79 - An Naziat (Those who yearn)

4 Tafsir(s) related to verse 79.1


By those that wrest, [by] the angels who wrest the souls of disbelievers, violently;

Kashf Al-Asrar

By those that pluck harshly, by those that draw fiercely.

These verses allude to the artifacts of power, the marvels of creativity, and the subtleties of wisdom in the creation of the creatures. All are the place of the gaze of the common people and the cause of their finding the road. The common people gaze with the eye of the head on the artifacts and marvels and they see the traces of mercy and power. They take the artisanry as the evidence of the existence of the Artisan. They start their traveling from the causes so as to reach the Presence of the Causer. To this allude His words, "Have they not gazed upon the dominion of the heavens and the earth? [7:185]. Have they not gazed upon the heaven above them? [50:6]. Have they not traveled in the earth to gaze? [30:9]. So gaze on the traces of God's mercy [30:50]. He it is who shows you His signs [40:13]. We shall show them Our signs on the horizons and in their souls until it is clear to them that He is the Real [41:53]."

Then the recognizers of the road and the sincerely truthful of the threshold have another state and another gaze. They gaze at the Artisan with the eye of the secret core and see the secrets of solicitude. They gaze at the Innovator with the eye of the heart and see the lights of guidance. They gaze at the Real with the eye of the spirit and see the flag of existence. They gaze at the Witnessed with the eye of witnessing and see the Friend face-to-face.

O indigent man! How long will you look at the artifacts and wonders? Look once at the Arti- san and Wonder-Worker to see the marvels of the subtleties. From the artifacts and wonders you see what arises from Him. From the Artisan and Wonder-Worker you see what is worthy of Him. When someone gazes only at the marks giving witness to His artifacts, he has not stepped into the road of the chevaliers. No whiff has reached his nostrils of this talk. It is often the case that there are neither artifacts nor wonders, neither creatures nor attachments, neither time nor the earth, neither place nor the emplaced, neither Throne nor Carpet, neither Heaven nor Samak, neither sphere nor angel, neither moon nor Fish, neither entities nor traces, neither face-to-face vision nor reports-the Real is present and the Haqiqah is there.

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

Here, the object for which an oath has been sworn by beings having five qualities has not been mentioned; but the theme that follows by itself leads to the conclusion that the oath has been sworn to affirm that the Resurrection is a certainty, which must come to pass, when all dead men shall be resurrected. Nor is there any mention as to what are the beings possessed of the qualities. However, a large number of the Companions and their immediate successors and most of the commentators have expressed the opinion that they are the angels. Hadrat `Abdullah bin Mas`ud, Hadrat `Abdullah bin `Abbas, Masruq, Sa`id bin Jubair, Abu salih Abud-Duha and Suddi; say that "those who pluck out from the depths and those who draw out gently" imply the angels, who wrench out the soul of man at death from the very depths of his body, from its every fiber. "Those who glide about swiftly", according to Hadrat Ibn Mas`ud, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubair and Abu Salih, also imply the angels, who hurry about swiftly in execution of Divine Commands as though they were gliding through space. The same meaning of "those who hasten out as in a race" has been taken by Hadrat `Ali, Mujahid, Masruq, Abu Salih and Hasan Bari, and hastening out implies that each one of them hurries on his errand as soon as he receives the first indication of Divine Will. "Those who conduct the affairs" also imply the angels as has been reported from Hadrat `Ali, Mujahid, 'Ata' Abu -Salih, Hasan Bari;, Qatadah, Rabi` bin Anas and Suddi. In other words, these are the workers of the Kingdom of the Universe, who are conducting all the affairs of the world in accordance with Allah's Command and Will. Though this meaning of these verses has not been reported in any authentic Hadith from the Holy Prophet, while this meaning has been given by some major Companions and their immediate successors and pupils, one is led to form the view that they must have obtained this knowledge from the Holy Prophet himself.

Now the question arises: On what basis has the oath been sworn by these angels for the occurrence of the Resurrection and life after death when they themselves are as imperceptible as the thing for the occurrence of which they have been presented as an evidence and as an argument. In our opinion the reason is (and Allah has the best knowledge) that the Arabs were not deniers of the existence of the angels. They themselves admitted that at the death the soul was taken out by the angels; they also believed that the angels moved at tremendous speeds; they could reach any place between the earth and the heavens instantly and promptly execute any errand that was entrusted to them. They also acknowledged that the angels are subordinate to Divine Will and they conduct the affairs of the universe strictly and precisely in accordance with Divine Will; they are not independent and masters of their will. They regarded them as daughters of Allah out of ignorance and worshiped them as deities, but they did not believe that they possessed the real authority as well. Therefore, the basis of the reasoning from the above mentioned attributes for the occurrence of the Resurrection and life after death is that the angels who took the soul by the order of God, could also restore the soul by the order of the same God; and the angels who conducted the affairs of the universe by the order of God could also upset this universe by the order of the same God whenever. He so ordered them and could also bring about a new world order. They would not show any negligence or delay in the execution of His Command.

The first jolt implies the jolt which will destroy the earth and everything on it, and the second jolt at which all dead men will rise up from death and from their graves. This same state has been described in Surah Az-Zumar, thus: "And when the Trumpet shall be blown on that Day, all those who are in the heavens and the earth shall fall down dead except those whom Allah may allow (to live). Then the Trumpet shall be blown again and they will all stand up, looking around." (v. 68)

"Some hearts", because, according to the Qur'an, only the disbelievers, the wicked people and the hypocrites will be terror-stricken on the Resurrection Day, the righteous believers will remain secure from this tenor. About them in Surah Al-Anbiya' it has been said: "The time of great fright will not trouble them at all; the angels will rush. forth to receive them, saying: `This is the very Day which you were promised'." (v. 103)

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

And from his narration on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that he said concerning the interpretation of Allah's saying (By those who drag forth): '(By those who drag forth) He says: Allah swears by the angels who take away the souls of the disbelievers (to destruction) the souls of the disbelievers,