By the (Steeds) that run with panting (breath) 6241
And strike sparks of Fire 6242
And push home the charge in the morning 6243
And raise the dust in clouds the while 6244
And penetrate forthwith into the midst (of the foe) en masse 6245
Truly Man is to his Lord ungrateful; 6246
And to that (fact) he bears witness (by his deeds); 6247
And violent is he in his love of wealth. 6248
Does he not know when that which is in the graves is Scattered abroad 6249
And that which is (locked up) in (human) breasts is made manifest
That their Lord had been well-acquainted with them (Even to) that Day? 6250
The substantive proposition is in verses 6-8 below, and the metaphors enforcing the lesson are in verses 1-5 here. They have at least three layers of meaning: (1) Look at the chargers (mares or swift camels) panting for war on behalf of their masters. Off they go, striking fire with their hoofs by night at the behest of their riders; they push home the charge in the moming, chivalrously giving the enemy the benefit of daylight; and regardless of flashing steel or the weapons of their enemies they boldly penetrate into the midst of their foe, risking their lives for the Cause. Does unregenerate man show that fidelity to his Lord Allah? On the contrary he is ungrateful to Allah; he shows that by his deeds; he is violently in love with wealth and gain and things that perish. (2) By the figure of metonymy the brave fidelity of the war-horse may stand for that of the brave men and true who rally to the standard of Allah and carry it to victory, contrasted with the poltroonery and pettiness of unregenerate man. (3) The whole conflict, fighting, and victory, may be applied to spiritual warfare against those who are caught and overwhelmed in the camp of Evil.
With their hoofs. If we suppose the march to be in the dead of night, the sparks of fire would be still more conspicuous.
We may suppose a surprise attack, but yet a chivalrous attack by daylight. The foe is punished through his own lethargy and unpreparedness, apart from the strength, fire, and spirit of the forces of righteousness.
The clouds of dust typify the ignorance and confusion in the minds of those who oppose Truth.
The forces of evil mass themselves for strength, but their massing itself may become a means of their speedy undoing.
Man, i.e., unregenerate man, in contrast to those who receive guidance and wage unceasing war with Evil, is ungrateful to his Lord and Cherisher, Him Who created him and sustains him, and sends His blessings and favours at all times. The ingratitude may be shown by thoughts, words, and deeds,-by forgetting or denying Allah and His goodness, by misusing His gifts, or by injustice to His creatures.
Man himself, by his conduct, proves the charge of treason against himself.
What an evil choice he makes in committing treason against his own Benefactor by going after the petty baubles of this world's wealth of fleeting gains?
Dead bodies, secret plots, evil thoughts and imaginings, long since buried, will yet stand forth before the Judgment-seat of Allah. Instead of being closely hidden or blotted out-as they will have been from the consciousness of mankind,-they will stand out as from the consciousness of Allah, which is all-embracing and never suffers from sleep or fatigue.
Allah's knowledge is full and vigilant at all times. But on that day it will reveal to men secrets which they had long forgotten, for the Book of their Deeds will be made manifest at Judgment.