79 - An Naziat (Those who yearn)

5 Tafsir(s) related to verse 79.1


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

Ibn Al Kathir

Swearing by Five Characteristics that the Day of Judgement will occur

Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn `Abbas, Masruq, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Salih, Abu Ad-Duha and As-Suddi all said,

وَالنَّـزِعَـتِ غَرْقاً

(By those who pull out, drowning.) "These are the angels who remove the souls from the Children of Adam.'' Among them are those whose souls are removed by the angels with difficulty, as if he is being drowned during its removal. There are those people whose souls the angels remove with ease, as if they were unraveling him (i.e., his soul from him) due to their briskness. This is the meaning of Allah's statement,

وَالنَّـشِطَـتِ نَشْطاً

(By those who free briskly.) This has been mentioned by Ibn `Abbas. In reference to Allah's statement,

وَالسَّـبِحَـتِ سَبْحاً

(And by the swimmers, swimming.) Ibn Mas`ud said, "They are the angels.'' Similar statements have been reported from `Ali, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, and Abu Salih. Concerning Allah's statement,

فَالسَّـبِقَـتِ سَبْقاً

(And by the racers, racing.) It has been narrated from `Ali, Masruq, Mujahid, Abu Salih, and Al-Hasan Al-Basri that this means the angels. Then Allah says,

فَالْمُدَبِّرَتِ أَمْراً

(And by those who arrange affairs.) `Ali, Mujahid, `Ata', Abu Salih, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, and As-Suddi all said, "They are the angels.'' Al-Hasan added, "They control the affairs from the heaven to the earth, meaning by the command of their Lord, the Mighty and Majestic.''

The Description of the Day of Judgement, the People, and what They will say

Then Allah says,

يَوْمَ تَرْجُفُ الرَّاجِفَةُ - تَتْبَعُهَا الرَّادِفَةُ

(On the Day the Rajifah shakes, followed by the Radifah.) Ibn `Abbas said, "These are the two blasts (of the Trumpet) -- the first and the second.'' Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and others have made similar statements. It has been reported from Mujahid that he said, "In reference to the first, it is the statement of Allah,

يَوْمَ تَرْجُفُ الرَّاجِفَةُ

(On the Day the Rajifah shakes,) This is similar to Allah's statement,

يَوْمَ تَرْجُفُ الاٌّرْضُ وَالْجِبَالُ

(On the Day the earth and the mountains shake.) (73:14) The second is Ar-Radifah, and it is like the Allah's statement,

وَحُمِلَتِ الاٌّرْضُ وَالْجِبَالُ فَدُكَّتَا دَكَّةً وَحِدَةً

(And the earth and mountains shall be removed from their places, and crushed with a single crushing.) (69:14)'' Concerning Allah's statement,

قُلُوبٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَاجِفَةٌ

(Hearts that Day will tremble.) Ibn `Abbas said, "This means afraid.'' Mujahid and Qatadah also said this.

أَبْصَـرُهَا خَـشِعَةٌ

(Their vision humiliated.) meaning, the eyes of the people. It means that the eyes will be lowly and disgraced from what they will witness of terrors. Allah then says,

يَقُولُونَ أَءِنَّا لَمَرْدُودُونَ فِى الْحَـفِرَةِ

(They say: "Shall we indeed be brought back from Al-Hafirah'') meaning, the idolators of the Quraysh and whoever rejects the Hereafter as they did. They consider the occurrence of the resurrection after being placed in Al-Hafirah -- which are the graves -- as something farfetched. This has been said by Mujahid. They feel that this is something impossible after the destruction of their physical bodies and the disintegration of their bones and their decaying. Thus, Allah says,

أَءِذَا كُنَّا عِظَـماً نَّخِرَةً

(Even after we are bones Nakhirah) It has also been recited: (نَاخِرَةً) (Nakhirah) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah, all said, "This means decayed.'' Ibn `Abbas said, "It is the bone when it has decayed and air enters into it.'' Concerning their saying,

تِلْكَ إِذاً كَرَّةٌ خَـسِرَةٌ

(It would in that case be a return with loss.) (79:12) Muhammad bin Ka`b said that the Quraysh said, "If Allah brings us back to life after we die, then surely we will be losers.'' Allah then says,

فَإِنَّمَا هِىَ زَجْرَةٌ وَحِدَةٌ - فَإِذَا هُم بِالسَّاهِرَةِ

(But it will be only a single Zajrah. When behold, they are at As-Sahirah.) meaning, this is a matter that is from Allah that will not occur twice, nor will there be any opportunity to affirm it or verify it. The people will be standing and looking. This will be when Allah commands the angel Israfil to blow into the Sur, which will be the blowing of the resurrection. At that time the first people and the last people will all be standing before their Lord looking. This is as Allah says,

يَوْمَ يَدْعُوكُمْ فَتَسْتَجِيبُونَ بِحَمْدِهِ وَتَظُنُّونَ إِن لَّبِثْتُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً

(On the Day when He will call you, and you will answer with His praise and obedience, and you will think that you have stayed but a little while!) (17:52) Allah has also said,

وَمَآ أَمْرُنَآ إِلاَّ وَحِدَةٌ كَلَمْحٍ بِالْبَصَرِ

(And our commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye.) (54:50) Allah also says,

وَمَآ أَمْرُ السَّاعَةِ إِلاَّ كَلَمْحِ الْبَصَرِ أَوْ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ

(And the matter of the Hour is not but as a twinkling of the eye, or even nearer.) (16:77) Allah then says,

فَإِذَا هُم بِالسَّاهِرَةِ

(When behold, they are at As-Sahirah.) Ibn `Abbas said, "As-Sahirah means the entire earth.'' Sa`id bin Jubayr, Qatadah and Abu Salih have all said this as well. `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak, and Ibn Zayd have all said, "As-Sahirah means the face of the earth.'' Mujahid said, "They will be at its (the earth's) lowest part, and they will be brought out to highest part.'' Then he said, "As-Sahirah is a level place.'' Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said,

فَإِذَا هُم بِالسَّاهِرَةِ

(When behold, they are at As-Sahirah.) "Allah says,

يَوْمَ تُبَدَّلُ الاٌّرْضُ غَيْرَ الاٌّرْضِ وَالسَّمَـوَتُ وَبَرَزُواْ للَّهِ الْوَاحِدِ الْقَهَّارِ

(On the Day when the earth will be changed to another earth and so will be the heavens, and they will appear before Allah, the One, the Irresistible.) (14:48) and He says,

وَيَسْـَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْجِبَالِ فَقُلْ يَنسِفُهَا رَبِّى نَسْفاً - فَيَذَرُهَا قَاعاً صَفْصَفاً - لاَّ تَرَى فِيهَا عِوَجاً وَلا أَمْتاً

(And they ask you concerning the mountains: say, "My Lord will blast them and scatter them as particles of dust. Then He shall leave them as a level smooth plain.You will see therein nothing crooked or curved.) (20:105-107) and Allah says,

" وَيَوْمَ نُسَيِّرُ الْجِبَالَ وَتَرَى الاٌّرْضَ بَارِزَةً

(And the Day We shall cause the mountains to pass away, and you will see the earth as a leveled plain.) (18:47) and the earth will be brought forth which will have mountains upon it, and it will not be considered from this earth (of this life). It will be an earth that no sin will be performed on it, nor will any blood be shed upon it.''

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,