Tuesday 16 October 2018

Surah Naziat (Those Who Pull Out): Summary of 79th Chapter of the Holy Quran

Sūrat an-Nāziʻāt's theme centers on the truth the End Day / Resurrection and the life hereafter. Since it being one of the chapter revealed in Makkah, it also warns of the consequences of belying the Messenger of Allah,  a clear message to the pagans and nonbelievers of Makkah who mocked the Prophet of Allah whenever He called upon them to listen to the truth and words of salvation that if heeded to, may save them from the fire of hell awaiting when the final whistle is blown to mark the end of the world.

Its name derived from the word wan-nazi‘at with which it opens. The root (n-z-‘) roughly means “to yank out with great force.” [3]

Let us now see explanation of segmented portions of Sūrat an-Nāziʻāt for easy understanding:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"

In the opening nine verses of the surah, Allah has taken a solemn pledge of His angels that on the End Day when the final whistle is blown, they would tear open the graves and draw out from the depth the dead, some gently who had had exhibited good deeds and listened to the Divine commandments, and others with rather harshly for they negated the messengers and prophets who tried to convey to them the divine commandments.
[1-9] By those (angels) who tear out from the depths, and draw out gently, and by those (angels) who glide about swiftly (through space), then hasten out (to carry out Commands), then conduct the affairs (in accordance with Divine Commands). The Day when the quake shall cause. a violent jolt, which is followed by another jolt, some hearts on that Day shall be trembling with fear, their looks struck with awe.
These verses have been specifically to tell the audience that the Resurrection is a Divine reality and that it will certainly come to pass and the second life after death will certainly take place. For the angels who are employed to pluck out the soul today can also be employed to restore the soul tomorrow, and the angels who promptly execute Allah's Commands and conduct the affairs of the universe today can also upset the order of the universe tomorrow by orders of the same God and can also bring about a new order. And when the End Day comes, those who sinned and wronged, they shall be trembling with fear, their looks struck with awe.

But while the pleasures of life go on and the wealth makes life easy going, one cannot fathom the Divine commandments unless one hears sincerely to the prophets. 
[10-14] They say, "Shall we really be restored to our former state? What, when we shall have become hollow, rotten bones?" They said, "It would then be a return with sheer loss!" Whereas it will only need a single shout and they will forthwith appear in an open plain.
And when they, the unbelieving, are told that a day will come when all dead will be raised from their graves, they mock the prophets and pull their legs for telling them that dead could raised again. It is for those to know that it will be no hard task of Allah who first created the world from nothing and would reassemble what is contained in the bosom of the earth to question them of their deeds while they were alive. And then the reality would be revealed that what prophets and messengers told them was the truth they refused to accept.

In the verses 15-26, the nonbelievers are taken back to the times of Prophet Musa (Moises, peace be upon him) when he too was mocked by Pharaoh, the all powerful self proclaimed lord of the world, to caution them that even the strongest and mightiest could not escape the wrath of Allah when they mocked the messenger of Allah.
[15-26] Has the story of Moses reached you? Recall when his Lord called out to him in the sacred valley of Tuwa, (saying), "Go to Pharaoh: he has become rebellious, and say to him: Will you mind to adopt purity that I may guide you to your Lord, so that you may have fear (of Him)?" Then Moses (went to Pharaoh and) showed him the great Sign, but he belied it and disobeyed. Then, he turned back to devise plots, and gathering the people together, proclaimed, "I am your Lord, the highest." Consequently, Allah seized him for punishment both in the Hereafter and in the world. Indeed, there is a lesson in this for him who fears.
According to general opinion among the commentators "the sacred . valley of 'Tuwa" means "the sacred valley which was named Tuwa". But, besides this, two other meanings of it also have been given: [1]
  • "The valley that was blessed and made sacred twice" . for it was first made sacred when Allah spoke to Moses in it for the first time, and it was blessed and made sacred for the second time when the Prophet Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt and brought them into it; 
  • and "called out to him in the sacred valley in the night," and this is according to the meaning of Tuwa in the Arabic idiom. 
The instruction given to Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) was: "Go, you and your brother Aaron, to Pharaoh for he has transgressed all bounds. Talk to him gently; maybe that he is convinced by admonition or is imbued with fear." (Ta Ha: 44). One model of the gentle speech has been given in these verses, which shows what right method a preacher should adopt when preaching to a perverted man. Other models are given in Surah Ta Ha: 49-52, Surah Ash-Shua`ra': 23-28, and Surah Al-Qasas: 37. These verses are of those in which Allah has taught the correct methods of preaching Islam in the Qur'an. [1]

And when the defiant Pharaoh refused to listen to the messenger of Allah and tried to show his might by asking his subjects to tell Prophet Musa as to who could be more powerful than he, Allah punished him for his pride. And he was drowned with his entire army when chasing the followers of Prophet Musa. And that was not all, as if that was not all, Allah promised to save his body as sign of caution for those who refused to obey Allah and His messengers and prophets.

