Tafseer of Surah ‘Aadiyaat

بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

وَٱلْعٰدِيٰتِ ضَبْحًا ‎﴿١﴾‏ فالْمُوْرِيٰتِ قَدْحًا ‎﴿٢﴾‏ فالْمُغِيرٰتِ صُبْحًا ‎﴿٣﴾‏ فَأَثَرْنَ بِهِ نَقْعًا ‎﴿٤﴾‏ فَوَسَطْنَ بِهِ جَمْعًا ‎﴿٥﴾‏ إِنَّ ٱلْإِنسٰنَ لِرَبِّهِ لَكَنُودٌ ‎﴿٦﴾‏ وَإِنَّهُۥ عَلٰى ذٰلِكَ لَشَهِيدٌ ‎﴿٧﴾‏ وَإِنَّهُۥ لِحُبِّ ٱلْخَيْرِ لَشَدِيدٌ ‎﴿٨﴾‏ أَفَلَا يَعْلَمُ إِذَا بُعْثِرَ مَا فِى ٱلْقُبُورِ ‎﴿٩﴾‏ وَحُصِّلَ مَا فِى ٱلصُّدُورِ ‎﴿١٠﴾‏ إِنَّ رَبَّهُم بِهِمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ لَّخَبِيرُ ‎﴿١١﴾

(I swear) by those (horses) that gallop with panting breath, then creating sparks by striking (their hooves) upon rocky terrain (as they gallop), then attacking in the early morning, then raising with it trails of dust, then penetrating into the very midst of the enemies. Indeed, man is very ungrateful to his Rabb. And he is a witness to this fact. And in his love for wealth, he is very intense. Does he not then know (what will happen) when all that is contained in the graves will be overturned? And all that is contained within the chests (hearts) will be exposed. Surely your Rabb, on that day, is fully aware of them.

In this surah, man is called to reflect on the nature of the horse and its level of obedience and faithfulness to its master. The horse is such an animal that responds subserviently to man’s command. It is prepared to make any type of sacrifice for its master, even if it is required to lay down its life in the thick of battle. At any time of the night or day, if man calls the animal, it will readily respond without any hesitation. When he rides it and goes in battle, it will penetrate into the very midst of the enemy, risking its life for him. The weapons of the enemy will not deter it in any way from fulfilling the command of its master.

This is the level of loyalty and gratitude which the horse displays to its master, even though the favour of the master on the horse is little in comparison. All that man does for it is provide it with fodder and grain and show it a little care and attention, yet the horse is so appreciative that it will repay him by sacrificing its life for him.

Hence, the message which Allah Ta‘ala gives us through these verses is, O man! Look within yourself and see how grateful you are to your Rabb. Do you show gratitude and appreciation equal to the appreciation which this senseless animal shows to its master? If this animal, which does not possess the understanding and intelligence of a human, can show such a high level of gratitude and loyalty, then what level of gratitude and loyalty is expected of you to show towards Allah Ta‘ala, keeping in mind that Allah Ta‘ala has blessed you with understanding, knowledge and all types of bounties?

إِنَّ ٱلْإِنسٰنَ لِرَبِّهِۦ لَكَنُودٌ

Indeed, man is very ungrateful to his Rabb

This verse is preceded by an oath taken on the different qualities of horses used in battle. The point made is that though Allah Ta‘ala has subjugated such a strong and powerful animal to the command of man, instead of man appreciating this bounty of Allah Ta‘ala, and becoming obedient to Allah Ta‘ala as the horse is obedient to him, man remains ungrateful to Allah Ta‘ala.

Therefore, in this verse, Allah Ta’ala complains about man and him being very ungrateful to his Rabb. The word ‘kanood’, which Allah Ta‘ala used to describe man, refers to the person who remembers the misfortunes and problems that befall him, but forgets the favours and bounties which he enjoys. This is the very nature of man- he enjoys the bounties of his Creator, but forgets the Being who granted him these bounties. He becomes so engrossed and drowned in the enjoyment of the bounties and favours that he forgets that everything which he has acquired is only through the mercy and grace of Allah Ta‘ala, the Most Compassionate, the Most Bountiful. He loses sight and forgets that all these bounties and favours are not acquired on account of his own intelligence.

وَإِنَّهُۥ لِحُبِّ ٱلْخَيْرِ لَشَدِيدٌ

And in his love for wealth, he is very intense.

In this verse, Allah Ta‘ala condemns the quality  of having intense love for wealth. The love for wealth is not haraam, however excessive and inordinate love for wealth is not permissible as it causes one to forget his obligations which he owes towards his Creator as well as the servants of Allah Ta‘ala. At times, on account of the inordinate passion for wealth, a person will not distinguish between halaal and haraam, or he will not be concerned about carrying out deeds which will earn the displeasure of Allah Ta’ala.

Hence, the root cause of all problems is the obsession and inordinate love for wealth. Therefore, Allah Ta‘ala prescribes the remedy for curing one of the inordinate love and passion for wealth. The cure is that man should regularly reflect and remember his end as well as the Day of Qiyaamah, when he will stand before Allah Ta‘ala.

أَفَلَا يَعْلَمُ إِذَا بُعْثِرَ مَا فِى ٱلْقُبُورِ ‎﴿٩﴾‏ وَحُصِّلَ مَا فِى ٱلصُّدُورِ ‎﴿١٠﴾‏ إِنَّ رَبَّهُم بِهِمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ لَّخَبِيرُ ‎﴿١١﴾

Does he not then know (what will happen) when all that is contained in the graves will be overturned? And all that is contained within the chests (hearts) will be exposed. Surely your Rabb, on that day, is fully aware of them.

In the above verse, Allah Ta‘ala draws our attention towards the Day of Qiyaamah. On that day, everything that is concealed will be exposed before one and all. What is contained in the graves will be overturned, and what is concealed in the hearts will be exposed. All intentions concealed by man in his heart will be exposed on the Day of Judgement. If a person performed a virtuous act and deed to show off, then on that day, his corrupt intention will be unveiled and revealed before all people.


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