English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 100: Al-Adiyat — The Assaulters (Revealed at Makkah: 11 verses)

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Introduction:

This chapter receives its title from the prophetic mention of The Assaulters in the first verse, showing that some of the great disasters spoken of in the last chapter were to be brought about by means of war. This proved true not only in the time of the Holy Prophet but in modern times too the unprecedented wars may be a precursor of a great spiritual awakening, as they were in Arabia of his time. It is one of the earliest revelations.

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Translation:

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

100:1 By those running and uttering cries!
100:2 And those producing fire, striking!
100:3 And those suddenly attacking at dawn!
100:4 Then thereby they raise dust,
100:5 then penetrate thereby gatherings —
100:6 Surely man is ungrateful to his Lord.1
100:7 And surely he is a witness of that.
100:8 And truly on account of the love of wealth he is miserly.
100:9 Does he not know (that) when those in the graves are raised,
100:10 and what is in the hearts is made manifest,
100:11 surely their Lord this day is Aware of them?2

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Commentary:

  1. The majority of the commentators interpret verses 1–5 as applying to horses, in reference to the part they play in war. In this case it would be a pro­pheti­cal description of the wars through which the opponents, who wanted to destroy Truth by the sword, were ultimately to be brought low. The words are so wide that they may also apply to modern means of warfare, particularly air attacks. Others understand that these are groups of spiritual wayfarers, who run fast in the way of God. Man’s ungrateful­ness to his Lord and his excessive love of wealth is the real theme in all cases. He sees only the material side of life and does not pay heed to its spiritual values. The balance of life is thus upset. Disasters come and he is violently shaken so that his eyes may be opened to the real values of life.
  2. A day will come, we are told, when those in the graves — the dead — will be raised to life and what is hidden in the hearts — the deeds which man did, hiding them from the eyes of others — will be made manifest. God is Aware even now, but as in nature, the consequences are made manifest in due time. They may not be as clear here as they will be at the Resurrection, when the sight will be sharpened (50:22), but sometimes they are made manifest here, too.

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