Surah Takathur in Arabic with English Transliteration and Translation

102. At-Takathur (Greed For More And More) – التكاثر

At-Takathur is the 102nd surah (chapter) of the Holy Quran. It consists of 8 ayat (verses) that were all revealed in Mecca.

THIS early Meccan surah is one of the most powerful, prophetic passages of The Qur’an, illuminating man’s unbounded greed in general, and, more particularly, the tendencies which have come to dominate all human societies in our technological age.

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

Surah At-Takathur Ayat 1

أَلْهَاكُمُ التَّكَاثُرُ

Al haaku mut takathur

1. YOU ARE OBSESSED by greed for more and more

Surah At-Takathur Ayat 2

حَتَّىٰ زُرْتُمُ الْمَقَابِرَ

Hatta zurtumul-maqaabir

2. until you go down to your graves.1

1 The term takathur bears the connotation of “greedily striving for an increase”, i.e., in benefits, be they tangible or intangible, real or illusory. In the above context it denotes man’s obsessive striving for more and more comforts, more material goods, greater power over his fellow-men or over nature, and unceasing technological progress. A passionate pursuit of such endeavours, to the exclusion of everything else, bars man from all spiritual insight and, hence, from the acceptance of any restrictions and inhibitions based on purely moral values—with the result that not only individuals but whole societies gradually lose all inner stability and, thus, all chance of happiness.

Surah At-Takathur Ayat 3

كَلَّا سَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ

Kalla sawfa ta’lamoon

3. Nay, in time you will come to understand!

Surah At-Takathur Ayat 4

ثُمَّ كَلَّا سَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ

Thumma kalla sawfa ta’lamoon

4. And once again:2 Nay, in time you will come to understand!

2 See Surah Al-An’am [6], note 31.

Surah At-Takathur Ayat 5

كَلَّا لَوْ تَعْلَمُونَ عِلْمَ الْيَقِينِ

Kalla law ta’lamoona ‘ilmal yaqeen

5. Nay, if you could but understand [it] with an understanding [born] of certainty,

Surah At-Takathur Ayat 6

لَتَرَوُنَّ الْجَحِيمَ

Latara-wun nal jaheem

6. you would indeed, most surely, behold the blazing fire [of hell]!3

3 Sc., “in which you find yourselves now”—i.e., the “hell on earth” brought about by a fundamentally wrong mode of life: an allusion to the gradual destruction of man’s natural environment, as well as to the frustration, unhappiness and confusion which an overriding, unrestrained pursuit of “economic growth” is bound to bring—and has, indeed, brought in our time—upon a mankind that is about to lose the remnants of all spiritual religious orientation.

Surah At-Takathur Ayat 7

ثُمَّ لَتَرَوُنَّهَا عَيْنَ الْيَقِينِ

Thumma latara wunnaha ‘ainal yaqeen

7. In the end you will indeed, most surely, behold it with the eye of certainty:4

4 I.e., in the hereafter, through a direct, unequivocal insight into the real nature of one’s past doings, and into the inescapability of the suffering which man brings upon himself by a wrong, wasteful use of the boon of life (an-na’im).

Surah At-Takathur Ayat 8

ثُمَّ لَتُسْأَلُنَّ يَوْمَئِذٍ عَنِ النَّعِيمِ

Thumma latus alunna yauma-izin ‘anin na’eem

8. and on that Day you will most surely be called to account for [what you did with] the boon of life!

Source: The Message of the Quran by Muhammad Asad (Leopold Weiss)