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قديم 07-28-2009, 07:14 PM
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New Teachings of the Qur`aan: An-Naazi`aat


B i s m i l l a a h i r R a h m a a n i r R a h e e m

Teachings of the Qur`aan


Name and Background

Teachings and Commentary

Soorah 79:1-26

Ayub A. Hamid

Name and Background

The name of the Soorah, An-Naazi`aat, is the first word of the Soorah and it means "those that pull out."

It was revealed soon after Soorah An-Nabaa, the previous Soorah, and focuses on the same topics related to the Day of Judgment.

Teachings and Commentary

In the name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Like Al-Mursalaat, this Soorah also starts with oaths using some attributes without specifying what those attributes belong to.

1 Those that pull out violently, 2 and those that are gentle and easy, 3 and those that float swiftly 4 then race ahead competitively, 5 then dispose the matter properly, are witness (for the fact that what you are warned about is inevitable).

There is a common understanding among the scholars that the aforementioned verses describe the attributes of something that was easily understood and recognized by the Makkans from said attributes, and that it served as a good vehicle to lead the Makkans logically and rationally toward belief in the destruction of the world and the Hereafter. However, there are two views about what that "something" is.

The majority of the exegetes, on the basis of some reports from the Sahaabah (not reported from the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam himself), thinks that these attributes pertain to angels of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala. According to them, the first verse refers to their pulling out the souls of the disbelievers violently and painfully, the second verse refers to their taking the souls of pious people gently and kindly, the third verse refers to the speed with which they float through time and space, the fourth verse refers to their eagerly outdoing others in carrying out the commands of Allaah and the fifth verse refers to their managing the affairs of the universe according to the commands of Allaah. The exegetes think that the Arabs believed in angels taking out the souls, speedily moving between heaven and earth or from one place to another, executing the commands of Allaah and managing the universe. From that perspective the relevance of the angels’ functions to the Day of Judgment is that if the angels take away your souls in obedience to Allaah, they can raise the people again on His command as well; and if they are running the affairs of the universe in obedience to Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala, they can also destroy it on His command.

The second opinion differs from the above mentioned view in the following ways:
Although Arabs believed in angels, they had no concept of angels taking out the spirits of the people. Had they believed in the spirit being extracted and saved from becoming dust like the physical body, they would have easily believed in the resurrection which they were so vehemently denying. This concept was not taught by Islam as yet because during that period, all Islamic beliefs were being taught strictly through revelations, and there had been no revelation explaining the concept of angels pulling out the spirits of people before the revelation of this Soorah. This fact was introduced to people the first time in verse 11 of Soorah As-Sajdah, and then later on described by Soorah An-Nahl and Soorah Al-An`aam. Thus, if these were the attributes of angels, which were not known to or believed by the Makkans, then how would any Makkan understand the message of these verses? And how can a matter of belief that is not accepted in the society be used as an evidence or support for another matter of belief that was also not accepted in the society?
The verb Naza`a of the first verse has never been used in the Qur-aan for angels' extraction of human soul but has been used for the action of winds in Soorah Al-Qamar.

Hence, the differing scholars believe that the attributes mentioned in these verses pertain to winds and clouds. From this perspective, the first verse describes the ferocious stormy winds that uproot the things that come in their way. The second verse talks about gentle winds that bring normal clouds and rain. The third verse refers to the clouds floating in the sky that are brought by these winds - the clouds that then seem to be racing to get ahead of others (the fourth verse) and then deliver the decisions of Allaah either in the form of a merciful rain or a punishing storm. Its parallel is in Adz-Dzaari'aat as "Then sail with ease and then apportion the matter (rain)" and in Al-Mursalaat "then differentiate distinctly, then deliver a reminder as a justification or a warning."

The Arabs were very familiar with both the destructive as well as the life-sustaining effects of winds. As mentioned in Al-Mursalaat, the reflection on winds could lead people to understand the two matters that the Makkans were warned about but were reluctant to believe in: Firstly, they were warned that if they continue to oppose the Messenger of Allaah sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam, their stay on the earth will be shortened and they will be destroyed. The description of the destructive powers of winds can be enough to remind them that one violent storm can annihilate them as it had annihilated some nations in the past. Secondly, they were warned that in addition to their stay on earth being cut short, they will be severely punished in the Hereafter. If people reflect on the consistent patterns of winds and the water cycle for billions of years and their contribution to the sustainability of life, they will be able to realize that it is a carefully designed and planned system. If the Creator can design, plan and make it happen, He can break it apart as well. In addition, just like the life-sustaining system of winds and rain has within its system the potential of disastrous storms, the normal operation of the universe contains in itself mechanism(s) to cause its total destruction.

The next four verses concisely give a glimpse of destruction and re-creation.

