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Reminders Of Earthquakes In Surah `Adiyaat—Play The Word Game

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Explosive and prophetic, Surah `Adiyaat is a thundering call; wake-up your heart before it dies! (Play the word game)

Content and Verses
Dear rebels...

The Qur'anic chapter `Adiyaat is an explosive warning. Discussion exists whether it is a Makkan or Madini revelation although the subject matter and style of the chapter strongly indicates it is an early Makkan chapter. As the 100th surah, its verses list the gross behaviour of people, polytheists in particular, which will bring their own downfall.

Surah `Adiyaat justifies the events of the previous surah, Zalzalah, the earthquake (99).

What is it that led to the final earthquake/zilzal on the planet?

It is the greed, self-love and lack of responsibility by humans which make the final earthquake its most penultimate. Thus, surah `Adiyaat explains what type of sins are performed on earth that lead to its destruction.

Dear believers...

In this chapter, Muslims have been told that the success of their inner revolution will depend upon the struggle made by them. Until a nation takes its struggle to its climax, no awe-inspiring changes can be made in any field of life.

Using the exertion put in by a horse as an analogy, Allah explains why the human being, the highest form of creation, has been roused to action.

As a student of Islam, here I share the tafsir (exegesis), my methods of learning and grammatical tools. At the bottom is a link to an online word game I created to memorise the Arabic words from surah `Adiyaat and the corresponding meanings. Please share this with others for their benefit.

Translation and Tafsir
وَالْعَادِيَاتِ ضَبْحًا
1) By the `Adiyat (steeds), snorting.
Allah swears by (takes an oath by) the horses when they are made to gallop into battle in His path (jihad), and thus they run and pant, which is the sound that is heard from panting horses. To memorise this verse I used the technique of onomatopoeia from 'Dab Ha[n]' to link the 'H' to panting. An effective recall, alhamdulillah.

فَالْمُورِيَاتِ قَدْحًا ﴿٢
2) Striking sparks of fire.
This verse vividly illustrates that it takes speed and action by the striking of the steeds' hooves on the rocks, which causes sparks of fire to fly from them. 'Mooriyati' means to produce or strike the sparks.

فَالْمُغِيرَاتِ صُبْحًا ﴿٣
3) And scouring to the raid at dawn.
This is just as Rasool-Allah, peace be upon him, used to perform raids in the early morning. He would wait to see if he heard the Adhaan (call to prayer) from the people. If he heard it he would leave them alone, and if he hadn't he would check in on them. Similarly, in a battle or struggle for Allah, one rises early, is prepared and ready to "attack" the day.

Then Allah says,
فَأَثَرْنَ بِهِ نَقْعًا ﴿٤
4) And raise the dust in clouds the while.
Meaning, creating dust clouds at the place of the battle with the horses. (Fa: then, atharna: raise, bihi: thereby, Naqa`a: dust). If teaching little ones, get them to raise their hands when reading 'atharna bihi' to reinforce its meaning.

فَوَسَطْنَ بِهِ جَمْعًا ﴿٥
5) And penetrating forthwith as one into the midst.
Then, all those steeds gather in the middle of that battle area, together. These horses have one purpose and their instructions come from the Almighty. Therefore their work is goal-orientated, one-track and efficient.

According to the Qur'an experts Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah, when Allah says, فَالْمُغِيرَتِ صُبْحاً (Fal mugheerati SubHa; And scouring to the raid at dawn), "This means the invasion of the horses in the morning in the way of Allah.''

And His statement, فَأَثَرْنَ بِهِ نَقْعاً (Fa atharna bihi naqa`a, And raise the dust in clouds the while), is the place in which the attack takes place. The dust is stirred up by it.

And the meaning of His statement, فَوَسَطْنَ بِهِ جَمْعاً (Fa wasaTna bihi jama`a, And penetrating forthwith as one into the midst), which Al-Awfi narrated from Ibn Abbas, Ata, Ikrimah, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak "means into the midst of the disbelieving enemy.''

إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لِرَبِّهِ لَكَنُودٌ ﴿٦
6) Verily, man is ungrateful لَكَنُودٌ (Kanud) to his Lord.
This is the subject what is being sworn about, and it means that he (the human) is ungrateful for the favours of His Lord and he rejects them. This ungratefulness is obvious and is as simple as rejecting a challenge in life or complaining about a situation, which we are all guilty of.

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ibrahim An-Nakhai, Abu Al-Jawza, Abu Al-Aliyah, Abu Ad-Duha, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Muhammad bin Qays, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and Ibn Zayd all said, "لَكَنُودٌ Al-Kanud means ungrateful.''

Al-Hasan said, "لَكَنُودٌ Al-Kanud is the person who counts the calamities (that befall him) and he forgets Allah's favors.''

I began with flash-cards to breakdown the translation word-for-word

Regarding the next statement,
وَإِنَّهُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ لَشَهِيدٌ ﴿٧
7) And to that He bears witness.
Qatadah and Sufyan Ath-Thawri both said this verse means, "And indeed Allah is a witness to that," meaning man's ungratefulness.

It is also possible that the pronoun (He, hu) could be referring to man. This was said by Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi. Thus, its alternate meaning would be that each human is a witness, and will be a witness on Judgement Day to the fact that he/she is ungrateful.

As mentioned above, this ungratefulness becomes obvious in the person's condition. It's apparent from his statements, attitude and deeds.

The second meaning is similar to when Allah says,
مَا كَانَ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ أَن يَعْمُرُواْ مَسَاجِدَ الله شَـهِدِينَ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِم بِالْكُفْرِ
"It is not for the idolators, to maintain the Masajid (Mosques) of Allah, while they witness disbelief against themselves." (Qur'an, 9:17)

وَإِنَّهُ لِحُبِّ الْخَيْرِ لَشَدِيدٌ ﴿٨
8) And verily, he is violent in the love of wealth.
Most definitely-each person is a consumer and has a severe addiction to not only having the good stuff, but to loving it, depending on it.

There are two opinions concerning the message of this verse. One of them is that it means that a person is severe in their love of accumulating wealth and hoarding it. The other view is that it means he/she is covetous and stingy due to the love of wealth, which is a disease of the heart. However, both views are correct.

The Threat about the Hereafter

Then Allah encourages abstinence from worldly things and striving for the Hereafter, and He informs us of what the situation will be after this present condition, and what horrors man will face.

Allah asks,
أَفَلَا يَعْلَمُ إِذَا بُعْثِرَ مَا فِي الْقُبُورِ ﴿٩
9) Does he not know that when the contents of the graves are poured forth,
A day will come, we are told, when those dead in the graves (Quboor; Qabr) will be raised to life (Bu`thira, meaning uncovered), and whatever is hidden in the breasts — the deeds which each person did, hiding them from the eyes of others — will be exposed.

وَحُصِّلَ مَا فِي الصُّدُورِ ﴿١٠
10) And that which is in the breasts shall be made known.
Ibn Abbas and others have said,
"This means whatever was in their souls would be exposed and made apparent." (Hussila) An embarrassing and humiliating event, unless that soul is polished to purity. Use the rhyming pattern to memorise verses 9 and 10: Quboor, Sudoor.

إِنَّ رَبَّهُم بِهِمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ لَّخَبِيرٌ ﴿١١
11) Verily, that Day their Lord will be Well-Acquainted with them.
Allah says He knows all of what each person used to do, and He will compensate them for it with the most deserving reward. He does not do even the slightest amount of injustice.

(Inna: verily, Rabbahum: their Lord, bihim: with them, yawma-idhi[n]: that day, Khabeer: All-aware).

This is the end of Ibn Kathir's Tafsir of Surah Al-`Adiyaat, and all praise and thanks are due to Allah.

Already know your stuff? Play the word game for Surah `Adiyaat on {Dynamo.Dictionary}

Download Nouman Ali Khan's notes in colour of {Surah `Adiyat}
Listen to Shaykh Mishary's recitation in this {visual tafsir of Surah `Adiyat}
Fantastic audio tafsir by imam Suhaib Webb {Tafsir Surah Al-Aadiyat}

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The Quran's Unique Literary Form
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