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Surat Al-'Adiyat

by Muhammad Alshareef

Surah Al-'Adiyat is the one hundredth surah in the Qur’an and was revealed in Makkah before the hijrah of RasulAllah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam to Madinah.

The tone of the surah is one of intensity and horror. This is due to the elements of war in it, the tumbling out of what is in the graves, and the exposure of the deepest secrets that the hearts conceal.

The surah begins with Allah subhaanahu wa ta ‘aala testifying by the steeds of war when they bear down upon the enemies. Allah testifies by the horrific snarling and vicious breathing of those war-horses, the raging stomp of their hooves that spark the ground red in the darkness of night, and their charging that pounds dust to the sky.

Because of the virtue of the war horses and their lofty position with Allah subhaanahu wa ta ‘aala, the surah testifies by them that man is truly ungrateful to Allah.

By the (steeds) that charge, snorting / Striking sparks of fire / Racing (home) by morning / Raising the dust in clouds / And penetrating forthwith into the midst (of the enemy) / Indeed man is to his Lord, ungrateful (Al-‘Adiyat 100/1–6)!

The surah then goes on to speak of man’s apparent lack of gratitude to Allah subhaanahu wa ta ‘aala coupled with his excessive passion for the dunya and his infatuation for collecting wealth, even though it may cost him the hereafter. For it is Allah subhaanahu wa ta ‘aala who opened the doors of goodness and gifts for him, but this man chose to consume it in other than those things that bring Allah’s pleasure. What a pitiful decision.

Indeed man is to his Lord, ungrateful! / And to that (fact) he bears witness (by his deeds) / And violent is he in his passion for wealth (Al-‘Adiyat 100/6-8)!

The surah then concludes with a horrific warning to this ignorant soul. It warns of the violence and horror of the final day; the day when graves will bare their burden and scatter about all that lay within them. It warns of that day when the deepest secrets that man concealed within himself will be exposed; the day when every soul shall be driven to its Lord so that it may be paid in full for the actions that it amassed.

It is a day of difficulty and tremendous horror. A day that every receptive soul must prepare for; the day of Resurrection!

Does he not know, when that which is in the graves is tumbled out / And that which is (locked) in (human) chests is found out / Indeed their Lord had been well-acquainted with them (even to) that Day (Al-‘Adiyat 100/9-11)?