Tafsir of Surah al ‘Adiyat – The Charging Horses (Surah 100)

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  1) By the charging horses, snorting, 2) striking sparks with their hooves, 3) raiding at full gallop at dawn, 4) blazing a trailing dust-cloud in their wake, 5) and cleaving through the centre (of the foe):

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Allah takes an oath by horses due to His resplendent Signs and evident blessings that they contain, virtues recognised by everyone.[1] Allah takes an oath by them when they are in a state in which they do not resemble other animals: “By the charging horses,” running swiftly and powerfully “snorting,” their exertion causes their breaths to come out in pants and snorts. “Striking sparks with their hooves,” the strength of impact of their hooves on rock brought about by the speed of the charge causes sparks to fly. “Raiding at full gallop” against the enemy “at dawn,” as this is generally when the raid is done.[2] “Blazing a trailing dust-cloud in their wake” because of the speed of their charge “cleaving through the centre (of the foe),” they charged against. The purpose of the oath follows:

  6) Truly man is ungrateful to his Lord 7) and he himself is a witness to this* 8) and he is tenacious in his love of wealth. 9) Does he not know that when the contents of the graves are thrown out, 10) and the secrets in the breasts are brought into the open, 11) that Day their Lord will be fully aware of them.

“Truly man is ungrateful to his Lord,” parsimonious in showing gratitude for the good Allah has granted him. Man by nature does not freely fulfil his duties, and often, when he does do them, he does not do them completely or go beyond what is required; instead his nature is one of laziness and he lacks the resolve to fulfil his duties, those related to both wealth and body – except for those Allah has guided. “And he himself is a witness to this,” to his lack of desire in fulfilling duties and his tenacity, he will not deny or reject this because it is evident. It is also possible that the personal pronoun refers to Allah, Most High, i.e. “He (Allah) is a witness to that.” “And he” man “is tenacious in his love of wealth,” it is this love that has led him to abandon fulfilling his obligations. He has given precedence to the lusts of his soul over the good-pleasure of his Lord. This because his sight is beholden to this world and he is heedless of the Hereafter. It is for this reason that Allah says, directing his attention to the Promised Day so that he may fear it, “Does he not know that when the contents of the grave are thrown out,” the dead are taken out of the graves, resurrected and gathered “and the secrets of the breasts are brought into the open,” whatever they contained of good and evil is made known: secrets become open and the concealed, apparent. The end result of deeds will be plainly seen on people’s faces. “That Day their Lord will be fully aware of them,” their outer and inner deeds, the minor and major, and He will recompense them for them. Even though Allah is perfectly informed about them on every day, this Day has specifically been mentioned to highlight that those deeds will be fully recompensed since Allah is fully aware of them.


Endnotes

* or “He (Allah) is a witness to that.” [Qurtubi]

1. Bukhari and Muslim record on the authority of `Urwah bin Abu’l-Ja`d (RA) that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

 “ “Great good is attached to the forelocks of horses: reward and war booty, until the Day of Judgment.”

Bukhari and Muslim record on the authority of `Uqbah bin `Amir (RA) that the Prophet ﷺ said,

 “ “If you wish to embark on a military expedition, buy a black horse with a white streak on the forehead and white hooves, for you will then procure war booty and return safely.”

Muslim records on the authority of `Abdullah bin `Amr ibn al-`As that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

 “ “There is none undertaking a military expedition or a raiding party in the way of Allah, and returns safe and sound with his war booty except that he receives two thirds of his reward [in this world and the remainder in the Hereafter]. There is none undertaking a military expedition or a raiding party in the way of Allah and returns empty handed and is wounded except that he receives his full reward;”

…another version has the wording,

 “ “There is none undertaking a military expedition or a raiding party in the way of Allah who attains war booty except that two thirds of his reward in the Hereafter is meted out to him in this world and one third remains in the Hereafter, if he does not attain any war booty he gets the complete reward [in the Hereafter].”

2. Bukhari records on the authority of Sahl ibn Sa`d that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

 “ “An early morning expedition in the Way of Allah, or an evening expedition in the Way of Allah, is better than the world and what it contains. Keeping watch for a day in the Way of Allah is better than the world and what it contains.”

(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)



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