The purpose of mentioning Prophet Musa and his discussion with the Pharaoh is to warn the people to the effect : “You know full well what fate the Pharaoh met in consequence of belying the Messenger and rejecting the guidance brought by him and endeavoring to defeat his mission by trickery and deceit. If you do not learn any lesson from it and do not change your ways and attitude accordingly, you also will have to meet the same fate." [3]

It may be added here the Prophet Musa had not been sent to Pharaoh only for the deliverance of the children of Israel as some people seem to think but the primary object of his appointment was to show Pharaoh and his people the right way, and the second object was that if he did not accept the right way, the children of Israel (who in fact were a Muslim people) should be taken out of his slavery and from Egypt. [1]

Verses 27-33 show what Allah can do and would do. If He had made this universe, and adorned it pastures and crops so that people could eat and have their cattle fed, it would be no wonder that He destroys everything He created and then recreate it to take stock of everyone's deeds:
[27-33] Are you (O men,) harder to create, or is the heaven? Allah built it: He raised its vault high and gave it balance, and covered its night and brought forth its day. After that He spread out the earth from within it. He brought out its water and its pasture, and set the mountains in it, as a mesas of sustenance for you and your cattle.
This same argument for life after death has been given at several places in the Qur'an. For example, in Surah Ya Sin it has been said: "Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth able to create the like of them (again)? Why not, when He is the skillful Creator." (v. 81) And in Surah Al-Mu'min it was said: "Surely the creation of the heavens and the earth is a greater task than the creation of man, but most people do not know. (v. 57) [1]

In the verses 34-41, the End Day has been painted. In the first the for 'great disaster' the words at-Taammat alkubra have been used. Taammah by itself is a grievous calamity which afflicts everybody. Then it has been further qualified by the word kubra (great), which shows that the mere word taammah is not enough to describe fully its intensity and severity. 
[34-41] Then, when the great Disaster befalls the Day when man shall remember whatever he had striven for and Hell shall be laid open for everyone to see, then the one who had rebelled and preferred the life of the world, Hell shall be his home. As for him who had feared to stand before his Lord and restrained himself from evil desires, Paradise shall be his home.
On that day, every man will come to remember what good or bad has he done while lived his wordily life. That is, "When man will see that the same Day of accountability of which he was being foretold in the world, has come, he will start remembering each one of his misdeeds done in the world even before his records are handed over to him. Some people experience this even in the world. if at some time they come across a dangerous situation suddenly when death seems to be staring them in the face, their whole life-film flashes across their mind's eye all at once. [1]

In fact in these verses, in a few words, it has been told briefly what shall be the criterion of the final judgment in the Hereafter. One kind of the conduct of life in the world is that transgressing all bounds of service man should rebel against his God and should make up his mind that he would seek only the benefits and pleasures of this world in whatever way they could be sought and achieved. The other kind of conduct is that while man passes life in the world he should constantly keep in view the truth that ultimately one day he has to stand before his Lord, and should refrain from fulfilling the evil desires of the self only for the fear that if he earned an unlawful benefit in obedience to his self, or enjoyed an evil pleasure, what answer he would give to his Lord. The criterion of the judgment in the Hereafter will be which of the two kinds of conduct he adopted in the world. If he had adopted the first kind of conduct, his permanent abode would be Hell, and if he had adopted the second kind of conduct, his permanent home would be Paradise.

And the last verses of the Sūrat an-Nāziʻāt prove that no one but Allah knows when the End Day would come. The pagans of Makkah would ask endless questions from the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) to an extent to leave him answer-less: 
[42-46] They ask you, "When will the Hour come to stay?" (But) it is not for you to tell its time. Its knowledge rests only with your Lord. You are only a warner to him who fears it. The day these people see it, they will feel as though they had stayed (in the world or in the state of death) only for the afternoon of a day or its forenoon.
Thus in order to save the Prophet from any uneasiness for not being in knowledge of, Allah has told his messenger that His task is only to convey the audience what He has been told to covey.  And that "Your warning will benefit only him who fears the coming of that Day."  For those who have faith and have clean hearts have nothing to fear as to when the final bugle will be blown for they are all ready to meet their Creator to be rewarded and sent to the Paradise. 

It is only those who have sinned and know that they would be one day taken to task are fearful of day they are ready to believe. Besides asking questions from the Prophet of Allah questions He did not have answers was in fact to mock Him for not in knowledge of things He was making them afraid of.

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sūrat an-Nāziʻāt with English subtitles:

You may refer to our post "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, meaning and summary of other chapters (Though not complete but building up from 30th Part backwards for chapters in 30th Part are shorter and easier to understand)

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 |
An effort has been made to gather explanation of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic souses and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. However, those wanting detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to sites the references of which are given above.

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