This is post #36 in our series on Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma (click the link to see all posts in this series).
In Surah Humazah, Allah (‘azza wa jal) says:
وَيْلٌ لِّكُلِّ هُمَزَةٍ لُّمَزَةٍ
Translation: Woe to every scorner (humazah) and mocker (lumazah). [Surah Al-Humaza, verse 1].
As we mentioned many, many times before in this series, wayl is a curse. And when Allah says wayl about someone, it’s not a curse, but a statement of reality–because He, ‘azza wa jal, is not in need of cursing anyone. Ibn Abbaas (radiallahu ‘anhu) says, wayl is a valley in Hellfire; in this sense, it’s almost as if the person is saying, for what I did, this is what I deserve–come to me, o wayl.
Humazah and lumazah are translated in very similar ways, so we’re going to dive deep into some of the meanings and benefits we can learn from these two words.
Humazah and lumazah are both on the pattern of fu’alah (فُعَلَة); this pattern means that a person does something so excessively that it becomes a characteristic of that person. Someone who does it over and over and over again.
Generally, people mock others for one of three reasons:
- Fear: People mock out of fear of being mocked. Muhammad Alshareef mentioned a story of a guy who had some disability, Allahu a’lam what it was, maybe he was missing an arm or something. And you would expect that he’s the kindest person, because so many people make fun of him that he would never do that to another person knowing how it feels–but in fact, he was one of the biggest mockers of others, so that they wouldn’t mock him.
- Fame: People mock famous people in order to get some fame; because when you make fun of someone famous, it becomes a tabloid issue and everyone pays more attention to you.
- Lack of Understanding: You see often in children, if they don’t understand something, they mock it; they might be sitting in a math class, not understanding second derivatives, and instead, they make fun of the teacher, the class, the topic, everything, as a reaction.
As for the difference between humazah and lumazah, humazah is verbal actions–to backbite, or to cut into someone’s honour or verbally make fun of them. Lumazah, on the other hand, is to use gestures and signs to make fun of the person.
For example, if there’s someone with really big ears, someone who’s humuzah might say “hahahaha look at Mr. Elephant-Ears!” and someone who’s lumazah might put their hands together and make wing-flapping motions.
Then Allah (subhannahu wa ta’ala) mentions two more qualities of the humazah and lumazah individual:
الَّذِي جَمَعَ مَالًا وَعَدَّدَهُ
يَحْسَبُ أَنَّ مَالَهُ أَخْلَدَهُ
Translation: (The one) Who collects wealth and [continuously] counts it. He thinks that his wealth will make him immortal. [Suratal-Humazah, verses 2-3]
We see again and again in Juz ‘Amma, the theme of wealth, and the idea of human beings that wealth will somehow make them live forever.
Allah says, about this mentality–the people who are humazah, and lumazah, and spend all their time collecting and counting their money, who think that they will live forever:
كَلَّا ۖ لَيُنبَذَنَّ فِي الْحُطَمَةِ
Translation: Kalla (no)! He will surely be thrown into the Crusher. [Verse 4]
Kalla is an emphatic (strong) negation; it negates a mentality or thought or mindset mentioned before it, or after it, or implicit; in this case, the mentality of people mentioned in the past two verses.
Allah says, this person will be thrown into … The Crusher. And not just thrown; but flung into The Crusher. It shows the humiliation and degradation of this person.
Which begs the question: what is The Crusher?
وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْحُطَمَةُ
نَارُ اللَّهِ الْمُوقَدَةُ
Translation: And what can make you know what is the Crusher? It is the fire of Allah , [eternally] fueled. [verses 5-6]
Here, we see–it is naarullah, Allah’s fire. As we mentioned previously, Allah associating anything to himself, shows the great nobility and status and grandeur and majesticness of that thing. It’s not just any fire; it’s the fire of Allah!
One of the ‘ulama, rahimahullah, mentioned that, in modern days, what do you do with a car that doesn’t work, that has no use anymore? You can’t sell it, you can’t fix it. What do you do with it?
Throw it into a car-crusher.
And it’s almost like, this human being spent their entire life, and at the end, they’re useless and worthless. So they, too, are thrown into The Crusher.
Then Allah (‘azza wa jal) mentions something terrifying about The Crusher. Something that should cause you wonder and sleepless lights of worry. Allah says:
الَّتِي تَطَّلِعُ عَلَى الْأَفْئِدَةِ
Translation: Which mounts directed at the hearts. [verse 7]
This is not just passive fire. If you read up about Hellfire, it’s almost like a beast; it roars. It speaks. It ambushes. And here, we see that it attacks–it leaps upon the hearts. It attacks. What’s more:
إِنَّهَا عَلَيْهِم مُّؤْصَدَةٌ
فِي عَمَدٍ مُّمَدَّدَةٍ
Translation: Indeed, it (Hellfire) will be closed down upon them, In extended columns. [verses 8-9]
Hellfire is not a wide, open field as many of us imagine; rather, it is closed down. You can imagine being in a car in a car-crusher, looking to the left and right and top and bottom, and seeing the walls move closer and closer, closing down on you.
As Muhammad Alshareef says … if we really understand Hellfire, we know that there is no choice. Hellfire is death upon death, from the food to the air to the water, everything about it; but people never die after the death of dunya.
May Allah, Ar-Rahman, give us all the tawfeeq to avoid The Crusher, out of His infinite mercy–ameen ya rabbil-alameen!
- Touched by an Angel: Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma. By Muhammad Alshareef. 2009.