The title is said to refer to Akhnas ibn Shariq or possibly Walid ibn al-Mughira.
It condemns those who slander others, whether by speech or action, and imagine that their own wealth will keep them immune from death, and describes, in brief yet evocative phrases, the doom of Hell which awaits them.
In the phrase "slandering traducer" (Arabic humaza lumaza), according to Ibn Kathir, the first word refers to slander by speech, and the second to slander by action (though he also quotes Mujahid as saying the opposite: "Al-Humazah is with the hand and the eye, and Al-Lumazah is with the tongue.") The "fire... which leapeth over the hearts" is sometimes interpreted as starting below and rising: according to Ibn Kathir, Muhammad bin Ka`b said that "it (the Fire) will devour every part of his body until it reaches his heart and comes to the level of his throat, then it will return to his body." The "columns" described in the final verse are interpreted as columns of fire by some authorities (eg As-Suddi), as in the translation below, but as literal pillars of iron by some others (eg Al-Awfi.)
- Woe unto every slandering traducer, (1)
- Who hath gathered wealth (of this world) and arranged it. (2)
- He thinketh that his wealth will render him immortal. (3)
- Nay, but verily he will be flung to the Consuming One. (4)
- Ah, what will convey unto thee what the Consuming One is! (5)
- It is) the fire of Allah, kindled, (6)
- Which leapeth up over the hearts (of men). (7)
- Lo! it is closed in on them (8)
- In outstretched columns. (9)