In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Exalted] said:
حَتَّىٰ زُرۡتُمُ ٱلۡمَقَابِرَ
كَلَّا سَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُونَ
ثُمَّ كَلَّا سَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُونَ
كَلَّا لَوۡ تَعۡلَمُونَ عِلۡمَ ٱلۡيَقِينِ
ثُمَّ لَتَرَوُنَّہَا عَيۡنَ ٱلۡيَقِينِ
ثُمَّ لَتُسۡـَٔلُنَّ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ عَنِ ٱلنَّعِيمِ
The mutual rivalry for piling up of worldly things diverts you, until you visit the graves (i.e. till you die). Nay! You shall come to know! Again, Nay! You shall come to know! Nay! If you knew with a sure knowledge (the end result of piling up, you would not have occupied yourselves in worldly things); verily, You shall see the blazing Fire (Hell)! And again, you shall see it with certainty of sight! Then, on that Day, you shall be asked about the delight (you indulged in, in this world)! [Surah At-Takaathur]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] said:
This Surah is specifically based on the mention of promise, punishment and threat, and it is enough as an admonition for the one who understands it.
Regarding the statement of Allaah: [أَلۡهَٮٰكُمُ – You are diverted] – meaning, they are preoccupied in a manner that is not free from blame, for indeed being diverted by something is to be preoccupied with it. So, if this occurs intentionally, then one is held accountable; but if it is not intentional, then one is excused, such as the statement of the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] regarding the Khameesah [square garment], “Indeed, it has distracted my attention from the prayer”. [Ref 1] A person is pardoned for this because it is a type of (unintentional) forgetfulness. It is also said, [Lahaa Bish Shay – distracted by something]- meaning, busied with it; and [Lahaa Anhu – distracted from it]- meaning, if he turns away from something. The heart is that which is diverted and the limbs engage in play, and this is why Allaah’s statement [أَلۡهَٮٰكُمُ ٱلتَّكَاثُر- The mutual rivalry for piling up of worldly things diverts you] is a stronger rebuke than the statement “they are preoccupied’, because the doer may preoccupy his limbs with what he is doing, but his heart is not diverted.
At-Takaathur means to compete one another in piling up something by way of mutual rivalry, but Allaah did not mention the thing that is piled up, therefore the meaning is general. Everything a person competes in – other than obedience to Allaah, obedience to the Messenger and that which benefits a person’s Afterlife – by way of mutual rivalry is included in this affair. It enters into every affair, such as wealth, status, leadership, women and speaking; or knowledge, especially when it is not utilised as proof; also collecting books, writing books, engaging in the discussion of numerous topics of the religion, categorising and initiating it. At-Takaathur occurs when a person seeks to amass more than others and this is blameworthy, except in that which earns a person Allaah’s love, Pleasure and Reward, because seeking more than others in this affair is competition in good and to excel one another.
In a hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim, Abdullaah Ibn Ash-Shikkheer [radiyallaahu-anhu] narrated that he went to the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] whilst he [i.e. Prophet] was reciting, [أَلۡهَٮٰكُمُ ٱلتَّكَاثُرُ]; then the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] said, “The son of Adam claims: My wealth, my wealth! O son of Adam! Is there anything as your belonging except that which you consumed, which you utilised, or which you wore and then it was worn out or you gave as charity and sent it forward?” [Ref 3]
Source: An Excerpt from Al-Fawaa’id. Pages 58-59
May Allaah protect our hearts from this destructive disease Aameen.
To be continued InShaaAllaah
[Ref 1: Al-Bukhaari. Number 373]
[Ref 2: Al-Bukhaari 6191]
[Ref 3: Muslim 2958]