Observations on the structure, organization, and coherence of Sūrat at-Takāthur
Sūrat at-Takāthur (Competing for More) is a very short Makkan sūrah which focuses on the heedlessness of mankind and the consequences they face if they do not confront their reality in this life, as opposed to in the next life. When the contents are observed, it appears to be structured in a ring1.
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[A]/[A’] - The distractions that kept us pre-occupied in this life may come back to haunt us in the next life when we are questioned about all the worldly pleasures and blessings that kept us from our main purpose.
[B]/[B’] - The two mentions of knowledge are linked to the two mentions of seeing. The disbelievers claim throughout the Quran (and even in modern day) that they will not believe until they see Allah ﷻ or some miracle manifest in front of them. They will finally see reality on the Day of Judgment, but then it will be too late to repent.
[C] - The center is arguably the focal point of this sūrah. It is important to note that the Quran mentions three primary ways of engaging knowledge, or three levels of attaining conviction:
ʿilm al-yaqīn - to know by knowledge; by recognizing signs. Example: You are told that fire burns.
ʿayn al-yaqīn - eye witness account; to have seen it firsthand. Example: You see fire burning.
ḥaqq al-yaqīn - reality of it; to experience it. Example: You touch fire and it burns you.
This sūrah touches on all three of these. Allah ﷻ is expressing His displeasure in [C] that the disbelievers will not accept the first source of knowledge. On either side of this āyah is the declaration that the disbelievers will soon know (through experience) that Judgment is real and that they will without a doubt witness the Fire.
And Allah ﷻ knows best.
Ali Khan, Nouman. “1. At-Takathur (Ayah 1-8) - A Concise Commentary” Bayyinah TV, https://bayyinahtv.com/topics/1/categories/9/series/206/videos/2003