Good Deed: 302 Stop petty concerns, Reflect Surah Takathur – Piling Up

SURA 102. Takathur, or Piling Up
1. The mutual rivalry for piling up [the good things of this world] diverts you
[from the more serious things],
2. Until ye visit the graves.
3. But nay, ye soon shall know [the reality].
4. Again, ye soon shall know!
5. Nay, were ye to know with certainty of mind, [ye would beware!]
6. Ye shall certainly see Hell-Fire!
7. Again, ye shall see it with certainty of sight!
8. Then, shall ye be questioned that Day about the joy [ye indulged in!].



1. The message of the surah is :  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 sure to 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 where there is no rivalry or pride! Wake up and look around, all of you!

2. With a deep and grave rhythm the sūrah then strikes their hearts with the terror awaiting them after they are left in their graves, Then it repeats the same note, employing the same words and the same firm and terrifying rhythm

3. Finally, it puts the last statement which makes the drunkard sober, the lethargic conscious, the confused attentive and the self-indulgent tremble and feel apprehension at his indulgence in comfort and pleasure: “Then on that day you will certainly be questioned about your joys and comforts.”

4. You will be questioned concerning all this:

  • How did you get it?
  • How did you dispense with it?
  • Was it obtained from a lawful source and dispensed with lawfully? Or was it gained unlawfully and used in a sinful manner?
  •  Have you praised and thanked God for it?
  • Have you given the poor their due? Have you spent some of it on others? Or monopolized it all for your selves? “
  • You will be questioned” about your rivalry in gathering and amassing wealth and about what you take pride in.
6.  It leaves the heart occupied, burdened with the problem of the hereafter, inattentive to the trivialities of this worldly life and its petty concerns. It portrays the life of this world as a fleeting wink in the long span of existence.

7. Whenever we read this awe-inspiring and majestic sūrah, we feel its rhythm travelling upwards in space at the beginning and downwards to the deep, deep level at the end. We feel the burden of this wink of a life on our shoulders as we walk heavily along the road. Then we start questioning ourselves about the smallest and most trivial of our deeds.

source: In the shade of the Quran Sayyid Qutb


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