Surah 104. Al-Humaza

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Period of Revelation

This Surah was revealed at Makkah and is one of the early Surahs.

Major Issue, Divine Law and Guidance

The slanderer, defamer and stingy shall be thrown into the blazing fire.

Theme

This Surah condemns the evils which were prevalent among the materialistic hoarders of wealth in the pre-Islamic days. After stating this kind of ugly character, the ultimate end of such a people in the Hereafter is told. Both of these things (i. e. the character and ones fate in the Hereafter) are depicted in a way which makes the listener automatically reach the conclusion that such a man deserves to meet such an end. And since in the world, people of such character may not suffer and appear to be thriving instead, the occurrence of the Hereafter becomes absolutely inevitable.

If this Surah is read in the sequence of the Surahs beginning with Az-Zilzal, one can fully understand the fundamental beliefs of Islam. In Surah Az-Zilzal, it was said that in the Hereafter, man's full record will be placed before him and not an atom's weight of good or evil done by him in the world will have been left unrecorded. In Surah Al-'Adiyat, attention was drawn to the plunder, loot, bloodshed and vandalism, prevailing in Arabia before Islam; then making the people realize, that the way the powers given by God were being abused, was indeed an expression of sheer ingratitude to Him and deserves punishment. In Surah Al-Qariah, after depicting the Resurrection, the people were warned that in the Hereafter, a man's good or evil end will be dependent on whether the scale of his good deeds was heavier, or the scale of his evil deeds was heavier. In Surah At- Takathur the people were taken to task for their materialistic mentality because of which, they remained occupied in seeking increase in worldly benefits, pleasures, comforts and position. They were warned that they would have to render an account to their Rabb and Sustainer as to how they obtained it and how they used it. In Surah Al-'Asr, it was declared that each member, each group and each community of mankind, even the entire world of humanity, was in manifest loss if its members were devoid of faith, righteous deeds and the practice of exhorting others to truth and patience. Immediately after this comes Surah Al-Humazah, in which, after presenting a specimen of leadership of the pre-Islamic age of ignorance, the people are asked the question: "What should such character deserve, if not loss and perdition?"

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