you shall be questioned ... concerning true bliss".
Theme and subject matter
Nahj al-Balagha commentary on Al-Islam.org is quoted as:
"The genesis of the descending of this verse is that the tribes of Banu Abd al-Manaf and Banu Sahm began to boast against each other over the abundance of their wealth and the number of their tribesmen, and in order to prove they had a greater number each one began to include their dead as well, whereupon this verse was revealed to the effect that abundance of riches and majority in numbers has made you so forgetful that you count the dead also with the living. This verse is also taken to mean that abundance of riches and progeny has made you forgetful till you reached the graves, but the utterance of Amir al-mu'minin supports the first meaning."
Mention in ahadith
- It was narrated from Mutarrif, from his father, that the Prophet said: "The mutual rivalry (for piling up of worldly things) diverts you, 'Until you visit the graves (i.e. till you die).' The son of Adam says: 'My wealth, my wealth,' but your wealth is what you eat and consume, or what you wear and it wears out, or what you give in charity and send on ahead (for the Hereafter).'"
- Mutarrif bin Abdullah bin Ash-Shikh-khir reported from his father, : that he went to the Prophet and he was reciting: ‘أَلْهَاكُمُ التَّكَاثُرُ ’ He said: “The son of Adam says: ‘My wealth, my wealth.’ And do you own anything except what you give in charity, such that you’ve spent it, or what you eat, such that you’ve finished it, or you wear, such that you’ve worn it out?”
- Wherry, Elwood Morris (1896). A Complete Index to Sale's Text, Preliminary Discourse, and Notes. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, and Co. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Rafi, S., Sermon 219
- Sunan an-Nasa'i 3613. In-book reference : Book 30 (The Book of Wills), Hadith 3. English translation : Vol. 4, Book 30, Hadith 3643
- Grade: Sahih (Darussalam) English reference: Jami' at-Tirmidhi » Chapters on Tafsir Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 3354. Arabic reference : كتاب تفسير القرآن عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم Book 47, Hadith 3678
- Reference: Jami' at-Tirmidhi 2342 In-book reference : Chapters On Zuhd Book 36, Hadith 39. English translation : Vol. 4, Book 10, Hadith 2342