In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate
بِسۡمِ اللهِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِيۡمِ
(104:1) Woe to every fault-finding backbiter;1 وَيۡلٌ لِّـكُلِّ هُمَزَةٍ لُّمَزَةِ ۙ
(104:2) who amasses wealth and counts it over and again.2 اۨلَّذِىۡ جَمَعَ مَالًا وَّعَدَّدَهٗ ۙ
(104:3) He thinks that his wealth will immortalise him forever.3 يَحۡسَبُ اَنَّ مَالَهٗۤ اَخۡلَدَهٗ ۚ
(104:4) Nay, he shall be thrown4 into the Crusher.5 كَلَّا لَيُنۡۢبَذَنَّ فِى الۡحُطَمَةِ ۖ
(104:5) And what do you know what the Crusher is?
وَمَاۤ اَدۡرٰٮكَ مَا الۡحُطَمَةُ ؕ
(104:6) It is the Fire6 kindled by Allah,
نَارُ اللّٰهِ الۡمُوۡقَدَةُ ۙ
(104:7) the Fire that shall rise to the hearts (of criminals).7 الَّتِىۡ تَطَّلِعُ عَلَى الۡاَفۡـــِٕدَةِ ؕ
(104:8) Verily it will close in upon them,8 اِنَّهَا عَلَيۡهِمۡ مُّؤۡصَدَةٌ ۙ
(104:9) in outstretched columns.9 فِىۡ عَمَدٍ مُّمَدَّدَةٍ
1. The words used in the original are humazat il-lumazah.
In Arabic hamz and lamz are so close in meaning that they
are sometimes used as synonyms and sometimes with a
little difference in the shade of meaning. But this difference
is not definite and clear, for the meaning given to hamz by
some Arabic speaking people themselves is given to lamz by
other Arabic speaking peoples. On the contrary, the
meaning given to lamz by some people is given to hamz by
others. Here, since both the words appear together and the
words humazat il-lumazat have been used, they give the
meaning that it has become a practice with the slanderer
that he insults and holds others in contempt habitually. He
raises his finger and winks at one man, finds fault with the
lineage and person of another, taunts one in the face and
backbites another; creates differences between friends and
stirs up divisions between brothers; calls the people names
and satirizes and defames them.
2. This second sentence after the first sentence by itself
gives the meaning that he slanders others because of his
pride of wealth. The words jama a malan for collecting
money suggest the abundance of wealth; then the words
counting it over and over again depict the person’s
miserliness and his selfish hoarding of wealth.
3. Another meaning also can be: He thinks that his wealth
will make him immortal. That is, he is so engrossed in
amassing wealth and counting it over and over again that
he has forgotten death and he never bothers to consider
that a time will come when he will have to depart from the
world empty-handed, leaving everything behind.
4. The word in the original is la yunbadhanna. Nabdh in
Arabic is used for throwing away a thing regarding it as
worthless and mean. This by itself indicates that because of
his wealth he thinks that he is a great man but on the Day
Of Resurrection he will be hurled into Hell as a mean and
5. The word hutamah in the original is from hatm, which
means to smash, crush and break into pieces. Hell has been
described by this epithet because it will crush and break to
pieces whatever is thrown into it because of its depth and
6. Nowhere else in the Quran has the fire of Hell been
called the fire of Allah. Here, its ascription to Allah not
only expresses its dreadfulness but it also shows how the
wrath and contempt of Allah envelops those who become
proud and arrogant with the worldly wealth. That is why
Allah has described that fire as His own Fire into which
they will be hurled.
7. Tattaliu is from ittalaa, which means to climb and mount
to the top, and also to be aware and informed. Afidah is
plural of fuwad, which means the heart. But this word is
not used for the organ which throbs in the breast, but for
the seat of man’s understanding and consciousness, his
feelings and desires, beliefs and thoughts, motives and
intentions, Thus, one meaning of the rising of the fire to the
hearts is that this fire will reach the place which is the
centre of man’s evil thoughts, false beliefs, impure desires
and feelings, and wicked motives and intentions. The
second meaning is that the Fire of Allah will not be blind
like the fire of the world, which burns up the deserving and
the non-deserving alike, but it will reach the heart of every
culprit and discover the nature of his crime and then
punish him according to his guilt.
8. That is, after the culprits have been thrown into it, Hell
will be closed in upon them without leaving any slit or
opening anywhere, in order to choke and suffocate them.
9. Fi amad-im-mumaddahah can have several meanings:
(1) That the gates of Hell will be closed and tall columns
will be erected on them.
(2) That the culprits will be tied to the tall columns.
(3) According to Ibn Abbas, the flames of the fire shall be
rising high like tall columns.