This sūrah of eight verses was revealed in Makkah. It is named after the word at-takāthur (rivalry in worldly increase) in its first verse. It warns against competition in, and boasting about, the possession of ever more worldly things.
- competing in increase of worldly goods (seeking and then boasting of the acquisition of things, wealth, pedigree, and posterity) distracts you (from the proper purpose of life),
- Until you come to the graves.
- No indeed! You will surely come to understand (when death comes to you).
- Again, no indeed! You will surely come to understand it (when you are raised from the dead).
- No indeed! If only you knew with certainty of knowledge (then you would not disorder priorities).
- You will most surely see the Blazing Flame!
- Then (when you go to the other world), you will most surely see it with the eye of certainty.
- And on that Day, you will most surely be questioned as to all the favors (be- stowed on you).1/2
- That is, there are certain duties concerning all the worldly things bestowed on you. You should not be proud because of them and their abundance. Rather, you should thank God because He has given them to you; earn and spend your wealth lawfully, doing so primarily with the intention of using it in God’s cause; and bring up your children as good believ- ers.
- This sūrah has a similar meaning to verse 57: 20: Know that the present, worldly life is but a play, vain talk and ostentation, and mutual boasting among you, and competing in wealth and children – it is like when rain comes down and the vegetation grown by it pleases the farmers, (but) then it dries up and you see it turn yellow, then it becomes straw; and in the Hereafter, there is a severe punishment, but also (there is) forgiveness from God and His good pleasure (which are everlasting), whereas the present, worldly life is but a transient enjoyment of delusion.