Are the concepts "humaza" and "lumaza" in the chapter of al-Humaza related to the rich? Piling up wealth is mentioned in the verses.

The Details of the Question
Are the concepts "humaza" and "lumaza" in the chapter of al-Humaza related to the rich? Piling up wealth is mentioned in the verses.
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

1. Woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and-backbiter,

(That is, those who talk behind people’s back and criticize them, who despise them and who make fun of them with gestures and facial expressions.)

2. Who pileth up wealth and layeth it by.

(It is understood from this verse that this sarcastic attitude originates from being rich. Both piling up wealth and counting it one by one and boasting describe clearly worshipping wealth and not spending it on needy people and charity for the sake of Allah, who gave him this wealth.)

3. Thinking that his wealth would make him last for ever.

4. By no means!  (He should give up this dream. His wealth will not save him.) He will be sure to be thrown into That which Breaks to Pieces.

5. And what will explain to thee That which Breaks to Pieces?

6-7. (It is) the Fire of (the Wrath of) Allah kindled (to a blaze), The which doth mount (Right) to the Hearts.

(The word fuad in the verse translated as heart is used for the spiritual faculty that is the center of belief, thought, idea, feeling, etc., not for the material heart that sends blood and life to the material body. Something covering the whole heart shows the severity of the wrath.)

8-9. It shall be made into a vault over them, In columns outstretched.


In the chapter, the type of a person who makes fun of believers, looks down on and condemns people, defames their chastity and honor, despises believers by mocking them because of his property, wealth and social status is mentioned. It is a type that gives importance to people based on their property, wealth, social status and rank. The chapter explains the evil of a person who tries to pile up wealth with might and main, boasts about his piling, makes plans as if he will remain in the world forever and hence does not have any time to do things for the hereafter.

It is stated in the chapter that the person who thinks his wealth will make him eternal, who predicts that his wealth will eternalize him and who hopes that his reckoning in the hereafter will be easier thanks to his wealth will go to Hell.

It is stated in the chapter of al-Asr that people are in loss. In this chapter, which follows it, some characteristics of those who are in loss are mentioned. It is stated that people with those characteristics will be thrown into fire. Who are those people to be thrown into fire?

Yes, the chapter is named after the word "humaza" in the first verse and the rhyme of the verses is “a(h)”. "Humaza" is used in the sense of backbiting. The words "humaza lumaza" are two words whose meanings are very close two each other in Arabic; they are sometimes used interchangeably. There is so little difference between them that even the Arabs who have a good command in Arabic say lumaza when they define humaza. In that case, the meaning is as follows:

A person who is used to despising and looking down on people points at some people with his finger and indicates others with his words. He denigrates others due to their status. He disparages yet others. He says some bad things right to the face of some people and backbites others. He causes conflicts and trouble between friends by acting as a talebearer; he sows discord between brothers. He gives names to some people, makes fun of them and displays their deficiencies.

This chapter reflects one of the real descriptions of real life in the first years of Islam. Besides, it describes an example that can be seen in any community and age. A simple and mean person is described and the attitudes and states of such people are narrated; thus, it is emphasized how poor they are. He is one of the wicked people who have a wealth and who are enslaved by their wealth, thinking that the only thing that matters in the world is wealth and regarding everything else inferior compared to wealth. In addition, he thinks this wealth is a god that has power over everything and that can do anything it wants. Thus, he thinks death will never come and that he will live forever. He thinks he will escape from the reckoning and penalty in the hereafter, if there is, thanks to his wealth.

Thus, this mean person (and the people like him) counts his wealth and takes pleasure as he counts it. A bad feeling in him leads him to defame people’s honor, backbite and mock them. This description is a disgusting, ugly and mean description of human soul deprived of personality and belief. Islam hates those wicked and mean souls since it gives importance to high ethics. Therefore, Islam forbids mocking and making fun of others. It refuses condemning people in various places. That those deeds are mentioned as ugly and disgusting along with threats shows that some polytheists treated the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and the believers like that in that age. This was applied against them in the past and it is applied against the Muslims of today in the same way.

1. “Woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and-backbiter!”

Woe to every Humaza and Lumaza! Let every Hammaz and Lammaz go to Wayl in Hell! Humaza and Lumaza, Hammaz and Lammaz are words that are similar to each other in meaning. It is said thatHumaza means to hurt people with words and Lumaza with deeds.Or, Humaza means to backbite people to defame their honor and dignity in their absence; Lumaza means to be used to making fun of people in their presence with mimics and bodily gestures, despising and disturbing them. Both words show that those deeds are done a lot like a habit.

