Archive for the ‘Sura 104: al-Humazah / The Slanderer’ Category

Al-Humazah: “The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced”

September 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Woe to every backbiting slanderer
Who gathers his wealth and counts it
Thinking that with his wealth he will never die
Nay, let him be thrown into the

This reminds me of a quote from Andrew Carnegie: "The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced." Avarice is a long-running theme in the early suras, and clearly The Big Sin.

I also think the connection between immortality and wealth is interesting. It can't be meant literally, no rich person thinks they are immortal, no matter the time period. But many, many rich men have believed that through their wealth, they can keep the memory of them alive. The result, though, is not what they may have though, whether it be the dissipation and waste of heirs who never learned the value of the money they were granted, to being remembered more for the rapacious manner in which the wealth was collected than in the institutions they endowed after their deaths. I think the de Medicis would serve as potent examples of both.

But the punishment has been far more generic and vague: the Fire. This sura gets more specific, naming the punishment–the Hutama–and describing exactly what it will entail. And what is the Hutama, you may ask? It is "that which Breaks to Pieces" or "the Consuming One" or "the crushing disaster" depending on which translation you use.

But I get a bit verbose in translations and quotes, so I buried the rest below the break.

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