Sūra al-Takāthur (Arabic: سورة التَکاثُر) is the 102nd sura of the Qur'an. It is a Makki sura in the 30th juz' of the Qur'an. The word, "Takathur", which literally means to compete with others in accumulating money and possessions, has occurred in the first verse of the sura, and this is why it came to be known as "Sura al-Takathur". In this sura, people who brag about their possessions, children and companions are reprimanded, warning that they will soon be interrogated for blessings they had at their disposal. According to hadiths, the "blessing" here refers to Ahl al-Bayt (a). It is said that the recitation of this sura amounts to the recitation of one thousand Quranic verses.
The sura is known as "al-Takathur" because this word occurs in its first verse. "Takathur" means to compete with others in gaining more possessions and honors.
Order and the Place of Revelation
Sura al-Takathur is a Makki sura of the Qur'an and in the order of revelation, it was the 16th sura revealed to the Prophet (s). In the traditional order of compilation, it is the 102nd sura located in the 30th juz' of the Qur'an.
The Number of Verses and Other Features
Sura al-Takathur has 8 verses, 28 words, and 123 letters. It is one of the mufassalat suras of the Qur'an; that is, the ones with numerous and short verses.
Sura al-Takathur berates people for their competition in the collection of possessions and the number of their children and helpers; a characteristic that makes them ignore God and the true happiness. The sura also warns people that they will soon see the outcome of such useless preoccupations and that they will soon be interrogated about the blessings given to them.
The Occasion of the Revelation
Several accounts of the occasion of the revelation of Sura al-Takathur are cited in Majma' al-bayan. According to one such account, the sura was revealed with regard to two tribes of the Quraysh, the children of 'Abd Manaf b. Qusay and the children of Sahm b. 'Umar. They both bragged about the number of their noblemen. And they finally began to count the number of their noblemen. The number of the noblemen of the children of 'Abd Manaf turned out to be greater. Thus, the children of Sahm suggested that they should count the number of their dead noblemen as well. So, they went to the cemetery and counted them and the number of the noblemen of the children of Sahm turned out to be greater this time, because they had a greater population during the Jahiliyya.
The Blessing of Ahl al-Bayt (a) and the Interrogation about It
According to the last verse of Sura al-Takathur, people will be interrogated about the blessings in the Afterlife (they will be asked how they used them). According to a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), the blessing in this verse refers to Ahl al-Bayt (a). The hadith goes like this: Abu Hanifa, a Sunni scholar, asked Imam al-Sadiq (a) about the meaning of this verse. The Imam (a) told him, "What do you think is meant by "na'im" (blessing) in this verse?" Abu Hanifa said: "it means food and water". Imam al-Sadiq (a) replied, "if God were to ask you about every single bite of food and every single sip you have taken, then you would have to stand there for a very long time. The "blessing" here refers to us, Ahl al-Bayt, with whom God connected and united people after they were divided and hostile to one another and it was with us that God guided them to Islam. This is the blessing that God will interrogate about, that is the Prophet (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (a).
Virtues and Features
According to hadiths, if one recites this sura, God will not evaluate the blessings He has given to him in this world, and it is like the recitation of one thousand verses of the Qur'an. There is also a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a) according to which, if one recites Sura al-Takathur in his daily prayers, God will write for him the rewards of one hundred martyrs, and if one recites it in one's recommended prayers, then God will write for him the rewards of 50 martyrs, and 40 lines of angels will say prayers with him in his obligatory prayers. There are also hadiths in which some features and effects are mentioned for this sura, such as the safety and protection of its reciter until the sunset of the next day.
|For the full text, see text:Sura al-Takathur.|
- Khamagar, Muhammad, Sakhtar-i suraha-yi Qur'an-i karim, Mu'assisa-yi Farhangi-yi Qur'an wa 'Itrat-i Nur al-Thaqalayn, Qom: Nashra, ed.1, 1392 Sh.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from سوره تکاثر in Farsi WikiShia.