Let every Hammaz and Lammaz, who defame people’s honor and dignity in both their absence and presence, hurt and disturb them, talk behind people’s back, act as talebearers, backbite them, gnaw people’s honor and dignity, give people names that they will not like and that will offend them, look for people’s mistakes, try to reveal their private affairs, laugh and make others laugh by acting like a buffoon and a clown, and who make a habit of them, go to Hell! Woe to them! That is what our Lord says.

Our Lord mentions a tyrant who looks down on Muslims and who is arrogant. He is a person that despises people, despises them and makes fun of them by relying on his wealth. In fact, all tyrants who rely on their property and wealth and who are proud of their ranks and status and who look down on the believers who do not have property and wealth deserve Allah’s Hell and actually live in Hell in this world. No matter how arrogant they are, they do not actually have anything that they can be proud of and that they love. However, it is shown to them as ornamented. They only have a worldly life. Let them live here. As soon as they die, they will go to Hell. It is necessary to pity them but we have no right to pity them. They live in misery; they will go to Hell as soon as they die; they will find themselves in a great torture.

All of their pleasures and entertainment will be what they enjoyed in the world only. However, it is strange that they look down on believers and make fun of them. We, Muslims, must never be affected by their mocking. We must never envy them. We should see them as pitiable people. We should say to them that they are actually in a pitiable position; we should never feel in our heart that we should be like them. We should never long for a life like that of theirs. For, we have knowledge, wisdom, dignity, honor, intellect, foresight, book and guidance. In spite of this, almost all of us are influenced somehow due the propaganda of those poor people. We should get rid of them and save ourselves from the inferiority complex in the face of those tyrants.

We see that they despise the believers who do not tend to the world, do not make the world their qiblah, do not be grabbed by the temporary things of the world, who believe in the existence of the hereafter, who invest for the hereafter and hence who do not have as much wealth as theirs. They despise the poor people who cannot obtain as much wealth as theirs because they give importance to the hereafter in the first place and because they try to attain their Lord’s consent. For, the criterion for superiority-inferiority for those men is the world, the ornaments of the world. According to them, those who have worldly possessions are superior people. All of their plans and programs are for the world. Those who do not prefer to be slaves of the world, worldly possessions, money, ranks and positions but who prefer to be their masters and who try to realize lofty ideals in the world are superior in the eye of Allah but inferior in their eye. They make fun of such people. Let them regard themselves superior and console themselves with it; however, listen to what Allah says:

“They are the worst of creatures.” (al-Bayyina, 98/6)

They are the vilest and meanest people in the world. However, the world is shown to be beautiful to them; therefore, they try to draw the people like us whom they affect to the hegemony of the sacredness of their dirty world. They try to draw us to their hell by addressing us as follows: “O Muslims! Come and be like us if you want to be saved from the bad situation you are in. Think like us and live like us.” However, we will not be deceived by their tricks inshallah. No matter how much they regard us inferior based on wealth, Allah states the following in the chapter of al-Baqara:

“But the righteous will be above them on the Day of Resurrection; for Allah bestows His abundance without measure on whom He will.” (al-Baqara, 2/212)

Muslims are not superior only in the hereafter; they are also superior in this world. Muslims are superior to unbelievers in both the world and the hereafter.

2. “Who pileth up wealth and layeth it by.”

This man piles up wealth and counts it all the time. Yes, this man is rich and has a wealth. His arrogance originates from this. He believes that abundance of property and wealth is a reason for superiority. However, abundance of wealth has no superiority in terms of belief. Abundance of wealth has no superiority in the eye of Allah. However, those kinds of people who do not regard the criterion of Allah as valuable pile up wealth and count it because they believe that wealth is a reason for superiority.

We try to understand the deed of counting here as follows: That person collected goods to pile up, counted them and did not spend them in the way of Allah. Or, he did not have enough time to think of the deeds of worship that Allah wanted from him because he was always busy with piling up wealth and thinking about it day and night. He did not have time to do other things because he made collecting property and goods his dhikr. That is, to collect and pile up goods and to count them became his dhikr. He was engaged with it so much that he could not think of the hereafter and reckoning as much as he thought about piling up wealth.

Or, he piled up wealth during the day and counted it at night. Thus, he spent both his night and day doing it.

Or, he always tried to earn money because of worrying about his future but he did not spend it in the way of Allah to guarantee his future and he kept it for himself. That is, he was not engaged in the rights of his wealth but its amount. He maintained his wealth and its amount but he did not mind Allah’s orders about it.

Or, he tried to remain in the forefront with his wealth or he wanted to be respected due to his wealth. He aimed to attain prestige with his wealth. That is, he wanted his fame to continue with his wealth.

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