This soorah (Quranic chapter) is one of the short soorahs of the Quran coming in the thirtieth part of the Quran as the chapter number of 100. Herein is its explanation extracted from ‘Tafseer Ibn Katheer’, one of the most reliable books of Tafseer (interpretation):
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
- By the racers, panting,
- And the producers of sparks [when] striking.
- And the chargers at dawn,
- Stirring up thereby [clouds of] dust,
- Arriving thereby in the center collectively,
- Indeed mankind, to his Lord, is ungrateful.
- And indeed, he is to that a witness.
- And indeed he is, in love of wealth, intense.
- But does he not know that when the contents of the graves are scattered.
- And that within the breasts is obtained,
- Indeed, their Lord with them, that Day, is [fully] Acquainted.
“By the racers, panting,” Allah, the Exalted, Swears by the charging horses which gallop into battle in the Way of their Lord, panting and snorting.
“And the producers of sparks [when] striking ” that is, strike their hooves on the rocks, making sparks fly.
“And the chargers at dawn,” that is, carry out a punitive raid at daybreak as the Messenger of Allah used to do; he would first discern whether Athan (call to prayer) is raised in a certain town or not, so if he did not hear it, he knew the people of the town were not Muslims and he would attack them. If he heard Athan, it meant the people were Muslims and thus their lives and property were inviolate.
“Stirring up thereby [clouds of] dust” that is, the horses’ hooves raise clouds of dust during the heat of battle.”Arriving thereby in the center collectively” that is, they penetrate into the midst of the enemy forces as one. ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib says that “By the racers, panting,” refers to camels, as does.’ However, Ibn ‘Abbas says that it means horses. Quranic commentators have differed as to which saying is correct, though Ibn ‘Abbas and ‘Ataa’ pointed out that no riding animal pants when it is running except the horse.
Those who said that it refers to horses understood from the second verse that the horses’ hooves strike sparks on the ground, although some said it meant the raging of the battle between the riders, the planning or strategy of the men, the kindling of the fires when they returned home at night or the kindling of the fires in Muzadalifah, during Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah). But according to Ibn Jareer the first explanation is the correct one. Ibn ‘Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah said that the third Aayah (verse) refers to the dawn attack of men on horsebacks in the Way of Allah, while those who said that the first verse referred to camels explained it as meaning the journey from Muzdalifah to Mina during Hajj.
“Stirring up thereby [clouds of] dust…” All commentators are agreed that this verse refers to the feet of the animals churning up dust, either in Hajj, or in battle. The third verse, according to Al-‘Awfi who reports on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas and ‘Ataa’, means penetrating into the midst of the mass of the enemy. It is possible that what is meant is the penetration of the mass of the Muslim fighters into the enemy horde at one time.
“Indeed mankind, to his Lord, is ungrateful.”
It is to this that Allah is swearing that man rejects the blessings of his Lord.
This explanation was the preferred one of Ibn ‘Abbas, Mujahid, Ibraheem An-Nakha’i, Sa’eed ibn Jubayr Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and many others Al-Hasan said: “He is the one who counts his afflictions and forgets the blessings which come to him from Allah.”
“And indeed, he is to that a witness ” Qatadah and Sufyan ath-Thawri said it means that Allah is the One Who bears witness; it is possible that “he” refers to man, as was said by Muhammad Ibn Ka’b Al-Quradhi: That is, man is witness to the fact that he is an ungrateful rejecter, his behavior being testimony to this, as Allah Says in another verse of the Quran (what means): “It is not for the polytheists to maintain the mosques of Allah [while] witnessing against themselves with disbelief.” [Quran 9:17]
“And indeed he is, in love of wealth, intense.” There are two sayings in regard to this verse; the first, that man is passionate in his love of wealth, and the second, that he is greedy and miserly, and both of these are correct. Then Allah, the Most High, refers to the renunciation of this world’s pleasures, in favor of the Hereafter and the situation of man at that time and the terror of it.
“But does he not know that when the contents of the graves are scattered ” that is, the dead will be expelled from their graves.
“And that within the breasts is obtained “
Ibn ‘Abbas and others said that this refers to thoughts and deeds which man kept secret which will, at this time be revealed.
“Indeed, their Lord with them, that Day, is [fully] acquainted.”
That is, on that Day (of Resurrection) all of creation will be assembled along with their deeds, to receive the repayment for that which they did, and none shall receive an atom’s weight more or less than he deserves.
This is the end of the Tafseer (explanation) of Soorah Al-‘Aadiyat, all praise is due to Allah and from Him proceeds all Grace.