The Quranic Word Series: Akthar

Today’s Quranic Word is Akthar =أَكْثَرَ

Akthar means “more” or “most”.

It is the comparative and superlative form of Katheer = كَثِير

The word akthar is used in the Quran to refer to the status or condition of the people. It is used primarily to describe people who have turned away from Allah’s guidance, resulting in their soul being attached to misguidance and evil.

After Allah cursed Shaytaan and cast him out of paradise, Shaytaan promised Allah that he would confuse mankind and cause them to stray away from the right path. Allah says quoting him:

ثُمَّ لَآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَن شَمَائِلِهِمْ ۖ وَلَا تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ

[Quran 7:17]

Then I will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful [to You].

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The Danger of Blindly Following the Majority

Many of us try our best to fit in by copying what others do. But the Quran teaches us that if the majority of people are doing something, then we should be careful not to blindly follow them. The reason for this is the majority of people will most likely be doing the wrong thing. So we should first ensure the action will be pleasing to Allah.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala tells us that:

وَإِن تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَن فِي الْأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُصُونَ

[Quran 6:116]

And if you obey most of those upon the earth, they will mislead you from the way of Allah. They follow not except assumption, and they are not but falsifying.

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3 Attributes of Most People

In the Quran, Allah mentions the attributes of most people. Here are the biggest three attributes that we must be aware of.

1) Most people are ignorant

The Quran describes most people as being ignorant, not having insight and understanding, and lacking in knowledge. They master the knowledge of this world but are ignorant to the knowledge of what will profit them in the hereafter. Allah says in the Quran:

وَعْدَ اللَّهِ ۖ لَا يُخْلِفُ اللَّهُ وَعْدَهُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

[Quran 30:6]

[It is] the promise of Allah. Allah does not fail in His promise, but most of the people do not know.

يَعْلَمُونَ ظَاهِرًا مِّنَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ عَنِ الْآخِرَةِ هُمْ غَافِلُونَ

[Quran 30:7]

They know what is apparent of the worldly life, but they, of the Hereafter, are unaware.

These people lack knowledge of Allah. Therefore, they do not desire to strive for Paradise, nor do they fear committing deeds that will earn them the Hellfire. They also do not believe or fear standing in front of their Lord to give account for their deeds. These are signs of the unsuccessful ones. Allah says:

وَلَوْ أَنَّنَا نَزَّلْنَا إِلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةَ وَكَلَّمَهُمُ الْمَوْتَىٰ وَحَشَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ قُبُلًا مَّا كَانُوا لِيُؤْمِنُوا إِلَّا أَن يَشَاءَ اللَّهُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ يَجْهَلُونَ

[Quran 6:111]

And even if We had sent down to them the angels [with the message] and the dead spoke to them [of it] and We gathered together every [created] thing in front of them, they would not believe unless Allah should will. But most of them, [of that], are ignorant.

That is why their abode will be the Hellfire, may Allah save us from it, because they failed to acquire knowledge about Allah and did not prepare anything for the Hereafter. Allah says:

وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ ۖ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لَّا يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ آذَانٌ لَّا يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ كَالْأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْغَافِلُونَ

[Quran 7:179]

And We have certainly created for Hell many of the jinn and mankind. They have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear. Those are like livestock; rather, they are more astray. It is they who are the heedless.

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2) Most people are disbelievers

Disbelieving in Allah and His signs has been the status of the majority of people since the dawn of time. In Surah Ash-Shu’ara, Allah mentioned nine different prophets and the signs He gave to each of them. However, at the end of the story of each Prophet, Allah finished with:

إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً ۖ وَمَا كَانَ أَكْثَرُهُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

[Quran 26:174]

Indeed in that is a sign, but most of them were not to be believers. 

Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said:

عُرِضَتْ عَلَىَّ الأُمَمُ، فَجَعَلَ النَّبِيُّ وَالنَّبِيَّانِ يَمُرُّونَ مَعَهُمُ الرَّهْطُ، وَالنَّبِيُّ لَيْسَ مَعَهُ أَحَدٌ… ‏

Sahih Al Bukhari


“Nations were displayed before me; one or two prophets would pass by along with a few followers and a prophet would pass by accompanied by nobody…”

This is because the majority of the people followed their misguided elders and strictly adhered to their beliefs, even if they were not the truth. Allah says:

وَلَقَدْ ضَلَّ قَبْلَهُمْ أَكْثَرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ

[Quran 37:71]

And there had already strayed before them most of the former peoples.

And these former people associated partners with Allah. He says:

قُلْ سِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَانظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلُ ۚ كَانَ أَكْثَرُهُم مُّشْرِكِينَ

[Quran 30:42]

Say, [O Muhammad], “Travel through the land and observe how was the end of those before. Most of them were associators [of others with Allah].

Some leave the truth to follow their desires and whatever falsehood that Shaytaan has made fascinating for them. Allah says:

المر ۚ تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ ۗ وَالَّذِي أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ الْحَقُّ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ

[Quran 13:1]

Alif, Lam, Meem, Ra. These are the verses of the Book; and what has been revealed to you from your Lord is the truth, but most of the people do not believe.

يَعْرِفُونَ نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُنكِرُونَهَا وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ

[Quran 16:83]

They recognize the favor of Allah; then they deny it. And most of them are disbelievers.

أَفَمَن كَانَ عَلَىٰ بَيِّنَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّهِ وَيَتْلُوهُ شَاهِدٌ مِّنْهُ وَمِن قَبْلِهِ كِتَابُ مُوسَىٰ إِمَامًا وَرَحْمَةً ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ ۚ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِهِ مِنَ الْأَحْزَابِ فَالنَّارُ مَوْعِدُهُ ۚ فَلَا تَكُ فِي مِرْيَةٍ مِّنْهُ ۚ إِنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ

[Quran 11:17]

So is one who [stands] upon clear evidence from his Lord [like the aforementioned]? And a witness from Him follows it, and before it was the Scripture of Moses to lead and as mercy. Those [believers in the former revelations] believe in the Qur’an. But whoever disbelieves in it from the [various] factions – the Fire is his promised destination. So be not in doubt about it. Indeed, it is the truth from your Lord, but most of the people do not believe.

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3) Most people are ungrateful

Another attribute of most people that Allah mentions in the Quran is that they are ungrateful toward Allah. They attribute their blessings to things other than Allah, and with that, create and spread falsehood about Allah. Allah warned us:

وَمَا ظَنُّ الَّذِينَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَذُو فَضْلٍ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لَا يَشْكُرُونَ

[Quran 10:60]

And what will be the supposition of those who invent falsehood about Allah on the Day of Resurrection? Indeed, Allah is full of bounty to the people, but most of them are not grateful.

Thus, we should not try to please others by following the crowd or jumping on trends. Instead, we should strive to please our Lord by doing what is pleasing to Him even if we are the only ones.

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Conjugations of Akthar (أَكْثَرَ) found in the Quran

كَثِيرَةَۢ
Large
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كَثِير
Many or A lot of
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أَكْثَرَ
More or Most
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ٱلۡكَوۡثَرَ
Al-Kauthar
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ٱلتَّكَاثُرُ
The competition to increase
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كَثِيرَةٌ
Abundant
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