6 The day when a blast will cause severe tremors. 7 Another will follow on its heels. 8 Many hearts on that day will be pounding; 9 their eyes cast down.

The first blast will initiate the collapse of the universe and immediately after the collapse, another blast or big bang will create a new universe that will be designed to remain intact eternally. Then human beings will be brought to life for the accountability. The true believers will be at peace, free of any fear or grief, while the disbelievers' hearts will be pounding with fear and anxiety, while their eyes will be humbled because of shame and grief.

Instead of preparing for that dreadful time, they disbelieve and express their disbelief through teasing questions and facetious remarks.

10 They say, "Will we indeed be restored to our former state? 11 Even when we are decayed bones?" 12 They say, "It would, then, be a losing return." 13 There will merely be a single rebuke, 14 and suddenly they will be standing in the field.

When the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam talks to them about the Day of Judgment, they counter it by their questions. On affirmative answers, they remark in jest that they will, in that case, be the real losers in that life. They consider the resurrection impossible, but in reality, it will be an extremely easy thing for Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala to do. It will take only one shout for all of the humanity to come alive and gather for accountability.

The next section warns them of the consequence of the rejection of the call of the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam by mentioning the story of Moosa[1] `alayhissalaam and the miserable end of the Fir`own (Pharaoh).

15 Has the story of Moosa reached you? -- 16 When his Lord called to him in the holy valley of Tuwa , 17 "Go to Fir`own[2] for he has indeed rebelled, 18 and say to him, 'Would you care for your reformation 19 and for me to guide you to your Lord so that you fear Him?'" 20 So he showed him the greatest sign. 21 Yet Fir`own denied and disobeyed. 22 Further, he diverted all his efforts (towards outdoing the greatest sign). 23 So he gathered (people) and summoned (magicians). 24 Then he declared, "I am your lord, the most high." 25 So Allaah seized him in exemplary punishment of the Hereafter and this life. 26 Verily, in that there is a lesson for him who fears Allaah.

This is an example of exquisite brevity of the Qur-aan. In this short little paragraph, all the relevant highlights of the story have been concisely presented.

Tuwa is the name of the valley where Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala talked to Moosa`alayhissalaam on Mount Sinai . According to some scholars it has been called Tuwa because the incident happened at night and according to others, it is because the talking took place thereat twice.

The Arabic word used for "rebelled" is "taghaa", which means rebelling against Allaah, violating human rights and exceeding limits within which a person should behave. Fir`own had rebelled against Allaah because instead of submitting to Him like a slave and governing people according to Islam - Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala's perfect system of justice and excellence - he was imposing his own laws and regulation on people as if he was their god. He was violating basic human rights of Israelites by subjugating them instead of treating them like other citizens. Thus, in both ways, he was transgressing and exceeding his limits.

The Arabic word used for "reformation" is "Tazkiyah" which literally means both purification and growth. In Islamic terminology, it implies: purification from bad thoughts, ideas, attitudes, behaviours and actions; and growth in good thoughts, ideas, attitudes, behaviours and actions. This is the individual, personal ******ive that Islam wants everyone to work for. This ******ive is so crucial in Islam that the term "performing ones Tazkiyah" (reforming oneself) is used as an expression for "acceptance of Islam." Accordingly, Moosa `alayhissalaam was instructed to invite Fir`own to accept Islam, thereby performing his Tazkiyah. Some examples where the performance of Tazkiyah has clearly been used for the acceptance of Islam are: "This is the reward for the one who performs his Tazkiyah", Taa Haa 20:76; "What would make you realize that perhaps he performs his Tazkiyah", `Abasa 80:3 and "It is not your responsibility if he does not perform his Tazkiyah",`Abasa 80:7

Once a person realizes that Allaah is his Lord and Master Who is going to hold him accountable for his behaviour in the world, he fears Allaah and stays away from doing bad things. Thus fear of accountability to Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala is the key to reformation or Tazkiyah.

The greatest sign refers to Moosa's staff turning into a snake - this was clear evidence that Moosa`alayhissalaam was a special person sent to Fir`own by Allaah. But instead of accepting the truth, he regarded it as magic and put all his attention in finding and gathering expert magicians who could defeat Moosa's miracle. His plan backfired. Even his magicians realized the truth of the miracle and accepted Islam. When he continued to reject Islam and insist on becoming the god of people by establishing his rule instead of the rule of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala, he was destroyed in this world and will be severely punished in the Hereafter.

The last verse mentions the purpose of the mention of the story – so that anyone from Quraish who has any goodness in his heart could learn from it and reform by adopting Islamic beliefs.

كروت أمنا هجرة تغمدها الله برحمته

التعديل الأخير تم بواسطة نسيم الفجر ; 07-29-2009 الساعة 01:23 AM
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