This Surah consists of 8 verses, 28 sentences, 120 letters and 1 Ruku'.
It takes its name from the word at takathur in the first verse.
Abu Hayyan and Shaukani say that this Surah, according to all commentators, is Makki, and this same is the well known view according to Iman Suyuti. However, there are some traditions, on the basis of which it is considered a Madani Surah, and they are as follows:
Ibn Hatim has cited Abu Buraidah as saying that this Surah was sent down concerning the two tribes, Bani Harithah and Bani al-Harth, of the Ansar. The two tribes had first recounted the glories and illustrious deeds of their living men; then they had gone to the graveyard and bragged of the glorious deeds of their dead. Thereupon the Divine Revelation Alhakum at takathur came down. But, if the practice of the Companions and their successors concerning the occasions of revelation, is kept in view, this tradition is no argument to prove that Surah At Takathur was sent down on that very occasion, but it shows that this Surah fully applied to the act of the two tribes.
Imam Bukhari and Ibn Jarir have cited this view of Hadrat Ubayy bin Ka'b: "We took the Holy Prophet" saying: `If the son of Adam had two valley full of wealth, he would long for a third valley; the son of Adam's belly cannot be filled but by earth, to be from the Quran until Alhakum at takathur was sent down'." This Hadith has been regarded as an argument for Surah At-Takathur to be a Madani Surah on the ground that Hadrat Ubayy had become a Muslim in Madinah. But Hadrat Ubayy's this statement does not indicate in what sense the Companions regarded this saying of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) as belonging to the Quran. If it means that they regarded it as a verse of the Quran, it cannot be acceptable, for a great majority of the Companions consisted of the men who were well aware of each and every word of the Quran; they could not have the misunderstanding that the Hadith was a verse of the Quran. And if its belonging to the Quran is taken to mean its being derived from the Quran, the tradition can also mean that when the Companions who entered Islam in Madinah, heard this Surah for the first time from the Holy Prophet, they thought that it had been revealed just then, and then about the Holy Prophet's above saying they formed the idea that it was derived from this very Surah.
Ibn Jarir Tirmidhi, Ibn al Mundhir and other traditionists have related this view of Hadrat Ali: "We were in doubt about the torment of the grave until Alhakum at takathur was sent down." This view has been regarded as an argument for Surah At-Takathur to be Madani on the ground that the torment of the grave was first mentioned at Madinah; no mention of it was ever made at Makkah. But this is wrong. In the Makki Surahs of the Quran, the torment of the grave has heen mentioned at many places so clearly that there can he no room for any such doubt; for example, see Al- An'am: 93, An-Nahl: 28, Al-Muminun: 99-100, Al- Mu'min: 45-46, which are all Makki Surahs. Therefore, if anything is proved by Hadrat Ali's saying, it is that Surah At-Takathur had been revealed before the revelation of the above mentioned Makki Surahs and its revelation had removed the Companions' doubt about the torment of the grave.
That is why, in spite of these traditions, a great majority of the commentators are agreed that this Surah is Makki. In our opinion this is not only a Makki Surah but in view of its contents and style it is one of the earliest Surahs to be revealed at Makkah.
In it the people have been warned of the evil consequences of world worship because of which they spend their lives in acquiring more and more of worldly wealth, material benefits and pleasures, and position and power, till death, and in vying with one another and bragging and boasting about their acquisitions. This one pursuit has so occupied them that they are left with no time or opportunity for pursuing the higher things in life. After warning the people of its evil end they have been told us if to say: "These blessings which you are amassing and enjoying thoughtlessly, are not mere blessings but are also a means of your trial. For each one of these blessings and comforts you will surely be called to account in the Hereafter."
Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
102 : 1
1. Alhakumu alttakathuru
Rivalry in amassing earthly assets keeps you preoccupied -
102 : 2
2. Hatta zurtumu almaqabira
Until you confront your graves!
102 : 3
3. Kalla sawfa taAAlamoona
But nay, you shall soon come to know!
102 : 4
4. Thumma kalla sawfa taAAlamoona
Again, you will surely come to know!
102 : 5
5. Kalla law taAAlamoona AAilma alyaqeeni
Nay, but if you knew about it with a certain knowledge, -
102 : 6
6. Latarawunna aljaheema
You shall certainly catch a glimpse of hell-fire -
102 : 7
7. Thumma latarawunnaha AAayna alyaqeeni
Again, you shall certainly catch a glimpse of hell-fire!
102 : 8
8. Thumma latus-alunna yawma-ithin AAani alnnaAAeemi
Then, on that Day, you will be questioned about the pleasures which you enjoyed! (R)
1. The mutual rivalry for piling up of worldly things diverts you,
2. Until you visit the graves (i.e. till you die).
3. Nay! You shall come to know!
4. Again, Nay! You shall come to know!
5. Nay! If you knew with a sure knowledge (the end result of piling up, you would not have occupied yourselves in worldly things)
6. Verily, You shall see the blazing Fire (Hell)!
7. And again, you shall see it with certainty of sight!
8. Then, on that Day, you shall be asked about the delight (you indulged in, in this world)!
YUSUFALI: The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you (from the more serious things),
PICKTHAL: Rivalry in worldly increase distracteth you
SHAKIR: Abundance diverts you,
YUSUFALI: Until ye visit the graves.
PICKTHAL: Until ye come to the graves.
SHAKIR: Until you come to the graves.
YUSUFALI: But nay, ye soon shall know (the reality).
PICKTHAL: Nay, but ye will come to know!
SHAKIR: Nay! you shall soon know,
YUSUFALI: Again, ye soon shall know!
PICKTHAL: Nay, but ye will come to know!
SHAKIR: Nay! Nay! you shall soon know.
YUSUFALI: Nay, were ye to know with certainty of mind, (ye would beware!)
PICKTHAL: Nay, would that ye knew (now) with a sure knowledge!
SHAKIR: Nay! if you had known with a certain knowledge,
YUSUFALI: Ye shall certainly see Hell-Fire!
PICKTHAL: For ye will behold hell-fire.
SHAKIR: You should most certainly have seen the hell;
YUSUFALI: Again, ye shall see it with certainty of sight!
PICKTHAL: Aye, ye will behold it with sure vision.
SHAKIR: Then you shall most certainly see it with the eye of certainty;
YUSUFALI: Then, shall ye be questioned that Day about the joy (ye indulged in!).
PICKTHAL: Then, on that day, ye will be asked concerning pleasure.
SHAKIR: Then on that day you shall most certainly be questioned about the boons.